"Explore Timanfaya's lava fields by coach" Isla de Lanzarote Things to Do Tip by MikeBird

Isla de Lanzarote Things to Do: 336 reviews and 599 photos

  Road through the 'Fire Mountains'
by MikeBird
  • Road through the 'Fire Mountains' - Isla de Lanzarote
      Road through the 'Fire Mountains'
    by MikeBird
  • Solidified lava flow - Isla de Lanzarote
      Solidified lava flow
    by MikeBird
  • Inside a volcanic vent - Isla de Lanzarote
      Inside a volcanic vent
    by MikeBird

If you want to visit one of Lanzarote's premier attractions known as the Timanfaya National Park you would be well advised to do so on an organised coach trip. We saw long queues of private cars all waiting to drive up to the Park headquarters. Once there they would find they are unable to drive around the lava field circuit - that opportunity is reserved only for the experienced coach drivers.

I can see why this regulation has been introduced. The single track road is very narrow and windy with many tight bends that loop up around the volcanic features. I could imagine many car owning visitors would treat it as a race track with severe consequences. It would also lead to litter problems and some visitors would be tempted to get out of their vehicles for a closer look at the lava. I understand there is also a risk that non native species of plant could be introduced into this fragile and harsh environment which could undermine the few local species which are slowly establishing a foothold on the terrain. All of these are very solid reasons for the strict regulation of traffic in the park.

The ride through the 'Fire Mountains' was a real highlight for me. The tour guides commentary was well rehearsed but interesting and imaginative. Our coach had a supplementary CD playing music to heighten the effects as we drove around the circuit. It all added to the experience.

He explained that the most recent eruption lasted for six years from 1730. The local priest had documented the eruption and wrote in detail about how the local villagers escaped but lost their houses under the flows. Fortunately I don't think there was any loss of life linked to the volcanic activity - no devastating explosions with lethal gas clouds.

It was very easy to witness the lava flows with solidified strands of rock, looking like coils of rope. At one point along the fire mountain trail we travelled through a collapsed lava tube where the molten lava had flowed underneath the cooler, solidified roof. Once the lava stopped flowing, leaving behind a hollow tube, the roof collapsed making way for a natural pathway through which our coach journeyed. These lava tubes are apparently a feature on Lanzarote and other longer ones occur in the north of the island.

So if you want to experience new landscapes then take the coach tour - leave your hire car at your hotel and let someone else do the driving for a really interesting and worthwhile trip.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 20, 2010
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“always choosing the forward facing seat”

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