LEADING WALKING specialist, Headwater, have added a further two new walking holidays to their ever-expanding programme

Dragon tress, La PalmaFor anyone who loves walking, the strikingly beautiful island of La Palma (‘la Isla Bonita’) packs the cleanest and greenest punch in the Canaries. From verdant lush forests in the north to dramatic volcanic craters further south, and from a mountainous national park to the crashing Atlantic coast, La Palma has natural beauty in abundance, and is undeniably the jewel in the hiking crown of the Canary Archipelago. The entire island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and boasts over 1000km of scenic well-marked trails linking wild valleys, shimmering woods, vast craters and tiny white-perched villages, yet because of the lack of mass tourism, they remain relatively unknown and under-populated.

Rocky outcrop, La PalmaNew for autumn 2015, Headwater’s 7-night guided walk is a twin-centre holiday, with selected 2-boot (‘moderate’) and 3-boot (‘challenging’) departures, staying first on the south-western coast (4 nights) before moving on to the colourful capital of Santa Cruz for a final three nights on the stunning northeastern shore.

Departures are on selected Thursdays from 22 October to 21 April 2016, with prices from £1229 (tour only)/£1497 (air – including return Thomson Airways flights Gatwick-La Palma). Prices include 7 nights half board hotel accommodation, 5 lunches, fully guided walking week with all transfers as appropriate, 24/7 support both locally and in the UK.

LESS THAN 100 miles off the northwest coast of Africa, in the centre of the Canaries, the extraordinarily varied volcanic island of Gran Canaria is often referred to as ‘a continent in miniature’ with its steep volcanic mountains, deep palm ravines, desert-like dunes and vast fertile valleys offering some of the finest hiking in Europe.

Dragon trees, Canary IslandsOn this new twin-centre self-guided walk, guests will mainly follow well-marked ancient Caminos Reales – centuries-old Royal trading paths – as they criss-cross the island, linking dazzling ochre cliffs with the Atlantic Ocean. It is dramatic and spell-binding hiking, packed with archaeological, botanical and geological interest, and taking in tiny white villages, forgotten farming hamlets and fascinating cave dwellings. During the week, natural highlights include the shimmering Chira Dam and the ‘magic’ volcanic cauldron of Bandama, whose eruption, over 2,000 years ago, influenced the entire geography of the island.

This 2-boot (‘moderate’) level walking holiday has departures on selected Mondays from 7 September to 18 April 2016. Prices are from £778 (tour only)/£979 (air – including return Thomson Airways flights Gatwick-Las Palma). Prices include 7 nights half-board hotel accommodation, detailed maps and meticulous walking route notes, transport of bags between hotels, all transfers as appropriate, and 24/7 support both locally and in UK.