Part of Lanzarote’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the 52-square-kilometer volcanic Timanfaya National Park is known for its Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains), where subsurface temperatures reach up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit (593 degrees Celsius). Eruptions as recent as the 18th century have produced a Death Valley-like lava landscape. The artist César Manrique designed a tourist center here as well as the El Diablo restaurant that uses geothermal heat to cook traditional Canarian dishes.
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Giants steps are what you take...
walking on the moon...
Well Timanfaya National Park is on Earth but it looks of another world. In this part of the park, the mountains of fire, its necessary to jump on a bus to take a look around since cars are not allowed on that particular road. It is quite an amazing place with activity still under the crust.
The day we booked our plane tickets to Lanzarote, we envisaged a holiday that included lazing on the beach, devouring scrumptious tapas and sipping on cocktails by the pool. Little did we know that Lanzarote would present such diverse opportunities for the adventurous and those who prefer to go off the beaten path.
One of the highlights of our trip was a half day outing to the Timanfaya National Park. As we drove towards the entrance on a seemingly unending road dotted with lava rocks, all we could think of were sci-fi movies with Martian landscapes.
You can’t drive beyond a certain point, but a coach trip around the park is included in the entry fee. The surface is made up of volcanic soil from eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736, and is strewn with craters and rubble from volcanic explosions. Even half a day wasn’t enough to get our share of the panoramas- we followed our coach trip with camel rides across the surreal landscape.
And since the volcanic activity continues beneath Earth’s surface, the geo-thermal heat is used to grill food at the one of its kind “El Diablo” restaurant. We couldn’t help but gaze down the “grill” every 5 minutes and be amazed by the sheer force of nature. The grilled meat was delicious and the “volcanic” effect made it a tad more special.
The entry fee to the park is €8 and includes the coach trip in the park. The camel ride costs €6. Keep at least half a day for this extraordinary experience.
Timanfaya National Park is entirely made up of volcanic soil. In 1993, the entire island of Lanzarote was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. As a means to protect the flora and fauna of the area, it is strictly regulated with only a couple of footpaths, and a popular short route where one can tour by camel. Visitors can also see the volcanic landscape by bus, using a road otherwise closed to the public. Guides demonstrate the heat: temperatures just a few dozen feet below the surface reach between 700°F and 1000°F. Dry brush thrown into a hole in the ground catches fire immediately, while water poured into it can produce a geyser effect.