Timanfaya National Park is one of the top attractions in the Canary Islands thanks to its volcanic landscape of calderas and geothermal activity. Located in the southwestern part of Lanzarote, this protected area spans nearly 20 square miles and has 25 volcanoes, including the famous Montañas de Fuego.
As you walk through the park, you’ll be amazed by its spectacular scenery of black, red, and ochre lava fields, which create an otherworldly sight. As you can imagine, visiting Timanfaya National Park is one of the best things to do in Lanzarote, so I highly recommend it.
A bit of history: the park’s largest eruption took place in 1730, completely transforming the island of Lanzarote. In total, nine towns were buried under molten lava, and residents were forced to evacuate. The eruption also created new volcanoes and brought lava to the sea’s surface. The most recent eruption was in 1824, and a year later, Timanfaya was declared a National Park.
If you want to see this incredible landmark, keep reading to learn how to visit Timanfaya National Park, what to see, and other tips.
Things to do in Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya is one of the most important national parks in Spain, so you won’t run out of things to do here. Below are my top recommendations that you can’t miss.
1. Timanfaya Route of the Volcanoes bus tour
The Route of the Volcanoes is the most popular bus tour in Timanfaya National Park. Travel by bus (or guagua, as the Canarians say) and enjoy striking views of the park’s volcanic landscape. The tour departs from the Islet Hilario Visitor Center every 15 minutes and goes past volcanic craters, lava fields, and mountains covered in volcanic ash.
The route is about nine miles and takes 30 minutes to complete. Along the way, there are about five stops where you can get panoramic views of the Montaña Rajada, the Corazoncillo caldera, and the Nuevo del Fuego volcanic vent. Moreover, this Timanfaya National Park bus tour includes narration about the history of the park and other interesting facts.
Keep in mind that the only way to explore this area is by bus since walking on the volcanic land is not permitted. Not only does this preserve Timanfaya’s incredible landscape, but it’s also a safety measure since the soil is still hot.
After the bus tour, you can check out the geothermal demonstrations, such as watching wood burst into flames after touching stones from the soil and guides cooking outdoors by using the volcanic conditions. Another demonstration involves guides pouring water into some holes in the ground only to have it shoot into the air like a geyser.
2. See Timanfaya’s “El Diablo” statue
The famed statue, El Diablo de Timanfaya, is an undeniable symbol of Lanzarote’s Fire Mountains, and many inhabitants consider it a national symbol.
This statue depicts a little devil figure holding a five-pronged pitchfork and was designed by famed Lanzarote artist César Manrique, who often promoted the environmental value of the Canary Islands through his work.
El Diablo’s origin stems from an old local legend that tells the story of a large wedding that was interrupted by volcanic eruptions. Stones and lava were flying everywhere, and suddenly, the groom realized that his bride had been crushed by the debris. As he rushed to lift the rock with a pitchfork, onlookers lamented that it was too late, saying “poor devil.”
3. See the camels at Timanfaya
A common thing to do at Timanfaya National Park is to take a camel ride. However, we decided not to do this activity since we avoid attractions that exploit animals. Even so, I recognize that this is a popular guided tour in Timanfaya, so if you go to the dromedary station, you can take a 20-minute ride on one of the camels. The camels walk along the side of the mountain and the ride costs €10.
That said, you can enjoy everything that Timanfaya has to offer and fully experience this Lanzarote park without climbing onto a camel.
4. El Diablo restaurant at Timanfaya National Park
Restaurante El Diablo is one of the most unique places to eat, not only in Lanzarote but anywhere. At this restaurant at Timanfaya National Park, you can eat dishes cooked geothermally, and visitors from all over come here to witness these intriguing cooking methods.
The restaurant’s outdoor barbecue pits reach temperatures over 570°F, using heat from the center of the earth. Besides the tasty meals you can order here, there are other facilities and services, including a viewpoint and gift shop.
5. Timanfaya Visitor Center & Interpretation Center
The Timanfaya Visitor Center is a must-see during your trip to this Lanzarote park. Here, you can learn more about the geological and morphological history of Timanfaya’s stunning landscapes.
I suggest taking advantage of the visitor center’s exhibits, which detail the formation of Timanfaya’s volcanoes. There are also several viewpoints where you can get beautiful photos of Timanfaya National Park.
That said, the best part of the Visitor and Interpretation Center is the volcanic eruption simulator, which takes place every hour. The simulation is accompanied by narration from a professional guide, who can also answer your questions.
The Timanfaya Visitor Center and Interpretation Center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
6. Tremesana Route, a guided tour through Timanfaya
The Tremesana Route is a trail of nearly two miles that goes through a restricted area of Timanfaya. If you take this route, you can appreciate a variety of volcanic structures and basaltic reliefs, as well as environmental changes made by the inhabitants of Lanzarote, in an effort to cultivate and preserve the land.
This Lanzarote volcano hike takes about three hours, and at times feels like you’re walking on an alien planet. Be aware that you can’t do the Tremesana Route on your own, so if you want to experience it, be sure to reserve your spot in advance. It’s a free, but it’s one of the more spectacular hikes in Lanzarote, so try to book it at least a month before your trip.
7. The Timanfaya Coastal Route, a walking tour through Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya’s Coastal Route is another hike in Timanfaya National Park, one that you can do on your own or with a guide. We decided to book the guided tour so we could learn more about the landscape. We absolutely loved it, plus it was free!
During the tour, we got to see a wonderful panorama of the Route of the Volcanoes in Timanfaya as well as the rock formations along the coast. The same lava structures along the coast are also found in the park’s soil and in the sea.
If you’d like to do this 1.5-mile hike on your own, you should know that it starts in the town of El Golfo. It’s a slightly more challenging hike than the Tremesana Route and takes about three hours to complete.
Timanfaya National Park entrance fee & hours
The entrance fee to Timanfaya National Park is €12 for adults and €6 for children under 12. You can pay for your tickets in cash at the ticket office or pay online through this website. Your Timanfaya National Park ticket includes the bus tour, parking, and access to the Visitor Center & Interpretation Center.
If you’re traveling around Lanzarote and plan on visiting several attractions on the island, consider buying a tourist pass to save money. There are passes for 3, 4, 5, or 6 attractions, which you can buy at the Cueva de los Verdes, at MIAC – Castillo de San José, the Cactus Garden, the Jameos del Agua, the Mirador del Río, or Timanfaya’s Montañas del Fuego.
There are also different ticket combinations, which you can see here.
Timanfaya’s ticket office is open from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, with the last Route of the Volcanoes bus tour departing at 4 pm.
How to get to Timanfaya National Park
The easiest way to visit Timanfaya National Park is by car, and you can find rental cars and prices here. Getting to the park is simple since there is only one road leading there, the LZ-67. From here, take the exit to the Islet Hilario Visitor Center, which is the main entrance where you can see Lanzarote’s Fire Mountains.
As soon as you take the exit, you’ll see the access point, which is where you can buy your ticket or present your Lanzarote tourist pass.
If you’d rather not drive, you can always book a private transfer, which is super convenient. In addition, excursions to Timanfaya National Park depart from different locations in Lanzarote, so this is another option if you don’t want to drive.
Excursions to Timanfaya National Park
If you prefer to book a tour to Timanfaya National Park, there are different options to choose from. For example, this tour leaves from Costa Teguise, Arrecife, Playa Honda, Puerto del Carmen, Puerto Calero, or Playa Blanca. It’ll take you to the national park so you can do the Route of the Volcanoes through the Fire Mountains, plus you’ll visit the Cueva de los Verdes and the Jameos del Agua.
If you love to hike, I recommend this excursion, which departs from Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca, or Puerto del Carmen. During the tour, which is led by a hiking guide, you’ll see the most impressive landscapes of Timanfaya National Park.
For more tour options, I recommend reading our guide on the best Lanzarote volcano tours through Timanfaya.
Other tips for visiting Timanfaya National Park
Below, I’ll give you some tips based on my experience so you can have the best visit to Timanfaya on your own:
- If you plan on doing the Timanfaya volcano route, try to take the first bus (guagua) so you can get to the trail before the light conditions get too harsh.
- Timanfaya National Park looks even more beautiful on cloudy days, so don’t worry if the sky is overcast.
- Don’t forget to reserve your spot in advance if you want to take one of the guided tours in Timanfaya. These small-group tours are free, so spots fill up quickly.
- Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes for hiking. Otherwise, your guide might not let you do the hike.
- Remember that you can fully enjoy Timanfaya without riding the camels.
- Along with comfy shoes, bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
- The weather in Timanfaya National Park is consistent year-round, so it’s always a good time to visit.
Timanfaya National Park map
Finally, here is a map of Timanfaya National Park that shows all the main attractions I mentioned in this guide. You can download it before your trip and consult it while organizing your itinerary.
That’s it for me! Now you have all the info you need to plan an exciting visit to Timanfaya National Park. Don’t hesitate to leave me any questions or concerns you might have, or to share your experience in this Lanzarote park. Enjoy exploring the volcanoes of Timanfaya!