When visualising an exotic beach, It’s pretty much guaranteed that nearly all of us would picture fine, light coloured sand, next to blue waters and tall palm trees; but what if that sand was black? Would you think of that as some part of a scary nightmare? Well on the contrary, black sand beaches are just as beautiful as their lighter counterparts, especially in the Canary Islands.
Lanzarote houses afew of these black sand beaches or ‘volcanic’ beaches as they have come to be known, as they are the after product of the islands volcanic eruptions over the years from the islands 300 plus volcanoes. However don’t let that make you nervous as many are now extinct. But if you would like to visit a live volcano, then you can travel to Timanfaya National Park, which is located in the south-west of the island where you can visit the ‘fire mountain’ which was responsible for destroying everything on the island when in erupted for a total of five years! Now this may sound scary and I guess it is, however it is not expected to do that again anytime soon, and you are able (if you dare) to climb the mountain and take scenic family snaps from the peak and once you ascend this incredible volcano, you will be able to view the strangely beautiful view of the black lava fields that spread out beneath it. If you’re feeling a bit peckish afterwards, then why not enjoy a bite to eat from one of the ‘volcanic bbq’s’ where a selection of food is cooked on a grill over one of the volcanic vents! Now if that’s not fancy dining, I don’t know what is!
Two other awesome volcanic sights are right next to each other, for your convenience of course! Cueva de los Verdes or The Green Caves as they are known, have been around for about 3000-4500 years since they were formed by an intense volcanic eruption. You will be guided down narrow subterranean passageways where you will be greeted with natural optical illusions and eventually cathedral like spaces, where the acoustics are perfect and in one cavern, an underground lake appears to be on the ceiling due to volcanic reflection. This alone is worth the trip, however you can also enjoy exploring Jameos del Agua, which is right next to the Green Caves and go just as deep underground but unfortunately are not interlinked. These impressive lava formations or ‘bubbles’ were formed nearly 3000 years ago by a volcano called Monte de la Corona and in more recent years, the caves have been transformed into an underground bar/restaurant and nightclub, with an impressive dance floor, which is contained in one of the beautiful chambers. It may sound as if the natural wonder has been ruined, but thanks to the incredible visionary artist, Cesar Manrique, the natural wonder has been preserved with a slight touch of man. You can then ascend to a pool area set in a colourful rock garden, also the creation of Manrique.
In all honesty our words to not do justice to the true visual beauty of Lanzarote’s volcanic attractions or Cesar Manrique’s creations, so it is definitely something to see for yourself to truly appreciate.
Make sure you keep an eye out for our follow up articles about Lanzarote’s other attractions, both natural and man-made to discover what Lanzarote could offer you.