Canary Islands

Volcanic Island Hopping

Tenerife to Tenerife

10 - 18 December, 2018
£1260
9 -17 December, 2019
£1325

Includes Bed and Breakfast accommodation, all guiding and transportation

Includes 3 National Parks and 3 World Heritage Sites
Exclusive small group tour, number of participants : 4 - 7
Prices are per person, based on 2 people sharing a room.  Single supplement applies please make contact for details.

Rising 5-7 km from the floor of the Atlantic and related to a mantle hotspot, the Canary Islands are the largest volcanoes in Europe. These islands are popular with tourists but few venture into the interior of the islands to explore this volcanic wonder land. The rocks reveal all the stages in the growth of ocean island volcanoes, and the islands  show the scars of some of the largest landslides ever to have occurred on Earth.

La Palma, the start the Ruta de los Volcanes walk.
A landsat image © NASA, showing the Taburienta Caldera and land slip scar stretching out from it. Running due south of the caldera is the ridge of the Cumbre Vieja volcano. This is the most volcanically active part of the island and forms its southern backbone.
Rocque de Agando a 5.1 million year old trachyte dome,in the Garajonay National Park World Heritage Site, La Gomera
Los Organos columnar jointing, La Gomera
San Cristobal de La Laguna World Heritage Site
Mount Teide, Tenerife
The cable-car ride up Mount Tiede to an altitude of 3500m

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive on the island of Tenerife at Tenerfie South Airport. There are many direct flights to Tenerife from Europe including budget airlines. We spend the night at a hotel near the airport.

Day 2- Tiede National Park World Heritage Site, Tenerife. Today we visit the fantastic La Candas caldera and Teide-Pico volcanic complex which form a National Park and World Heritage Site. This volcano is of global geological interest, and we have the opportunity to take the cable-car to an altitude of 3500m, just 200m below the summit. We spend the whole day here visiting many locations. We then take an evening ferry to the island of La Gomera. We eat supper on the ferry and spend the night in San Sebestian on La Gomera.

Day 3 - Garajonay National Park World Heritage Site and Los Organos, La Gomera.  We spend our morning driving through Garajonay National Park, World Heritage Site. The park is so designated due to its unique vegetation with relic forests that are remnants of what would have covered much of Europe and North Africa in the the Tertiary. The National Park is also full of many volcanic dykes and plugs. Our first stop is the Roque de Agando a 5.1 ma trachyte plug. We then continue to Mirador de los Roques where we can look back at great views of the Roque de Agando. Our next stop is the Mirador de Igualero where we get great views of a mushroomed shaped intrusion called La Fortaleza, which is a trachyte intrusion with a flat top. We arrive in the harbour village of Valle Gran Rey for lunch. After lunch we take a boat trip to the columnar basalt of Los Organos. This trip is 12 nautical miles from Valle Gran Rey each way and is accompanied by views of imposing valleys and bays. There is also a good chance of seeing whales and dolphins en route. Los Organos (The Organ Pipes) is an imposing, partially eroded trachyte dome to reveal perfect and spectacular rock columns, that resemble Scotland's Fingal's Cave and Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway. We then take an evening ferry to La Palma and eat supper on the ferry. We spend the next 4 nights in a hotel in Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Day 4 -  Caldera de Taburiente National Park, La Palma. Our first stop in the National Park Visitors' Centre  for an intial overview of the Caldera de Taburiente, the caldera that lends its name to all calderas around the world. We then proceed to the Mirador de La Cumbrecita where the  Bejando volcano can be seen nestling within the caldera. Here we leave our vehicle and take a 800m walk along the caldera collapse wall for impressive views into the caldera. We then visit the town of Los Llanos to grab some lunch before going to  Barranco de las Angustias. On the way we get a great insight into how the island formed, seeing submarine pillow lavas that were erupted when the island was just a seamount. There are many dykes to see and a waterfall coloured by the high mineral content. We can also swim in the natural pools there. We spend a second night in the same hotel in Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Day 5 - San Antonio and Teneguia cones, La Palma.  Today we visit the south of the island and the most recently volcanically active areas. Our first stop is The Volcan San Antonio visitor centre. Here we can see original video footage of the 1971 eruption. We then take a walk to the top of the San Antonio crater for a look inside (last eruption in 1949). We then return to our vehicle for a short drive to the nearby Teneguia cone that erupted in 1971. Once there we walk up to the crater rim for very rewarding reviews. Next we visit the Caldereta de Las Indias which is an explosive (phreatomagmatic) volcano. We then stop at several sites to examine lava flows and a coastal platform built up by lava flows. We then complete our loop of the island arriving back in the same hotel in Santa Cruz de La Palma for the end of the day.

Day 6 - Ruta de los Volcanes  walk, La Palma. Today you can either have a free day in Santa Cruz de La Palma or spend the day hiking along the famous Ruta de los Volcanes, the ridge forming the southern backbone of the island created by the Cumbre Vieja volcano. This a real highlight of the island. Before starting our walk we will visit the Cumbre Vieja Visitor Centre for views of the Llano del Banco vent that erupted in 1949 and for panoramic views of Taburiente Caldera. From here we then walk to the Hoyo Negro and El Duraznero vents. The walk will take 4 to 5 hours in total. We spend our final night  in Santa Cruz de La Palma, in the same hotel.

Day 7 - Rocque de los Muchachos and La Caldereta, La Palma. Today we drive to the highest point on the island Rocque de los Muchachos, this is on the summit rim of the Caldera de Taburiente . On the way we stop to observe reddish scoria beds that are rich in the mineral hematite and resemble Martian rocks. Eventually we arrive at the summit of the caldera rim, where the views are amazing. On a good day Teide on Tenerife is visible as is the island of El Hierro. Here we walk for about an hour enjoying the spectacular views into the caldera itself. We then return to St. Cruz de La Palma visiting La Caldereta which is one of the largest tuff (volcanic ash) cones in the Canary Islands. We then take an early afternoon ferry back to Tenerife. We have the remainder of the afternoon as free time in the town of Los Cristianos where we also spend the night.

Day 8 - Complete loop of Tenerife including San Cristobal de La Laguna World Heritage Site. Today our last touring day we drive completely around the island of Tenerife. Our first stop is the spectacular 600 m high cliff of Los Gigantes which is the result of coastal regression. We then stop at the Mirador de Cherfe for a spectacular view into the interior of the Teno massif which is the oldest part of Tenerife and is the remains of a Miocene volcano. We then descend into the harbour town of Garachico which used to be the main port in trade with the Americas, until a volcanic eruption destroyed its harbour in the 16th century. We then drive on to the north of the island and visit the San Cristobal de La Laguna World Heritage Site, where we have lunch. This town is so designated because its grid design was the blue print for most towns and cities in North America. After lunch we visit the Anga Mountain Visitor Centre and take a walk enjoying the scenery of this eroded volcano.  We then return to Los Cristinaos via the east side of the island completing our loop. Our last night is spent in the same hotel in Los Cristianos.

Day 9 - Depart from Tenerife South Airport. Tenerife has many direct flights to Europe including with budget airlines.