Lanzarote is widely known for the variety of its unique landscapes: Salinas de Janubio, Los Hervideros, Charco Verde, Los Jameos, Chinijo Islands, La Geria...however, the most iconic one is Timanfaya National Park, which is Biosphere Reserve of Unesco.

Its more than 5000 hectares seem something out of a science fiction movie. Most of the people that come to visit compare it to a lunar landscape and the feeling of having a walk in the moon or even Mars, because of its red colours. The Fire Mountains, "Montañas del Fuego", as they are called, emerge from lava fossils and every detail seems to be petrified.

 

 

Despite the impression of being a dessertic and inhospitable area, it has a great biological wealth, altohugh many of them can't be seen at first glance. This is one of the reasons why the paths are delimited in certain areas. 

Timanfaya is situated in the center-west of the island, and to access the Park you need to get a ticker in the entrance in Taro. The park is open every day from 9 am but it is advised to arrive early to avoid traffic jams and crowds. Any time of the year is perfect to visit the place, as the mild weather of Lanzarote allows you to explore the place without worries. The visit lasts around an hour.

You don't need to be a geological expert to appreciate the beauty and singularity of Timanfaya. An audio guide describes you the landscape as you get along the path to help you distinguish the different types of lava, most surprising geothermal forms or most iconic craters. 

The route is made by bus (called "guaguas" in the Canary Islands) in the park. In Islote de Hilario, principal area of the Park, you will leave your car and start the 14km route. 

One of the attractives of the visit is to experience the power of nature, as Timanfaya still has volcanic activity. In Islote de Hilario, a few meters away from the surface, the temperature reaches 400 C. To demonstrate it, the guides throw water down a tube in the earth and you will see how it instantly comes up volatized as a geiser or how some branches burn in a hole in the ground.

 

 

César Manrique has also made his mark in Timanfaya. The only restaurant in the Park is El Diablo, very close to the place where the geothermal demonstrations are made. The views of the restaurant are simply breathtaking, with a circular dining room, but the most impressing thing is the natural oven that they have. This oven is heated by the fire of the volcano with a hole in the ground and cooks the food that you order.

If you are staying in one of Villalia's vacation villas, you need to make a visit and have a camel ride, an animal which had a great importance in the history of the island, as it was used for agriculture in Timanfaya on Echadero de Camellos. 

Another experience which is worth the try is to watch the sunset from Montaña Rajada (advised to book it previously). From its 350 meters high, you can see the 25 volcanic craters that conform the Timanfaya National Park.

 

 

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