On our first full day of adventure on the island of La Palma we chose to hop down from the main town of Tazacorte to the port, find the infamous GR131 trail on which the even more infamous Transvulcania ultramarathon race takes place and hike up to the nearest mirador (lookout/view).
After testing out the local coffee – order a cortado leche (espresso with hot milk) – we found signs pointing us in the direction of the Mirador del Time just over 3km uphill on the GR131 and, walking poles in hand (my saviours of the trip), we started climbing. The route, as all of our walks were on our trip, was very well marked with a red and white stripe painted on walls and trees, like a little flag waving you onward. It was stoney underfoot, a mix of large rocks and boulders and smaller get-stuck-in-your-shoe pebbles, and there’s also some stretches of tarmac road, but it’s pleasant.
For just over a kilometer the path zigzags back and forth passing lots of small caves, some brightly decorated, and the view of the black sand beach of Puerto Tazacorte becomes smaller as you climb. At the halfway mark you reach the Mirador del Acantilado del Time, a viewpoint with a good lookout point down to your start point and an information board, but not the end of the trail as we first thought! The path continues to climb, between hothouses and fruit-heavy banana plants, and the views stretch out to Puerto Naos along the coast and inland towards Cumbre Nueva.
Finally, after about 3km of climbing and a last stretch of hot tarmac road we reached the mirador, a busy hotspot for walkers and bus tours relaxing at the bar and picking up nicnacks from the souvenir shop. We took in the view with ice creams, looking down over the trail we’d just climbed and the start of our island adventures. The path of course continues towards Roque de los Muchachos, another 15km on, but we saved that for another day and slowly descended back down the same path to the promenade. An early dinner of delicious seafood and fresh fish in the port was the perfect end to our first hike and as we sat we planned out the following day, so you’ll just have to come back next time to see what we got up to!