Thanks to the fact that Pico de la Zarza is the highest mountain of Fuerteventura and also thanks to the fact that it is accessible and not closed because of military installations (like the highpoints of Lanzarote or Gran Canaria) the normal route to the summit is one of the most popular hikes on the island. Which doesn't mean crowds - as the usual visitor to Fuerteventura is only interested and beaches and / or surf. Still you can be sure to meet people on the route at all times of the year.
Most of the route follows a dirt road, which follows the broad backed ridge between Valle de Vinamar and Valle de Butihondo. Unfortunatelly this road can be used by any 4 x 4 vehicle so that quite often you'll have to step aside to make room for the lazy ones. Moreover, in Valle de Vinamar the golf resort of Jandia Playa will accompany your ascent while in Vale de Butihondo there are the local quarry and dump. Neither is nice but it is also interesting to see the back side of the glittering hotel resorts.
The route to Pico de la Zarza has a clear climax: the summit of the mountain with its 800m drop to the beaches of Cofete and Barlovento in the north of the Jandia Peninsula
The ascent starts in Jandia Playa, near the Hotel Ventura. There is a parking lot right beside FV-2, the road between Puerto del Rosario and Morro Jable.
- Start altitude: 20m
- Summit altitude: 812m
- Prevailing exposure: N (on the summit)
- Type: Hike
nbsp; - Protection: None
From the parking lot in front of the Hotel Ventura turn right and hike up the road to the east of the hotel complex. Halfway up (sign) a road turns off to the left and runs between the lower and upper hotel areas. Follow it to its end, where it turns right. It soon leaves the hotel behind with the golf resort in Valle de Vinamar to your left hand side. Before the road ends a deep rutted dirt road turns off to the right and passes a small building. Here the proper hike to Pico de la Zarza starts for real.
The dirt road leads in switchbacks across the east faces of the Talahijas, lookout summits above Jandia Playa. It passes all of them but without much detour you can climb to the highest of them, where a good view of the main part of the route can be seen. Of course you can also look across the hotels along the south coast if you prefer that. To the east the Jandia quarry can be seen and a little further on in Valle de Butihondo there is the local dump. From the Talahijas main summit a path leads back to the road, which it rejoins about 800m later.
From this point the ascent to Pico de la Zarza turns into a somewhat boring afair. The road follows the broad Llomo and heads for the base of the summit area. Several intermediate summits have to be climbed, nothing worth mentioning. At the base of Pico de la Zarza there is a small parking area but the road goes on for another km, at the end of which another parking space can be found.
From here a path leads across steps through the now steeper south face of the mountain. Several switchbacks take you to the fenced part. Sometimes there is a gate in place, when we climbed to the summit there wasn't. Just follow the steps which lead rather steeply to the wide summit area. Enjoy the breathtaking view down the 800m north face of the mountain.