Panoramic view of the Timanfaya National Park ( also called The Montanas del Fuego or Mountains of Fire ) in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain; Shutterstock ID 437700634; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Travel 2018

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Parque Nacional de Timanfaya

Top choice in Lanzarote

Lanzarote's most spectacular sight, the eerie 51-sq-km Parque Nacional de Timanfaya sprawls around the Montañas del Fuego (Mountains of Fire) formed by the calamitous six-year eruption that rocked the south of the island from 1730. Almost entirely bereft of life – apart from 200 species of lichen – this bare moonscape is an otherworldly vision in copper, black and grey, with thin soil trickling down volcanic cones to meet fields of frozen-in-time lava and a boiling magma chamber 4km beneath the surface.

The park's main reception point is 2km west of the LZ67 (8km northeast of Yaiza) at the Islote de Hilario, home to a Manrique-designed lookout and restaurant. Queues to get into the park build up from 10am onwards, so arrive early. Unless you've prebooked a guided hike or fancy tackling the 12km, four-hour Ruta del Litoral walk form El Golfo, the only way to see the park is on the exciting 14km Ruta de los Volcanes bus tour.

The 102-sq-km Parque Natural de los Volcanes surrounds the national park to the south, east and north.

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