Travels on La Palma and La Gomera Islands, January 18-25, 2020

Two hikes on La Palma and two on La Gomera including

the island high points

We leave at 10:00 on a Binter Canarias flight from the Tenerife North airport which goes to La Palma. It is a short 30 minute flight on this ATR-72, a French-Italian turbo prop aircarft.
After getting our Hetz rental car at the airport we head to our lodging at Apartamentos Miranda. It is not far away, but we get lost and have a bit of trouble finding it.
Beautiful gradens around the hotel which has 8 apartments and has been owned by a German family for over 30 years. The room is spacious with a nice view.
We drive up winding road LP4 climbing about 6500 ft. (2200 m) to the rim of the Caldera de Taburiente parking at one of the first pullouts. Although one can drive right to the high point we want to hike there along the rim. We hike up to a minor peak, Pico de la Cruz, and look west at the trail. Car is visible to the right.
Looking down into the huge crater from Pico de la Cruz.
After a short distance heading west along the rim there is a viewpoint with tourist buses. There are only a few hikers on the trail.
After a few kilometers we crest out and get a nice view of the summit and the first group of telescopes.
Here I am at the summit which are the rocks behind. There is a sign strictly prohibiting anyone from trying to climb them as they are of soft stone easily eroded. The trail round-trip is 5.6 mi. (9 km) with maybe 600 ft. (180 m) gain. This is a GPS file for the route: RoqueMuchachos
We stop and have lunch. Ravens come down and land right next to us within a foot looking for a snack.
Looking back toward the northeast showing the trail we used. We walked the same path back to the car. This is a great hike I highly recommend.
Shelley by the Isaac Newton, 250 cm telescope, not the largest one.
From a large picnic area at El Pilar we hike the Ruta de los Volcanes south. It is a good well-marked trail which goes to almost the south end of the island. The pine forest is pretty and undisturbed with no signs of logging.
For our last hike we drive LP3 and LP301 and stop at a viewpoint with a view looking north. The summit, Roque de los Muchachos, is the ridge in back of the tree-covered Pico Bejenado.
After a 3 hour walk we reach our destination, the summit is called Volcan de la Deseada at 6378 ft. (1944 m). Fine views all around. This hike is 4.6 mi. (7.4 km) one-way with a gain of about 2000 ft. (610 m). GPS track file
We walk south on the crest and pass a lava flow called La Malforada.
Heading back north we take a shorter, but sightly rougher route to the main trail. The following day we head to La Gomera Island, but our journey runs into some snags when the Binter flight is delayed and we miss the second flight to La Gomera. The result is the airline puts us on a taxi from Tenerife North airport to Los Cristianos where we take the last ferry to San Sebastian on La Gomera. We arrive too late to get our rental car and take a taxi to Imada. This is a wild ride at night and costs us 50 euros. Here is the town the next day.
This is Hotel Rural Imada where we stayed three nights. Probably the only hotel in the small mountain town.
Another great weather day and we start up the road in Imada and pick up a trail north.
Nice view on the trail looking east. Past the rugged hills on La Gomera is Pico Teide on Tenerife Island.
Our destination is Garajonay, the high point of the island at 4879 ft. (1487 m). The summit has a mounument to indigenous people who lived on the island well before the Spanish arrived. Excavations show the site was a sacrificial altar and dates to the 6th century AD. The hike takes 2 hours 50 min. up with an elevation gain or 2140 ft. (650 m).
We make a loop hike and after a steep descent end up right at a restaurant called Arcilia across from our hotel. A Dorada beer on tap is only 2 euro. The goat cheese and meat is very tasty too. The total loop hike is 6.6 mi. (10.6 km) and takes 5 hours. A GPS track file is here: Garajonay
Our last day on La Gomera we walk down to a village called Alajero. The church on the distant hill sparks our interest so we walk up there.
The small church is known as the San Isidro hermitage and is the site of ceremonies in May.
On our final day on La Gomera we take a bus to San Sebastian and wander in the town waiting for the ferry to Los Cristianos on Tenerife. The harbor is one of the best for small boats.
San Sebastian is pleasant and we have lunch at an outdoor cafe.
Homes rise up the steep hillsides near the harbor.
Two ferry companies run several trips a day from San Sebastian to Los Cristianos. We take the Fred Olsen line which takes about one hour.
In Los Cristianos we stay at Apartamentos Costamar at the south end of the curved beach. The place is not expensive and this view from our 7th floor room is amazing.
Los Cristianos was our last night in the Canary Islands. The next day we caught the bus to Tenerife South airport and flew to London. It was a wonderful trip and we will always have fond memories of the Canary Islands.
The town has some of the best beaches on Tenerife and is a hot tourist destination. Cool early in the morning so few out on the beach.