Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

7th July 2016

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

As I mentioned in my latest Weekend Blog post, I don’t have much to share about my trip to Lanzarote because 1) it was suppose to be more of a relaxing holiday than an exploring holiday and 2) at the end of the week I got food poisoning, so I wasn’t feeling my best.

We did go on one excursion, during which we saw most of the island, and I’ve decided to split this into two posts as we did so much that day. The first post (this one!) as all about the Timanfaya National Park, and the second will be about the all about the wine, the aloe vera and a guy called César Manrique.

Enjoy!

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We started the day by heading straight to the Timanfaya National Park. Lanzarote is a volcanic island formed by a hot spot, like Hawaii, and is home to over 100 volcanoes. The Timanfaya National Park is located in the south west of the island and is entirely made up of volcanic soil. As you will see, there are some incredible volcanic landforms to see there.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

There is only one active volcano in the park today and this is commonly known as Fire Mountain. This was our first stop of the day.

The view from on top is incredible! The colours are so beautiful and vary so much; reds from the iron oxide and blacks from the basaltic lava are most common.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

We were able to see a number of demonstrations which showcase the energy and the power of the volcano. Firstly, the guide dug up some volcanic rocks that had been buried near the surface, and handed them to us to feel the heat. Clearly I have asbestos hands!

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

In the next demonstration, the guide pushed some dry grass into a pit that had been dug into the volcano, and as you can see, the grass just instantly caught on fire because of the temperature.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

The final demonstration involved pouring water into a tube that went 10 meters deep into the volcano to create a geyser…

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

…and it was pretty awesome! Although this is an artificial geyser, as there is no water source on the volcano, it was still incredible to see the power of it and also the sound. It was much louder than I was expecting. It really makes you jump out of your skin.

The main attraction on top of the mountain is a restaurant where the food is cooked by the heat of the volcano. We didn’t eat in the restaurant but I have heard that it is incredibly hot in the restaurant, and some even say it’s too hot to eat in there.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

Even if you aren’t eating in the restaurant you can still enter the “oven” to see the food being cooked and to feel the heat.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

We hopped back on the bus and started to make our way along a road that snaked over the luna-like landscape of the Timanfaya. You can only travel along this road on a coach as it is UNESCO biosphere reserve and the flora and fauna is protected.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

It was incredible to finally see all the landforms I had studied during my time at university, especially the pahoehoe and ah ah lavas, which are similar to the lavas seen on Hawaii.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

After the luna drive we headed to the coast to see where the lava meets the sea.

Along the way we passed Salinas de Janubio; a commercial salt works. There are no rivers on Lanzarote, so the island relies on desalinisation to produce drinking water, and as a result there’s a lot of spare salt hanging around.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

We stopped along the coast and were greeted by the beautiful ocean. I can’t get over the colour of the sea; these photos definitely don’t do it justice.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

As you might be able to tell, the sea is very dangerous around this side of the island, so as inviting as that colour might seem I’d advise avoiding a quick dip.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

Our final stop in Timanfaya was El Golfo.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

El Golfo is home to this green lagoon. I thought the green colour would be something to do with the rocks but it actually comes from the algae that is inside the lake.

Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park

If you Google “green lagoon lanzarote” and look at the images of the lake you will see that the green colour is a lot more vibrant. The tour guide says it can look more green depending on the weather, but personally I think a lot of the photos have been enhanced.

And personally I think the enhanced pictures make it looks like someone spilt toxic waste. This is much more natural.

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I really hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to stay tuned for the next one all about our afternoon exploring the island of Lanzarote.

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  1. Kya

    Wow, that looks like such an incredible place. The scenery looks so beautiful and interesting, so much to learn and observe. I think it is so cool that the restaurant cooks from the heat of the volcano! I can imagine it would be really hot in there!

    • Holly

      I think I learned more on this trip than during my three years at university studying for a geography degree!

  2. Jamie

    I’m in awe of the place you guys got to get away too. The scenery is just too gorgeous! I honestly think it’s pretty cool that a restaurant can cook on top of a volcano! If it’s to hot to eat inside, can’t the owner install an a.c. unit or something to make the customers want to come in?

    • Holly

      Hmm…I wonder if that’s possible. Perhaps they want it to be a part of the atmosphere, but if it’s too hot to eat it’s no fun.

  3. It’s so interesting. I liked how the food is prepared, it’s fascinating. Seeing the geyser must feel strange. I’ve seen something similar to the fire and it felt weird.

    • Holly

      The geyser was pretty awesome. It made me jump so much that I was lucky to get a photo of it!

  4. Amy

    It looks like a really interesting place to visit! It’s so cool that they cook the food with the heat of the volcano, definitely an experience. I don’t know if I could eat with it being so hot though!

    Hope your trip was at least mostly enjoyable. Looking forward to the next post!

  5. Cat

    That looks like a really interesting place to visit! I love the landscape there, and the demonstrations you saw look so cool. That is one powerful looking geyser! I also think that’s neat that they cook using the heat of the volcano.

    The blue sea looks beautiful. We saw so much lava field while we were on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was the first time I had seen it, and I was amazed. It doesn’t look like anything else I had seen!

    I look forward to your next entry!

    • Holly

      Lava fields are incredible! After visiting Lanzarote I’m now dying to visit Hawaii to see some more explosive activity.

  6. The national park looks beautiful! It’s crazy to know that there are over a hundred volcanoes on the island. I can imagine how big the island is because all I see in a distance are more volcano formations! The sights and knowledge gained from the whole tour looks memorable.

    I love how the chicken and potatoes (?) are being cooked on the open oven! Looks yummy! I was going to mention that it must’ve been especially special for you to have this experience because it goes alongside with what you studied!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Holly

      It’s such a beautiful landscape. When we were flying home we got to see the volcanoes on the other nearby islands and that was incredible too.

  7. […] post follows on from the post I shared last week about Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote. We went on a full-day excursion which covered the vast majority of the island, and in this post […]

  8. I’ve got an upcoming holiday in about a week and it’s more of a relaxation one too, but we’re planning to dedicate at least two days of exploring! But relaxation is the main objective! (and a tan!)

    It’s crazy to know that there are 100+ volcanos on the island, that’s incredible. That’s useful to know that you got to use your geography degree knowledge on holiday haha! The water colour is amazing, I can’t believe it looks like that! I’ve never seen anything like it before, it looks so clean too!

    Thanks for sharing your pictures :D

  9. I just looked up the lagoon and I agree with you. The green looks sickly! It looks like nuclear waste or like someone has been ill. I do like your one better. I am sure it was a lot more mesmerising in person.

    Volcanoes are pretty amazing. And the stories behind them are almost bizarre. Like how this one is very hot, so hot you can cook with its heat. The one we saw in Indonesia was really mind-blowing as well, especially because a lot of the ‘attractions’ were related to eruptions leaving a house almost intact, but hardened to stone.