Perhaps Lanzarote’s most stunning attraction is Timanfaya National Park. When traversing the two-hundred square kilometers within, you may get the impression that the genesis of a planet is taking place before your eyes.
This World Biosphere Reserve consists of several volcanic lava fields and an ochre-colored lunar landscape. Timanfaya is a park in contrast with the rest of the island, as greenery is nowhere to be found.
Instead, a dark and somber dessert with leave you in wonder, as to how many volcanic eruptions formed the park, and it’s unique rock formations.
The best way to enjoy the park is to participate the Camel Safaris.
On an exotic train of camels, you and a group of eager tourist will embark on a journey you’ll never forget. There is no better way to explore the scorched earth and wonder how anything left behind intact by a volcano that erupted in demonic fury for almost five years.
From 10:00 in the morning to 16:15 in the afternoon, there are quarter-hourly trips by guagua (the local bus) through this forest of suspense.
A voice-over (available in English, Spanish or German) explains how the disturbing, devastatingly beautiful landscape came into being and it’s effect the people of Lanzarote.
As you go along the winding Ruta de Los Volcanes’ passing lava craters, tunnels and fields, a spine-chilling tales of the priest of Yaiza are retold. Back in 1730, this eyewitness account laments the furious awakening of the earth as tongues of fire unfurl from its bowels and sweep their way across the island.
History and Terrain
Timanfaya National Park is enveloped by volcanic ash. Much of the landscape is still relatively unchanged since the catastrophic eruption which took place between 1730 and 1736.
Covering approximately five-thousand hectares, this eruption and major geological event was the cause of the lava tubes and lava flows which now make up a large proportion of the western side of Lanzarote. With its deep red and black colors, the park scenery could almost be compared to the surface of Mars.
Approximately two-billion cubic meters of ash was released into the atmosphere during the explosion, and much of the land is still mostly unchanged today, due to the dry climate in the region.
A Land Reborn
About 180 different vegetable species now grow side-by-side in this changeless, curling sea of lava.
Undulating lava fields (or fire mountains) still scour the land, and there are also lava tubes and volcanic craters.
The land itself though, is still very much alive, as thermal heat can be felt from below the surface when standing in some areas.
The volcanic creations make their way tentatively into an extremely rugged terrain, where a temperature of 600ÂºC is reached at a depth of a mere ten meters.
Unbelievers will be convinced of the truth when see the El Diablo Restaurant utilizes geothermic power and a volcanic vent to cook food on the grill.
No doubts are then left behind when a bucket of water poured into a hole in the ground produces a deafening noise as huge steam columns rise into the air.