Visiting Lanzarote without taking a tour of its inspiring volcanic landscape would be a bit like visiting the Sahara without seeing sand. The volcanic cones and crater that lend the island an other-worldly aspect are part of the island’s character and the reason why, every now and again, you’ll come across an angry looking little devil brandishing his three pronged fork.
There are plenty of coach tours to transport visitors from their resorts in Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca to the heart of Lanzarote’s lava land. And most people know about the trips into Timanfaya National Park where natural magic is performed when dry tinder is placed in holes to apparently self combust and where the hot earth sends geysers of water shooting into the air. However, some of the most spectacular craters and astounding views lie away from the well trodden tourist track. A bit of effort is required to be rewarded with some Lanzarote experiences that deliver awe inspiring vistas that most visitors to the island never get to enjoy.
One of these is the La Caldera Blanca and El Cuervo walking route organised by Lanzarote Active Club who work closely with Sands Beach Resort. The route covers between 8 and 10 kilometres of volcanic terrain (not all in the one location) and takes in three very different volcanoes two of which are guaranteed to bring on those essential ‘WOW’ moments even for anyone familiar with volcanic landscapes.
Apart from the ascent of the first volcano, Montaña Blanca, which involves a bit of a thigh testing climb (no problem for anyone who’s reasonably fit and it does mean that it keeps it exclusive), the going is on the flat; or at least as flat as volcanic terrain can be. Trust me, the climb to the lip of Montaña Blanca is more than worth the effort. The rewards are not only epic views across Timanfaya National Park but a unique sight of La Caldera Blanca; a perfectly formed, 1 kilometre in diameter crater whose hidden floor is a favourite grazing spot for goats.
The second of the three volcanoes, Montaña Negra is a cinder cone whose slopes glint with a reddish hue under the Lanzarote sun. Nearby is possibly the most interesting of the trio, El Cuervo. The volcano slopes to ragged and jagged dramatic peaks which contrast with the bizarre formations that resemble whisked chocolate cake mix at a gap in the wall that leads to the heart of the crater. Standing on the floor of El Cuervo is both humbling and slightly unnerving as it can invoke a sense of being transported from a sub-tropical holiday island into a place that feels completely unfamiliar. It’s a sensation that is quite overpowering and an appropriately exciting end to Lanzarote Active Club’s walking route through Lanzarote’s volcanoes.
The route takes half a day and costs €35. Transport and a picnic are included in the price.