There are some great walks right on the doorstep of the southern tourist resorts and Los Cristianos is no exception. Last week Jim and Lin a friend of ours who loves walking decided to take the trip over the top of Mount Guaza and drop down into Palm Mar. Lin has done this walk several times so was familiar with it and it is something that Jim has wanted to do for a long time. I knew it wasn´t for me and my wonky knees but was reluctant for him to do it on his own as there are several routes and much to his disgust and my over-active imagination – I could see him ending his days walking round in circles and never getting back to ground level.
To start the walk, go to the far end of Los Cristianos, past the Arona Gran Hotel and the beautiful villa that overlooks the sea.
From here head past the rocky beach and there are several paths that you can take towards Montaña Guaza. The entire mountain is a protected natural reserve that steadily climbs and winds its way inland. Los Cristianos soon falls away, revealing stunning views of the port, beaches and the Atlantic. After about an hour you reach the very top. You can´t go into the compound where you can see the aerials and antenna but from up here there is a clear view of the motorway, the town of Guaza, and even out as far as the airport.
From where we live I didn´t expect to learn that the top of the mountain is a level plateau with old stone terraces and even derelict buildings dating back to when there was farming in the area.
After a short while, the intrepid pair dropped down the scree slope into Palm Mar where they had a well deserved breakfast at Pearls Pantry before walking along the road to El Rancho, where they found a different starting point to make their ascent and return back to the car in Los Cristianos.
I am told it isn’t too bad a climb providing you have both a good head for heights and a camera to catch those great views from the top. The outward journey was easy as they set off early and there was plenty of cloud cover but the return was harder as by then temperatures had reached 30+C.