Walking in FuerteventuraFuerteventura is probably not the most ideal destination in the World for a Walking Holiday, that is not to say that there are no good walks, it is just that the conditions are very Hot, Dry, Dusty (especially when the wind comes from the Sahara) and Windy. While it is not the best place for a week's walking, there are definitely a few enjoyable walks that could occupy 1 or 2 days of your holiday, especially in Winter when the conditions are less windy and cooler.
It is essential that you use adequate Sun Protection (Sun Screen, Headgear etc.), have good footwear suitable for very rough ground, some light snacks and enough water for your trip. It is also very important to note local weather conditions, especially around Pico de Zarza which can be extremely windy and is virtually always covered in cloud making it quite dangerous in the wrong weather. Finally, Valuable Items should not be left in your car, no matter how unlikely robbery may seem!
Hermitage of the Virgen de la Peņa and Embalse de las Peņitas Dam.
This route can be started from either end, either from the village of Vega de Rio Palmas or from Mezquez near Pajara .
To begin the walk from the bottom of the ravine:
Take the right hand turn-off from the FV621 at Mezquez and park near the dirt track that leads up the gorge. From here follow the trail right up the centre of the Gorge to the Hermitage and the Dam above it. The trail leads all the way to the Village of Vega de Rio Palmas.
To begin the walk from Vega de Rio Palmas:
Park in Vega de Rio Palmas and follow the dry river bed towards the reservoir. Keep to the path at the edge of the reservoir as there is another upper path that leads to a dead end. The path continues past the Dam to the Hermitage (built into the side of the gorge) and down towards the Casas de Mesquez.
The Wetland/Reservoir behind the Dam is a very important site for nesting and migratory birds as well as a watering hole for Birds from the surrounding mountains. The dry river bed that feeds the Dam was a permanent river when the Europeans first arrived here, but now only flows after heavy rain. The rocks here are also of interest, being some of the oldest in Fuerteventura with sedimentary rock older than the island itself along with White Granite exposed in the dry river bed.
Pico de la Zarza
Some care should be taken when climbing Fuerteventura's highest mountain as winds can be very strong, visibility very low and there is a sheer drop from the top of the ridge.
The path begins behind the Riu Ventura Hotel and there are two routes from here to the summit; The first follows the ravine and the second involves an immediate steep climb up onto the Tabla de Vinimar Ridge, both routes converge later. It is said that on a clear day it is possible to see Gran Canaria and Mount Teide in Tenerife from up here.
foxys-travel-guides.co.uk Some suggested walking routes on Fuerteventura.
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