Spanning 20 square miles (51 square km) of southern Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park (Parque Nacional de Timanfaya) is a unique and eerie landscape of dormant volcanoes and lava fields. Visitors flock to the park from nearby beach towns to explore the otherworldly terrain that looks more like the moon than the Canary Islands.
Visitors pay a small fee to enter the park, and it includes a guided coach tour — but lines can get long during busy season. Avoid the wait and get round-trip transport from elsewhere in Lanzarote by booking a half-day or full-day tour in advance. Many of these tours take you through the park on a coach bus and make stops so you can walk or hike the volcanic landscape. Others include options to ride a 4x4 or camel through the lava fields. To see what kinds of flavors the volcanic earth can produce, pick a tour that celebrates the area as a wine region and includes wine tastings too.
Things to Know Before You Go
- While much of your tour may be by coach, dress comfortably for the outdoors, as the terrain is somewhat rugged.
- The El Diablo Restaurant is located at the top of the Islote de Hilario, the tallest of the Fire Mountains (Montañas de Fuego). It's a great place to grab a bite to eat with a panoramic view of the park.
- Public restrooms are available at Timanfaya.
How to Get There
Timanfaya is accessible by car, but visitors can't explore the park independently. Be prepared to join a tour even if you drive there yourself. There are a variety of guided tours with transport from popular resort areas on Lanzarote, such as Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca, or even from the neighboring island of Fuerteventura via ferry from Corralejo.
When to Get There
The park is open year-round, and the weather is almost always pleasant — ranging from 63°F (17°C) to 77°F (25°C). Summer is the busiest season, followed closely by winter when travelers from mainland Europe escape cold temperatures to vacation on the islands. If visiting during these peak seasons, head to the park early or late in the day to avoid the biggest crowds. The view at sunset is particularly special.
Geothermal Experiments You Can See in Action
Although the volcanoes lie dormant, the area remains a strong source of geothermal energy thanks to a boiling chamber of magma 2.5 miles (4 km) below the surface. This means there are certain areas in the park where you can toss a bundle of branches into a pit and see it burst into flames or pour water on the ground and watch it turn to steam.