As a tourist destination, Lanzarote is an island full of things to see and do. Spending a few days exploring the attractions of this small island should be in the plans of every first-time visitor to the Canary Islands.
One of the main attractions, not only of Lanzarote but of the whole Canary archipelago is undoubtedly the Timanfaya National Park, due to its volcanic landscape of calderas.
On your visit you will find a protected area of 51.07 km2 and 25 active volcanoes. Visiting this area of Lanzarote is a must to be amazed by the spectacular landscapes of black, red and ocher lava fields.
1. Half day excursion to Timanfaya
Exploring Timanfaya on an organized tour is one of the smartest decisions you can make. The Timanfaya experience is considered by travelers and locals alike to be one of the best tours in Lanzarote.
The most popular option is a half-day excursion to Timanfaya. Organized for small to medium-sized groups, the company takes travelers aboard a mini-bus to tour some of the area's most popular attractions including the Volcanoes Route inside Timanfaya Park.
Some variants of the tour also include a visit to the La Geria Valley, famous not only for its volcanic landscapes, but also for its vineyards and delicious wine.
The best part of this tour is the accompaniment of local guides certified by the Government of the Canary Islands. These guides know all the aspects related to the history and scientific curiosities around Lanzarote, so they are able to provide impressive data and facts.
- Price: Available from 60€ per traveler.
- Schedule: These excursions usually leave in the morning in order to take advantage of the best hours of sunshine
- Duration of the excursion: Depending on the company you hire you will have to book between 5 and 6 hours for this tour.
2. Bicycle tour to Timanfaya
An unusual alternative, and one that not many tourists explore, is the possibility of a bicycle tour to Timanfaya. Rated by tourists and locals alike as the most spectacular bike tour in Lanzarote due to the incredible scenery you will enjoy along the way.
Although some aspects may vary depending on the company you hire, the usual route starts from Puerto del Carmen and includes key points such as La Asomada, Uga, Islote de los Camellos, Mancha BI, Tinguaton, Montaña Blanca and others.
If you like outdoor adventure and sports, this is an experience that you should take into account along with receiving some surf lessons in Lanzarote.
I especially recommend the bike tour for cyclists with a little experience and who have developed a medium resistance, since the route covers a distance of between 43 and 62 kilometers and has slopes ranging between 680 meters and 1110 meters.
Take into consideration that when you arrive in Timanfaya the route inside the natural reserve is done by bus. This time is ideal to rest and replenish energy to continue with the route.
- Price: If the transfer to the starting point is included in the budget, the price to pay is around 50€ per traveler.
- Schedule: This type of adventure usually starts early in the morning to take advantage of the best weather hours.
- Duration of the excursion: Depending on the company you hire, you will need between 3 to 5 hours for this experience.
3. Combined excursion: Timanfaya, Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua.
Those travelers with time to explore and get to know the best of Timanfaya can make the most of this type of adventure. A combined excursion that will take you to some of the most fun and entertaining attractions to do on the island.
You will find several local companies that offer this type of experience, including in the price to be paid the transportation from the hotel zone to each of the points to visit, a specialized guide, entrance fees to the attractions and other facilities.
Please note that the excursions are carried out in small to medium sized groups and usually require a full day of your itinerary.
If you are going to Lanzarote for 5 days or more this type of combined tour can save you a lot of planning and effort by allowing you to visit several attractions in a row.
The Cave of the Greens
An impressive volcanic structure located in the municipality of Haría in the north of Lanzarote.
The rock formation was formed after thousands of years of interaction between water, volcanic lava and rock. In this place impossible landscapes of unparalleled beauty have been created.
The Jameos del Agua
Very close to the Cueva de los Verdes, visiting Los Jameos de Agua in Lanzarote is an experience that you can not fail to include in your itinerary.
By definition, the jameos are holes formed after the collapse of ancient volcanic structures. In this area of Lanzarote you will find 3 of incalculable beauty and geological value. This place is also famous for being the preferred habitat of the Canary Island white crab.
Finally, this excursion includes a visit to Timanfaya Park to enjoy the lava landscapes and mountains on the La Ruta de los Volcanes bus tour and other attractions included.
- Price: This type of adventure costs around 70€ for the adult ticket, while the children's ticket costs around 35€. Please note that the most economical options do not include lunch.
- Schedule: The excursion starts early in the morning between 08 and 09 hours.
- Duration of the excursion: It is a full tour of approximately 9 hours. You should reserve a full day for this experience.
What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting Timanfaya on my own?
Both options are equally interesting and have their positive and negative points. Depending on the specific conditions of your trip you may prefer one alternative over the other.
Visiting Timanfaya on your own
The main advantage you will have when undertaking this adventure on your own is a total independence in terms of schedule and itineraries, although this independence is diminished by the need to plan many more details.
For this reason, I recommend visiting Timanfaya on your own only if you have already visited Lanzarote and if your visit to the island includes an itinerary of several days, for example 7 days in Lanzarote or more.
If you decide for this option, the best thing to do is to rent a car in Lan zarote and start the adventure on your own. You can use the services of local companies in Lanzarote such as Autoreisen S.L. or SIXT.
If you do not want to drive, another alternative is to rent a private transfer, but in this scenario it is more convenient to book one of the many excursions to Timanfaya available.
This option is not only more economical but you will also have the guidance of an expert guide during the whole trip.
- Opening hours: Open to the public from Monday to Sunday from 09:30h in the morning, until 15:45.
- Price: The adult ticket is available from 12€ per participant; while the children's ticket starts at 6€. This is the price for non-residents of the Canary Islands.
- How to buy tickets: You can buy the ticket directly at the ticket office located at the entrance of the park.
Visiting Timanfaya is an excursion
Visiting Timanfaya as an organized excursion is the best alternative available, since it gives you notable advantages such as completely eliminating the need to plan and create an itinerary.
You will not need to worry about transportation or fuel: you just need to be at the agreed place at the time of booking, relax and enjoy the experience.
In addition, most local companies offer direct hotel pick-up. This is a great alternative if you are going to Lanzarote with children for the vacations and you are looking to free yourself from responsibilities to sit back and enjoy with the family.
Is it possible to hike in Timanfaya?
As a way to protect the sparse vegetation of the volcanic landscape, hiking routes in Timanfaya are prohibited. The park can only be visited following the internal route that the caretakers have structured.
Timanfaya is made up of more than 25 volcanoes. The mountainous group of the Timanfaya National Park is undoubtedly the most impressive of the Canary Islands. In it you will find emblematic places such as the Fire Mountains, Montaña Rajada or the Caldera del Corazoncillo.
An interesting alternative is to do some of the hiking trails in Lanzarote near Timanfaya.
One of the favorites is the Tremesana Route, organized in small groups and by advance reservation, is carried out 3 times a week accompanied by a park guide. While you walk through impossible lava landscapes you will learn about the forces of nature that influenced the creation of these spaces.
What I can't miss in Timanfaya National Park.
Those who have time to plan a 100% tailor-made excursion to Timanfaya may need basic guidance on which activities or places to prioritize within the facilities.
Keep in mind that many organized excursions include in their package several of the activities that I highlight here as priorities, thus covering the most important elements of the visit.
The route of the volcanoes.
The basic bus tour that you cannot miss in Timanfaya is known as the Route of the Volcanoes. On this tour you will enjoy breathtaking views of the volcanic landscape of the park, including lava fields and mountains covered with volcanic ash.
A multilingual narration about the history of the park is included, as well as other interesting facts about the science and geology of the place. Getting off the bus during the tour is prohibited in order to preserve the integrity of the area.
The route departs from the Islote Hilario Visitor Center every 15 minutes, covers about 15 kilometers and takes a little over 30 minutes to complete.
The statue of El Diablo
On your tour you can not miss the famous statue of El Diablo, a very characteristic symbol of the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote and, for many inhabitants, a national symbol.
It was designed by the famous local artist Cesar Manrique, who dedicated much of his work to spreading the environmental value of the Canary Islands through his artwork.
See the camels in Timanfaya
Many visitors are unaware that in Timanfaya it is possible to meet and take a camel ride. However, this is one of the most fun and popular guided tours on the island.
To do it you must go to the camel station, where you can join a ride in small groups of about 20 minutes at a price of about 10 € per participant.
You will also be able to take pictures with the camels, which are really gentle creatures and very accustomed to humans.
Lunch at El Diablo Restaurant.
Many of the tours and guided visits to Lanzarote do not include food in the planning. If this is the case, I recommend my traveler friends to make a stop to enjoy one of the most unique places to eat in the area: El Diablo Restaurant.
It is the official restaurant of the park, so you can eat delicious dishes cooked with geothermal energy.
Tourists from all corners of the world stop by to get an up-close look at this method of food preparation that is, to say the least, impressive.