Route of the Volcanoes
Key information: Route of the Volcanoes
- This trail winds among the remarkable line of craters and other volcanic features that form the central spine of La Palma.
- Weird formations, an array of blazing colours, sinisterly beautiful craters, stunted pines and other specialised vegetation: all with a backdrop of the sea, nearly 2,000m below.
- The weather here is changeable. Come prepared.
- Walkopedia rating87.5
- Natural interest19
- Human interest3
- Negative points0
- Total rating87.5
- Length: 18km, 6 hrs
- Maximum Altitude: 1,920m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
This is a thrilling day's walking through a rapidly changing array of natural wonders, with a constant backdrop of pine forests, the fields and villages of the lower slopes and far below and all around, the huge sheen of the North Atlantic - if you aren't above (or in) a sheet of cloud, of course.
Starting at the middle-island pass at the Refugio El Pilar, the track climbs, steeply at first, through lovely old pine forest, with orange-brown needles underfoot. Then you are out, through a beautifully gradual thinning of the trees, onto high tussocky shrub land with huge views all round. A further ascent gets you to the high ridge, where you will wind for several kilometres through an extraordinary selection of features and weird formations: blown-out craters, heaps of rock and cinder, lava lakes and great flows of lava gushing down the hillside dotted with stunted pines and other specialized vegetation. Colours range from dark wound-reds, to greens, brown and greys, much of it interspersed by the fresh green of the pines and the haze, sheen, or rough carpet (depending on the weather) of the distant sea.
Much of this volcanic heart is one-ridge wide, so you are seldom out of sight of the sea.
Eventually you descend from the main central shelf near Volcan Martin (we turned back here as we had a car to return to), then wind gloriously down through forests and ash slopes littered with craters and other features to the town of Los Canarios.
Gluttons for punishment can walk on down, past spectacular Volcan de San Antonio, through extravagantly desolate lava-lands to the southern cape.
SEE OUR LA PALMA PAGE FOR INFORMATION AND OTHER WALKS ON THE ISLAND, FURTHER GENERAL AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION (AND SOME WARNINGS) AND PHOTOS.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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