Declared a Biosphere Reserve, Lanzarote is an impressive and very unique Canarian island. With countless corners of strange beauty, the National Park of Timanfaya stands out,a place where the intense volcanic activity of the island is perfectly perceived.
The Mountains of Fire
In the eighteenth century a huge catastrophe shook this extraordinary enclave and changed the lives of the locals who until then had mainly engaged in agriculture. Between 1730 and 1736 the volcanic eruptions followed. Lava devastated everything it found in its path, forcing the villagers to take refuge for a while in neighboring Fuerteventura.
«On September 1, 1730, between nine and ten at night, the earth opened in Timanfaya, two leagues from Yaiza ... and a huge mountain rose from the bosom of the earth«
-Lorenzo Curbelo, pastor of Yaiza in 1730-
A century later, in 1824, volcanoes roared again. This is how the image of the island changed completely, since almost a quarter was buried by lava and ash.Timanfaya National Park - SPbPhoto
However, life resurfaced in the area. The Lanzarote people soon realized the extraordinary fertility of some of the land, which they began to devote to the cultivation of the vine. Meanwhile, plant species and some animals with greater adaptability began to colonize these landscapes as well.
Timanfaya National Park: dark beauty
The need to preserve a unique area led the authorities to create the Timanfaya National Park in 1974. In fact, It is an area in which man has practically not intervened.
To contemplate the strange beauty of the park, with its volcanic cones, its lava rivers and its sand and ash extensions you can take a bus tour prepared by the park authorities.Timanfaya National Park - deckard_73
From these buses there is a visit of just over half an hour that allows, however, to admire the strange beauty of the park. They are 14 kilometers that cover the main points of geological interest, among them some of the 600 volcanoes in the Timanfaya National Park.
You can also see how in some areas the grayish tone of the landscape begins to change color due to the settlement of different species of lichens, and that is, although it seems a lie watching the landscape, 180 plant species live in the park.
Varied activities for the whole family
Not only impresses the landscape, also check how just a few meters from the surface temperatures exceed 500º. The show is made personal by the park, which throws water through an opening in the ground. In a matter of seconds that water returns to the surface with force in the form of geyser.Geyser - cristovao
And a few meters away, in the restaurant, you can taste grilled meat taking advantage of that same heat that emerges from the bowels of the Earth. A delicious way to enjoy the volcanic activity that is still recorded in the area.
With a well-filled stomach and forces replenished, You can still do an activity that will delight children: a camel ride. A short trip, but tremendously fun
Walking routes in Timanfaya
There are two paths that can be carried out walking. The first one is the Ruta del Litoral, a nine kilometer path which can be done both free and by the hand of a guide.Timanfaya National Park - Silvia Pascual
It is essential to keep in mind that It is a difficult section because of the complicated thing that it is to walk on the lava. However, those who wish to test their physical form will enjoy amazing cliffs and beaches covered by solidified magma. Of course, it is necessary to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
The second path responds to the name of Tremesana. This is somewhat shorter. and less complicated than the previous one. However, it is equally illustrative for those who are interested in observing the enormous impact that the eruptions had on the island.
Always excite enthusiasm and curiosity to observe how the islanders have taken advantage of even the most complicated conditions to create crop fields between sand and volcanic ashes.