Walking in Gran Canaria

£10.00

Landscapes of GRAN CANARIA: walks and car tours

by Noel Rochford

A great little guide book to get you off into the interior of this beautiful island. Each walk is concisely and accurately described. (Mike, Amazon)

Dear Noel, Thank you for your wonderful book on Gran Canaria. I’m in my third year of teaching in Las Palmas, and over the last 18 months have found your book a godsend, as it’s enabled me on numerous occasions to traipse around the cumbre. PS: This is the obvious one: I’ve never felt moved to write to a writer before! (SL, Las Palmas)

Invaluable. Could not have walked without it. (Amazonoel, Amazon)

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Description

Gran CanariaFor many years Gran Canaria was the most underrated of the Canary Islands among countryside enthusiasts but, recently, with the restoration of the old trails, the island has been ‘discovered’ by walkers. It is often referred to as a ‘continent in minature’. If you travel across Gran Canaria by car or on foot you’ll see why for yourself!

From the hub of the cumbre, the island’s great saddle, ravines are born and fan out seaward like spokes on a wheel, gouging enormous valleys in their wake. Between them there are magnificent barrancos (ravines). Each has its own little secret to share. In the Barranco de los Cernicalos there are knee-deep grasses and a chuckling stream; the Barranco de la Aldea hides an emerald-green reservoir; the Barranco de Güígüí opens out to an incomparable beach. These are but a few of the island’s breathtaking ravines… and this is only the start of what you will find when out walking in Gran Canaria.

Area covered: the whole island

The best months for walking in Gran Canaria are October to June.

Where to stay

If you are relying on public transport, stay in Las Palmas (in the north) or Playa del Inglés/Maspalomas in the south. Inland, Cruz de Tejeda can make a good base, especially if you have a hire car. And there are lovely inland rural cottages to let.

Edition/contents etc

4 car tours, 50 long and short walks, 30 picnic suggestions
136 pages + touring map; plans of Las Palmas, Maspalomas/Playa del Inglés; large-scale (1:50,000) topo maps
7th ed, Jan 2015; ISBN 978-1-85691-461-1; UK retail price £12.99 / USA retail price $17.99

Table of contents:

Preface 5
Acknowledgements; Useful books 6
Getting about 7
Picnicking 8
Picnic suggestions 9

TOURING 15
ALL ROUND THE ISLAND (TOUR 1) 16
Las Palmas · Maspalomas · Mogán · San Nicolás · Puerto de las Nieves · Agaete · Gáldar · Las Palmas
DRAMATIC NORTHWESTERN LANDSCAPES (TOUR 2) 18
Las Palmas · Teror · Artenara · Tamadaba · Barranco de la Aldea · San Nicolás · Puerto de las Nieves · Agaete · Gáldar · Cenobio de Valerón · Barranco Azuaje · Arucas · Las Palmas
THE ‘CONTINENT IN MINIATURE’ (TOUR 3) 24
Las Palmas · Tafira · San Mateo · Cruz de Tejeda · Tejeda · Cueva del Rey · Embalse de la Cueva de las Niñas · San Bartolomé · Santa Lucía · Agüimes · Las Palmas
ACROSS THE CUMBRE (TOUR 4) 29
Las Palmas · Monte Lentiscal · Caldera de Bandama · Telde · Pico de las Nieves · Ayacata · San Bartolomé · Fataga · Arteara · Maspalomas · Las Palmas

WALKING 33
Guides, waymarking, maps 34
Where to stay 34
What to take 34
Dogs – and other nuisances 35
Weather 36
Spanish for walkers 37
Walkers’ checklist 38
Country code for walkers and motorists 39
Organisation of the walks 40

WALKS IN THE CENTRE
1 La Culata · Roque Nublo · La Culata 41
2 Tejeda · Barranco de Tejeda · Casas de la Umbría 44
3 Casas de la Umbría · El Espinillo · El Chorrillo · El Manatial · El Carrizal · Degollada del Aserrador 46

WALKS OFF THE CUMBRE
4 From Cruz de Tejeda to Artenara 50
5 Cruz de Tejeda · Mirador de los Pinos de Gáldar · Saucillo · Guía 54
6 Cruz de Tejeda · Calderetas · Las Rosadas · Teror 58
7 Las Lagunetas · Barranco de la Mina · Mirador de Becerra · Cruz de Tejeda · Las Lagunetas 61
8 Cruz de Tejeda · La Culata · Tejeda 65
9 Mirador de los Pinos de Gáldar · Fontanales · La Laguna · Teror 67
10 Barranco Azuaje · San Andrés 70
11 Barranco de Guayadeque: Montaña de las Tierras · Caldera de los Marteles · Valsequillo 73
12 Cruz Grande · Alto del Campanario · Pico de las Nieves · San Mateo 77
13 La Calderilla · Taídia · Santa Lucía 82
14 Bandama – Pico and Caldera 84

WALKS IN THE SOUTH
15 San Bartolomé · Cruz Grande · Degollada de la Manzanilla · San Bartolomé 87
16 San Bartolomé · Degollada de la Manzanilla · Las Tederas · Ayagaures · Los Palmitos 91
17 Cruz Grande · Embalse de Chira · Montaña deSantiago · C815 94
18 Degollada del Aserrador · Cruce de la Data · Soria · Cercados de Araña 97
19 Arteara · Guanche cemetery · Ayagaures · Los Palmitos 100

WALKS IN THE NORTHWEST
20 Degollada del Aserrador · Presa de la Cueva de las Niñas · Montaña de Tauro · Las Casillas 102
21 Degollada de la Aldea · Inagua · Degollada de la Aldea 105
22 Albercón · Playa de Güigüí · Tasártico 109
23 Degollada del Sargento · Cruz de María · (Altavista) · San Nicolás 115
24 Artenara · Tamadaba · Las Presas · San Pedro 118
25 Artenara · El Hornillo · Los Berrazales or San Pedro 122
26 Artenara · Vega de Acusa · Artenara 125

Bus timetables 128
Index (of geographical names) 135
Fold-out island map with plans of Las Palmas and Playa del Inglés/Maspalomas, showing city exits and bus stations
inside back cover

Guidebook index

Acusa (Ah-koo-sah) 21, 121, 126, TM
Acusa Seca (- Seh-kah) 121, 125-6, 127, TM
Agaete (Ah-gay-ay-tay) 16, 18, 22, 128
Agüimes (Ah-gwee-mays) 24, 28, 73, 77, 128
Albercón (Ahl-behr-kon) 21, 109, 114
Alto del Campanario (Ahl-toh dayl Kam-pah-nah-ree-oh) 30, 77, 79, TM
Andén Verde 21
Arguineguín (Ahr-ghi-nay-geen) 17, 128
Arteara (Ar-tay-ah-rah) 14, 29, 31, 32, 88-9, 100, 128
Artenara (Ar-teh-nah-rah) 1, 18-9, 50, 51, 115, 118, 121, 122, 125, 127, 128, TM
Arucas (Ah-roo-kahs) 18, 20, 23, 70, 128
Ayacata (Eye-ah-kah-tah) 27, 29, 31, 41, 77, 128, TM
Ayagaures (Eye-ah-gaow-rehs) 12, 13, 88-9, 91, 93, 100
Azulejos, Los 116-7
Bandama (Ban-dah-mah) 84, 86, 128
Barranco (Bah-rahn-koh) ravine, river
Azuaje (Ah-thoo-ah-hay) 11, 18, 23, 70, 72
de Agaete 22, 55, 121, 123
de Arguineguín 32, 94-5, 99
de Charquillo Madrelagna 52-3, 59
de Fataga (day Fah-tah-gah) 31, 88-9, 100
de Guayadeque (day Goo-ay-ah-day-kay) 11, 28, 73, 74, TM
de Güigüí Chico 112, 114
de Güigüí Grande 110-11, 113, 114
de la Aldea 18, 21, 114, 116-7
de la Coruña 121, 122
de la Data (day lah Dah-tah) 12, 13, 87, 88-9, 93, 94, 101
de la Mina 25, 61-2, TM
de la Plata 76, TM
de la Virgen 52-3, 69
de los Ahogaderos 88-9, TM
de los Cernícalos 30
de los Vicentillos 88-9, 100-1
de los Vicentes 88-9, 101
de Lugarejos 121, 123
de Mógan 17, 103, 104
de Soria 94-5, 98
de Tasártico 113, 114
de Tejeda 25, 44, 45, 50, 121, 126, TM
de Teror 18
de Tirajana 27, 87, 88-9, TM
del Charquillo 58
del Chorrillo 52-3, 68, TM
del Peñon Bermejo 112, 114
del Toscón 49, TM
Seco 83, TM

Caldera (Kahl-day-rah) crater
de Bandama 29, 84, 85, 86
de los Marteles 30, 73, 74-5, 76, TM
de Tejeda 64-5

Casa de Tirma 119, 121
Casas (Kah-sahs) houses
de Anzofé 52-3, 59
de la Inagua 106, 108
de la Vuelta 52-3, 59
de la Umbría (Kah-sahs day lah Oom-bree-ah) 44-6, TM
del Fondo 85, 86

Cenobio de Valerón (Seh-noh-bee-oh day Bah-lay-rohn) 18, 22
Cercados de Araña (Sehr-kah-dohs day Ah-rahn-yah) 94-5, 97, 98-9
Cercados de Espino (Sehr-kah-dohs day Ess-pee-noh) 32
Cortijo de Calderetas 52-3, 58, 59
Cruce de la Data (Kroo-thay day lah Da-tah) 97, TM
Cruz (Krooth) cross or crossroads
de Constantino 52-3, 58, TM
de María 115, 119, 121
de San Antonio (day Sahn Ahn-toh-nee-oh) 102, 103, TM
de Tejeda (day Tay-hay-dah) 10, 24-5, 50, 52-3, 54, 58, 61, 63, 65, 128, TM
de Umbría (day Oom-bree-ah) 88-9, 92
Grande (Grahn-deh) 13, 27, 77, 87, 88-9, 128, TM

Cueva (Koo-eh-vah) cave
del Rey (dayl Ray) 14, 24-5, 26, 45, TM
Cuevas de Berbique 120, 121
del Caballero 51, 52
Dedo de Dios 21
Degollada (Day-go-lah-dah) pass
de Aguas Sabinas 113, 114
de la Aldea 17, 105, 108, 128
de la Manzanilla (day lah Man-thahn-eel-yah) 87, 88-9, 90, 91-2
de Rociana 88-9, 90
de las Brujas 106, 108
de las Palomas 51, 52-3
de Vallehermoso 112, 114
del Aserrador (dayl Ah-sayr-rah-dor) 46, 49, 97, 102, TM
del Morro de las Tocinas 116-7
del Peñon Bermejo 112, 114
del Sargento 20, 115, 118, 121

El Barranquillo de San Andrés (Ayl Bah-rahn-keel-yoh day Sahn Ahn-drays) 103
El Carrizal (Ayl Kah-ree-thahl) 27, 46, 47, 48, 49, cover
El Chorrillo (Ayl Choh-reel-yoh) 46-7, TM
El Espinillo (Ayl Ess-pee-neel-yoh) 48, 46, TM
El Hornillo (Ayl Hor-neel-yoh) 121, 122-3
El Juncal (Ayl Hoon-kahl) 97, 104, TM
El Manatial (Ayl Man-ah-tee-ahl) 46, 48, TM
El Roque de Tejeda (Ayl Roh-kay) 14, 25, 26, 94, TM
El Sao 121, 123
El Toscón (Ayl Tohs-kohn) 10, 27, 49, TM
Embalse (Aym-bahl-say) reservoir
de Ayagaures 88-9, 101
de Chira (day She-rah) 94-5, 98-9
de Gambuesa (day Gahm-boo-ay-sah) 88-9, 92
de la Cueva de las Niñas (day lah Koo-ay-vah day lahs Neen-yahs).14, 24, 27, 97, 102, 103, TM
de los Pérez 121, 123, 124
de Soria 13, 94-5, 99
del Parralillo (day Pah-rah-leel-yoh) 21, 47, 48, 115, cover

Fataga (Fah-tah-gah) 29, 31
Fontanales 52-3, 67
Fortaleza de Ansite 28
Fuente Salado 116-7
Gáldar (Gahl-dar) 16, 18, 22, 55, 128
Guaydeque (Goo-eye-ah-day-kay) 28
Guía (Gee-ah) 22, 54, 55, 57, 128
Hoya de Pineda 55, 57
Hoya del Gamonal 81, TM
Ingenio 28
La Atalaya (Lah Ah-tah-lie-ah) 55
La Calderilla 82, TM
La Culata (Lah Koo-lah-tah) 9, 25, 41-3, 60, 61, 65-6, 128, TM
La Higuerilla 121
La Laguna 52-3, 67
Lanzarote (Lahn-thah-roh-tay) 19, 52-3
Las Brucias 73-4, TM
Las Calderetas 10, 52-3, 58-9
Las Casillas (Lahs Kah-seel-yahs) 17, 76, 102, 103, 104, 128, TM
Las Cuevas 52-3, 59, 121, 122
Las Lagunetas (Lahs Lah-goo-nay-tahs) 52-3, 61-2, 64, TM
Las Palmas (Lahs Pahl-mahs) 16, 18, 24, 128
Las Presas (Lahs Pray-sahs) 8-9, 13, 118, 120, 121
Las Rosadas 52-3, 58-9
Las Tederas (Lahs Teh-deh-rahs) 88-9, 91-2, 93
Llanos de la Pez (L-yah-noh day lah Path) 14, 29, 31
Los Berrazales (Lohs Bayr-rah-zahl-ays) 22, 121, 122-3, 128
Los Llanos (Lohs L-yah-nohs) 52-3, 69, 88-9
Los Naranjeros 52-3, 59
Los Palmitos (Lohs Palm-ee-tohs) 13, 88-9, 91, 93, 100-1, 128
Los Pechos 30
Los Tilos (Lohs Tee-lohs) 23
Lugarejos (Loo-gah-ray-hohs) 121, 123
Maspalomas (Mahs-pah-loh-mahs) 16, 29, 32, 128
Mirador (Mee-rah-door) viewpoint
Balcón de Zamora 19, 52-3
de Becerra 11, 61, 63, 66, TM
de La Sorrueda 28
de los Pinos de Gáldar (day lohs Pee-nohs day) 10, 19, 52-3, 54, 67, 68, 128
del Balcón 21
del Morro de los Peñones 52-3, 58
Fuente de los Azulejos 17

Miraflor (Mee-rah-flor) 18
Mogán (Moh-gahn) 16-7, 128
Monagas 52-3, 69
Montaña (Mohn-tahn-yah) mountain
Acebuche 55, 56
Altavista 115, 115, 116-7
Brezos 118, 121
de Arucas 23
de Guía 55, 57
de Ojeda 106, 108
de Santiago (day Sahn-tee-ah-goh) 13, 27, 29, 94-5, 96, TM
de Tauro 102, 103
Inagua 105, 106-7, 108
Troya 81, TM

Montaña de las Tierras (day lahs Tee-ay-rahs) 11, 24, 28, 73, TM
Montañon Negro 52-3, 54
Monte Lentiscal (Mohn-teh Layn-tees-kahl) 24, 29
Moya (Moy-ah) 23
Ojeda, Inagua y Pajonales (nature reserve) 27, 105, 106-7, 108
Paso de los Laderones 103, 104
Patalavaca 17
Pico (Pee-koh) mountain peak
de Bandama 84, 86
de Gáldar 55
de las Nieves (day lahs Nee-ay-vays) 29-30, 77, 80, TM

Pino de Pilancones 88-9, 92
Playa (Plah-yah) beach
de Güigüí (day Gwee-gwee) 17, 109, 112, 114
de Tauro 17

Playa del Inglés (Plah-yah dayl Een-glays) 16, 32, 128
Presa reservoir; see also under Embalse
de los Hornos 10, 31, 41, 43, 61, TM
Puerto (Poo-air-toh) port
de la Aldea (day lah Ahl-day-ah) 14, 16, 18, 21, 114
de las Nieves (day lahs Nee-ay-vays) 16, 18, 21, 128
de Mogán (day Moh-gahn) 17, 128

Puerto Rico (Poo-air-toh Ree-koh) 17, 128
Rincón de Tenteniguada 76
Risco Blanco 27
Roque (Roh-kay) rock
Bentaiga (Vain-tie-gah) 4, 14, 48, 45, TM
Bermejo 120
el Castillete 107, 108
Nublo (Noo-bloh) 4, 31, 41, 42, 43, 63, 66, 79, TM

Rosiana 27
San Andrés (Sahn Ahn-drays) 70, 72, 128
San Bartolomé (de Tirajana) (Sahn Bar-toh-loh-may) 24, 27, 29, 31, 77, 87, 88-9, 90, 91, 97, 128
San Fernando (Sahn Fer-nahn-doh) at Playa del Inglés 77, 100, 128, TM
San Mateo (Sahn Mah-tay-oh) 24, 52-3, 77, 81-2, 128, TM
San Nicolás (de Tolentino) (Sahn Nee-koh-lahs) 16-18, 21, 109, 114, 115, 116-7, 128
San Pedro (Sahn Pay-droh) 118, 121, 122-3
Santa Brigida (Sahn-tah Bree-gee-dah) 24, 128
Santa Lucía (Sahn-tah Loo-thee-ah) 24, 28, 82-3, 88-9, 128
Saucillo 54, 55, 56
Soria (Soh-ree-ah) 13, 32, 94-5, 97-8
Tafira Alta (Tah-fee-rah Al-tah) 24, 128
Taídia (Tah-ee-dee-ah) 82, 83, 88-9, TM
Tamadaba (Tah-mah-dah-bah) Forest 11, 14, 18, 20, 118-9, 121
Tamaraciete 18
Tasarte 106-7
Tasártico (Tas-ahr-tee-koh) 109, 113, 114
Tejeda (Teh-hay-dah) 24-5, 26, 44, 46, 52-3, 65-6, 97, 102, 128, TM
Telde (Tehl-deh) 29-30, 82, 128
Temisas (Tay-mee-sahs) 28
Tenteniguada (Tayn-tayn-ee-goo-ah-dah) 52-3, 76, 128, TM
Teror (Tay-rohr) 18, 52-3, 59-60, 67, 69, 128
Valleseco (Bahl-yay-say-koh) 19, 52-3
Valsequillo (Bahl-say-keel-yoh) 73, 76, 128, TM
Vencindario (Bay-seen-dah-ree-oh) 128
Vega de Acusa (Bay-gah day Ah-koo-sah) 4, 14, 121, 125, TM

Current update

Gran Canaria, 7th Edition (2015), updated 01/07/2015

Updates for walks and car tours (drives) on Gran Canaria given below supplement those provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)

Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to info@sunflowerbooks.co.uk.

SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS – The following are not corrections to the 7th edition of the book.

Walk 11: I have just returned from 6 days in Gran Canaria, mainly to enjoy the beach and the sun for a well earned rest, and decided to undertake a couple of the hikes in your book. Absolutely fantastic! To access this walk from Playa del Ingles, I took the bus which went from Faro de Maspalomas to Arinaga and got off at El Cruce de Arinaga. The driver advised me to cross the road and wait at the opposite bus stop (at a rather desolate junction) for the bus from Arinaga to Aguimes. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later along came a bus. I imagine that had I stayed on the bus all the way to Arinaga itself, then the departure of the Aguimes bus would be timed as a connection. I had to take a taxi to Montana de las Tierras which cost about 10 euros. The walk was spectacular and easy to follow. (User, 2014) + Alternative walks for motorists:  The description starts: – “A popular circuit…” I tried following this walk, but there is insufficient detail given that the numbers of the paths are different on the few signposts provided, and that there are several potential turnings to take after Cruz del Socorro.   The path which leads down from a refuge (not described in your book) over the ridge in the direction of the coast is very hard to follow, and hugs the edge of a ravine for a while, then eventually peters out – I could not find the fork to the “westerly fork of the S37”, and found myself in difficulty in dense bushes as I tried to retrace my footsteps.  The maps for the island are insufficiently detailed to help, so I think it best to describe alternative walks in much greater detail. My experiences with the two other walks I did were excellent. (User, 6/15) [Sunflower comments: The author made it clear that he had not done the walk in question. The description in the book was sent in by a user, and that was all the detail provided. However, looking at tracks uploaded to Wikiloc on Google Earth, the route suggested is very clear. Pity if the signpost numbering has been changed, but as it explains in the book under ‘walking’, the numbering system was being changed at press date; the numbers given in the book – for instance ‘S37’ – were sent to our Canary Islands team by the island government.]

Walk 16: It is possible to walk to Arteara instead of Aqualand. The walk in the woods is less scenic but the final descent to Arteara is fantastic. Using the morning bus we had time to buy a refreshment in the kiosk in the camel park before getting on the 16.21 bus back south. The timetable corresponds to a rather senior couple of walkers. Younger and more fit walkers will be much faster, especially in the descent. The walk is shown on your map. I have found it in “Trail Guide. Villa de San Bartolomede Tirajana” which may be obtained at the tourist office in Puerto Rico. Description: Follow walk 16 beyond Degollada de la Manzilla (1h15min) but ignore the right turn 10 minutes later, continuing on the track. Ignore a path to the right (1h33min) when the track bends left to cross the upper end of Barranco de los Vicentes. The woods have been badly damaged by fire but new small trees have been planted. Ignore several tracks to the left. At a nice junction (1h55min) ignore a track to the right. It leads to a house which comes into view shortly after on your right when continuing straight on. Turn left DOWNHILL at a junction (2h10min). The track descends in enormous hairpins down into the Barranco de los Vincentillos and passes to the other side on a concrete bridge (2h23min). Shortly after you can walk a few steps up left to Degollada de la Yegua to get a fine view of Barranco de Fataga. Continue with the narrow and severe barranco on your right. It widens eventually and you see some distant houses at the right, Casas de Ayagaures Alto (2h45min). The track starts climbing, eventually quite steeply. The ascent ends in an S-curve at Morro de Achebuche (3h). The track comes to an end at a turning place (3h10min). Continue straight ahead on a path flanked by a black plastic water pipe. You leave the woods, the path first climbs a bit and then descends onto a ridge still accompanied by the water pipe. The level path ends (3h25min) and the descent starts to the left. The path is cut into the yellow rock and zigzags down a valley with two barrancos. The path flattens out, you pass the upper ends of the two barrancos and you descend to a plain, the Degollada de Garito, with newly planted trees and an irrigation system. The path is less obvious here but it passes just to the left of two pine trees ahead of you in some distance. Standing beside the pine trees (3h55min) you get a fantastic view into Barranco de Fataga. Arteara, your goal, is far down in front of you, and the white houses of Fataga are sitting up to the left. You first descend on a camino built into a very steep slope, quite a fine piece of engineering. Next you get on a ridge (4h) leading steeply down towards brown boulders – look out for loose gravel, walking sticks are useful here! The path is less clear when you get down in the boulders, but it is well marked with white paint splashes, cairns and occational yellow marks. Looking carefully for the marks is even more important when you get down into white boulders with vegetation (4h20min) – long trousers are nice here. You pass a concrete water pipe dug down into the ground (4h35min). A large empty water channel is passed at a place where it is covered, and you get down on the dirt road from Ayagaures used in walk 19 (4h50min). Turn left and walk a short distance on the right-hand side of the road looking out for a metal water pipe lying on the ground after a few meters. Follow the water pipe away from the road and look out for a house down to the right (there are crossing water pipes here). Scramble down through abandoned fields towards the house (there is no path). Pass to the left of the house and get on the Arteara village road where you turn left. Follow the road out of the village, turn left and go past the camel park to the bus stop (5h15min). (User, 10/10).

Walks 17/18: Alternative walk suggestion, combining walks 17 and 18: Park in Cercados de Arana (possibly at the bar/restaurant, if it is still closed) and follow Walk 17 to the prickly pear enclosure, where turn left rather than right. Follow the track, which meanders across the plateau before passing close to a pylon. Ignore two right turns (to Las Casas and La Cueva) before turning right by stepping over a rusty chain across a track. This is the 4hr50min point of Walk 18, which can now be reversed as far as you want (remembering that you have to climb back up to finish the walk). Finding the path over the rock section in reverse is not easy and requires some careful scrambling: allow plenty of time. The reward is a good refreshment stop on the far side of the Soria dam. (If you just want a view of Soria, don’t turn right at the chain but follow the track to its end at a red and white radio mast, then turn right for about 100m and climb a small outcrop currently marked by a white stone. Although it’s possible to scramble down a little further here for a better view, there is no way on: it ends in a sheer drop). Returning the same way, come to the pylon and look out for a faint track to the right. Follow this until you see a small pool with a stone dam and, to its right, a pipeline with a concrete wall. Scramble down to the pool and cross the dam, then ascend the hill in front of you for a splendid view across the Embalse de Chira and its dam. Scramble down, heading just to the right of the dam, clamber over the concrete channel, and turn left on the path to walk across the dam. Return on the road next to the lake as for Walk 17. I didn’t make notes for reversing Walk 18, so at the moment can only recommend the descent to Soria for experienced and sure-footed walkers without fear of heights. With the diversion to Soria I’d classify this as fairly strenuous, while the circuit of Chira is easy apart from the section from the track to the dam. (User, 1/11)