Over one million people visit Lanzarote national parks each year, drawn by the other-worldly landscapes, spectacular views, and the chance to sample food cooked by the heat of the earth beneath their feet. Our guide will help you make the most of your visit to this part of the Canaries.
HistoryThe dramatic landscape of Lanzarote is the result of six years of volcanic activity between 1730 and 1736. Much of the arable land was destroyed, and many inhabitants left the islands. Those that stayed created new ways of farming, and in later years have spent time and care to make Lanzarote national parks
,in particular, Timanfaya, a must-see attraction for visitors.
What will I see?The sensation of standing in a volcanic landscape is like no other. The ochre colours, steam from geothermal activity, and desolate beauty of the landscape are genuinely awe-inspiring, so whatever you do, don't forget your camera. Isolte de Hilario is home to Mo ñtanas del Fuego and it is here that you can experience the full force of Mother Nature at her best. You have the chance to see straw ignite within seconds of being dropped into a shallow pit, and watch steam billow from the ground. Eating at El Diablo, a restaurant that uses the natural heat produced by this volcanic activity to cook delicious meals, is a one-of-a-kind experience. Surrounding Timanfaya is Los Volcanes National Park. The volcanoes are not quite as spectacular, but the landscape is just as fascinating. The main advantage is that you can go hiking in this part of the Lanzarote national parks, and there are several marked paths to explore, all with great views.
How to visitTimanfaya lies in the south-west of Lanzarote. It is 20 minutes' drive from Playa Blanca and around 40 minutes from Costa Teguise. If you prefer public transport then line 60 will take you to Yaiza, and you can hop in a taxi to complete your journey. Timanfaya is also part of the Lanzarote Cycle Route, and the journey by bicycle takes around two and a half hours each way. Protecting the landscape is a priority, so visitors are offered several ways to enjoy Timanfaya safely and without having any impact on the environment.
Coach tripThis 40-minute trip will give you a good overview of the park. Coaches can be taken from El Diablo restaurant.
Ranger walkA small group walking tour is great if you're a keen photographer, since you're not restricted by coach windows. The walk lasts for three hours and booking is essential. We recommend sturdy shoes, as this is definitely not the terrain for flip-flops or heels.
ExcursionIf you don't fancy driving to Timanfaya, then most resorts will run an excursion that combines transport to the park with the coach trip. Timanfaya is open from 9am until 6pm, and the last visit to the volcanoes is at 5pm.
Top tipsAs part of your visit, we recommend exploring Timanfaya Visitor Centre, to learn more about the geological history and the plants and animals that manage to survive in this tough landscape. There are no credit card facilities, so remember enough cash for your entry fees, and to enjoy a meal at El Diablo. You're in a volcanic park so it's going to be hot. Remember to bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. If you're visiting Lanzarote national parks in the winter months, bring a light jacket to protect against the wind.