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5 Family Volcano Adventures on Lanzarote

by Barbara Rogers

May 24, 2022

© Stefano Zaccaria | Dreamstime.com


The island of Lanzarote, in Spain’s Canary Islands, endured a series of devastating volcanic eruptions in the mid-1700s. More than half the island was covered in several feet of molten lava and ash before hardening into impenetrable stone. Vast areas of this stone still cover Lanzarote in an otherworldly landscape of solidified lava. But all Lanzarote’s volcanoes are not dead, and the most active of them is a good place to begin your family travel on Lanzarote.


Ride Through a Bizarre Lava Landscape

The best way to see the most spectacular of the solidified lava flows is on a narrated bus ride over the Route of the Volcanoes. The narration explains how the lava flowed and cooled into such twisted and swirling forms to look as though a giant had stirred it with a huge spoon. Find out why these cooled into the colorful shades of red, orange, yellow and black. The bus also stops for better views of some of the most interesting formations and lava tubes.


Eat Lunch Cooked Over a Volcano  

At Islote de Hilario, on the top of a volcano cone in Timanfaya National Park, witness demonstrations of the heat just below the surface. Water poured into a tube shoots back out of the ground in a violent burst of steam. A pile of brush tossed into a shallow hole bursts into flames. Outside El Diablo restaurant, also located on Islote de Hilario, an open grill roasts chicken, pork and steaks over the volcano. Watch the meat grill, then order it for lunch inside the panoramic restaurant.


Explore Underground Lava Tubes

When a tremendous amount of molten lava flows down to the sea, the air cools the surface long before the deeper lava solidifies. The subterranean lava continues to flow out into the sea, leaving an empty tube. Smaller tubes close to the surface finally collapse, but deeper ones form long caves called jameos. One of the world’s longest is Cueva de los Verdes, a tube you can explore on a guided tour. Lights and walkways have been added for safety as you follow low passageways and emerge into 40-foot-high chambers with brightly colored lava walls.


Hike into a Volcano Crater

The Los Volcanes Natural Park features more volcanic landscapes, but with walking trails for visitors to examine the formations up close. Walk the trails on your own; be sure to bring plenty of water and protection from the sun. The highlight of the free tour, especially for kids, is the chance to go inside a huge volcanic crater and learn how it was formed. The tour also shares details about the plant and animal life beginning to reclaim these baren lava fields.


Ride a Camel

Okay, this isn’t directly related to the volcanoes. But the camel treks do take place on the lower slopes of Timanfaya, and once the kids see the camels with saddles, they will want to ride one.


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