Have you ever been in Mars? Would you like to discover a place full of volcanoes named “Land of Fire” in an island with true charm and closer than you would imagine?
If you are attracted to the idea then the only thing you have to do is get to the marvelous island of Lanzarote. There you will find really incredible surroundings inside the Timanfaya National Park.
It is located southeast of the island, in the municipality of Yaiza, and we find there a surface that leaves you speechless. As you walk towards the park, you discover how the earth becomes blacker and redder, in a land of porous rocks, where nobody would be capable of walking.
Once in the park, after paying the entrance fee, you go by car to the park’s installations where you can enjoy a bus tour around the park, seeing the more than 20 volcanoes that are there.
A recording will narrate everything you need to know about the formation of volcanoes, the recent activities and why the formations are produced, etc.
It is advisable to enjoy this tour in order to get to know a bit more about this land of volcanoes. Afterwards you will be able to enter an area with volcanic activity, where they show you the temperature of the ground through small wells. By placing some water in them you will see how the water goes up more than 10 meters above the ground due to the temperature underneath. You will also be able to see small excavations where hay lights up when in contact with the earth or you will be able to enjoy a natural barbecue where you can grill all kinds of foods with the heat of the depths.
Without a doubt, Lanzarote, with its Timanfaya National Park, is one of the jewels of Canary Islands, that shouldn’t be missed.
Price: 8 Euros adults, 4 Euros children 7-12.
Opening Hours: 9-19:00
Last organized tour leaves at 17:00.
For more information: http://www.lanzarote.com/es/timanfaya/
This place will leave you with your mouth open, and even more if you knew that before it used to be a dump, and then César Manrique said that he would transform it into the most visited place in Lanzarote. Some said he was crazy, but there it is, with its famous auditorium, thanks to the acoustic of the place and where international artists have performed. There is also the endemic specie of the albino crab, which looks like hundreds of white dots in the small lagoon.
Spectacular landscape, where you can observe the strength of the sea, over the magma that has become stone…
The waves and its strength allow the water to climb up to the surface, taking advantage of the holes and cavities of the rock. The result is spectacular: the water emerges from the rocks as if the water was boiling (“hervir” in Spanish is “to boil”).
The Charco de los Clicos is also known as Lago Verde. This lake is located in the locality of El Golfo, southeast of Lanzarote, and it owes its name to the color of the water. It is located next to the border of the Timanfaya National Park, so the surroundings are very volcanic, with beaches of black sand. Conversely, it is one of these black sand beaches that stands out because of the lake with an intense green color. The experts say that it is because of special seaweed that lives in the water and makes it green. One must believe it…
It is very beautiful, thanks to the contrast of blue and black. It is recommended to first see the lake from a distance, from the area of El Golfo, and then it is recommended to see it from the opposite side. Walking from the area known as “Los Hervideros”, there is a detour on your right hand that allows you to park the car and walk towards the beach.
Playa de Famara is one of the best beaches on the island of Lanzarote, and it's especially good because you can get there on public transportation (no small feat on Lanzarote!). The city beaches on the Canary Islands are pleasant, but you still can't escape the feeling of being in the city surrounded by tourists and hotels. Well, check with the front desk at your hotel and ask for the bus to Caleta de Famara, a small, sleepy surfing village towards the north of the island.
When you arrive, you'll find an absolutely massive beach which runs along a curved bay and offers stunning views of the hulking seaside cliffs, the white-washed village of Farmara and the wind-whipped surf which has made this beach so popular among surfers. Walk a few feet down the beach and you'll have a nice plot all to yourself. Make sure to hit up the grocery store at the bus stop and grab some cold beers and sandwich ingredients and you're set to pass one of the best days of your Lanzarote vacation! We sure did!
A note to all travelers: if you go to Lanzarote, you have to visit Papagayo. It is 15 minutes away, by car, from Playa Blanca, in the southern part of the island. It is an area that is completely virgin, and it is called Protected Area of Los Ajaches.
To enter this reserve (and therefore, Papagayo), you must pay a fee per vehicle, about 6 Euros. From the entrance to the beaches there is a short distance, but the road is not paved (so be careful with your car), and in a few minutes you will be close to the beach. There are a few and well signaled, but I recommend Papagayo.
The beach is located in a small cove between the mountain, the path to go down is a bit steep but not at all dangerous. When you reach the beach, the first thing you feel is the fine sand beneath your feet.
Since I live in an island, I am used to many types of sand, but I had never touched such fine sand, it felt like breadcrumbs. The water is crystalline, with green tones, like the ones we see in the Caribbean. A real beauty!
The island of La Graciosa is a unique natural park located in the northern part of the island of Lanzarote, and it is the only inhabited island of the Chinijo archipelago.
The catamaran, which takes you to the island, leaves from the small marine town of Orzola, and the journey is about 20 minutes long. The views are spectacular, the boat rocks a bit, but it doesn’t stop you from taking pictures of the landscape.
We arrived to the town of Caleta de Sebo, with a small port and beach safe from the strong winds, where you find a few white houses, a supermarket, coffee shops and a restaurant. We went to the next golden sand beach in order to get to know a bit better the island. It had calm and clean waters, but the wind was so strong that it forced us to go back to the town of Caleta de Sebo.
In this same town, they offer you to take you by boat, for 6 Euros, to other beaches in the island, such as La Francesa, Cocina or Las Conchas. But since the wind was really strong, we decided to stay in Caleta de Sebo.
Mirador del Río is the place with the most impressive views of La Graciosa. A sinuous road will take you to a place where it seems as if the world ends. And what you find there is wonderful.
It is a place designed by the hyperactive César Manrique, who took advantage of a fantastic place to transform it. From there, on a good day, the views are unbeatable. And since the island is beautiful and fantastic, the only thing you can do from up there is to be fascinated with so much beauty. It really is a magical place.
La Geria is an interior part of Lanzarote, which is less touristic than the coast. It is interesting to travel it because it still remains very traditional. With some luck you will be able to go in the summer to the town’s festivities, with traditional dance and music from the Canary Islands.
Besides this, La Geria is a region that is dedicated to agriculture; they cultivate the vine, to make wine, and also potato and basically anything that doesn’t need too much water or to grow too high. The reason for these limitations is that the ground of the island is quite poor, it’s volcanic, and there is a lot of wind as well, that prevents the cultivation of trees and plants that need to grow high. This is why potato is a perfect option. To preserve water, they put volcanic charcoal in the ground, it is quite porous, and so it preserves water in its pores, preventing the evaporation.
There is also a solution for the wind, which displaces the ground and is not good for the crops: surround with a small stone wall each plant, so that it doesn’t receive too much wind. This process explains why the wine from the Canary Islands is more expensive than the one in La Rioja, which grows in ideal conditions.
Without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful places I have visited, and not only in the island. The colors that are engraved in my mind and that I have tried to express in the pictures seemed taken out of another place. The combination of radioactive greens next to the black of the rock and the blue in the sky and sea are spectacular, even though the light was not on our side.
The truth is that walking there is like walking in another planet. It’s like one would picture Mars. It is an amazing place that you have to visit. You won’t want to leave, you’ll see.
La Playa Blanca, or White Beach, is located in the municipality of Yaiza. It's the ideal place for vacationing with friends. There's a spectacular hotel on the shores of White Beach. The lodging facilities are modern and quite functional. The beach has a large pool that connects it to the sea. It's a fine, white sand beach and the waves are calm. On the beach you'll enjoy the hotel's service.
The César Manrique Foundation is in the artist's home and studio. There you can appreciate how the artist perfectly meshed his work with nature so that he could enjoy it. Now it's a must-see place to visit if you're going to be on the island of Lanzarote. The house extends out over a former lava flow and is built on 5 large, natural volcanic bubbles. The upper floor is inspired by the traditional island architecture and incorporates functional elements like the windows. In addition, in the central part of the house there's a spacious area where you can rest that has a pool, dining room, oven, and a barbecue as well as abundant greenery. The last area in the house, near the exit, is the painter's former studio. It's definitely a place that awakens peace.
The ultimate work of art, because it is more than garden it is a monument to the geography and topography of the Canaries. Manrique in Lanzarote is one of the most visited places by tourists, who are left speechless by the splendid design and the variety of cactus. At the top there is a mill viewpoint which is in perfect condition and shows the lifestyle of people from Lanzarote who were engaged in fieldwork. Admission is € 5.
One of the best known touristic attractions in Lanzarote is the camel ride along the Timanfaya National Park. Even though after the ride you might be a bit sore because of the rocking of the camel and the uncomfortable seat, the truth is that I wouldn’t mind doing it again, to see again this wonderful park, which looks like a lunar landscape.
The route is not too long, and once you finish, the excursion continues with the entrance to the National Park. From the peaks, the guides usually show the temperatures, which can reach 400 degrees, only a few centimeters away from the ground.
To demonstrate it, they throw water to the pipes so that you can see the vapor come out; they fry an egg; they throw hay and it immediately becomes a ball of fire, and many other things that surprise the visitors.
The camel ride is about 10 Euros. The National Park offers a service of guided tours to small groups along the itineraries of Termesana and Litoral. You need to book ahead. It is a special landscape and route, where the landscape seems to come out of another “world”.
During my recent stay in Lanzarote I went to the flea market that's held every Sunday in the inland town of Teguise and it seemed like the whole town is really into craft markets of all kinds. This market is attended by many people, especially tourists who want to purchases things that coincide with the memories they made on the island. Entering this small village you'll see the houses that stand there, the big white church that can be glimpsed off in the distance, the town hall, some cafes and restaurants and a large plaza where the market is held, along with the rest of the densely-populated streets of people, some of whom are browsing and others are shopping or drinking on a terrace because it's so hot, which is typical for the island at that time of year. In the surroundings there are big spaces where you can park your car, where they do charge you, but it's the normal amount for the area, so they can take advantage of the quantity of people.
Together with the Gulf and the Hervideros, the Salinas forms a triangle of very close tourist attractions that's a must for anyone visiting Lanzarote. The Salinas, in itself, isn't anything special. But from afar, from some of the viewpoints on the road, it offers a unique and rare landscape that differs from the rest of the island in colours and shapes. Somewhere more of what you were thinking than of what you saw. What you know and what you thought you knew was not possible to completely change.