Tour guide David Penney leads us up to one of Lanzarote’s most historic castles and through the delightful rural landscapes of Teguise.
This walk starts at the car park next to the Policia Local station and the Centro de Salud de Teguise on the LZ-10 main road. From there, cross the road and walk to the entrance of the Castillo de Santa Barbara, then take the tarmac road up the hill. It’s a gradual climb and a slightly challenging trek up around the bends.
This castle was previously the Museum of Emigration, dedicated to the Canarians who left the islands, but was changed to the Pirate Museum in 2010. It’s often referred to as Guanapay Castle by some locals, after the volcano it sits on top of.
The construction of the castle began in the 14th century when it was first built as a watch tower for the local tribes. Then, over many decades it was reinforced and acted as a vantage point to look out for the pirates who regularly attacked Lanzarote. From this point you can see both coastlines: to the south lie Costa Teguise and Arrecife along towards Playa Honda, and on the other side to the west coast around Famara.
At this time Teguise was the island’s capital and this vantage point gave the people advanced warning that pirates had been spotted on the ocean, and enough time to hide in the many caves which are scattered around the island. The castle has been closed for most of 2020 as it has been under major construction work and renovations.
Walk to the right-hand side of the castle and take the path clockwise around the ridge of the crater. This leads you to the trig point, which is the highest point of the crater, then follow the path down to the tarred access road. From here you can see a narrow track which leads downhill cutting off the corners and the need to walk on the road. You can make a wee detour to your right here and walk over to the twin arches set into the picón hillside.
Once you arrive at a signpost there are two choices:
Option 1: Take the left track and head over towards the east coast. Stay on the track and get a good view across to Teseguite. This is a horseshoe-shaped track which adds about 30 minutes to the duration, as it leads you through farmers’ areas and back to the other path.
Option 2: Continue across the fields where the track takes you down past the big water-pumping station in front of you.
We have done both variations in the past, but for this walk we chose Option 2 so we could stop off and enjoy all the fields full of grass after the recent rain showers. It was good to see the yellow flowers and acres of real grass.
Both options will lead you to a well-established track which you turn right on for about a kilometre, with views over the top of Nazaret and eventually back to a public road called Calle Tazacorte which takes you down past the houses to the roundabout on the LZ-10.
Turn right and walk along the pavement past the pharmacy on your left until you reach the car park where you started off from.
Both options are a circular 5km walk that should take you approximately 2 hours to complete. The terrain is slightly challenging with uphill sections on tarmac and dirt paths.
You can take the number 7, 9, 10 & 26 buses to get to Teguise if you don’t want to use your car.
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