A guide to Lanzarote’s natural wonders

By on February 18, 2015

If you love discovering weird and wonderful landscapes while you’re on holiday, I think Lanzarote is certainly the place to do it. The most volcanic-looking of the Canary Islands, it has terrain that is almost lunar in appearance and an abundance of exciting wildlife. Plus, the whole island has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; I don’t know about you, but I reckon that’s pretty impressive! So, just what are the island’s top natural wonders? Read my quick guide to find out.

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park

This simply has to be first on the list, since it’s arguably the most famous park in Lanzarote – and it’s one of the best places to see the island’sunusual ‘lunar’ landscape up close. Before you visit, it’s worth remembering you can only explore the coastal area of the park, unless you prearrange a trip to the central areas through the various local visitor centres. In terms of what you can expect to see, there’s a lot to look forward to. Personally, I like the sound of the sea of lava, which stretches up to the coastline (the nature viewpoint at Montana Rajada is one of the best spots to view it), as well as the dramatic cliffs, cones and black sand beaches.

Parque Natural de Los Volcanes

Parque Natural de Los Volcanes

Another amazing place for discovering the best volcanic scenery, Parque Natural de Los Volcanes is often simply referred to as ‘volcano country’ – a nickname that should give you some idea of just how exciting it is. What captures my imagination about this place is that it was formed by recent volcanic activity (well, I say recent, but in fact these were eruptions that took place back in the 18th and 19th centuries. That’s fairly recent in volcanic terms!). The terrain here is truly weird and wonderful. Solidified lava has created a host of unusual, twisted formations that will probably be wholly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Tunnels and lava pools were also formed during these eruptions, and are just some of the things you can expect to see here.

Chinijo Archipelago National Park

Chinijo Archipelago National Park

Next up, we have Chinijo Archipelago National Park, which you’ll find in the Teguise and Hani parts of the island. Covering a whopping 47,112 hectares, this reserve is particularly well-known for its birdlife, being home to a variety of protected and endangered species. Just some of the creatures you can see are storm petrels, Barbary falcons and ospreys, with the park being one of the most important areas of the Canaries for these species. If you do visit here, it’s worth combining your trip with a stop-off at Teguise, since this is one of the island’s most exciting cultural centres.

El Papagayo Beach

El Papagayo Beach

Of course, not all the natural attractions of Lanzarote come in the form of parks and reserves. As you’d expect, there are also loads of great beaches here, from tranquil hidden coves to lively tourist hotspots. This variety is one of the things that really appeals to me about the beaches here, and there is also a wide selection in terms of things like the type of sand (e.g. white or black volcanic) and the surrounding landscape too. El Papagayo Beach in Yaiza is often said to be the most beautiful on the island, so it’s well worth coming here. It sits in a small islet created by two cliffs, and its calm waters are ideal for snorkelling.

You can find luxurious hotels in Lanzarote through companies like Sovereign. If you’ve got any recommendations of where to stay, leave a comment to help advise fellow travellers!

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