Canary Islands Getaway: Timanfaya National Park

Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, exhibits one of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in Europe. It covers a quarter of the island and was created from over six years of continuous volcanic eruptions in the 1700’s. There are written accounts describing the destruction of villages, terrifying earthquakes and mountains rising up overnight.

What was left is a bizarre, sterile landscape that almost looks like it has been turned inside-out in some spots. Lanzarote and the Timanfaya National Park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

One of the most impressive tours you can take is the Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains). You will feel like you are walking on the moon, surrounded by a 20 square mile sea of lava where dormant craters lay, without any bird, animal or plant life. The Timanfaya National Park can only be visited on a coach tour or guided walks; free roaming around the park is not allowed.

The coach tour takes about 40 minutes and you will also see the Islote de Hilario, a black volcano which at 1,673 ft (510 meters) is the tallest of all the Fire Mountains. You are not allowed to leave the bus but can take beautiful pictures as it stops in all the right places with enough time for everyone to capture the magnificent landscape.

A fun way of exploring the volcanic terrain of Lanzarote is on a 20-minute camel tour. You will be helped into a wooden seat attached to the camel and guided by the handlers who will make sure passengers are balanced using small sandbags.

There is also a three-hour ranger walk that needs to be booked in advance and lasts around three hours; it’s highly recommended if you want to see everything.

Finally, after touring this impressive landscape you must stop at the Devil’s Restaurant and enjoy a meal cooked directly on a volcano grill. There is no electricity used here, just natural, volcano-powered heat!. El Diablo’s specialties are volcano grilled, delicious fish and meat but the panoramic views can make it hard to focus on your food.

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