Heading for Atlantis via the Cueva de los Verdes

On the island of Lanzarote, in the archipelago of the Canary Islands, the Corona volcano has dug kilometres of underground galleries over the centuries. 4,000 years ago, after what must surely have been a spectacular eruption, the Cueva de los Verdes came into being as molten lava sought to reach the ocean. From the crater, the tunnel now extends almost eight kilometres under the sea into the bowels of the Earth: some say it leads to Atlantis, the mysterious sunken continent. The Cueva de Los Verdes is one of Lanzarote's most spectacular tourist attractions, thanks to the marvellous effects of light and colour that occur throughout this network of volcanic tubes in shades of ochre, grey, black and red, offering an impressive two-kilometre underground journey. It's like being in a dark paradise at the centre of the Earth.

© Tomasz Czajkowski / Shutterstock

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A lava tunnel almost eight kilometres long

Around 4,000 years ago, the La Corona volcano erupted, pouring gallons of molten magma onto Lanzarote. As it sank towards the sea, its surface gradually solidified, while its viscous core continued its journey towards the ocean. It was this phenomenon that created the Cueva de los Verdes, a cave almost 8 kilometres long and up to fifty metres high and fifteen metres wide in places.

A volcanic eruption can completely change a territory.

- © Thijs Peters / Shutterstock

It was another section of the same volcanic conduit that gave rise to the Jameos del Agua, a few kilometres further on, which were later landscaped by local artist César Manrique. Much later, during attacks by pirates or slave hunters from Africa, the locals would take refuge here.

How does a visit to the Cueva de los Verdes work?

The Cueva de los Verdes takes its name from the Verdes family, who used the cave to store their cattle. Today, only one kilometre of the eight is open to visitors, but that's more than enough time to appreciate the cave's imposing size! Unlike the Jameos del Agua, the facilities are very basic and serve only to make the tunnel accessible to visitors, allowing us to observe a volcanic cavity in its raw state.

Book your ticket for the Cueva de los Verdes! Lanzarote

Book your ticket for the Cueva de los Verdes!

Delve into the bowels of the Earth in the volcanic galleries of the Cueva de los Verdes...

The Cueva de los Verdes must be visited with a multilingual guide and, unfortunately, the groups are quite large. However, the commentaries are very interesting and provide a great deal of information about the cave and Lanzarote's volcanic activity.

As you make your way through the cave, you discover a veritable complex of tunnels and chambers with vaults and even underground lagoons! The areas you can visit are called the "Salon des Esthètes", the "Gorge de la Mort" and the "Porte Mauresque"... very promising names! There's also an astonishing auditorium, placed there to take advantage of theexcellent acoustics of the volcanic tunnel.

Visitors to the Cueva de los Verdes.

- © Kochneva Tetyana / Shutterstock

At the end of the route, a surprise awaits visitors to the Cueva de los Verdes, but you have to go there to find out... No Lanzarote resident will tell you this secret, and don't count on us to spill the beans!

Our favourite hotel near the Cueva de los Verdes

Eco Village Finca De Arrieta - Tabayesco Lanzarote

Eco Village Finca De Arrieta - Tabayesco

Just a few minutes from the Cueva de los Verdes, this eco-friendly hotel complex (powered by wind and solar energy) offers superb unusual accommodation in an exceptional setting.
£88 / night

Practical information for the Cueva de los Verdes

The Cueva de los Verdes is an indelible trace of Lanzarote's intense volcanic activity, a witness that has survived down the ages to the present day. If you're going on holiday to the Canary Islands, don't hesitate to pay it a visit!

⏰ Cueva de los Verdes opening times

The Cueva de los Verdes is open every day from 10am to 5pm (last entrance at 4pm).

👛 Prices for the Cueva de los Verdes

  • Full price: £8.50
  • Under-13s: £4.30
  • Under 7s: free
  • PRM: £6
  • CACT tourist pass: free

Access to the Cueva de los Verdes 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 logo at the entrance to the Cueva de los Verdes.

- © Sopotnicki / Shutterstock

📍 How do I get to the Cueva de los Verdes?

The Cueva de los Verdes is located in the north-east of Lanzarote, in the province of Las Palmas, between Punta Mujeres and Orzola. It can be reached via the LZ-1 road, in 25 minutes from Costa Teguise, 30 minutes from Arrecife, 40 minutes from Puerto del Carmen and one hour from Playa Blanca.

Don't have your own car? Don't panic, coach excursions are also available from the island's main resorts.

A few tips for your visit

  • Although the Cueva de los Verdes has been designed for easy walking, we recommend that you wear comfortable, grippy shoes.
  • We do not recommend this visit for people who are claustrophobic or have difficulty bending down and/or moving around.
  • The temperature inside the cave is always around 18°C, so there's no need to bring warm clothing.
  • When you learn the secret of the Cueva de los Verdes, keep it to yourself: don't spoil the surprise for others!
by Editorial Team
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Discovering the Mountains of Fire
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