DAY 1 Great Walk Lanzarote - La Graciosa: Playa Blanca - Yaiza
11h (7h in movement) 30km +1.200m/-1.100m
Today we start the great trekking journey on the islands of Lanzarote and La Graciosa!
We get up at 6:00 am, very sleepy! We started the route at 7 am, even at night. We go down to the promenade and walk without problem in the light of the lanterns. Although it is early, there are already many people on the walk: people fishing, others running and doing sports … it almost seems that we are late!
Playa Blanca promenade, early in the day
Little by little it is dawning, there are enough clouds in the sky so we do not see the sun rise. We continue walking and we reach the end of the walk in 7 or 8 km where, after a hotel, a dirt road begins. This path will take us to Papagayo beach, about 3.5 km away.
Sign at the end of Playa Blanca promenade
Coloradas Castle, at the end of Playa Blanca promenade
From here the landscape is very beautiful, with cliffs and coves in a desert environment, with views of the island of Lobos and Fuerteventura.
Mujeres beach, on our way to Papagayo
Around 9:00 am we arrive at Papagayo beach, where there is a parking lot and a restaurant just above it. It is still early and there are only two people on the beach. We go to the other end where we leave our backpacks in a corner and change to do a little snorkeling.
At first the water is a bit cold! This place is really beautiful, with landscapes of stones with algae and sand in the background. In addition there are many fish; we see sole a cuttlefish, many old ones, salps, bream, etc. We had fun! At 10 am we get out of the water, we dry ourselves off, we eat a little and around 10:30h we start the march again.
We get to Punta del Papagayo from where we see Fuerteventura and the island of Lobos just ahead. From here we are going to look for a track passable by dirt cars and we go along it for a while heading north, towards Hacha Chica and Hacha Grande.
Views to Hacha Grande, from Punta de Papagayo
We pass next to a campsite (which is now closed due to the Covid-19) and in a short time we take a secondary track that goes off to the right. We continue for a while along this track towards the ‘Torreta’, until we leave it to take the path that goes up to the Morros de Hacha Chica (sharp left turn). There are stone milestones but it is better to carry a GPS because this path is not indicated and it is easy for us to pass.
Once on the trail, it progressively climbs. The milestones at the beginning are hardly seen but higher up it is more well indicated. So we are passing milestones and we arrive at Hacha Chica where we stop to eat some bars and take photos. From here you can see very well the natural area of Papagayo as well as Hacha Grande in front of us!
Views of the Papagayo natural area, with the island of Lobos and Fuerteventura behind, from Hacha Chica
Hacha Grande, from Hacha Chica
We go down briefly and go up through the Valle Perdomo pass, here the path climbs a bit in a zigzag but it isn’t difficult. After 40 minutes of climbing, we reached the top of Hacha Grande, 562m, at 13:15h. From here we have very good views of the mountains and the southern coast of Lanzarote.
Views to the North, from Hacha Grande
Views to the South, from Hacha Grande
Enjoying scenic views from Hacha Grande
We now continue downhill until we find a track that goes up passing by the side of a small goat farm and as soon as we pass it there is a path to the right that we have to take.
Going down the other side of Hacha Grande, towards Femés
Small goat farm along the way, with Hacha Grande in the background
This path borders the peak of Aceituna. We reach the pass of the Aceituna peak and we go down along the mountain until we reach a large water reservoir where just below we already have the town of Femés and in 10 minutes we are already there (we have been about 20km here).
We looked for a supermarket (in fact we saw it on Google maps but it is now closed). So we went to eat at a bar where they serve us some chicken sandwiches accompanied by a plate of fresh cheese with fig jam, all very good.
Bordering Aceituna mountain
Femés and Femés view point caming from Aceituna mountain
After resting for just over an hour, it is almost 16:00h. and we continue our way.
We go up through the town and take 1 wide uphill track that we can cut down in some corners. And we arrive in about half an hour at the Femes viewpoint, characteristic for its antennas, it is the highest point in the south of Lanzarote, 608 meters. From here we have good panoramic views, and we can see very well Hacha Grande, Playa Blanca, the Timanfaya National Park, and almost to the Famara cliff. The Salinas del Janubio can also be seen very well.
Femés view point
Vistas al sur y Hacha Grande al fondo, desde la Atalaya de Femés
Views to Janubio salt lake and Timanfaya National Park, from Femés View point
We go down a little along the same track and at a crossroads we take a path heading north, this path goes along the crest of the Femés valley, on an easy and pleasant path. After the crossing we go around a crater where we can see some caves where you could bivouac. We continue on a flat descent, always easy, until a little further on we leave the track and take a small path to cut back (but it is possible to continue along the track, there is no loss).
Easy trail down on the ridge of Femes Valley
Bivouac caves, just past the Femés view point
We continue down the track until we reach the town of Yaiza, passing through fields with friction and walls of volcanic stones to protect the fig trees and bides, a landscape that we already saw the day before during the interesting TREMENSANA ROUTE, in the Timanfaya National Park.
Arriving to Yaiza
Volcanic gravel fields and protecting walls for fig trees
We arrive around 18:00h and go to the ‘Love Yaiza’ apartment that we booked for tonight (through booking), after going through the supermarket for tonight dinner and tomorrow breakfast.
‘Love Yaiza’ Apartament
Very happy for the day today, we have passed through astonishing arid landscapes, climbed peaks with panoramic views, enjoyed a good and lively snorkeling on a lonely beach with a desert landscape, … a wonderful first day!
Continue reading my next day of the route: Hiking tour Lanzarote – La Graciosa: DAY 2