Lanzarote, set in the Canary Islands, isn’t really the first place you think of when thinking of adventure. The island has developed a little bit of a reputation as somewhere to go for party or beach package holidays. However, look a little further and you’ll find an incredible, volcanic landscape with an interesting array of hiking trails just waiting to be explored.
When you delve a little bit further into how the island looks, you’ll see that there is a whole lot of adventure to be had in this incredible, volcanic landscape. It truly is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before and is one of our absolute favourite places full of beautiful hikes and panoramic views. What’s also great is, if your experience is anything like ours, you’ll find yourself completely alone on pretty much all your hikes, making for a great experience of solitude.
Within the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is known for its volcanoes with its last eruption being in 1824. It’s classed as dormant although in some areas of Timanfaya National Park, you can still feel the heat under the surface (although these are carefully protected areas and many areas of the park are inaccessible to the public or without tours and guides).
When you arrive on Lanzarote, we’d recommend taking your hire car and driving to the Visitor center situated in the National Park. From here, you can pay a relatively small fee to drive up a private road to load onto a bus where you’ll be taken around the twists and turns of the most protected areas of the National Park. This is a great experience in its own right with incredible views, otherworldly craters and you’ll really be glad you did it, even if it does feel a little touristy.
Generally, getting around Lanzarote is very easy, and of course the hikes below are only really a tiny amount of what is available on the island. The island is quite small, so it often means very little driving to get to all of the different hikes – and most of the hikes that we’ve included below are all relatively short distances from each other. We stayed in a place called La Asomada and many of the hikes included were roughly 10 to 15 minutes away in the car – a really welcome experience if you’re often used to driving long distances to hikes, meaning you can spend more time connecting with nature and doing the things you love.
A word of warning, but absolutely not one to put you off – it does get incredibly hot on Lanzarote. The thing that makes Lanzarote great is the fact that it has a fairly temperate climate all year round, making it an ideal place to go for an adventure in the European or North American winter months. In winter, you can expect temperatures anywhere between 15c and 23c on average every day. The first time we visited four years ago, we didn’t wear a jacket once. Interesting, when we returned in July, the temperatures were on average higher, ranging anywhere between 24c and 32c on our visit. What was different was that on our trip in winter four years ago, we had bright blue, crisp skies every day. On our summer adventure, the weather was a little changeable. When we visited, there was a storm passing, so this likely had something to do with it, but we found we actually preferred how the weather felt in winter.
It also has a habit of getting very windy on the island. This is largely due to the fact that it is a small island, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with very little shelter due to its relatively low-lying topography. You’ll generally experience some degree of wind whenever you visit, but because of the storm that was passing through, some days we experienced winds up to 50mph. Which was intense and made some of the hikes a little tiresome when walking into a headwind! You’ll be able to notice in our documentary that our hair is blowing all over the place and many of our interviews are met with a marriage of wind and voice (haha).
The wind, however, can actually provide a welcome respite from the close heat, but do not let the fact that it is windy fool you – you need to be wearing sun cream or protecting your skin from the sun in whatever way works for you. We learnt a little the hard way with this and forgot to reapply cream one day and came back very red!
Talking of the relatively low-lying topography, we heard it mentioned when we first looked into visiting the Canary Islands that Lanzarote was a great place to go on your first adventure trip. We’d agree – the mountains aren’t crazy high and there is something to suit a wide range of skills and experience levels all whilst taking in amazing scenes and panoramic views. Even if you’re more experienced in the outdoors, we still think there is a lot for you on the island of Lanzarote, but this is also a fantastic location to visit if you perhaps want to try mixing hiking with relaxing on the beach. Or if you have different ideas of what you want from a trip now to your family. None of the hikes we’ve outlined here are particularly long apart from the Timanfaya Coastal Path, so most can be done within a couple of hours, meaning that the adventure experience doesn’t necessarily need to take over the whole trip. If this is the case for you, we’d recommend setting out earlyish to do the hike, meaning you’ll come back with a big chunk of the day to spend with the group you’re travelling with.
Below, you’ll find our hiking guide, in the order we did them on the incredible island of Lanzarote.
Montana Tinasoria Hiking Route
What you’ll experience: A close drive from Puerto Del Carmen – as you wind up the path that hugs into the mountain, you’ll be generously greeted by extensive grapevines growing in holes in the lava (which we learnt is to protect the fruit from the strong winds on the island). This is a fantastic hike to introduce you to the offerings of Lanzarote. It eases you into the mountain topography of the island whilst proving stunning views of the Martian style landscape, with a view into the National Park where you’ll set foot tomorrow. This hike is exposed, with far reaching panoramic views, like all hikes on the island, so on very hot days it can be quite hard work. We’d recommend lots of sun cream, a hat and plenty of water (as an estimate, we took 3l each and drank pretty much all of it). The hike to the top of the mountain is really lovely with incredible views. If you’re used to the Peak District in the UK, or even the South Downs, this Lanzarote hike should feel well within reach – a truly beautiful hike.
Looking for some more Canary Islands inspiration? From the best Tenerife beaches and natural swimming pools to hiking in volcanic landscapes, we’ve got you covered with our Canary Islands Destination Hub.
Montana Los Rodeos Hiking Route
What you’ll experience: Like a number of the hiking paths in Lanzarote and the Timanfaya National Park, the walk in at the beginning until you get to the base of the crater certainly isn’t to be sniffed at, but it is part and parcel of the topography here. The views on this volcano hike on the walk in are fantastic – lava fields for days and gives you time to get your legs warmed up for a steep, but short climb up to the top of Montana Los Rodeos. The path down from the summit retraces your steps from the way up, and as a walk down becomes a steep, slightly loose scree slope. Don’t let this put you off, just pay extra attention to your footing. We actually feel like you get better views on the hike back down, and the views out as you’re heading down from the summit which will be on your left are absolutely spectacular! Allow plenty of time for this hike – you’ll be stopping to take photographs and take in the scenery pretty often.
Montana Colorada Hiking Route
What you’ll experience: You’ll notice from the route when you load into your mapping software that it goes up to the summit, then down, then back round a different way. It might seem a little counter intuitive, but the extra effort (which is mere km’s rather than a sizeable distance) is well worth it to catch the views on this breathtaking volcano hike in all their beauty. Even if you don’t fancy going to the top of the volcano, you’ll still have a brilliant experience around the base of the crater – every angle looks different and again, you’ll be stopping lots for photo breaks of Timanfaya National Park and to marvel at what an incredible world we live in. If you look at a map of Lanzarote, you’ll see that there is massive potential from this hike to join onto other calderas, volcanoes and mountains as many of the trails connect, making the opportunity to have a much longer day.
Montana Cuervo Hiking Route
What you’ll experience: Just ever so slightly down the road from Montana Colorada in Timanfaya National Park you’ll find an incredible experience – you get to go into an actual volcano. Even though it is a short and simple hike with relatively little ascent or descent, this is one of our favourite volcano hikes on the whole island. The colours you see, the different textures you encounter, you’ll get sucked up into a beautiful, rich tapestry like you’ve never seen before. Leave plenty of time for this hike – especially in the crater where you’ll find your eyes enticed by any number of beautiful, other worldly formations. Even though this is one of the more popular hikes on Lanzarote, we really feel like this is a must do experience! There’s a great path pretty much all the way round too.
Caldera Blanca Hiking Route
What you’ll experience: Probably one of the most famous hikes on Lanzarote, this is a must do but it also makes for a beautiful hike. This hiking path is so prominent, firstly because the caldera itself is white and cream in colour making it stand out from some of the other prominent peaks in the area, but also because it has intact, polished walls which is very different too. There are a few sections on this path where you’re walking along a ridge of the crater rim and do feel a little exposed, but also very manageable. Be warned again like with all hikes on the island, this hike is exposed with no shade at all so come prepared with lots of water, sun cream and come to terms with the idea that you’re most likely going to get a little sweaty. This is a truly beautiful hike and the spectacular views from the rim of the caldera are breathtaking – one of the best Lanzarote has to offer!
Timanfaya Coastal Path
What you’ll experience: This hike provides quite a different experience from most of the other hikes and takes in the ‘journey along the way’ rather than being about a particular summit. You couldn’t ask for a better way to explore that notion and spend a day. The great thing about this hike as well, because it is a linear path, is that if you’re not feeling up to the whole hike, you can cut it short, turning back whenever feels good for you. The views on one side of the bright blue ocean crashing against the contrasting black volcanic rocks with the Timanfaya National Park mountains on your other side is truly an unforgettable experience. Starting off at one of the most spectacular views, picturesque beaches and finishing in the iconic El Golfo makes this hike varied, interesting and one not to miss whilst you’re visiting Lanzarote.