Fuencaliente To Los Llanos De Aridance Walk
Having caught the 200 bus to Fuencaliente with the full intention of exploring the volcano summits along the Cumbre Vieja ridge, a combination of cloud cover and my aversion to relentless steep hills led us to choose a different path. Following the beautiful forested trail to the start of the summit walk, we saw a left hand turn signposted Los Llanos and thought why not. As part of the circular coastal path which circumnavigates the island, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves when compared against the more popular caldera routes in the glossy brochures, but it really should, especially as if mega-tsunami theorists are correct, it might well end up in the sea come the next volcanic eruption. Given recent seismic activity in the region, this might be sooner rather than later!
The route itself is for the most part on well maintained tracks or quiet country lanes, is well signposted, and if starting in Fuencaliente, largely downhill. Whilst the terrain is reasonable, it is a long walk (approx. 23km), so before starting it’s a good idea to equip yourselves with plenty of water and of course, suitable footwear/all weather clothing.
The walk itself can be broken up roughly into 3 sections. The first, through the forest after a steep initial climb takes you along a gradual descent along the side of the mountain range, at one point crossing the main LP-2 road, and continuing downhill in a northerly direction. The forest itself is beautiful and peaceful. At one point there is evidence of a fairly recent forest fire. It is fascinating to see how nature adapts to catastrophe and how the trees, stripped bare at ground level, start to come back to life further up their trunks. Witnessing vivid green shrubs springing up from the charcoal black earth is in its own way, very beautiful.
The next third of the walk, in open countryside, is the most arduous as there is little shelter from the sun, and the terrain becomes rougher. This section takes you up and over all the lava flows from the 1971 eruption of the Teneguía volcano along the Cumbre Vieja. Is absolutely fascinating and again is a vivid reminder of the power of nature as the numerous lava flows spread down the hillside like tentacles. It should be said that the views out to sea at this point are pretty spectacular too.
Up and down over the lunar like lava flows takes several hours and is quite strenuous so towards the end of this section you may well need a quick break. Conveniently then, the path crosses the LP-2 again at Jedey where there is a convenience store at the petrol station, where you can top up on water and chocolate.
The final section of the walk takes you gradually down along minor country roads through the tranquil arable fields, vineyards and banana plantations of the Los Llanos plateau until you reach your final destination. Whilst fairly exhausted at this point, it was so peaceful and the countryside so pretty, it would be hard not to agree that La Palma fully deserves its name “La Isla Bonita” as it really has been blessed with a natural beauty, diversity and tranquillity that you perhaps don’t get on other more well known islands in the Canaries.
Links to More Walks
Walking Peurto Pollenca To Cala San Vincente, Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca
Puig De Maria Monastery Walk, Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca
Boquer Valley Walking, Spain, Balearic Islands, Majorca
Fuencaliente To Los Llanos De Aridance Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Palma
Pista De Los Lomos Santa Cruz Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Palma
Cubo De La Galga Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Palma
El Guro Waterfall Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Gomera
Rincon To Malaga Walk, Spain, Andalusia, Malaga
Caldera De Taburiente Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Palma
El Pilar Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Palma
Caldera De Taburiente Waterfall Walk, Spain, Canary Islands, La Palma