Gran Canaria - walking a continent in miniature
Fantastic news - Gran Canaria - in now not on the list of places that you need to isolate when returning- so ask for a quotation and look forward to a walking holiday in the sun.Fantastic news - La Palma - in now not on the list of places that you need to isolate when returning- so ask for a quotation and look forward to a walking holiday in the sun.
Gran Canaria - A superb walking destination
THIS IS AN ESCORTED HOLIDAY
Gran Canaria is a beautiful natural environment, nearly half of which is protected, but only by walking can you discover the true delights of the island and its people.
Much of our walking is in the Cumbre, the central mountain range with dramatic landscapes and remote cave villages, as well as in the fertile north, where we venture into deep valleys with lush vegetation. We can discover pine forests, alpine meadows, sub-tropical valleys, mountain peaks and gorges around the Cruz de Tejeda . In spring the flowers are a delight and much of the flora here is only found on the island due to the unique climate.
A superbly located hotel and good food support the walking programme.
This walking programme brings you the best of walking in the sunshine of a Gran Canaria spring - a real winter sunshine destination- away for the UK dark and dismal winter - just join us and experience!
Notifications for winter sun holidays in February/March 2021
Winter sun Holidays February/March 2021- Important Notifications
We always seek to provide as much protection for you as is possible when you reserve a guided walking holiday with us.We seek to protect your interests as well as our own - so in these unusual and unprecedented times the following will apply
These are difficult times for all of us, whilst we want you to enjoy a Winters Sun Holiday, we also need to ensure that we can run the holiday in the way that embraces our total philosophy, providing an excellent walking holiday with our relaxed social approach.
We require a minimum number of you on each programme to ensure we can manage it effectively, so the following process will apply
Once you ask for a quotation, and you accept it, your place will be reserved on the holiday. Your deposit will be collected and New Experience Holidays will send you your holiday confirmation, but your flights will not be booked. Once we reach the required numbers to run the holiday they will then book the flights. We will keep you informed of how many people are booked on each holiday at any time.
The risk here is that the flight price increases in the interim. So we would ask that you agree at the time of booking to a potential flight price increase of up to £20 per person from the price quoted. We would guarantee that if we find that the flight price does increase, and if it is by more than the agreed £20 per person, you would have the option to
- accept the increase and proceed with the holiday
- cancel the holiday
- or transfer your deposit to a different holiday without penalty.
The New Experience Holidays terms and conditions are specific - your reservation and money is safe if conditions relative to UK government advice on travel, and potential lockdowns in the future are in place.
Guided walking programme
THIS IS AN ESCORTED HOLIDAY WITH UK TOUR LEADERS
Gran Canaria is a beautiful natural environment, nearly half of which is protected, but only by walking can you discover the true delights of the islands and its people.
We are in the middle of the iconic walking area of Gran Canaria
Unlike other UK walking companies we position ourselves in the heart of the mountains - no one hour transport along windy and treacherous road to get to the best walks.
Secret Hills Walking arrange five walks with one free day.We take a packed lunch.
Gran Canaria has a dense network of well-marked hiking trails of various levels of difficulty.. The mountains are mostly composed of granite giving rise to some dramatic scenery. Toothy ridges high mountain cliffs deep valleysl..
Grade of Walking – moderate to hard mostly but with strenuous stretches. Fissural alkali basalt.is the rock formation,,lots of stony ground, and slippery, when wet.
We start walking at 9.00am and take transport to the start - and from the finish of each walk.
Local mini bus transport is organised to get us to walks start and from walks finish
Your Walk Leaders
Jill Pinkerton is your holiday leader. She arranges all aspects of the holiday from arrangements in the UK, to meeting you off your flight or at the hotel, and settling you into your hotel. She then manage your walk guiding. Including all transport.
Wednesday normally is your free day
Our guided walks will range from between 4 to 6 hours and be led by UK leader Jill Pinkerton. Our holiday is aimed at experienced walkers. The walks we offer are on well defined 'mountainous' paths and tracks which take us over volcanic rocks and through pine forests. The walks sometimes consist of sections of short/ steep ascents and descents but on good trails with no exposed sections.
All our walks will reward you with wonderful panoramas out to the coast and on most days you will see Mt.Teide on Teneriffe as it towers through.
We will offer you both circular walks and linear walks to give you the best walking routes
The Walks we offer
Our 5 walks that we offer you enable you to really see the best of the heart of Gran Canaria. Each walk is different and very varied.
The walks shown below are for guidance and we have many walks on Gran Canaria.
Many issues may mean we need to change these prior or during the trip. These include
Road closures or fire damage
The overall capability of the group
Each evening the next days walk will be discussed in detail with you.
A circular 10 mile walk straight from the hotel door which gives you an excellent introduction to San Bartolome area. ( approx 6 hrs, 600metres ascent and descent)
AltaVista splendid ridge walk. Described in guidebooks as one of the best walks on the Island. 7 miles, 600 metres ascent and descent.
A classic 13 mile linear walk starting at Cruz de Tejeda and finishing at the hotel with an option of hiking to the highest point on the Island to give you magnificent views.
800 metres ascent/ 1300 metres descent
A figure of eight splendid walk which takes in Roque Nublo. 10 miles, 800 metres ascent and descent.
Another circular walk straight from hotel which takes us South to Santa Lucia, Fataga and back to the hotel which allows us to really see rural Gran Canaria.
10 miles, 700 metres ascent and descent.
Prevailing weather conditions
Gran Canaria will have a mix of sunny, warm weather- but there could be cloudy conditions and some high level mist- and be prepared for a shower or two..
Although our leaders are well trained and experienced in dealing with different capabilities of our walking clients, if they have any concerns about any clients ability or suitability to undertake safely any walking activity we plan or they feel that participation of an individual may affect the groups safety and cohesion, then they have full permission to exclude that client from an activity.
They will try at all times to provide an alternative suggested activity, though this may involve the client in additional local cost.
We rarely have to enforce this above recommendation, but it is a sensible and necessary protection for the individual client, the group and the leaders.
Where we stay – Our Prime Location & 5* Hotel
Sheltered by rich mountain ranges and winding green valleys, the Hotel Parador de Cruz de Tejeda nestles in the quiet heart of this captivating island, Tejeda is nine miles away. The hotel stands on top of a cliff, 1500 metres above sea level, with unrivalled views
Offering a unique holiday setting, encircled by nature at its purest, this 5-star hotel is a great place to explore the magnificent walking in the centre of Gran Canaria. It is a lovely spot with views of cliffs and ravines overlooking the ocean, atop which the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda stands. The hotel is located 35 kilometers from Gran Canara airport, surrounded by nature'
Please do visit the Hotel website to see its splendour and all the extras it offers you during your stay.
Impressive services and facilities such as extremely comfortable accommodation, a diverse cuisine, a complete spa venue, numerous leisure facilities as well as a refreshing concept in décor and location are distinguishing features that emphasise the essence of this 5-star hotel.
Please note – the hotel we have used for the past 5 years- La Tiranas- has closed, certainly until November 2021.
We are anxious to avoid the long, onerous and challenging journeys from the coast to the centre of our walking routes in the mountains, and where all our walls begin and end. Hence we have not reserved accommodation on the coast.
We have organised our accommodation and meals in the 5 star Parador hotel- at the heart of the mountains perched on a rocky outcrop and 1500 metres high. This affords luxury accommodation but is more expensive than La Tiranas.
Our walks are close at hand from this hotel.
Live the ultimate countryside holiday in one of the island’s most precious locations and take full advantage of the cosy rooms and suites this 5-star hotel boasts.
The hotel is wonderfully laid out with plenty places to sit and relax whether inside or outside. The Hotel has a swimming pool and sun terrace as well as a sauna and spa and gym that you can use at any time. Massages and Spa treatments are not included in your holiday package but can be booked and paid for direct at the hotel.
are spacious with many additional features. We book standard rooms- all rooms have fabulous views from the room windows.
A feature of the layout of the rooms is their position to observe beautiful sunrises and sunsets
Your stay includes the use of the full Spa facilities - as well as the swimming pools -a swim with a view.
Spa facilities include
Jet and hydro-massage pool
Towel service included
Presenting guests with a delicious display of suggestions, the restaurant and bars at the anticipate the arrival of guests who appreciate quality dining, with a scoop of breathtaking scenery “on the side”. Local ingredients offer their most authentic flavors, all prepared with great expertise.
From international buffets, to vegetarian meals, traditional Canary recipes and desserts that will make you beg for more, the 5 star restaurant " Restaurante Roque Nublo, El Mirador Café" will surpass your expectations. Believing that a healthy diet leads to a better lifestyle, the hotel’s chef will be proud to consider the most demanding of requests in order for you to feel your very best.
Will consist of baguette and fruit. You may wish to bring your favourite cereal bars if you like a morning snack. On your day off you will have to purchase your own lunch at the hotel or in the local village
Great care has been taken selecting our routes to ensure our guests enjoyment and safety.
However, due to the challenging nature of the mountainous terrain there will be some steep climbs and descents so a good level of walking fitness is strongly recommended, this will greatly enhance the enjoyment of this walking holiday (a suggested kit list will be issued)
Overall we rate the walking as moderate with some challenging steep ascents and descents..
On good paths, the ground is hard, dusty and very dry, we stop often – taking on water is obligatory, and not every day will be the same – we may take transport higher up, and walk quite a bit of the walk on a reasonably level terrain, then descend.
Gran Canaria is also a very open landscape with little shade - and the sun can be pretty hot during the middle part of the day. Make sure your head and shoulders covering protects well, and of course making sure you hydrate throughout the walk is paramount. Sun protection cream is a must. We do not want any one with heatstroke sp prepare well beforehand.
Single Supplement for sole occupancy
For sole occupancy of a twin room there is a single supplement of £39 per night.
Rooms will be twins with plenty of room to spread out.
This holiday is priced with flight
We have included flights in our pricing.
Once you land in Gran Canaria, we will transfer you to the hotel.
We believe that you should have the choice of UK airports to fly from – the nearest and most convenient to you is likely also to be the most cost effective.We can advise you prior to your booking flights
Flights are available from most UK airports.
There may be flight supplements dependent on the airport you fly from, our holiday prices are based upon London Gatwick flights - so regional airport flight prices will carry a flight supplement, which will be quoted for you. Flight prices also change based upon how late you book with us. We will always quote you to your exact specification and give you options on flights.
Transfers to hotel from airport
We will transfer you to the hotel from the airport. We will accumulate everyone on the trip together – so you may a have a short wait for all planes to arrive before our transfer can begin.Transfer from the airport to the hotel is 45 mins in a luxury mini bus or taxi.
If you have arranged a flight that does not coincide with the main arrival times, then an additional transfer cost will apply. We will inform you of that cost when you reserve a place.
The journey between the airport and hotel is a steep and windy one- as we climb up to the centre of the island - a magnificent journey- but hundreds of bends.
As part of our system, we will need to send you an official quote when you enquire and indicate your full interest.
Note- we always try to advise that you fly from your local airport- this is one of the unique selling points for our holidays.
- FIVE STAR mountain top hotel- superb location, super food and services
- fantastic sunrises and sun sets - rooms designed to take these in.
- walking in superb scenery in the centre of Gran Canaria
- a continent in miniature - a different view at every turn
- local Canarian cuisine
- our relaxed,social approach
What you get on your Secret Hills Gran Canaria Holiday:
Individual quotation from airport of your choice.
Flight organised for you
Transfers to hotel from airport/and return
Half-board en suite accommodation, including buffet breakfast
Three course dinner
Five guided walking days
Transport to walks start and finish
Friendly, knowledgable walking guides- from the area
UK tour leader
Our administration services.
Insurance - you need to be fully covered
It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against travel,medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). Our partners New Experience holidays will ask for this information as a condition of reserving a place.
If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance
Add extra days or nights to your holiday- make it ten days
You can add extra days and nights to your holiday with us.
Make it a ten day holiday - but without our guiding support- mthere are local guides who run daily walks in the area- we can supply you with these details
There is much to explore in Gran Canaria - so ask us to quote you for the extra nights you need.
Of course you can add extra nights by organising these your self
To learn about what you can do, see and explore in this beautiful region, look at the following web sites.
Our relationship with New Experience Holidays/ATOL protection
Our Partners in Europe Walking
Secret Hills Walking are pleased to be associated with New Experience Holidays, who organise flights, accommodation and transfers for these holidays and provide you with ATOL security.
All your joining instructions and individual flight arrangements will be made by Paul and Deborah Sawyer. Once you have committed to a holiday, and have accepted the individual quote we send, we will forward a New Experience reservation form, and you should pay all deposits and final payments to New Experience Holidays.
Secret Hills Walking is responsible for marketing and selling the holidays and for arranging your itinerary when you arrive at the airport in the country you are visiting. You will receive individual attention throughout your holiday from us.
ATOL Bonding - New Experience Holidays REGISTRATION
How to book a holiday
Do not book on line at this point. Read on and follow the instructions
In order to conform with ATOL bonding requirements, prior to you reserving a holiday with us, we need to provide you with an official quotation. This will contain all the details and costs of the holiday and your requested choice of flights and airports. You will find a GET QUOTE button at the top of the page, use this and fill in the form in order to start the quotation process. Once you have filled in the Quotation Request form, you will get an email confirmation from us.
We partner with New Experience Holidays who provide the ATOL bonding, so all quotations will be sent by them, and you will reserve and pay for your holiday with them.
The quotation process - ATOL BONDING requirement- the quotation is the first part of the contract between us and you.
The quotation will include
- the basic price of the holiday as advertised
- any flight supplement from the airport of your choice
- single supplement if this applies
- a choice of flights if this is applicable
- any specific requirement such as additional nights/ sea view rooms etc.
- final price and payment information
The Quotation stage - who sends you your quotation
In order to conform to ATOL bonding protection rules, New Experience Holidays will send you your full quotation normally by email- please ask if you want to receive the quotation by post.
Your contacts at New Experience Holidays are Matthew Newcombe, Anna Brown and Paul Sawyer.
We need to know your preferred departure airport. We can guide you about the right airport and options - simply read the web pages for the country you are wanting to visit, or email us for flight advice.
The Booking Process
Once you have accepted the quotation, fill in a New Experience booking form (this can be done online) or send in the completed form, and pay both the deposit – normally £125 - plus any additional flight supplements to New Experience.Holidays Final payment is also made to New Experience.Holidays.
Once you have booked, you will not be sent a reminder of when to pay the full amount, so please diarise this.
About three weeks prior to departure, New Experience Holidays will send you holiday joining details, including your flight details with instruction to print off your boarding cards.
Once you arrive at your holiday destination
Secret Hills Walking Holidays (Slovenia Walking Holidays) organise all aspects of your holiday– including guiding, transport to walks start and provide you with an experienced tour guide.You make your won arrangements to get to the airport in the UK, we meet you at the airport you are flying to, and help you with your transfer to the appointed hotel.
It is important to read New Experience Holidays' Terms and Conditions - click on the tab on their web site - before you sign the booking form.
What our clients said
Karen Willcox - Gran Canaria March 2019.
Initial enquiry about holiday very efficient and clear – nice to get personal email from Alan.
Hotel was Clean and comfortable – lots of space to chill out. Guided walking was excellent – Jill was so knowledgeable and passionate and cared deeply that everyone should have a great time. Organisation, Brilliant! Wish I was still there!
I have been enjoying Secret Hills walking holidays for a few years now and regularly hear about the joys of walking in the winter sun. Well this year, I finally got there….and what a treat it was! I can’t believe how wonderful it was to spend a week in the glorious sunshine on Gran Canaria…in the middle of a grey, wet and cold London winter!! The island is incredible with such a diverse landscape and the most spectacular views in every direction – there was a ‘wow’ around every corner! I love walking in the UK, but this island is something else – rugged mountains, barren moon-like plateaus, lush forests, woodlands and quaint villages. Jill was our walk leader and as always, she inspired, encouraged and challenged us all and we were rewarded with an amazing and fun week. We stayed at the most fabulous hotel, perched on a hill with incredible sunrises coming up over the valley and coast. I would highly recommend everyone to take advantage of any (or all !!) of the winter sun holidays – it’s so good for the soul to see the blue sky, feel the sun, breathe the fresh air and spend a week in the company of great fun people.
Llyris Young - Gran Canaria January 2019.
Excellent holiday as always. Jill is a 5 star leader. She makes sure everyone is happy and makes adjustments when needed so that everyone has a great day every day. Jill is excellent at judging what we all need and want. Her lovely happy and positive personality shines through and keeps the whole group motivated and excited about the walks and the holiday overall. Jill cares for everyone in the group and makes sure everyone is included in conversations and activities. The pace of walk is always adjusted (without us even realising) when Jill senses we are tired or if anyone is finding the walk tough. You can tell that Jill truly loves her work. Everything went to plan. Transfers on time. You even arranged perfect weather! Another fabulous week.
Beryl Allen - Gran Canaria January 2019.
Walking was terrific. Jilly was a well organised leader. Would happily go on more walking holidays with Jilly as a guide. I like the level of difficulty that she does – it stretches me a bit whilst still being enjoyable. Thanks for another great holiday."
Paul Tranter Gran Canaria March 2018
Changes in European travel rules in 2021
We have now left the European Union and from January 1 2021, new guidance from UK government is issued. These new rules are simple but you need to make sure you are complying with them.See the UK governments guidelines. See