Lanzarote holidays are always action-packed, family-friendly and super fun. But a trip to this Canary Island is never complete without visiting one of its main attractions. We’re talking about the fascinating Timanfaya National Park… Think incredible landscapes, unique volcanic terrain and pure beauty all around. Find out everything you need to know about Lanzarote’s stunning highlight.
A brief background…
Situated on the west side of Lanzarote, the Timanfaya National Park, known locally as Parque Nacional de Timanfaya is HUGE. In fact, it covers a quarter of the island. As if that’s not impressive enough, it’s said that over 100 volcanic eruptions happened during the period of 1730 – 1736. All of which have essentially contributed to the creation of the area. Many visitors have often compared the park to planet Mars due to its red and black lava fields and its complete unique look that can’t be found anywhere else. No wonder the park became part of the Lanzarote Biosphere Reserve in 1993!
How to get to Timanfaya National Park
The park is easily accessed if you book a tour or if you travel by car. If you choose to book an excursion, coaches will be running from all of Lanzarote’s major resorts. If you’re travelling by car, the park can be accessed via LZ-67. Look out for the El Diablo (the devil) sign which is located towards the entrance of the park. It won’t take too long to drive to Timanfaya from Lanzarote’s top resorts. For reference, it’ll take around 18 minutes from Puerto del Carmen, 22 minutes from Playa Blanca or 35 minutes from Costa Teguise.
Timanfaya National Park entrance tickets
If you book your visit as an excursion, the price of your tickets should be included and you will therefore use the bus you travelled on to explore the park. If you travelled to the park via car, you will have to pay an entrance fee and then you’ll be able to explore the park via bus. Guided walking tours happen infrequently and will therefore have to be booked in advance. As the park is a protected area, visitors aren’t allowed to enter the park and explore by themselves. The entrance fee is €12 per adult and €6 per child (aged 7-12). There’s also a 20% discount if you visit after 15:00.
What to wear to Timanfaya National Park
You’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable, more so if you plan to do a walking tour or ride one of the camels. If you visit during the summer months, shorts and a t-shirt should keep you cool, whilst trainers or hiking boots would be ideal. Don’t forget sunshades and a hat to protect you from the heat, as well as sun cream. However, if you’re visiting in the winter (October – April) make sure you’re wearing warm clothing, as it can get quite windy in the park.
How should you explore the park?
By bus: Touring the park by bus means you’ll get to experience the twists and turns of the park for 9 miles, or about 35 minutes in total. The route was created by Cesar Manrique and Jesus Soto and it boasts brown, black and reddish landscapes as well as 32 volcanoes. The bus may sometimes stop in particular places, where you’ll have the chance to take photos, but you won’t be allowed to get off the bus in order to protect the natural surroundings. There’s also a pre-recorded audio you can listen to during the journey which explains even more about the park.
By foot: These are pretty popular, so we recommend booking in advance if you wish to avoid disappointment. As you can’t explore the park by yourself, the walking tour will be guided and led by an experienced park ranger. There are a few different routes, but groups are limited and these walking tours only happen a few times during the week, so book your spot here. You must be 16+ years of age to take part in guided walk tours. Also, make sure you’re dressed appropriately, bring water, ID and proof of your permit (there’s more info on that when you book). Tremesana Route is perfect for beginners, low in difficulty and is completed in 3 hours. However, if you want something more challenging, try the Coastal Route.
By camel: Exploring the park by camel is often a popular attraction. If it’s something you’re interested in, you’ll find them to the south of the El Diablo entrance. You won’t need to book beforehand and there’s plenty of parking in the area.
What does the park have in store for me?
Now, you’re probably wondering what you can do and see in Timanfaya National Park. Well, there’s plenty of interesting things going on at Lanzarote’s main event, don’t miss out!
Check out the Visitor Centre
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Located further north from the El Diablo sign, this is where you can learn all about the park with a range of educational tools and presentations. There are audiovisual exhibitions and loads of information regarding the geology and history of the area. Look at models of the 32 volcanoes within the park and find out more about the eruptions that took place here, as well as the subsequent flora and fauna that have come about since then. There’s also a viewing platform outside where you’ll be surrounded by interesting lava rocks. A nice touch is the sensory room which is available for those with physical, visual or auditory disabilities.
Discover Montañas del Fuego
Opening hours: 9:30 – 16:00
Known as the Mountains of Fire, this is an area of the park where you’ll get to see the amazing landscapes (often compared to the moon!) and volcanic activity. Soak up the alien atmosphere and the otherworldly sights – don’t forget to snap a few pics too! Then, you’ll make your way to Islote de Hilario, where you’ll come across the El Diablo Restaurant designed by none other than Cesar Manrique. There’s a souvenir shop here as well, but get ready for the fun part!
Outside of the restaurant, you’ll get to witness a couple of demonstrations which will prove the extreme heat that lies under the earth’s crust. Don’t blink when water is thrown into a hole in the ground, as it will erupt just like a geyser. After seeing what an amazing area the Timanfaya National Park really is, it’s time for another unique experience. Have lunch at El Diablo Restaurant where meat and vegetables are actually cooked in an open furnace using geothermal heat, or in other words, heat from the earth which nearly reaches to 300°C.
Guided walking tours
So, you’ve seen the basics about walking tours in Timanfaya National Park (up above in the ‘How should I explore the park? section). If you’ve decided to book yourself in for a walking tour, there are a couple of routes to choose from:
This walk focuses on getting up close and personal with a volcano, whilst also learning about how the locals had to adapt after the eruptions that took place between 1730 – 1736.
Maximum group: 8
Duration: 3 hours
This walk only happens once per month (so book quickly!), but you’ll be able to see the only coastal path in Timanfaya National Park. This walk highlights how a new coastline was able to form after the eruptions took place, as the lava came into contact with the seawater.
Maximum group: 10
Duration: 3.5 hours
Lanzarote isn’t a one-trick pony, our guide to Timanfaya National Park sets you on your way to discovering just what this unique island has in store. During your Lanzarote holidays don’t forget to visit its stunning beaches, taste the local cuisine and experience a tour of the volcanic wines too! In fact, see all the amazing things you can do in Lanzarote here.