Touring Fire Mountain: Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
Visiting Timanfaya National Park and the Fire MountainsWe visited Timanfaya National Park, a most unusual place. The "Martian" landscape was created in 1730s when more than 100 volcanoes, covering more than 50km erupted. The area remains the same today as after the eruptions with the exception of some rare plants now growing there.
Our New Book
At the visitors center we learned the name Fire Mountain is used because the temperatures just a few feet below the surface reach between 400 and 600 degrees. The staff gives us demonstrations of the heat. Water poured into a borehole erupts seconds later in the form of steam-like a mini geyser. Dry brush, thrown into a hole-in-the-ground, catches fire immediately. We all stood in awe of these extraordinary actions. The staff repeated them many times.
Canarian food is served in the El Diablo restaurant in the visitors center. The food is cooked using the natural geothermal heat -- a cast-iron grill is placed over a large hole in the ground. We were allowed to walk around the grill and see the food cooking.
The Best Part of a Great Tour: Camel ride
Even though we are strapped in, we are nervous -- after all, they are a large awkward animal. Our camel guide looks at us and says OMG laughing. Now we are more nervous. Up we go laughing all the way, along with the others riding in the caravan with us. I turn around thinking the camel behind is trying to bite me, again our guide is smiling and laughing as it was he nudging me. The slow uneven gait of the camel is fun, we are still in the volcanic park and the wasteland looks like the Sahara desert. Fun as it was the 30 minutes was long enough. I did not see anything but happy smiling faces getting off their camels. This camel ride is a true tourist experience everyone young and old can enjoy.
La Genia WineryOn our return, we stopped at La Genia winery for a tasting. The North wind is quite strong in this area and I found the clever way they protected the young plantings with rocks quite handsome. This land borders on the Volcanic Park and by digging a small hole through the ash and planning the vines this land has produced some of the best of Malvasia Wines.
If you are planning a visit to Accerife, there is an impressive festival held mid to late July -- Nuestra Senora del Carmen -- "Our Lady of the Sea" Patron saint of the fishermen. The local fishing boats are decorated with flowers for the procession and prayers and blessings are offered for the catch.
If You Go
Tours are Offered From Cruise Lines or Do It YourselfWe took our tour from HAL (Holland America Line) cruise line, but all of the many cruise lines that port in Arrecife have similar tours. Alternatively, you may book your own on land or you may rent a car and drive out yourself. There is a fee for the National Park and a fee for the camel ride. I recommend taking a tour, you will see and learn more.
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Bobbie Green grew up in southern California. She is a member of the North American Travel Journalist Association. She is a freelance writer and has been published in various Senior Wire Publications, The Desert Valley Times, Nevada Magazine, Mesquite Local.com, Travel World International, and Leisuretravelreports.com. Besides enjoying her love of travel by doing it as often as she can, she enjoys photography and attends numerous travel trade functions. Presently she is enjoying desert living in Mesquite Nevada.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author