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El Balcón de Santa Ana

Playa de Santiago, La Gomera

Walk 12 - Laguna Grande and El Cercado walking and hiking route


Walk Instructions

An excellent varied partially circular route, with some laurisilva forest of both main types, coupled with former agricultural countryside permitting long views which include the sea and other islands. El Cercado is one of the most attractive potteries and two bar/restaurants perched above small cultivated areas still in use. Most of the route is along new tarmac roadways, with two sections of old footpath, probably former mule trails. The only steep section is right at the beginning and end, close to Laguna Grande.

Start Point

At Laguna Grande, a popular visitor area with children’s play equipment, public conveniences and a woodland ‘stroll’. Drive past Alajero and pass the junction with the road to Chipude. At Pajarito junction turn left towards Valle Gran Rey. Pass the junction with the tiny road to Agulo in about 2 miles, then turn left in less than 200 yards along the signposted roadway into Laguna Grande.
Bar/restaurant at Laguna Grande. Two bar/restaurants at El Cercado

From the car park walk past the bar and the public conveniences to start along a broad earth/stone track, soon narrowing to become a stone-laid path, descending among tree heather to a mini mirador. Continue to descend through the forest, aided by many steps. The gradient eases as the path runs beside a dry stream bed, the surface now in places stoned like a mule track. The stream bed is crossed before a junction with a broad, unsurfaced roadway is reached.

1. Emerge from the forest at the junction, onto a concrete road. There is a National Park boundary sign and an ‘El Cercado 2.8’ signpost. Turn right to continue through this formerly agricultural countryside, with just a few of the extensive terraces still in use. The sea is in view, ahead. Pass a reservoir with a high concrete dam.

2. After the dam, and a tiny shrine on the right, turn sharp left at a junction in 60 yards to pass the dam and then rise up the valley side. Keep on the main tarmac road, ignoring the left hand turns, passing little vineyards. Away to the right a concrete water tank can be seen. At the top of the rise keep straight ahead on the tarmac road. Ahead is the island of El Hiero; further to the right is Palma. Below to the right is El Cercado village, whilst to the left the buildings of Chipude are spread over a hillside, with the great flat-topped Fortalezza behind. Continue along the top of a broad ridge taking the right hand fork when you see the two villages.

3. The roadway swings to the right to descend into El Cerdado, with the tiny chapel prominent above most of the village. Rise to a crossroads, turning left to descend and reach the village street in 100 yards. Turn right to walk along the raised street, above the cultivated plots and passing three tiny potteries on your right before reaching the two bars. Continue beyond Maria’s Bar for less than ¼ mile.

4. Turn right to leave the road immediately after passing a concrete block structure, along, initially, a tarmac, then an unsurfaced roadway, rising quite steeply. Ignore any side roads, soon passing close to the concrete water tank seen from the outward route. The track becomes an old sunken lane with ‘mule track’ paving, continuing to rise across the old terraces before joining the outward route at point 2a. Turn left to return to Laguna Grande. (Shortly after passing the reservoir be sure to keep left, uphill, at a major fork and don’t miss the left turn up the path through the forest, at the National Park boundary).


Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.


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