f you’ve travelled with Ramblers Walking Holidays before, you may already have spoken to Nicola Alvarez, who is a senior accounts clerk, and Rachel Martin, a sales and reservations consultant; both are on hand to offer assistance and advice to our clients in arranging their holidays. We thought it would be great if they could experience a RWH tour for themselves, and thus the girls found themselves in Lanzarote – not a bad work break in February! Here’s their daily diary.
On arrival at the airport we were greeted in the arrivals hall by Mick Starkey and Mickey Moloney, our very able RWH Leaders, and escorted to our awaiting coach for the short transfer to our hotel in Arrecife. The Leaders stayed with us whilst we checked in to the hotel. After a short briefing with the group regarding the next day’s walking, we had dinner. This was the pattern for the week. We chattered with other members of the group and decided which route we were going to take.
After breakfasting and purchasing our lunch at a local café we were set for our first day of walking. After travelling for 30 minutes we were dropped at Uga on the south side of the island. This first day was a gentle introduction to our week’s walking. We climbed as a whole group to a certain point, then the group split into two for either the grade 4 or the grade 6 walks. We ate our lunch amongst some ruins and took in the views. The remainder of the walk was a steady descent into Puerto Del Carmen. We had an hour to spare before returning to the coach for transfer back to the hotel.
Day 2 started at the Visitors’ Centre which was very informative, including a simulation of a volcano. Our guide gave a history of this volcanic island and interesting insight into what to look out for whilst walking. Today we followed a circular coastal route. The groups split into the two grades again. The harder grade largely walked for longer over the same terrain. We walked across lava fields with dramatic cliff-side drops to our left and the lava fields to our right. The walking was concentrated and, although not overly demanding, needed our full concentration. On reaching the end of the lava field we meandered down to the beach where we had our lunch. The walk back was mainly on tracks downwards towards the village of El Golfo. There are plenty of bars to enjoy a snack and a drink. For those who wished to do some more walking, there were good vantage points from which to see the Algae pools and cliffs. We also stopped off at Yaiza, where we saw what the locals call “the washing machine”, where waves crash together in a force of nature which is quite spectacular.
On Day 3, we tackled Maguez, another circular route, starting with a slow climb winding up the hill side and across several roads. There is a good vantage point over the cliffs and a welcome break of a café at the top of the climb. We stopped off for lunch at a ruined church. Maquez is in the north of the island and with its greenery provides a strong contrast to the more barren south. Walkers are recommended to take hats and shower/ waterproof light clothing with them. The climate can change from warm and sunny at sea level to showery and blustery once you start to climb.
Day 4, and another taste of the north of the island. The walk started at the village of Haria, with its picturesque village square, whitewashed churches and relaxed atmosphere. The gentle climb gives way to views which are mainly coastal and at some points in the walk you can see both coastlines at the same time. We stopped off to climb to the top of a lava crater and look down into it. The walk finished in the town square of Teguise, where we have an opportunity to have a look in souvenir shops and a have a welcome beer in a local bar.
Starting off at Femes, on Day 5 we climbed up and then down and through the valley. One stopping point was the beach, and we walked along the coast, pausing for lunch at Playa Quemada. We then walked on to Puerto Calero. It was an enjoyable contrast as we descended down the valley to the coast.
Day 6 was a rest day. With no walking today, we visited the local shop in Arrecife which is easy walking distance from the hotel. The town offers boutiques, electrical goods and cafés and bars. We sampled the local tapas at a restaurant along the beach. A good vantage point is the Gran Hotel on the beachfront where you can see the whole of Arrecife whilst enjoying a relaxed coffee.
We loved Lanzarote. The geology is fascinating and the views are dramatic. The weather in February makes for a pleasant walking temperature. The hotel was very comfortable and the cuisine was of a high standard. There is plenty of variety, and the two different grades of walks cater for difference experience and fitness levels, carefully overseen by the Leaders Mick and Mickey. The groups mainly start the walks together, and the higher grades take a different route on some walks, and on other days they may walk completely independently. The nightly briefing allows a decision to be made as to your preference and route, and everyone’s requirements are attended to. So now, if you have any questions regarding our Lanzarote tour, you know who to ask!