Timanfaya National Park
A visit to the volcanoes of ‘Fire Mountain’ are an absolute must to anyone visiting Lanzarote. The area was declared a national park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya) in 1968 and today remains a truly spectacular excursion for all visitors. Camels are at the ready to take you up the 512′ high trek where you can view the amazing volcanic landscape. The El Diablo restaurant is situated at the very top. Most of the grilled specialities, both fish and meat are cooked in the 140C heat that comes from the volcano itself.
Lanzarote was rocked by the worlds longest ever volcanic eruption from 1730 to 1736. Which covered around one quarter of the island – much of it fertile, agricultural land – in a sea of lava.
Today, the Volcano Park at Timanfaya is Lanzarote’s most popular tourist attraction. Last year alone, nearly 900,000 people visited this unique lava scape – which is home to a sea of colourful dormant volcanoes and spent cones.
The landscape here is raw and eerie, resembling how our planet must have looked when first formed millions of years ago. Or perhaps like another world altogether – as Timanfaya is often compared to the Moon. Indeed NASA astronauts in training for the Apollo 13 mission were shown detailed images of Timanfaya in order to prepare them for their lunar landing.
Erosion has done little to disturb natures work. The lava fields and lapilli (the black fine volcanic pebbles and stones) all retain a pristine look about them. Helped by the fact that visitors to Timanfaya are not permitted to walk through the park. Instead the coaches, which collect visitors from the car park, wend their way through the landscape.
The skilful drivers stop their vehicles at numerous points along the route so that visitors can get a proper look at the variety of incredible vistas Timanfaya has to offer. There is also a commentary throughout the tour, provided in English, Spanish and German. Giving an eyewitness account of the eruptions as recorded in the diary of Father Curbelo, the parish priest of nearby Yaiza.
Cesar Manrique created a visitor centre and restaurant on top of a volcano – the Islote de Hilario – in the centre of the park. Here visitors can enjoy entertaining demonstrations which attest to the heat still emanating from many miles beneath the earth. As well as watching their food cooked by the same natural power source on a huge open barbecue.
Visitors to Timanfaya simply park up and then show their admission tickets as they board any of the coaches departing at regular intervals. The tour through the Volcano Park takes around 40 minutes. Five minutes back in the direction of Yaiza is the camel station where visitors can enjoy a twenty minute ride around the perimeter of the park.
Open :: Daily 10.00 – 18.00 Admission :: €8 per vehicle Parking :: Free
Camel Ride :: €10 per camel