Travel Diary | Lanzarote | Timanfaya National Park
7th July 2016
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The final demonstration involved pouring water into a tube that went 10 meters deep into the volcano to create a geyser…
…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our final stop in Timanfaya was El Golfo.
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.
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.
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.