Walking in Lanzarote
The extraordinarily varied landscapes and coastline of Lanzarote are perfect for walking, be it a short 30 minute stroll or a whole day trek.
From the green terraced hills of the north to the black volcanic malpais (literally the badlands) within the Timanfaya National Park, there are not many locations in the world where in the space of a few kilometres walkers can find such variety of terrain.
New dedicated trails have recently been opened by the Cabildo – the local government of the island - and there are many shepherds’ paths which are as old as human settlement on the island itself.
The climate, with a cooling trade wind and with more than 2,500 hours of sunshine annually, makes for excellent walking conditions throughout the year.
The Ruta de Tremesana within the Timanfaya National Park is one of the best ways to gain an insight into the formation of this volcanic island. The three hour walk starts within the park and is guided by a park ranger, with a maximum of seven walkers – it takes place four times a week and is very popular so be sure to book in well in advance at the Visitors centre of the Park or by email.
Sturdy shoes are vital for the path leads through the rugged tortured lava fields below the volcano which look as if they have cooled down only a few hours before. In the north the Camino de los Gracieros (2 hours / 3 kilometres) takes the walker back to f the island’s more recent history. It follows the steep path down the high cliffs of the Risco de Farmara to a deserted and abandoned salt works and a lovely empty beach.
Across a narrow strait lies La Graciosa, the only inhabited island of the Chinijo archipelago. The Camino de los Gracieros was, until relatively recently, the only way that islanders could laboriously bring their dried fish and salt to the markets of Lanzarote to barter for vegetables and other food stuffs. In the far south the walk along the Costa de los Ajaches (5 kilometres /2.5 hours) follows the coast passing beautiful coves and beaches to the Punta de Papagayo in the heart of the Monumento Natural de los Ajaches – one of the oldest volcanic rock formations of the Canary islands. Here, on the sheltered side of the island the sea is usually calm and there are many wonderful beaches to take a cooling dip.
In complete contrast, on the rugged western coast the Ruta del Litoral (9 kilometres/5 hours), from Playa de Madera to the tiny village of El Golfo is a walk which winds across the malpais just above the large Atlantic breakers where molten lava of the most recent eruptions cascaded explosively into the sea.
New walks are being laid out throughout the island and it is worth getting information on the latest trails at the tourist information centres in the town halls of the local municipalities, or from the Cabildo de Lanzarote website
Alternatively there are many trekking companies operating on the island which take hikers to the best walks on Lanzarote and La Graciosa in the Chinijo archipelago.
Find out more about Lanzarote activities