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The Canary Islands 3 Peaks                                    International

Think Canary Islands and many might picture fleshpots of sun, sea and excess; tacky resorts with cheap booze and English food.  No place for the ultra-distance enthusiast then!  Well, yes.  Look inland and you will find primitive volcanic landscapes with just the right ingredients for an inspiring mountain challenge combined with an island-hopping holiday.  

The Canary Islands 3 Peaks Challenge is a sea-to-summit, coast-to-coast traverse of the three western islands of La Gomera, La Palma and Tenerife by foot.  Their contrasting peaks of Garonjay (4872'), Roque de los Munchos (7959') and El Teide (12198') are all set within outstanding wilderness areas protected as national parks.  La Palma is, perhaps, the jewel in the crown.  Reputedly the steepest island in the world it rises to 7959' at Roque de los Munchos where it looks into the deepest volcanic crater on the planet.  The overall distance is in the region of 120 miles with a formidable 35000 feet of ascent.

The idea was conceived by Tony Wimbush as a multi-day mountain marathon type challenge.  It

 was first completed during April 2007 by Colin Brooke, Peter Jagan, Pete Simpson and Tony Wimbush.

Island Routes

The start and finish for the entire island circuit is the ferry port at Los Cristionos on Tenerife.  Each island traverse must begin and end by the traditional dipping of a toe in the sea – so cliff tops do not count!  For time recording purposes, the start time is when the ferry for Gomera departs and the finish time is your arrival time back at the ferry port (whether by foot, taxi or bus) on or after completing the traverse of Tenerife.  The island routes are outlined below.

La Gomera (19 miles and 6248’): Valle Gran Rey – Garonjay – El Cedro - Hermigua
La Palma (41 miles and 13422’): Puerto de Tazacorte – Roque de los Munchos – Refugio del Pilar - Faro Fuencaliente.  The GR 131 must be followed throughout.
Tenerife (60 miles and 15280’): Porto Cruz de la Tenerife – El Teide – La Playa/Los Cristionos.


Notes on traversing Tenerife

There is no direct or obvious scenic route all the way from Porto to Los Cristionos.  The lower southern part of the island is a dreary contrast to the national park that crowns El Teide.  There is a good indirect route to Vilaflor via Montana de las Lajas.  After that it is, perhaps, best just to grit your teeth, think of a cold beer and make a beeline for the sea! You may finish at any point on the south-west coast and then go by taxi, bus or foot to Los Cristionos. The adventurous might like to explore possibilities of a route from Montana de las Lajas to Adeje and on to the coast at La Caleta - then travel to the finish at the ferry port in Los Cristionos. Gary Rosson has also suggested there is good walking between Viilaflor and Arona which are both on the new GR131 route.

Target Times

Mountain Class – 7 days
A demanding challenge requiring a focused mountain marathon type approach but with scope for a little holiday indulgence! There is an additional challenge to go from sea-level to each of the island summits in a continuous day’s climb! To achieve 7 days you will probably need to bivvy on La Palma and Tenerife or use the El Teide refuge, if open.  Note that if your ferry departs on the evening of day 1 then your 7 days is up on the evening of day 8! 

Holiday Class - over 7 days 
An island-hopping holiday but with scope for ensuring you can go home with the satisfaction of having achieved something you will never forget! A generous time limit offers adequate time to stay in comfortable hotels and organise public transport or taxis for each day’s start and finish point.





2007 Mountain Class Schedule - click to view/print pdf file

2011 Mountain Class Schedule - click to view/print pdf file


This is an informal challenge without registrations or time limits. Why not share your experience on facebook to encourage and inspire other runners to have a go!

Links and Further Information

Recommended Guide: Walking in the Canary Islands: 1 - West by Paddy Dillon (Cicerone Press) 
Ferries: Fred Olsen operates regular services with early morning and evening sailings  
El Teide permits: can be obtained free in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Parque National del Teide, 4th Floor, Calle Emilio Calzadilla.  Unless you start exceptionally early it will be evening before you arrive on the summit when it is not manned.
Hotels: The H10 chain of hotels provides excellent rooms and buffet meals at very reasonable prices offering better value than B&Bs.  
Transport: Taxis can be hired on all the islands.  Bus services are available.
Season: Spring is the best time for ascending the mountains.
Over The Hill Series - The Canary Island Three Peaks was originally part of this series which was aimed at over-50's runners..   This link provides some background and an archive of registrations (2002 to 2012).




UK Big 3 Rounds
Challenges by Region

Records & Logs


Route Index

Andy's  Southern Fells

Assynt Traverse
Bala Challenge

Bay Limestone Round

Bob  Baxter  Traverse
Bob Graham Round
Bowland Dozen
Bowland 1500’s
Broxap Round

Cairngorm Munros
Canary Islands 3 Peaks
Charlie Ramsay Round
Charnley Way

Cleveland Hills Challenge
Cuillin Round
Cumbrian Traverse
Dales Skyline
Dales Top Ten
Dales 2000’s

Dark Peak County Tops

Dark Peak 15 Trigs

Dartmoor Round

Denis Rankin Round

Dragon’s Tongue
Durham Hewitts

Etive Munros Round

Freeman Round

George Fischer Tea Round
Glen Lyon Corbett Round
Great North Inns Run
Harvey Howgill Tops

John Fleetwood Lakes 40

John Fleetwood Lakes Routes

John Fleetwood Scottish Routes

John Fleetwood Welsh Round

Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge

Knoydart 7
Lakes 24

Lakes 25@25
Lakes 2500’s

Lakes Sea to Summits

Llangollen Hills Run

Loch  Lomond  Round

Leventon’s Line
Meirionnydd Round
National & Yorkshire 3 Peaks
No Cure Always Hope
Over The Hill Round
Paddy Buckley Round

Peak Traverses & Rounds

Pikes of the Lakes

Rigby Round - Cairngorms

Run the Line - Dales

Ring of Fire - Galloway

Saddleworth 10 Trigs
Scottish 4000’s
Six County Tops - Peak
Snowdonia Skyline
Snowdon to Pumlumon

South Pennine 39 Trigs
South Wales Traverse

Steve Parr Round

Tan Hill to Kirkstone Pass Inn
Tranter’s Round

Tyndrum Round
Upper Calder 13 Trigs
Wainwright 7 Summits

Wainwrights 30@30

Wicklow  Round
Yorkshire Round
Yorkshire 2000’s


More Challenges

Links & Articles

Sub-ultras (under 50 km)


Where there is a recorder please contact them to log your completion. In addition, or if there isn't a recorder, you are invited to share your experience on the gofar facebook page to encourage and inspire other runners to have a go!



All the routes on this site require proven mountain running experience. You undertake them entirely at your own risk. Please take full mountain safety precautions at all times.  Always ensure you carry sufficient clothing, food and equipment to cope with dramatic changes in the weather conditions!  Appropriate insurance cover is recommended.


The object of this website is to provide a single, ready source of information on the ultra-distance mountain challenges which have been developed over the past four or more decades. It now offers a diverse range of long and "short", old and recent, formal and informal routes from around the UK to encourage runners of all ages and abilities to have a go, subject to proven mountain experience in all conditions.




Please send details of any record-breaking runs and the like to Martin Stone who maintains records on behalf of the Fell Runners Association. Email:

Please also refer to the guidelines and definitions in the FRA Handbook.


If you can improve on the accuracy of this resource, spot any errors in grid references, names, heights, spelling or punctuation, or find a link which does not work please email Tony Wimbush.:

Similarly, if you wish to submit any new (or old) routes for inclusion see the contact page for the information and format that is required:. 

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