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Andén Verde, cliffwalking on Gran Canaria

Adventure travellers will appreciate the outdoor pursuits offered by Andén Verde. This coastal cliff stretches from La Aldea de San Nicolás in the west of Gran Canaria to the north-west's Agaete. Now, who's up for the challenge?

Andén Verde on foot

You'll go through Andén Verde if you take the GC-2000 which connects Agaete with La Aldea de San Nicolás. This is by no means a gentle drive. However, if you want even more of a test, take the 8km (5-mile) hike from the outskirts of La Aldea de San Nicolás village to this dramatic beauty spot.

As always when hiking on Gran Canaria, remember to pack properly. Take extra layers of clothing, along with food, water, and suncream. The interior of the island just doesn't do corner shops you see, meaning you're unable to stock up on route.

Braving the elements on Andén Verde

The hike to Andén Verde was my third in as many days, having started with a trek along the stunning Ruta de Las Presas. So, I was pretty shattered before I'd even begun. And with the wind making my walk anything like one in the park, I decided to have an early breather.

Chancing upon a dilapidated house, I ventured closer. It was easy enough to make out that whoever had lived here had left a long time ago. And so I entered, pulling out a towel from my backpack which I used as a mattress whilst utilizing the rucksack itself as a pillow.

Andén Verde, the ascent

Revitalized by an early siesta, I awoke to find the gusts from above had died down. It was time to make my way onwards and upwards. For my recent birthday, I'd received a present of a hiking stick and it eased my progress on a path that got ever steeper.

Enjoy the view at Andén Verde

Bet you're glad I brought my camera with me, aren't you? The views from Andén Verde are simply sensational. You really can see for miles and miles around which isn't that surprising when you factor in the altitude you climb to on your hike, that of 600 metres above sea level. 

Andén Verde flora

Get ready to fall in love with baby dragons, of the tree variety. Also keep your eye out for the extremely rare Lotus callis-viridis. Noted botanist David Bramwell, the former director of the Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo, estimates that 99% of Gran Canaria's mellow-yellow flowering legume are to be found on the slopes of Andén Verde.

Andén Verde, the path less travelled

The only people I came across on my hike were some Canarians taking a picnic. Having reached Andén Verde, I was now tempted to continue on to El Risco. To its Finisterre-style beach which will make you feel, appropriately enough, like you've reached the very ends of the earth.

So, I decided to ask them how much further I'd have to hike. Their reply that I'd had to trek around the same distance as I'd already walked from La Aldea de Sán Nicolas dispirited me. After continuing halfheartedly for a while, I decided to give up and return from whence I'd come.

Getting lost in Andén Verde

It was at this moment that I took a misstep. I'd lost my original path and as I could see the Puerto de La Aldea de San Nicolás, I decided to head in that direction. The route I elected to take though was another steep one and this time I was heading down.

I started to build up pace before I managed to stop myself unintentionally, by losing my footing. Shaken but stirred, I regained my composure, only to be confronted by a goat. Then a local's voice encouraged me to descend to what turned out to be his cave farm. But that, dear reader, is a story for another day.

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