camino de la virgen de los reyes
If you love hiking you must make the GR 131, the Camino de la Virgen de Los Reyes, and you will travel throughout the interior of the island of El Hierro.
The trip is 28 kilometers long, so it may take approximately 10 hours. The trail goes from the Sanctuary of the Virgen de Los Reyes to the island's capital Valverde, from southwest to northeast across the entire center of the island.
This is the same path that the Virgen de los Reyes takes every four years at the Bajada de La Virgen, the most important holiday on the island of El Hierro. A pilgrimage and procession which originated in the mid-eighteenth century, when a severe drought ravaged the island.
Much of the old paths were opened by the shepherds precisely to drive cattle into the area where is located the Sanctuary of the Virgen de los Reyes. This totally depopulated area, called La Dehesa, is a sort of plateau that ends abruptly at sea and it is also famous for the forest of the savin junipers of El Hierro.
Whether you do the way starting from the Sanctuary or from Valverde, the beginning is always uphill, and in its halfway will come to the Pico de Malpaso. The highest point on the island, rising 1501 meters high above sea level, from where you can see the other western islands, La Gomera, Tenerife and La Palma.
The trail is well marked and it is in good condition. To that, we can add the religious charge and all the legends and stories of this path.
Quite a challenge and a fantastic opportunity to know El Hierro deeply.
The GR-131 Canaries Hike (European Path E7) is an itinerary that is developed in several islands of the archipelago; the stretch of the island of El Hierro is the first one completed, expecting in a few months to be completed also the paths of the other islands . Its over 40 kilometers of length are partially matching the Camino de La Virgen.
The European Path E7 start in Serbia, and through Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, jumps to Madeira and Azores and from there gets the Canary Islands, with the GR 131.
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