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Los Ajaches

A long trek over the geological tracks of Lanzarote
Located in the south western region of Lanzarote, Los Ajaches is a big volcanic formation which takes up the southern part of the island with a mountain range in an area of leeward winds and stony windward flat areas. The municipality of Yaiza is home to an important archaeological heritage with caves, etchings and remains of former farming. This area, the oldest on the island, still undergoes major wearing away due to erosion which in the last ten million years has carved out the ravines which go through this natural route in Lanzarote.
Canary Island Spurge and brushwood on an arid trek
This six kilometre route, with a notable incline which makes the Los Ajaches walk more difficult, starts in the village of Femés and goes along pathways, tracks, pedestrian ways and roads. These natural surrounds give us the chance to see arid bushwood vegetation and also Canary Island Spurge in the more sheltered areas. The animal life includes steppe birds, birds of prey and sea birds on the coastal cliffs. Remember to wear suitable footwear and take food and liquids.
Length
5,8 km
Public transport
Localidad
Yaiza
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Archivos
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Los Ajaches
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TENERIFE

TENERIFE

GRAN CANARIA

GRAN CANARIA

FUERTEVENTURA

FUERTEVENTURA

LANZAROTE

LANZAROTE

LA GRACIOSA

LA GRACIOSA

LA GOMERA

LA GOMERA

LA PALMA

LA PALMA

EL HIERRO

EL HIERRO
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Los Ajaches
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Femés

The trail begins in the town of Femés, at the head of the valley of the same name. This location serves two purposes: From this vantage point over the coast and the plains, it was possible to detect the arrival of Moorish pirates and the water in the area below the houses was used to cultivate plots where the soil was covered with volcanic lapilli, which would retain moisture and thus allow plants to flourish.

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Barranco de la Higuera look-out point

In the pass above Femés, structures for goat-herding point to this area being used for livestock rearing. At your feet, you have the La Higuera ravine, which is U-shaped and has a flat bed and gradual slopes. This shows that it has gone through intense erosion, especially in the past when the island received more rain, thus facilitating the erosive process.

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Degollada pico redondo

Here you will pass between Pico Redondo and Pico de la Aceituna, the two main elevations of Ajaches. This massif is 15 million years old and from here on, you will cover an area that has been unaffected by recent volcanic activity. As a result, erosion has been the main agent in shaping the landscape and has led to more gradual and undulating formations as compared to anywhere else on the island.

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Degollada del portugués

From this point on, you will no longer be able to see the extensive Rubicón plains with the Montaña Colorada volcano in the extreme southwest of the island, and will begin to go through the old ravines. The first one is La Casita, where you can see remains of gavias or cultivation plots in the gorge, which used the run-off to irrigate crops. The gavias are created by mud walls that divide the slope into plots, which then get flooded with water when it rains and can then be used for irrigated cultivation.

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Juan Perdomo ravine

This is one of the largest ravines in the massif, with a large, well-developed gorge. The most interesting feature is the sandy soil in the gorge where is a peculiar species, growing what looks like small melons, has taken root.

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A raised beach

The La Pilas ravine was excavated as it is a paleontological site with a fossilised beach and dunes at the curve along the trail. This formation stands out with its light yellow colour and the large number of blocks that have been dug out along the trail.

This sort of raised beach can be formed in two ways - either due to changes in sea level or due to tectonic movements that lead to it being elevated. This site is 50 metres above the current sea level.

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Torreta - the plains of Rubicón

Superficial archaeological remains that have been traced to the Majos, the indigenous inhabitants of Lanzarote, have been found here. In the areas where there are piles of stones indicating a greater human presence, remains of utensils made of clay, ceramic and bone have been found as also that of marine life, which probably came from fishing at the coast.

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The Papagayo beaches

This set of coves with naturally-occurring white sand beaches is one of the most beautiful coastal areas of the island. You can take a swim to cool off after the hike and before you begin the final stage and there are also bars where you can have something to eat or drink.

These small beaches have maintained their virgin state as they are part of a protected space and are thus very special coastal areas, where you still have the typical coastal vegetation and can enjoy the natural landscape.

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Rubicón

This small ravine is a one of kind archaeological site as the remains of the first city of the Canary Islands are found here. There are wells that were used in the 14th century when the Normans began the Conquest of the Canary Islands, which ended almost a century later. This was the seat of San Marcial del Rubicón, the first European settlement.

In the next cove, you have a lime kiln which is also another interesting heritage feature. This kiln profited from the surfaces in the coastal plains behind the beach that were covered in caliche.

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Castillo de las coloradas

This small military bastion known as Castillo de Las Coloradas or Castillo del Águila dates back to the 18th century. It was built in 1741 to defend the south of the island from attacks by Moorish pirates that sailed up the nearby African coast to raid the island periodically. In 1769, it was renovated after being heavily damaged by a pirate attack and since then, it has a tapered structure and access on a drawbridge.

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Playa Blanca

The trail ends in the coastal town of Playa Blanca, which has gone from being a small, picturesque fishing village at the end of the 20th century to one of the tourist hubs of Lanzarote. However, the main streets of the town and the beach still seem to preserve the old charm of the island before the development of tourism.

Sustainability
Sostenibilidad
- Never leave waste of any type lying around, including cigarette butts. Leftover food leads to a proliferation of rats and wild cats, which pose a serious threat to the fauna.
- Respect the animals. Do not bother them or feed them. If you see an injured specimen, you can call the emergency number: 112. Do not pick flowers or plants.
- Do not pick up or take away stones or any other item from the natural environment. And do not move them to pile them up into sadly famous 'towers'.
- Respect the signposting along trails. Leaving the set paths causes damage to the environment and could also be dangerous for you and anyone with you.
- It is safer to keep your pet on a lead.
- Try not to alter the peace of the environment with excessive noise (loud music, yelling, etc.).
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