Granted, thousands of people have visited Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote but more people have not, and it is really a shame considering that it is one of the main attractions in the island.
Have you ever seen a photo of Timanfaya?
The closest you can get by comparison might just be Tracy Island (yes, the fictional location from Thunderbirds.)
Timanfaya might not be fictional but it does seem unreal as you look out towards the surreal volcanic terrain, a cratered surface you would sooner expect to see in Mars than you would on a package holiday to Spain.
A bit of historical background
The mountains you are looking at are called Montañas del Fuego, or Fire Mountains: they were formed almost 300 years ago when over 100 volcanoes erupted this region.
Because of little rainfall, ergo low levels of erosion from acid rain following the last group of eruptions in 1824, the landscape has hardly changed in all that time.
When you get to the Park on a guided tour you will be shown evidence that prove just how volcanic the area is, with temperatures going up to 400-600 degrees Celsius burning a mere few metres below the surface.
When a dry brush is chucked into a hole, it is instantly set alight.
On the other side, water evaporates into steam within seconds, creating a sort of mini geyser.
Visiting the National Park
Access to the park is strictly regulated in order to protect the delicate local environemnt (the entire island was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO back in 1993, and the park is indeed one of the main areas making up this reserve).
You will be driven up around the volcano by a skilled bus driver as self-driving or walking is not permitted. The coach is included in the 9 Euro entry fee which is very reasonable as you also get audio commentary that includes an eyewitness account of a priest who physically saw the eruptions as they occurred, told through his diary entries.
For an additional fee you can take a camel ride through the park.
The whole experience only takes one day and promises to be one-if not thee- most memorable. It is also a great way to teach children something educational in between waterparks and jet skis if you want to bring them along. People go to every corner of the earth to find an ‘otherworldly’ experience and Timanfaya National Park is just that, only it’s a mere 2 hour flight away.
Eating at Timanfaya Park
There is a restaurant on-site which exploits the local geothermal activity to create delicious food that is worth sampling, even if it is just out of curiosity.
Meal preparation may sound bizzarre.
A hole is made in the ground and a cast iron grill is placed on top.
Similar cooking practices are known to sustain traditional Maori tribes in geothermal places of New Zealand, the heat underground keeping them warm in the winter, the natural hot water used for cooking and cleaning.
If you are keen to discover how the food cooked this way tastes, we recommend you get to the restaurant before 3 p.m. when the kitchen closes.
How to get to Lanzarote
All the main low-cost airlines offer economic flights to Lanzarote, including Ryanair and EasyJet. Otherwise, you can make some research on various comparasion travel sites that scan the net for convenient flight tickets (you can go to this specific page on our site!).
Where to sleep
On our website you can choose from over 100 hotels located in different areas of Lanzarote. You can filter the list selecting the budget you intend to spend, the hotel rating or the area you consider the best for your stay. Make your search for a Lanzarote hotel here!
Alternatively, you can have a look at one of our top sellers in Lanzarote, Hotel Cinco Plazas, in Puerto del Carmen: a complex of over 200 modern and fully-equipped holiday apartments located around 3 swimming pools, with bar, restaurants and children’s playground.
Getting around in Lanzarote
The island is relatively small and, once there, the best option for exploring it is to rent a car (you will take around half an hour to get from the West to the East coast and roughly the same time or a little longer to go from South to North.
If you like to organize your holiday into details, besides flight and accommodation, you can also book your transfers on the island, for example from/to Lanzarote airport or from/to the hotel you reserved.
When to go
Lanzarote, like the other Canary Islands, enjoys a lovely subtropical climate characterized by short warm winters and long hot summers: no doubt the perfect climate conditions everyone dreams of.
In other words, you can go to the Canaries at any time of the year and you can be sure you will have good weather almost guaranteed. Bear in mind that sometimes it gets very windy in these islands.
If you are looking for a place that can give you some intense feelings and pleasant memories that will stay with you for a long time, Timanfaya National Park in the island of Lanzarote may be the right choice.