Exploring Lanzarote’s Nature — Volcanoes, Blowholes and Hidden Coves

Posted on March 18, 2015 by

We are walking in the mar de lava – sea of lava – where massive blankets of solidified lava lie at the foots of Montaña Blanca, Lanzarote. Since seeing hot molten lava flowing off Guatemala’s most active volcano, Volcan Pacaya, I’ve become somewhat of a volcano buff. Sadly, there’s no sign of red burning lava flowing here, the volcano has after all been dormant for the past three hundred years.

But there’s more to Lanzarote than bubbling lava. The volcanic activities have also created some of the island’s most interesting nature spots in the form of  outlandish formations, oddly-colored lagoons and savagely wild beaches. Here’s a look at some of my favorite natural attractions on the Spanish island of Lanzarote.

Timanfaya National Park

There’s nothing more thrilling for a volcano buff than seeing the remnants from an earth-shaking eruption: still covering the entire Timanfaya National Park with black, tar-like, earth bowels. Driving through the volcanic area, you’ll find yourself in the midst of ashes that stack up as tall as a tour bus, and grazing the top of a volcano crater.

In the 1700s, the ferocious volcano had exploded into life, spewing deadly lava, killing many and nearly destroying life on Lanzarote. Today, it is one of the most visited spots in Lanzarote, and rightfully so, with a rich geographical value that comes with it. The Restaurant El Diablo, once again designed by Cesar Manrique, sits at the park’s visitor center.

Timanfaya National Park

El Golfo

The volcanic black sand sprawling across a backdrop of edgy rocky cliffs is the setting for several futuristic films such as Enemy Mine and One Million YearS B.C..Here, you’ll also find El Charco de los Clicos, a lime-green lagoon creates a stark contrast to the sea and surroundings. The lagoon gets its greenish color from the algae that grows within the lake.

El Golfo

Los Hervidores

Along the coast from El Golfo, the enchanting cliffs of Los Hervidores are a collection of naturally formed caves and inlets, a result of the tumultous waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Gazing down at the blowholes in the volcanic rocks, you can spot the island’s semi-precious mineral Olivine in abundance.

Los Hervidores

Cuevas de los Verdes

This extensive underground volcanic tunnel, running over six kilometers long, is a result of the eruptive activity of nearby La Corona Volcano. The unique extra-terrestial-like interior of the tunnel awes visitors with sky-high ceilings and lava channels. Potholes are filled with waters so calm you can see the tunnel’s roof reflected immaculately on its surface.

Cuevas de los Verdes

Playa Papagayo

This assemblage of coves and virgin beaches can only be reached via a dirt road or hike – which perhaps is the reason why it’s kept in pristine conditions. The crystal clear waters and variety of hiking opportunities on the cliff’s edge makes the stretch of naturally formed beaches some of the best on the island.

Playa Papagayo


Getting there

It takes only four to five hours from the UK to reach the warm shores of the island and flights to Lanzarote  are frequent and cheap from most British airports. Budget airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Monarch fly from various cities in the UK including London, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Where to Stay

There’s a great range of accommodation options on Lanzarote that caters to different types of travelers. I highly recommend basing yourself at Costa Teguise, a quiet and less touristy part of the island. A new hotel in Lanzarote worth checking out is the Barceló Teguise Beach, an adults only hotel suitable for those seeking privacy.

Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahía REal

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

8 Responses to “Exploring Lanzarote’s Nature — Volcanoes, Blowholes and Hidden Coves”

  1. Ariel May 31, 2010 7:58 am #

    The volcanic black sand against the green of the lagoon is magnificent. This would be an absolute wonder in real I am envious and would welcome visiting here if and when I can organize such an adventure.

  2. Lucy June 22, 2010 2:38 am #

    I must admit I have not seen so many glorious photographs of volcanic travel spots. I must convince my manager that this is the place for us to next do a review. Just beautiful, yet haunting.

  3. Lucy June 23, 2010 10:11 am #

    Timanfaya National Park that Volcano is just amazing. The colors in these photographs are brilliant. The second photograph in this series is particularly beautiful and haunting.

    • admin June 29, 2010 7:47 pm #

      Thanks Lucy for such kind comments, Lanzarote really stands out for its natural beauty, especially the Timanfaya National Park.

  4. Daffyd June 11, 2011 11:38 pm #

    Great post Nellie. Lanzarote is a definitely a beautiful place and you've done it proud with this post and some great photos!

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