Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com
Blog Islas Canarias OFFICIAL CANARY ISLANDS
TOURISM BLOG
www.hellocanaryislands.com

Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote


Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
A Journey to the end of the World, or to Punta de Orchilla
Diversity on the rocks: Hundreds of unique species
La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Following a Tapas Route on Tenerife
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
Fiesta de la Cruz on La Palma
Gran Canaria’s Other Rock: Sacred Roque Bentayga
A day in the outback of Fuerteventura
Walking to the Beautiful Valley on La Gomera
"Fototrek” an amazing annual photographic adventure in El Hierro
An incredible Whale & Dolphin watching experience in Tenerife
The secret white sand beaches of Lanzarote
On the sunny side: Los Llanos de Aridane
Exploring South Fuerteventura by Car
The Best Bit of Las Canteras Beach is Underwater
La Gomera, lush and beautiful
Paragliding above the valley of El Hierro. What an experience!
Three ways to enjoy Teide in Tenerife
Tasting Lanzarote: Cosecha 2015
La Palma, a taste of the tropics
Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria
From a Magic Spring to a Secret Lake, Five Curiosities on La Gomera
Jinama and Charco Azul
Amazing boat excursion to the Archipiélago Chinijo marine reserve
Lanzarote sunrises
La Palma: a Treasure Trove of landscapes in One Island
Viewpoint Mirador de la Peña, the smallest hotel of the world and the giant lizard
A Hike Around Gran Canaria's Volcanic Hotspot
Fuerteventura, Strong Wind
La Gomera: A day visiting dolphins and whales
Lanzarote fishing: Fresh fish for lunch
Exploring the Historic Centre of La Laguna
“Ruta de la Tapa” in Valverde
Driving the Las Mimbreras road
Discover the Beautiful North of Lanzarote by Car
Excursion to the Isla de Lobos
La Gomera – a rural tourism paradise
Festival of La Bajada de la Virgen de los Reyes
A morning in Santa Cruz de La Palma
The water route, Valverde and the Bonanza rock
Exploring the San Juan Volcano
Vegueta: Time Travel In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Old Town
Why You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Trekking Masca in Tenerife
Experience Tinajo: Rural traditions and breathtaking natural beauty
A lovely stroll around Villa de Valverde
A Spring Tour Of Gran Canaria
Through the back roads of El Paso
Relaxation and wellbeing, enjoying Lanzarote´s natural treasures
A trip along the coast of El Golfo, El Hierro
Exploring the Highs and Lows of Puerto de Mogán
Why You Will Absolutely Love Exploring Amazing La Graciosa
The Wild North of La Palma
Tenerife, best locations and the British favourite hotspots
Enjoy the best of Lanzarote at Noches de Jameos
Relish the thrill and views of El Faro La Entallada, in Fuerteventura
Menceyes and our Lady of Candelaria, in Tenerife
The Wine Run Lanzarote: food, wine and scenery
Experience the beauty of the pink caves of Puertito de Los Molinos
A Saturday in the beautiful village of Haría, Lanzarote
A must do in Fuerteventura – Picnic in the dunes of Corralejo
Playa San Juan in Tenerife, a charming place
A walk along the El Golfo ridge, El Hierro
The five best places to eat in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
A cup of coffee at Casa José Saramago, Lanzarote
Why Forestal Park is One of the Best Experiences in Tenerife
San Sebastián, the high part of Santa Cruz de La Palma
Sunset On The Rocks At Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria
A walk from San Andrés to Hoya del Morcillo, El Hierro
Enjoyment for the active traveller – Climb the Volcanic Mount Roja
Teguise: immerse yourself in Lanzarote’s history
How to Enjoy a Stunning Walk in Tenerife from Playa San Juan to Los Gigantes
Tazacorte, in La Palma: more than just a sun trap
Art, Architecture and Frogs in Gran Canaria's Garden City
Carnival time on El Hierro
One of the best family days out in Fuerteventura
Journey to another planet at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
From the sea to the sky, a circular drive in South Tenerife
A journey through La Palma’s plant world
Los Carneros de Tigaday, El Hierro
Relaxing Weekend staying in the picture perfect beaches of El Cotillo – Fuerteventura
Lanzarote’s southwest coastline: where ocean meets lava
How to Enjoy North Tenerife and Wine Tasting in One Amazing Trip
A trip around La Palma’s south coast
The Quiet South Gran Canaria Beach With Two Names
What to explore, How to get there and where to stay in San Sebastian the capital of La Gomera.
Relax by the sea in El Tamaduste
The best olive oil in Fuerteventura – Verde Aurora Bio Farm
Hiking in La Geria: a bird’s eye view of the volcanoes
How to Enjoy a Unique Excursion Around Stunning Santa Cruz
El Tablado, La Palma’s remotest settlement
Swimming And Snorkelling At El Puertillo in North Gran Canaria
Enjoy a morning at the local produce Market in San Sebastián de La Gomera
A tour around El Hierro’s “Mirador’s”
Betancuria, the ancient capital in the mountains of Fuerteventura
How to Enjoy an Easy Adventure from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero
A walk across Llano de Las Cuevas in La Palma
How to Enjoy a Superb Luxury Sailing Trip in Tenerife
From Jungle To Desert at Maspalomas In South Gran Canaria
The sweetness of La Gomera and the Canary Islands – Palm Syrup
Cycling on El Hierro is a great way to see the Island
Isla de Lobos, a natural Paradise
Volcanoes, wine and British history in Lanzarote
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How To Try And Do Tenerife From Top To Bottom In Three Days
Playa Santiago – A glorious mesh of sleepy fishing village and luxury hotel complex
A Day at the Canaribbean In Gran Canaria
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How to Enjoy Authentic Lanzarote at the Lovely El Charco de San Ginés
La Gomera’s longest beach in the Valley of the great king – Valle Gran Rey
The Charm of Vallehermoso – The Beautiful Valley in La Gomera
How to Discover La Gomera With an Amazing Jeep Safari Adventure
Calle Cano: A Las Palmas Street Where Old And New Blend Together
Three places off the usual tourist track in Tenerife
La Gomera one of the most gorgeous island for hikers, ramblers and casual afternoon walkers
Poema del mar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
An ascent of Bejenado
Four best places to visit in Fuerteventura
Up The Monte: Exploring Gran Canaria's Wine Country
5 Excellent Experiences to Try When You Visit Tenerife
Exploring the Barranco de las Angustias
4 best places to visit in La Gomera, by a Canary Island resident
A lovely walk from Mirador de Jinama to The bell tower Joapira
Walk the beautiful arid landscapes of Fuerteventura – Betancuria
In Gran Canaria And Sick of Sand? Head To The Parque Sur For A Siesta
Keep cool with a craft beer tour in Lanzarote
A walk from Arenas Blancas to Verodal (Local walk reference SL-EH2)
Tijarafe: touring La Palma's sunny northwest
Eco-friendly relaxation in the north of Lanzarote
Life’s A Beach At San Sebastian de La Gomera
5 Brilliant Things You Should See and Do in Santa Cruz
La Restinga and the Marine Nature reserve of Mar de Las Calmas
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8 reasons why you must visit the Cactus Garden in Lanzarote
The grand array of Markets of Fuerteventura: which Market to visit?
A day-trip to Puntallana Hiking, history, and La Palma's most famous beach
“Say cheese” and El Hierro’s cheeses give you plenty to smile about.
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La Gomera, the romantic getaway
Enjoy a trek to the highest point in Lanzarote
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8 reasons why you must visit the Cactus Garden in Lanzarote
A day-trip to Puntallana Hiking, history, and La Palma's most famous beach
From Los Sauces to Barlovento Hiking through La Palma's natural and cultural landscapes
www.hellocanaryislands.com
Previous article
09 Apr 2018

Lanzarote is unique in so many ways, but Timanfaya National Park is probably the most surreal place you will ever visit.

Also known as the Fire Mountains, this area occupies a quarter of the island’s 807 sq. km. It forms part of the island’s UNESCO Biosphere reserve and was also used by NASA as a training ground for astronauts visiting Mars.

Timanfaya National Park entrance, Lanzarote, Canary Island

Eruptions that lasted six years

The eruptions began in September 1730 and lasted until 1736, starting with explosions that launched flames into the air for 19 days. They were the most spectacular in the Earth’s history, with temperatures that reached 800°C.

Volcanoes at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Five villages were destroyed and inhabitants were forced to flee from their homes. What was once a rich and fertile cereal growing region was covered in volcanic lava, ash and dust.

Grape cultivation in La Geria, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

In the years to follow, the islanders discovered that the lapilli or rofe (volcanic dust/gravel) that covered almost a quarter of the island, could be farmed after all. Much of this region became the canvas for the beautiful landscape that is now La Geria, now an established wine region.

Timanfaya was awarded National Park status in 1975, due to its exceptional volcanic features.

Find out more before you go

Start at the Timanfaya Visitor Centre, which offers a mine of intriguing information and interactive experiences. The centre’s shining white exterior, designed by César Manrique, seem to arise from the lava as you approach.

Timanfaya Visitor Centre, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

I have always been a bit of a geography geek, so I was like a kid in a candy shop! There is a permanent multilingual exhibition showing the flora, fauna and geological make up of Lanzarote and its surrounding oceans. Models demonstrate Lanzarote’s many volcanoes, 32 of which are in Timanfaya itself.

Inside the Timanfaya Visitor Centre, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A seismographic, meteosat and meteorological station shows real-time activity from all over the world, as well as live satellite images. You can also experience what a volcanic eruption might feel like in the downstairs simulation room, as well as a slideshow with special effects in several different languages. There is also a library, viewing points and walkways over the lava, and a sensory room with lots of information for people with physical, visual or auditory deficiencies.

Ocean Exhibition at Timanfaya Visitor Centre, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

You can also take part in guided walks, which have to be booked in advance online.

El Diablo

On leaving the visitor centre, head off through the volcanic landscape towards Timanfaya itself. As you approach the park, statues of El Diablo (the devil) peer at you from on the roadside. There are several standing at the park entrance - the classic photo opportunity!

El Diablo at the entrance to Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Legend has it that this symbol originated from a wedding in a nearby village in 1730, when the eruptions began. A burning rock was ejected from a volcano, landing on the bride and killing her. With inexplicable force, the devasted groom prised the rock away with a pitchfork and carried her off in his arms towards the lava, amidst cries of “poor devil” from the villagers. Her blood was said to have given life to new plants that arose from the ashes: the groom’s name was “Aloe” and the bride’s name was “Vera”.

The vision of César Manrique

El Diablo restaurant in the distance at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The visitor facilities at Timanfaya National Park are another of César Manrique’s ingenious creations. He wanted people to be able to appreciate the island’s fiery beauty without harming or changing the environment. Manrique designed and headed the project to build the El Diablo restaurant, a souvenir shop and visitor services in 1970. He used black lava stone and circular designs that blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment.

Volcano-barbecued meat

The restaurant is truly unique. It makes the most of the 450° heat from this dormant volcano to roast the meat and fish from its dishes on offer, a method that has been scientifically approved. The restaurant has magnificent views over the volcanic park and is definitely worth a visit, even if just for a coffee.

Meat roasting over volcanic heat at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

If you prefer to do it yourself, there is also ready-made barbecue which can be used upon arrangement. You provide the meat, and the guides ignite the barbecue for you.

Hot saltwater geyser at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The geothermal demonstrations are spectacular. The sheer force of the hot, salt-water geysers that spurt from the ground leave anyone speechless! They can reach up to a height of 30 metres, so make sure you stand back and have your camera at the ready!

Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Witness the wrath of nature

Guided tours are the only way to see the heart of the volcanic eruptions, due to the area’s protected status. Head towards one of the buses which all offer information in English, Spanish and German.

The buses expertly navigate the narrow winding route for 9 miles, lasting for around 35 minutes. Created in 1968 by Manrique and Jesus Soto, the route gives you an amazing first-hand view of this Martian landscape. It cuts through lava walls, exposing textured layers of rusts, blacks, greys and browns.

The Martian landscape of Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The height of the bus allows for staggering views of 32 volcanoes through its windows. The lava landscape stretches as far as you can see towards the ocean on one side, and the Chinijo Archipelago on the other. Famara cliffs stand tall in the distance, and the towns of Uga and Yaiza sit on the far reaches of the park. These towns were spared from the lava flow and served as refuge for the fleeing villagers. Steep red slopes surround you, disappearing into the volcanic craters.

Guided bus tour at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Life as we know it

It’s incredible to imagine how any life can survive here, considering the hostile terrain and temperatures that vary up to 20°C in one day. The sun beats down during the day, and the cold wind bites at night. Even so, you’ll spot green plants pushing through the rock, lizards, and you may be lucky enough to spot El Guirre (Egyptian eagle). It is an endangered species and the largest creature in the area, with a wingspan of up to 1 metre. There are also a multitude of insects, the smallest of which grows up to only 1mm in length.

Timanfaya atop a camel

Camel train at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

If you prefer alternative forms of transport, experience the Lanzarote classic: ride to the top of a volcano on camelback!  The camel trains are based a little further south of the park entrance and are very easy to find. There’s no need to book and there is plenty of parking space available.

Timanfaya National Park is one of the most astounding landscapes one can ever see, it’s a place on Earth like no other. A must-see if you’re planning a trip to Lanzarote.

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Highlights
How to Enjoy Carnival on Tenerife
Deserted beach and abandoned salt pans in Lanzarote
La Palma: A Heaven for Stargazing
Experience participating in Transgrancanaria
A Road Trip Around the North of Fuerteventura
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www.hellocanaryislands.com