Discovering the Timanfaya National Park

Discovering the Timanfaya National Park

Discovering the volcanos of the Timanfaya National Park

The surface of Lanzarote changed a lot in the past centuries.
Between 1730 and 1736, the largest and most important volcanic eruptions in the history of the Canary Islands occurred on the island.

For six years the earth was shaken by the hundreds of volcanoes that flooded the territory with lava and incandescent rocks, altering deeply the geography of Lanzarote. Whole towns were covered and others saved miraculously.
When the eruptions finally ended, the landscape assumed an appearance that reminded of the surface of the planet Mars. Even today, this landscape is still preserved, giving us the impression that the eruption has ended not long time ago.

 

How to get to the Park

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get there by bus, as there are no stops near the park. There are several tour companies that arrange organized tours, but I would recommend renting a car and spending half a day visiting the place. You can get to to the park from the south of the island, passing through Yaiza, or from the north by passing through Tinajo. On both sides, reaching these towns, you will find many road signs that will take you to the Park without any problems.

How much

The Timanfaya National Park is not entirely accessible.
Some areas are inaccessible to preserve the territory, and the parts open to the public can be explored in two ways:

• Camel ride

Cost: 6 euros per person.
You can take a short excursion on the back of a camel in one of the valleys of volcanos for a few minutes.

• Volcano route

Cost: 10 euros per person.
This option is the most recommended one. At the main entrance of the park you can buy a ticket that will allow you to drive with your car through a small path that will take you to the Hilario Island. This is the “base” of the park, where you need to park the car and then take a bus (price included in the ticket) that will guide you for about 40 minutes and 14 kilometers through Timanfaya Park. This tour is really exciting and suggestive, and gives you the chance to see the most spectacular valleys of the park.

Returning to the base, there are several activities you can do, such as shopping at the souvenir shop. Or you can go to see the artificial Geysers that come out the burning ground!

There is also a restaurant, designed by César Manrique, where the food is cooked on a grill heated by the warmth emitted by the volcanic subsoil, a kind of natural barbecue! Do not be fooled by the tourist look of the restaurant: the prices are very affordable and the quality of the food is extremely good: a compulsory stop before leaving the park!

If, after this visit, you do not have enough of volcanoes and martian landscapes, there are other interesting excursions that you can do outside the park. Most are hiking, therefore requiring a minimum of physical preparation, and are free!

Here are a couple of excursions I recommend.


Volcano del Cuervo

This volcano is in another part of the park and you can get there with your car. There are no road signs to get there, so I suggest you arm yourself with a map and / or GPS so you do not get lost! At the beginning of the trail there is a yard next to the road where you can park the car. From here you can head to the volcano, you can go around it or you can go directly into its crater!

It is a very fascinating and evocative experience! If you are lucky enough to not find many people, you can enjoy the incredible silence and peace inside the volcano and, if you feel like it, you can meditate! 🙂

Caldera Blanca Route

Another interesting hike is that of Caldera Blanca: a very large and tall volcano, located north of the Timanfaya National Park. I recommend this excursion to those who are physically prepared to walk a lot: if you have any motor problems(direi che physical disability é meglio ), it is definitely not a good hike for you.

You will notice immediately that this volcano has a lighter color than the others present in the park: the reason is its age, 5000 years! Over the centuries, because of the weather agents, its rocks have assumed a color similar to beige.

This route allows you to climb up to the crater and enjoy a splendid panorama!

 

The whole walk is 9.5 kilometers, for a duration of about 3-4 hours.

You have to park your car at Mancha Blanca, and from there you can find a circular path that leads you to the top of the volcano. At its highest point you can admire the Timanfaya National Park on a side, and La Graciosa and the Risco Famara on the other side!

As I have said, the path is not simple so be prepared to many climbs and descents. But ,once you get to the top, it will definitely be worth it! 🙂

 

I hope this guide will help you discover this suggestive Park!
Remember that if you
are tempted to take as a souvenir a volcanic stone you will be stopped at the airport and the stone confiscated! It is not allowed to collect a stone of a protected Natural Park and bring it home, so be careful!

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave me a comment below!


I conclude this article with the legend of Timanfaya devil, symbol of the National Park!

There’s a legend that says that at the time of the volcano’s explosion, at the beginning of September of 1730, in the town of Timanfaya, name that later received the volcano, the inhabitants were celebrating the marriage of a couple formed by the son of the richest man in the area and the daughter of farmers of healing plants.

The couple was very in love, with plans for the future, and embraced in the typical dance of the zone, and at that very same moment, the earth started to move giving place to the great explosion. The whole village began to run from one place to another without knowing where to take refuge since large rocks began to fall from all sides, crushing houses, burying fields and destroying everything around.

The misfortune fell right on this newly married couple, when a rock of great dimensions, out of the bowels of the earth, fell on top of the bride burying her, under the astonished gaze of the man who just married her. Such was the rage and despair of that boy of fortunate parents who without thinking picked up a massive five-pointed gallows pitchfork from the ground to try to remove the stone that was on his wife, ignoring the cries of all those people who told him to give up and that there was no longer anything that they could to do. He doesn’t give up to the point that, without knowing very well why, of its entrails arose a force of such magnitude that he managed to lift the smoking stone and rescue the body already lifeless of his beloved, whom he took in his arms . Without letting go of the pitchfork, he began to run looking for a refuge that he could not find because of the force of nature.

 

 

Shouting and with the body of his wife in his arms, he ran into the Valley of Timanfaya until his forces allowed him, disappearing between the sulphate smoke that came out of the ground and the ashes that already covered everything. Even so, it was a night of full moon and, in a moment of clarity between the cloud of ashes and the glow of the full moon, several families could observe the image of that boy with a the enormous five-pointed pitchfork between his arms raised over his head, gradually disappearing between the ashes and the sulphate on the top of a hill.

In this moment, all the survivors of the town of Timanfaya said with the same tone “poor devil”.

From the blood of the wife’s body, the very same medicinal plants grown by the parents of the girl started to grow in the valley and all the survivors decided to call them after the two lovers: he was called Aloe and she Vera.

Years later, reconstructing the area, the boy’s body petrified by the lava emerged with its pitchfork still seized with force. Poor devil!”

General Information about Lanzarote

General Information about Lanzarote

basic general information about lanzarote
Lanzarote is the island where I live, the place that has changed my life, and I would like to share with you the beauties of this corner of paradise!

In this section I give you some general information about Lanzarote that you have to know before you visit it!

Let’s start with some unique features of Lanzarote! Features that you can hardly find elsewhere.

Here are some.

  • Peace and tranquility.

Outside the main tourist centers you can find some places where you can enjoy an almost surreal peace and silence. Some of these landscapes seem to be out of time and space.

  • Mars Landscape.

On the island there are more than 300 volcanic craters and its surface is almost completely covered by volcanic rock, which formed during the various eruptions that occurred in the past centuries. The feeling that the Timanfaya National Park transmits is to be teleported to another planet!

  • Beaches of all kinds.

You cannot be disappointed by the beaches: there are all kinds! From those with golden and fine sand to those with black sand, but also rocky ones that form natural pools. You will surely find your favorite!

  • Sports

Not just for relax, this island offers various opportunities for practicing many sports in a truly impressive landscape. The most popular sport is surely SURF: the Canary Islands are considered by many as the “European Hawaii” and Lanzarote has types of waves suitable for any level, from El Quemao professional ones to the small waves of Famara, ideal for beginners and surf schools.

  • Canarian food

Canarian cuisine is extremely healthy and delicious! It mainly includes fish and fresh seafood, goat’s meat and cheese and lots of fruits and vegetables. Typical are “Papas Arrugadas”, boiled potatoes with peel, and “Gofio”: Indigenous food obtained from grinding of roasted cereals, which produces different foods such as sweets or soups.

  • Best climate in the world

The canary archipelago has a perfect climate almost all year round. The temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees or rises above 26 degrees in summer. It is always very ventilated and Lanzarote, being close to the African coast, has a warm, dry climate with little humidity.


If you are going to visit this wonderful island, I recommend to respect it!

Lanzarote is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, an island with great natural parks and innumerable pristine areas. It is a place where most of the works created by man are environmentally friendly, integrating perfectly urban development with the environmentally sustainable area.

Lanzarote is the northernmost island of the Canary archipelago and is only 170 km from the African coast. It has a population of about 140,000 inhabitants and the capital is Arrecife. It is the largest city and is where you can find all the main services of the island: from the hospital to the Police Commissariat.
Hotels and major tourist inflows are concentrated in three cities: Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. Personally, I do not really like these places because they are mostly tailor made for tourists and do not really reflect the true essence of the island. That is why my guide will focus on the rest of the island, not deepening the description of these three cities.

In front of the northern coast of Lanzarote we can find the Chinijo archipelago: a group of small islands, including La Graciosa, Montaña Clara and Alegranza. Only La Graciosa is inhabited and is the only one that can be reached by boat from the port of Orzola, north of Lanzarote.

Lanzarote is influenced by the works of native architect César Manrique. He was A multi-faceted character, and thanks to his sensitivity towards protecting the environment, the island still maintains (apart from tourist poles) the government decree prohibiting buildings over two floors and a color other than white.

If you are looking for a great nightlife you will be a bit disappointed. Only in Puerto del Carmen or Arrecife you can find some clubs that remain open until late at night, and most of the customers are tourists.

Often, the various island towns organize, especially in summer, traditional local festivals that last a weekend or a little longer. They are very fun and help to understand the true spirit of the island, as the majority of participants are locals. Here you can find markets, food stalls and drinks, stages with different types of music and many other initiatives to entertain the present audience.


Getting around the island

If you visit Lanzarote, you can’t stay all the time just around your accommodation! The island is full of fascinating places and you have different possibilities to reach them:

•Car

 

This is the option I recommend. Renting a car is really cheap on this island! There are several rental companies within the airport, so just landed you will have your car ready! Beware though, it is always better to book a few weeks before your arrival from the various websites of the companies.

The companies with which I had better experience so far are: Autoreisen (www.autoreisen.es), Cabrera Medina (www.cabreramedina.com), Cicar (www.cicar.com) or Payless (www.payless.es) .
In addition to being a low cost option, having a car on the island means being independent and being able to reach any place at any time.

•Bus

 

 

 

The island of Lanzarote is provided by a bus service (“Guagua” in canarian language 🙂 ) that allows you to reach the main points of the island. If you can’t rent a car, this is the best option for you .
By clicking here you can find bus lines with their timetables.
But, be aware that the bus service doesn’t cover the entire island, so for some places it is necessary to call a taxi.

• Organized tours

 

 

If you are staying in a hotel you will definitely find some tour operator who will offer you tours organized in the main places of the island. With this option, however, you will be completely dependent on the schedules of the tour.

•Taxi

 

 

This is the most expensive option and for that I recommend to use the Taxi only if you have no other way to reach a place.

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