Lanzarote

  • Caldera Blanca crater rim - © William Mackesy
  • Los Helechos, path through old terraces - © William Mackesy
  • Hillside near El Golfo - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • La Pescosa crater - © William Mackesy
  • Plateau top meadow near Los Helechos - © William Mackesy
  • La Pescosa crater - © William Mackesy
  • Los H and Corona from La Quemada - © William Mackesy
  • Vegetation on Corona flank - © William Mackesy
  • North up valley from Teguise - © William Mackesy
  • South along the escarpment from Morro Alto, near Teguise - © William Mackesy
  • West of haria - back down the Castillejos valley all the way to the east coast - © William Mackesy
  • Haria - ridge between the valleys - © William Mackesy
  • South along Risco de Famara cliffs - © William Mackesy
  • East from Tinsoria summit towards Guardilama - © William Mackesy
  • North over lava fields from Tinsoria summit top meadow - © William Mackesy
  • Track towards Corona - © William Mackesy
  • SW from Tinasoria summit - © William Mackesy
  • N from Tinasoria - © William Mackesy
  • Back down the track, La geria - © William Mackesy
  • La Geria - © William Mackesy
  • La Geria vineyard slope - © William Mackesy
  • La Geria - © William Mackesy
  • Caldera Blanca - © William Mackesy
  • Caldera Blanca flank - © William Mackesy
  • Caldera Blanca - east over Calderata - © William Mackesy
  • Ridge to Los Helechos - © William Mackesy
  • Caldera Blanca - lava flow limit - © William Mackesy
  • Los Helechos craters, Corona behind - © William Mackesy

Key information: Lanzarote

  • Lanzarote is a thrilling volcanic island replete with drama and mystery. There are huge areas of arid desolation; weird and wonderful volcanoes and formations; green hills in the north with beauty and fascination in spades; beautiful white and black sand beaches; and fertile farmland and vineyards.
  • While not known as a walking mecca, it should be.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating95
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest12
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating95

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Your choice
  • Maximum Altitude: Well under 1,000m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Los Helechos craters, Corona behind - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

Lanzarote is a thrilling volcanic island replete with drama and mystery. There are huge areas of arid desolation; weird and wonderful volcanoes and formations; green hills in the north with beauty and fascination in spades; beautiful white and black sand beaches; and fertile farmland and vineyards.

The whole island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which has aided its (overall) relatively sensible and contained relationship with mass tourism, despite plenty of depressing scandals.

While Lanzarote has fascinating and beautiful arid vegetation, it isn’t a mecca for resident birds (plenty of migrants) and is short on other animals.

Lanzarote is sprinkled with white villages, mainly of blocky concrete: with an impoverished history then mass tourism, not much of the local architecture is inspiring, although the green woodwork adds an attractive touch.

While Lanzarote isn’t especially known as a walking mecca, it should be – there are a number of great walks here.

The south-west

This very dry region has some good walks, although it is not generally Lanazarte’s finest. 

The stand-out area is the group of hills around the village of Femés . There are two ridges and their outliers to choose from. Both drop away steeply on the outside of the massif, with some particularly fine, empty, ridges and valleys sinking to the sea to the south-west. The best walk appears to be the 7.5km circuit around the hills and barrancos to the south.

There are some good coastal walks, particularly on the unspoilt coast between the Playa Blanca conurbation and Playa Quemada; and west of La Hoya and around charming El Golfo on the northern coast.

The middle, including Timanfaya

Timanfaya is the island’s national park, the area of the devastating eruptions of the 1730s and an extraordinary if at times so-harsh-as-to-be-sinister jumble of volcanic features, including, it is claimed, the world’s biggest lava flow. It is such a difficult and thus pristine area that it is heavily protected, with foot access limited to a single coastal route and the Termesana route in the middle. A bus route explores the Montanas del Fuego, epicentre of the fun-and-games, with its 30+ craters and outlandish landscape.

Termesana Route: this worthwhile 3km trail in the south-west of the NP must be walked as part of a guided tour, so it is a wonderful condensed lesson in vulcanology. Brilliant colours. A huge variety of landscapes and formations – including an enormous lava tube.  The groups are small and too few, so that you need to book ages ahead to get a place – more on walk page.

The Caldera Blanca really is rather amazing, a pale old collapsed volcano bobbing on the vast black sea of lava which buried a huge swathe of south-western Lanzarote in the cataclysmic eruptions in the 1730s. Its rim, above a deep and green bowl, is stunning walking with huge views. You first weave for half an hour or so through a desolation of wildly broken lava. After visiting the smaller caldera of Montaña Calderata, you puff up the pale and smooth side of the Caldera, to meet a gasp-inducing view at the caldera rim. The climb up the rim to the high point just gets better and better, as huge views open up. Amazing. One of Lanzarote’s finest. 

Coastal - El Golfo to Playa de la Madera: this is a fascinating and harshly beautiful 13km (but slow, 5-6 hr) slog through the hard wilderness of the Timanfaya lava fields, relieved by the restless beauty of the Atlantic pounding on the obdurate shoreline. 

Through the lava fields to the west coast – Mancha Blancato Playa de la Madera: this starts through interesting farmland, then plunges into the heartless heart of the relentless lavafields, grand in their harsh lifelessness, to the black beaches (not necessarily safe to swim) on the coast – and back. 21km or so. Mainly for those who really want to experience what Mordor might be like…

La Geria and Montaña Tinasoria: La Geria is the main home of Lanzarote’s most most-recognisable feature, the captivating dark/pale green tapestry formed by the fields, even hillsides, of horseshoes of stones protecting vines in depressions filled with black volcanic gravel. It lies in the southern centre of the island, and is bordered to the south by the ridge which includes the hills Tinasoriaand Guardilama, and to the north by the vast sea of black lava spewed out in the eruption of the Timanfaya volcanic complex. There is one unmissable circuit, heading east from Uga along a dirt road which climbs steadily through fascinating vinelands to the pass between Montaña Tinasoria and the higher Guardilama to the north, then swings back along the ridge toward Uga, climbing Tinasoria en route.

The north

Lanzarote’s marvellous northern ridge is in Walkopodia’s view the island’s premier walking area. It runs as an undulating plateau-ridge, littered with the remains of volcanoes, especially in the dramatic far north around Maguez.  Expect exceptional views: west out across to the endless sea (and in the north, La Graciosa); north or south along the splendid ridge itself, and east across the lowlands to the…er… endless sea.

Teguise and the high ridge: Teguise, Lanzarote’s former capital, sits at the southern end of the northern ridge. To its north, the high ridge leads inexorably to/from the Ermita de las Nieves, a plain, rather special chapel on one of the highest hilltops. There is a network of fabulous trails in the hills and valleys to Tergiuse’s north-east. The best half-day walk is to make a circuit between Teguise and the Ermita de las Nieves.

West of Haria: Pleasant Haria lies a tad more than half way up the northern ridge. There are various walks you can make in the area, including to walk the long high ridge south to Teguise. The best walk in the area is, though, to explore up the two interesting valleys west of Haria, out to the great sea cliffs at the edge of the high island ridge, crossing the low ridge between the valleys to make your return walk. 

Far north: there are various great walks here, in the area of Maguez. The two finest walks are: Western Hill and Los Helechos – a climb up to a small farming plateau west of Maguez, then an ascent of a particularly fascinating volcanic group (centred on Los Helechos), all through lovely and interesting farmland and with some of the island's best views; and climbing Montaña Corona from Maguez to the south. Also very worthwhile is the descent of the winding path down the dramatic Risco cliffs west of Ye to the plain below, and some superb and empty beaches.

Isla Graciosa

This sandy yet still volcanic desert island has a very different feel from the rest of Lanzarote. While it isn’t the best available walking, it makes a lovely change as you wander along empty sandy tracks to check out superb, empty beaches, sand dune, lagoon and little volcanoes. It would make a lovely day away, which Walkopedia regrets not having time for. Long and short walks available. The long (19km) circuit won’t feel too onerous if you give it all day, with plenty of stops for beaches and feature-admiration on the way.

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An example of a possible walking itinerary, pretty full-on and largely based on our own journey, would be: 

Day 1– Caldera Blanca and La Geria and Montana Tinasoria – quite a long starter day.

Day 2 – a walk in the far north - Western Hills and Los Helechos, and (if energy) Montaña Corona

Day 3– Teguise and the high ridge and West of Haria if energy.

Day 4– Termesana Route then Around Femes if energy.

This can be tough demanding walking in remote mountains. Come fully prepared, including carrying enough water.

Lanzarote– Sunflower guides: 31 varied walks. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Track towards Corona - © William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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SW from Tinasoria summit - © William Mackesy...
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