Timanfaya National Park with unique Volcanic Mountains and wide Lava Fields - as if the Eruption has taken Place just a few Months ago

TimanfayaTimanfaya DiaboloOne of the most important places to visit on this island of 800sq.km. is the National Park of Timanfaya. This is the approx, 52sq.km. area of the Fire Mountains. Las Montañas del Fuego (the Fire Mountains), declared as a place of outstanding natural beauty, was the centre of a volcanic catastrophe which occurred little more than 250 years ago. Laocation view Google Map below.

Opening times and prices:
  • Summer time - from first of July up to the 30th of September::
  • daily from 09:00 to 18:45 o'clock (last bus tour starts at 18:00 o'clock)
  • Coffeehouse and restaurant open from 9:00 to 17:45 o'clock
 and offer a menu for tapas.
  • Winter Time - from first of Oktober:
  • daily from 09:00 to 17:45 o'clock (last bus tour starts at 17:00 o'clock)
  • Coffeehouse and restaurant open from 9:00 to 16:30 o'clock.
  • Entrance prices for tourists:
  • Adults 9,00 € / Children from 7 to 12 years only 4,50 €
    In the price included: 20 minutes bus trip in air-conditioned busses through the lava fields and fire mountains of the National Park with infomation in English
  • Entrance prices residents of Canary Islands:
  • Adults 7,20 € / Children 7 to 12 years 3,60 €

As if the eruption had taken place just a few months ago

The mountains erupted six years long, in the years between 1730 and 1736. Glowing molten lava poured from the depths of the earth, tuming whole villages into desert and swallowing up the farmers fertile land.
Lanzarote Timanfaya National Park Panorama
Image: Panoramic views overlooking the National Park of Timanfaya with its volcanic mountains.

Stories relate that great flames and stinking ash shot out of the volcanoes into the sky, when the earth opened with a deafening noise. The sun was darkened for a long time while poisonous ashes rained down with flaming bits of lava. Cows fell dead in the fields and the mountain goats were said to have banged their heads against the rocks in fear, until they too died.

Those people who could, fled the island in boats and went to Fuerteventura. A weaker eruption followed in the year 1824. Still today - more than 270 years later - nothing remains of the once fertile part of Lanzarote, where cows once grazed and, thanks to the mild climate, farmers in those years could raise good crops and could live from the harvest.

Boca de Lava - Öffnung, aus der die Lava austrat
Image: During the bus trip through the Fire Mountains of Timanfaye Park you will see lots of open mouths in the lava fields where the hot molten lava came out to stream over the deeper country towards the sea.

What happened at that time, it roughly appears from the records of the parish priest Don Andrés Lorenzo Curbelo from Yaiza:

On September 1, 1730, 9-10 clock in the evening suddenly the earth opened in Timanfaya. A huge mountain formed already on the first night, and flames shot from its summit that continued to burn for 19 days. A few days later a new throat opened and threw out liquid lava and fire. Under tremendous roar deafening noise the earth opened at several points and smelly spit ash and heat of fire were blown into the sky. The sun was darkened for a long time and it rained toxic ash and red hot lava. Cows had dropped dead on the fields and mountain goats were smitten before madness for so long with their heads against the rock until they too were dead., so the stroy of  Don Andrés Lorenzo Curbelo. People who could do it at the time, fled by boat to other islands. The big eruption was between 1730 to 1736 and lasted over 6 years. After this 6 years of catastrophe the island calmed step by step.

Nothing is left of the once fertile and lovely region of the southern island with its villages and farmers houses, fields and plantations. Today one sees the largest continuous lava fields with approximately 200 square kilometers surface.

Timanfaya Tourist Cehter and Restaurant El Diabolo
Image above: View to the restaurant and tourist centre designed by Cesar Manrique - the restaurant/café "El Diabolo". From here you start your sightseeing tour by bus (included in the entrance you pay at the tollhouse) - a must, when you are here - the busses have air condition and all information in English.

Those who take the road by car from Yaiza to the Timanfaya National Park feel how strange the lava landscape is when driving through the fields and how fascinating this black mysterious landscape can be with the rust-red mountains in the background. Past the touriust camel park, where one can take a camel ride through the lava, the road continues up to the entrance to the main car-park of the National Park. Here you have to pay for each person in the car.

From the central parking area sightseeing tour busses leave every 10 minutes and take you to see the volcanoes and gigantic rocks from the eruptions. The busses go along narrow paths for about 10km through the national park and it is quite an experience to look through the windows down into huge craters and lava caves, open mouths in the rocky fields and see the gigantic rock formations made by once molten lava.

Fire Mountains up to the horizon

Images: A unique volcanic mountains panorama can be enjoyed from the bus tours. In some craters you can even look into it. On one hand there are open and broken summit of mountains - the craters - and on the other hand the lava had built a rough and unapproachable rocky cost during streaming over the years into the Atlantic. Driving by car along the coast between the Salinas Janubio and El Golfo you can visit these locations - for example at the sightseeing place "Los Hervideros" (please follow the links).

Timanfaya Volcanic Crater

Timanfaya Tourist Attractionlt is as if the boiling hot lava were just hissing into the sea and, extinguishing its fire, turning back into cold black rocks. Here you may feel how insignificant man is, compared to the power of nature. Indeed, when passing by you may have the feeling that the volcano could erupt again at any moment.

Back in the bus park you may still get a glimpse of the crater depths, and see how a small dry bush, thrust into a hole, will immediately catch fire, also as tourist attraction they show how a bucket of water, tipped into another hole, will send up a great plume of steam into the air (see image right).

Six metres down under the surface the temperature is already several hundred degrees centigrade.

You may feel that with your own hands if you touch the volcano rocks or the stones (picón) behind the restaurant or near the fire place. It is amazing - here on the hill top is one of the "hotest" places of Lanzarote! And: the volcanic mountains oif the Timanfaya Park are still alive.

Restaurant "El Diabolo"

In the restaurant "El Diablo" even "Pollos" (chicken) and "Conejos" (rabbits) are prepared on the grill, which is powered only by the heat from the volcano throat below. The grill is above a hole in the ground from which the still always very hot flows of volcanic heat are frying the tasty grilled foods.

Lava Grill in the Restaurant El Diabolo
Image: On the top of a hole in the ground only with natural volcanic heat coming up from the earth a cook is preparing chickens and rabbits on the BBQ in the Restaurant "El Diabolo". Perfect heat from the volcano below!

Because of the lack of rain on the southern side of the island, very little vegetation has been able to grow, and so, this area is nearly the same as it has been for many years, looking as though the glowing cinders had only just cooled down.

In the winter time if it does rain a bit more can be seen how quickly a green "film" begins to cover the rocky hillsides and you may appreciate the great strength which lies in nature, despite the dryness and almost constant sunshine.

Details of the Lava

The island of Lanzarote started to become greener and greener and for some weeks it looks very strange for those who know Lanzrote from their summer hoiidays. Straight away lichens begin to grow, grass appears and even white, yellow, blue and red flowers spring out of the brown and black rocky ground....

Plants growing in the Winter Time on the Lava

Editorial team Lanzarote-virtual.com
Text/Fotos © LanzaRed S.L.

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GoogleMap Parque Nacional de Timanfaya


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