If you are looking for a short but spectacular walk on La Gomera, try hiking to La Fortaleza de Chipude. This hike is moderately strenuous and a bit scary in places, but it has some of the best views on the island.
Basic Information Hiking La Fortaleza De Chipude
Introduction – Hiking On La Gomera
If you like hiking, you will love La Gomera. The island has the most incredible variety of landscapes, with steep cliffs overlooking rocky coastlines, and inland the coast gives way to volcanic peaks, dramatic rocks and staggeringly steep ravines.
In the heart of La Gomera is National Park Garajonay, with damp, dense forests of moss-coated trees. It seems a world away from the sunny and arid south coast. The variations in climate result in a vast range of plant life in La Gomera, where you will find cacti, lush green forests, palm trees and banana plantations.
Although the climate varies dramatically as you move around the island, the temperature is surprisingly constant. You are unlikely to experience temperatures much outside the 15-25 deg C range at any time of year. This means that the weather is almost always perfect for hiking.
However, the most significant advantage for us was the sheer volume and range of hikes on La Gomera. The Garajonay National Park has an incredible network of well-defined trails, many of which have been designated as “recommended routes.” These numbered routes, or “rutas,” are signposted and easy to follow.
The only downside of hiking on this wonderful island is that you won’t find a trail without some elevation gain. Also, many of the trails are high with steep drops and definitely not for the faint-hearted. If you dislike heights, check your routes carefully before setting out.
Overview – Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
Awe-inspiring doesn’t even start to describe La Fortaleza de Chipude. This is probably our favourite hike on La Gomera, with better views than Alto de Garajonay (the island’s highest point).
The trail initially takes you along the side of a ridge with dramatic views down to Barranco de Erque before a steep (and scary!) climb to the top of the Fortaleza.
Prepare – Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
There are a few things to note before starting this hike:
- Footwear – parts of this hike are very steep and very rocky; we recommend wearing sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
- Food and Drink – There are no amenities on this hike, so make sure you pack all the food and drink you need.
- Sunburn – The coastal winds on La Gomera mean that sunburn is common. The sun here is powerful, and the cooling breeze can fool you into thinking you aren’t at risk. This is an exposed trail with very little shade, so pack your sun cream.
Starting Point – Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
This trail starts from a small unnumbered road just off the CV-17 near Chipude. From the small church in Chipude (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria), travel east on CV-17 for around 2.3km.
Turn right onto a narrow road and continue for 350m. After 350m, there is a sharp left turn, and there you will see a flat area on the right side of the road. This is where we parked. The coordinates of the parking area are 28°06’20.0″N 17°16’08.3″W.
Here you can easily see the start point of the walk, a narrow flat trail, which is signposted and runs along the side of the mountain (shown in the above picture).
Route Description – Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
This hike starts gently with a flat trail that runs along the edge of a ridge. There is a steep drop to the right and stunning views down the Barranco de Erque and to the sea.
After a few 100m, the trail drops slightly to a small cluster of houses before starting to climb toward La Fortaleza de Chipude. This part of the trail is rocky, with some stone steps, but still relatively easy.
Once you reach the rocks, the climb becomes very steep as you climb up steps and through the rocks. This is the most challenging part of the walk, and there are very steep drops to the side. Don’t attempt this without suitable footwear and a head for heights!
Once you reach the top of the rocks, the trail is relatively flat and loops around the top of La Fortaleza.
Route Variations -Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
La Gomera is a maze of hiking trails, and there are many different routes for hiking to La Fortaleza de Chipude. For a longer, more challenging hike, start at Chipude village and follow the official Ruta 17 to Pavon. Just beyond Pavon, you can pick up the trail up to La Fortaleza.
Points Of Interest – Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
There is really one main point of interest on this hike, and it is La Fortaleza de Chipude itself. This mighty rock is a volcanic formation known as a volcanic massif and is one of the most striking geographic formations in the Canary Islands.
The ancient Gomerons considered it a sacred and magical place, and it isn’t hard to see why. The views of the island from the top of La Fortaleza are incredible, but for me, the views of this vast rock from below were even more awe-inspiring.
Pros And Cons – Hiking To La Fortaleza De Chipude
Pros – Hiking La Fortaleza
- 360-degree views from the top
- Views of rock formation from below
- Easy-to-follow route
- Easy to park
Cons – Hiking La Fortaleza
- Steep, scary climb up rocks
Conclusion: A Hike Worth Every Step
So, you’ve read all about the awe-inspiring hike to La Fortaleza de Chipude on La Gomera. From the lush landscapes of Garajonay National Park to the steep, heart-pounding ascents, this trail offers an adventure that’s hard to match. The panoramic views from the top are your well-earned reward, giving you a 360-degree spectacle of the island’s diverse beauty.
Why Hike La Fortaleza de Chipude?
If you’re an adventure seeker, this hike is a must-do. The trail offers a bit of everything: steep climbs, rocky terrains, and unparalleled views. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience the island’s varying climates and ecosystems in a single day.
What to Pack?
Remember, this hike is not a walk in the park. Sturdy hiking boots or shoes are a must, and don’t forget to pack enough food and water for the journey. Sunscreen is also essential, as the trail is mostly exposed.
La Fortaleza de Chipude is not just a hike; it’s an experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for La Gomera’s natural wonders. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this hike should be on your La Gomera bucket list. So, are you ready to take on this incredible trail?