One of the top attractions in Lanzarote is the volcanic area in the National Park of Timanfaya. It’s an out of this world landscape where you can imagine what the first look Earth must have had after being formed.
Between 1730 and 1736, more than 100 volcanoes were active in the area. They might be dormant now, but the volcanic activity still goes on under the surface. You’ll have the chance to see that first hand if you visit the National Park of Timanfaya in Lanzarote. But I’ll get to that a little later.
About Parque Nacional Timanfaya Lanzarote
The six years of eruptions in the 18th century destroyed the few villages in the area and modeled the current landscape. It’s a sea of lava, with volcanic cones rising everywhere. The lava fields look untouched, black sand and volcanic pebbles spread as far as the eye can see. It’s a very raw landscape and a unique experience for the visitors.
You can’t walk around in Timanfaya National Park, it’s a protected area. That is to say, the protection goes both towards the area, but also to the visitors because the lava soil is fragile and you could easily fall in a lava tube below.
Remember Cesar Manrique, the architect native to Lanzarote that built Los Jameos del Agua or Lagomar? Well, he also found the route to visit the National Park of Timanfaya, Ruta de los Volcanes.
A Visit to the National Park of Timanfaya in Lanzarote
The easiest way to visit Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote is to get on the bus tour included in the access ticket. The tour starts at El Diablo Restaurant. The driver will take you on a narrow, winding road. It’s the same Ruta the los Volcanes designed by Cesar Manrique, still in use today.
The route will take you through the sea of black lava, through narrow tunnels in the solidified lava, and close to the crater of Santa Catalina volcano. The colors range from black to dark red and orange shades. You can easily imagine going outside would be like walking on the moon.
But, you can’t go outside. The tour is designed to show you the varied landscape without anyone altering the fragile environment. The bus will stop from place to place enough to take a few photos. It will be difficult to get a good photo through the glass but it’s worth the trouble to protect that place as it is.
Another option is to book a walking tour with the rangers on the service routes of the park. There are only a few places available so you probably need to look a few months ahead and book a spot. The ranger walks take about three hours and you need to wear comfortable hiking boots. Also, bring a hat, sunscreen, and water for these hikes.
How to get to Timanfaya National Park
The best option for Lanzarote is to rent a car and explore the island. To reach Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote, you will have to drive on LZ-67 to El Diablo Restaurant. It will take you about 30 minutes from Playa Blanca or 45 minutes if you’re staying in Costa Teguise.
At the booth, you will have to buy your entrance tickets. A full ticket is 12€ and it includes the bus tour on Ruta de los Volcanes. However, if you plan to see more attractions on Lanzarote, it is more convenient to buy a combined ticket and save about 10€.
Then, you will drive inside the park to the parking lot by the restaurant.
If you don’t want to drive, another option is to book an organized tour available from the main towns on the island.
El Diablo Restaurant
The restaurant is also a design by Cesar Manrique. It has great views over the incredible landscape and some more unique features, even on the menu. For instance, you can have a volcanic barbecue. The chicken is grilling upon a shaft using the heat of the volcano below.
Outside the restaurant, you can see two interesting demonstrations. For one of them, they use dry hay in a fire pit that will lit from the geothermal heat. The other starts with throwing water in a hole, which comes back like a steam geyser. It’s quite impressive and you get a strong feeling that the volcanoes in the area are just dormant for now.
Another popular activity inside the park is a camel ride. It costs 6€ for 25 minutes and it is a unique way to experience this amazing place.
There is also a visitor’s center at Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote where you can cool off on a hot day and find out more about this volcanic area.
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