Every year millions of people flock to Lanzarote to enjoy the year-long sunshine, warm seas, and lovely beaches. But beyond the resort towns and tourist developments lies a unique island that offers one of the finest examples of a volcanic landscape anywhere on earth.
We’ve teamed up with Thompson Airways for this guest article to talk about craters pockmarked across the land, and volcanic plains stretching across parts of the island, the otherworldly geology is a monument to Lanzarote’s recent geological past. The island differs from its Canary Island counterparts as it is still geologically active and has seen major eruptions as recently as the 1730s. So even if you are just looking for a week in the sun, take a break from catching rays to take in some of Lanzarote’s natural wonders.
Image by Fraser Mummery, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)
Timanfaya National Park
The major natural park on the island, Timanfaya National Park is a must-visit on any trip to Lanzarote. Covering a quarter of the island, there is plenty to discover. Visitors also have the option to travel the park via camel ride, which offers a unique holiday experience. Still volcanically active, the park contains active geysers, and even geothermal-heated cooking at the main restaurant.
Image by alfaltendorf, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY SA 2.0)
Mirador del Rio
The best view on the island, Mirador del Rio was designed by local hero Cesar Marique. A former naval battery, the site contains a café bar and viewing platform offering stunning views across the Atlantic and towards the nearby Chinijo Archipelago. It is easily reachable by car, and is one of the finest tourist attraction on the island.
Parque Natural de Los Volcanes
Home to many of the island’s finest craters, a trip to the Parque Natural de Los Volcanes as close to a visit to the moon as you’ll experience on holiday. Created by recent eruptions, it contains well preserved lava formations. While plant life is scarce, seabirds and lizards have adapted well to the landscape and can be seen all over.
Chinijo Archipelago National Park
The small Chinijo Archipelago is found to the north of Lanzarote and includes five islands of varying sizes. The largest island La Graciosa is also the only inhabited one, and is also a protected wildlife preserve. Much less developed than its larger neighbour, the island provides a tranquil slice of Canarian life and makes a beguiling contrast ideal for a day trip.