HOW TO VISIT TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK? IS BOOKING REQUIRED TO VISIT TIMANFAYA? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO VISIT TIMANFAYA IN LANZAROTE?
Lanzarote is full of amazing things to do. But one of them is particularly impressive and unique: Timanfaya National Park. The park is also called Las Montañas del Fuego, the mountains of fire.
These lunar landscapes, somewhat surreal, are those that we see everywhere when we prospect for a trip to Lanzarote (postcards, flyers, documentaries, youtube videos…). T
he beauty of the landscape is striking and the volcanic area stretches for miles, reflecting a wide spectrum of colors depending on the time of day or the weather.
In this post we explain all you need to know to prepare your trip to Timanfaya National Park, one of the must-sees in Lanzarote.
Here is a glimpse of what to expect during a visit at Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote:
By the way we have a full post about Lanzarote here if you want to know the 25 best things to do on the island.
Impressive facts about Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a unique island in the Canaries as 3/4 is covered with lava. It has no less than 300 craters belonging to 100 volcanoes. Timanfaya National Park is one of the main area to see those volcanic activities.
The major eruptions started in 1730 and lasted 6 years (last eruption on the island in 1824)! It is one of the areas in the world that has experienced the largest and most recent eruptions in the history of volcanism: a must-see for nature and volcano lovers.
The national park is located in the southwest of the island and has an area of 51 km²! Timanfaya National Park is one of the main parts of the Lanzarote Biosphere Reserve created by Unesco in 1993.
Volcanic activity continues today – you can experience the heat of the ground next to El Diable Restaurant: the steam geyser and the fire pit. (We will explain you more about it later in this post).
What to do and see in Timanfaya National Park?
1. TIMANFAYA VISITORS CENTER
Before of after setting out to explore the Fire Mountains, we advise you to stop at the Timanfaya visitors center. This center built in the middle of a lava field is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (and the entrance is free!!).
You will be able to discover how the Canary Islands appeared and learn more about volcanism. Every hour an earthquake simulation with eruption is scheduled inside.
There is also a nice footbridge behind the building providing access to the lava field and a first look at Timanfaya National Park.
2. MONTANAS DEL FUEGO
Montañas del Fuego (mountains of fire) is the main attraction at Timanfaya National Park. It is there that you can still experience volcanic activity. Access to this exceptional site is regulated and limited in order to preserve it.
The park is totally forbidden to access on foot or by car. The only way to visit it is by entering a regulated and paying access (12 € per person) and drive all the way to El Diablo restaurant (here).
Once you park your car, head towards the bus tour. You may need to wait for 15 minutes as they wait until the bus is full to travel inside Timanfaya National Park. The bus tour is free, you only need to pay for the first entrance when entering the car park. The tour lasts for about 45 minutes. Make sure to take window seat inside the bus to take picture.
Unfortunately you are not allowed to get off the bus to take photo. All photos are taken from the bus (which is not ideal…). The bus takes you back at the main area after the tour is done.
Our advice: as this is the main attraction of Lanzarote, it can get very crowded. The parking space is very limited, there is a long queue of cars waiting to park. We went there at 10am and it wasn’t that bad, but on our way down at around noon, the queue was huge. So better be early.
Also, the day before we tried to go there in the afternoon at around 3pm, but they told us it was full for the day. So we couldn’t go in the afternoon. Conclusion: go as early as you can in the morning!
3. STEAM GEYSER AT TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK
At the end of your bus tour, don’t miss the few demonstrations right in front of El Diablo Restaurants. In the first one you can see an enormous geyser.
One of the ranger from Timanfaya National Park pours some water in a hole in the ground. 2 or 3 seconds later, under the effect of the intense heat, the water comes out in a powerful and loud geyser. Very impressive!
5. THE FIRE EXPERIENCE IN THE GROUND
First, with the help of a shovel, an employee stirs up the earth and picks up a few pebbles which he passes to tourists. The pebbles are so hot that it’s almost impossible to keep them in your hand. It is then that you realise how hot is the ground.
Second, in a hole in the ground a ranger from the park, put some dry grass inside, which instantly ignite in fire!
6. EL DIABLO RESTAURANT
Before leaving, visit El Diablo Restaurant. This restaurant has the particularity of serving chicken and potatoes cooked thanks to “the heat of the volcano”. Yes, just a few centimeters from the ground the temperature reaches 150°C!
If you are there around noon, it would be a good idea to have your lunch at El Diablo. It’s a unique experience. This place has been designed by the renowned Cesar Manrique (we explain more about his work in this post).
7. GO FOR A CAMEL RIDE
For your next experience, you will need to drive a few minutes away from El Diablo more south. On the main road you will see hundreds of Camel waiting. You can’t miss it.
From there you can ride a camel for about 20min and experience the moonscape. It costs 12€ per person. If you’ve never been on a Camel before then we recommend to experience it at least once in your life. It’s super fun, although very scary when they stand up.
If you do not want to ride a Camel, you can still stop there and take some photos. It’s also a nice part of the park.
8. HIKE AROUND TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK
Although it is not possible to hike directly inside Timanfaya National Park there are 2 interesting hikes around the park to see some great volcanoes.
Near La Geria a short walk brings you to one of the oldest craters. The starting point is the LZ-56, “Ruta Nacional de las Volcanos” between Nigeria and La Mancha Blanca. At the sign “Municipio de Tias” (after 1 km coming from La Geria), leave the car and follow the path to the nearest volcano (on the left side of the road, coming from La Geria).
Arrived at the volcano, you go to the right and after 200 meters you can continue to the crater of the El Cuelvo volcano. You can also walk around the volcano. This hike is only 1.5 kilometers long and almost completely flat.
A second walk can be done in the neighborhood of La Mancha Blanca. You leave the car in the village and take the LZ-67 towards Timanfaya. After a hundred meters, where the path turns a little to the left, there are two secondary roads. The older one returns to the village; the other, the unpaved path, goes straight to the Caldera de Montana Blanca, one of the oldest craters
Finally you can also chose a guided hike, a very famous one is the Tremesana Route from Yaiza. However, you need to book in advance here.
Things to know for your visit to Timanfaya National Park
- Estimated duration: 2 hours (excluding lunch at El Diablo)
- Price: 12 euros for Adults, 6 euros for Children 7-12 years old (accessible with the Lanzarote Pass: 6 sites for 30 euros)
- Hours: Daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. Last visit Route des Volcans: 5:00 p.m.
- Restaurant El Diablo: 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
What we liked:
- Informative commentary
- A unique landscape: lava flows, stretches of ash, open craters, crevasses…
- A pretty road winding through the lava
- Demonstrations at the end of the visit
What we liked less:
- The tour only allows to see only a small part of the Mountains of Fire
- Difficult to take pictures because of the windows of the bus
- Unable to walk inside the park
Join a group tour to visit Timanfaya
If you didn’t rent a car in Lanzarote, no worries, you can join many different tour groups for a day trip to Timanfaya National Park which is usually combined with other things to see in the island.
Booking a tour for Timanfaya is actually not a bad idea as you will skip the queue at the entrance. The tour bus can enter directly inside the park and drive around the Montañas del Fuego right away (also no waiting time).
We recommend to book your tour online here.
Where to stay near Timanfaya National Park?
As always in Lanzarote, we highly recommend staying at Playa Blanca. It’s our favorite place to stay on the island and near the National Park as well as many other activites in Lanzarote. To find out more about what to do in Playa Blanca, you can also check out our full post here. If you want to select other areas to stay in Lanzarote. we wrote a full post here with the best places to stay on the island.
Here is a selection of the best hotels in Playa Blanca:
Hotel The Volcan Lanzarote
If your budget allows, then we highly recommend Hotel The Volcan in Playa Blanca. This hotel is located right by Marina Rubicon with many restaurants and bars around. The beach is just a few minutes walk. This hotel has a very large swimming pool and offer excellent breakfast. You can check it out here.
This hotel has a breathtaking view, directly facing the ocean. Iberostar has 3 large swimming pool, including 1 dedicated for kids only. The beach is located just a few minutes walk from the hotel. In front of the hotel, you have the famous Playa Blanca promenade with restaurants and bars along the way. We absolutely love this place. You can book here.
Ona Las Casita
If you are a little bit more on a budget, then we recommend Ona Las Casita. This lovely bungalow is perfectly located near the beach and the main promenade at Playa Blanca.
The bungalow has a kitchen, so you can cook at home to save a bit of money. The place was super clean when we stayed there and we ate pretty much every day on the outdoor terrace. We love this place which has the perfect value for money. Book it here.
Conclusion about Timanfaya National Park
When planning our trip to Lanzarote, everyone was mentioning about TImanfaya National Park and that it was THE unmissable thing to do in Lanzarote.
Indeed, it did not disappoint and they were all right. It does feel that we are on another planet, somewhere in Mars or on the Moon. It is very unique and a great visit overall. We especially liked the demonstration with the geyser at the end.
If you have any question about Timanfaya National Park, feel free to ask in the comment box below.
For more information on Lanzarote, you can check out this post here.
All our posts about the Canary Islands can be found here.
LANZAROTE, the 25 best things to see: here
PLAYA BLANCA, our favorite area to stay in Lanzarote: here
TOP 10 BEACHES in Lanzarote: here
PAPAGAYO, the most beautiful beach in Lanzarote: here
TEGUISE, the most charming town in Lanzarote: here
CÉSAR MANRIQUE: his heritage in the Canary Islands: here
FAMARA, a charming village and surf paradise: here
BEST AREAS to stay in Lanzarote: here
BEST TIME of the year to visit Lanzarote: here
10 REASONS why you should visit Lanzarote: here