Discovering the Mountains of Fire

Timanfaya National Park is Lanzarote's main attraction. It's a lunar or Martian landscape, but it's so un-Earthly! It's the setting for Journey to the Centre of the Earth, where you can eat chicken grilled directly in the bowels of the earth, and where you can travel by special bus or camel: it's the highlight of any visit to the Canary Island of Lanzarote... A unique place in the world, its landscape is the result of a series of volcanic eruptions that devastated this southern part of the island between 1730 and 1736. A catastrophe for the island's inhabitants at the time, but a blessing for their descendants, as tourists from all over the world flock here today to admire the hundreds of cones rising to 525 metres, known as the Mountains of Fire, set amidst ashes dotted with geysers and fumaroles, in a setting that seems to have come straight from another planet.

Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote.

- © Ninafotoart / Shutterstock
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The Mountains of Fire, 6 years of eruptions!

At the end of the summer of 1730, the inhabitants of Lanzarote saw their daily lives turned upside down by a succession of volcanic eruptions of rare violence that lasted almost six years. Almosta fifth of the island shook and spewed out endless streams of lava. It's hard to imagine the terror that must have reigned on the island when you look today at the mesmerising landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, created in 1974. The park extends over some fifty square kilometres covered by a thick sea of lava from which dozens of glowing volcanoes emerge. The symbol of the park, created by local artist César Manrique, the Timanfaya Devil has become the emblem of Lanzarote.

The Timanfaya National Park logo, emblem of Lanzarote.

- © underworld / Shutterstock

How to visit Timanfaya National Park?

In 1968, the brilliant local artist César Manrique came up with the idea of tracing a road through the heart of Timanfaya National Park, founded in 1974, and developing it for the public with the utmost respect for nature. A special circuit was created, which you can travel by bus for 50 minutes.

There's no other way to discover the site, as cars must remain in the car park and you can't venture outside the bus. A word of advice: sit in the front right-hand seat for the best views. The 14-kilometre Volcano Route winds its way through the park to the sound of Mozart's Requiem and 2001: A Space Odyssey, with commentary in several languages.

There's nothing like lunch at the El Diablo restaurant, where you can enjoy chicken roasted directly on a volcanic fault! The temperature is in excess of 350°C just a few centimetres above the ground... In fact, all you have to do is put your hand on the ground to feel the heat. What's more, the view is not unpleasant!

Volcanic activity in Timanfaya National Park is clearly visible.

- © travelview / Shutterstock

While you wait for your order, you can admire not only the landscape behind the bay window, but also the experiments linked to the volcanic activity of the area. For example, a member of staff digs a hole with a shovel, pours in water, then a few seconds later the water gushes out in the form of a geyser: guaranteed success and excitement, and children love it!

Discover the Mountains of Fire in a different way

On the other side of Timanfaya National Park is theEchadero de camellos, where you can climb a few cones on camelback during a 20-minute walk. There is also a museum about the park and the use of camels in the region.

Dromedaries in Timanfaya National Park.

- © RossHelen / Shutterstock

It is also possible to explore part of the site on foot, but only in groups of a maximum of 8 English- or Spanish-speaking people accompanied by a guide. The route, which is around three kilometres long, illustrates how people adapted their way of life after the disaster. Click here to book your hike in Timanfaya National Park!

Our favourite hotel near Timanfaya National Park

Finca Curbelo - Uga Lanzarote
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Finca Curbelo - Uga

At the start of the wine route, not far from Timanfaya National Park, this traditional finca offers visitors a swimming pool and comfortable rooms.
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Practical information for Timanfaya National Park

If there was only one thing to do in Lanzarote, it would certainly be Timanfaya National Park! So add it straight away to your list of things to see on your next holiday to the Canary Islands.

⏰ Timetable for Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park is open every day from 9.30am to 5pm, with the last possible entry at 3.45pm.

👛 Prices for Timanfaya National Park

  • Full price: £10
  • Under-13s: £5
  • Under 7s: free
  • PRM: £7
  • CACT tourist pass: free

Access to Timanfaya National Park is on a first-come, first-served basis. You can book your ticket online, but please note that this does not give you priority entry.

The road to Timanfaya National Park.

- © iacomino FRiMAGES / Shutterstock

📍 How do I get to Timanfaya National Park?

To get to Timanfaya National Park by car, take the LZ-67 until you see the El Diablo symbol. It's a 30-minute drive from Puerto del Carmen, Arrecife or Playa Blanca, and 45 minutes from Costa Teguise. Coach excursions are also available from the island's main resorts.

A few tips for your visit

  • Arrive around ten minutes before the site opens to avoid the crowds (which are very high between 11am and 3pm), and you'll also enjoy the beautiful light.
  • Once inside Timanfaya National Park, you can take the bus as many times as you like!
  • The bus stops at a few strategic points to give everyone time to take photos.
  • The bus sometimes verges on precipices, so this excursion may not be recommended for people who suffer from vertigo.
by Editorial Team
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