What is the Camino Real all about?
Sometime last year, with the restoration of the finca long completed and the usual maintenance jobs being well in hand, we decided it was high time to hit the trail and walk the sections of the GR130 route that we had so far not covered, particularly in the south. Since then I'm pleased to say that we have not only walked every section but re-walked it in places meaning that we have done much of it in both directions.
And it was for this reason that we set up this blog dedicated to walking on La Palma to go with our two other blogs Living La Palma and Holiday La Palma.
However, some walkers may not be aware that our website has an even greater host of information on walking each section of the GR130 so we are going to drop a few sections in here, starting with what the GR130 is all about. Here goes!
The La Palma GR 130 is a magnificent route which goes right around La Palma and is approximately 155 km in length.
It takes between one and two weeks to complete in its entirety. To walk the whole of the GR130 is the supreme challenge - The Palmathon!
The majority of the route is the historic Camino Real or Royal Way which was used by muleteers and people travelling on foot or horseback between the villages and towns of the island.
The route is generally very well marked with either signposts or the white over red blaze.
As you would expect on such a beautiful island, spectacular scenery comes as standard. However, the constant changes - from cliff top paths to rocky ravines, pine forests trails to hidden hamlets, cobbled paths and tracks through banana plantations - will give you an amazing experience which you will remember forever. Walking on La Palma really is a special experience.
You can start and end the circuit wherever you choose, walk in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction - there are no right or wrongs. How you split up the route is probably the hotest debate around here! This really depends on your walking ability but you will also need to bear in mind your accommodation as La Palma is not filled with hotels, hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation on every corner, especially if you are staying for just one night. Generally, you will need to pre-book and we are always very happy to help with bookings for the best/easiest/most economical places to stay around the island.
If you don't want to walk the entire route right around La Palma, we recommend the north and north west (Barlovento to Los Llanos) as being the most scenic.Happy walking!