Six years of volcanic eruptions between 1730-36 are responsible for the formation of the Timanfaya National Park (also known as Fire Mountain). Fertile land was buried beneath a thick layer of lava, rock, ash, basalt and all the other things spewed out by volcanoes, meaning the majority of Lanzarote’s population emigrated to nearby islands where land was arable. Some locals, however, stayed and dug down to the fertile soil where they planted vines. La Garia vineyards are a popular tourist stop, probably because of wine tasting they offer!
Timanfaya is very protected, tourists are limited to coach trips and car tours and are not permitted to stray from the roads. Despite this, the coach routes are designed to give the best possible views- the downside to the coach trip is the dodgy background music and the pre-recorded information tape (although this is informative and sometimes interesting).
Along the tour, there is the opportunity to ride a camel; this is not included in the price but is only an extra €6 per person. Camel riding is an unforgettable, entertaining experience (particularly when the camel in front wees and the wind sprays it into the poor, unsuspecting people behind!) and is totally worth it.
Timanfaya is probably the only place in the world where you can tuck into a meal cooked entirely by volcanic heat. El Diablo restaurant uses holes dug into the volcano to harness natural heat to cook your dinner- a completely unmissable experience, once in a lifetime! As well as a meal, El Diablo offers stunning, 360 views of the national park- a great photo opportunity for tourists.
At the Islote de Hilario, the restaurant is coupled with the chance to watch a man/ woman pour water into a hole to create a steam geyser and put dry bush/ grass down a hole to create fire, much more impressive than it sounds!
For anyone planning a trip to Lanzarote, a visit to Timanfaya should definitely be on your to-do list!