5 things to do in Lanzarote with your budding scientists
Indulge us in a little story.
It was a lockdown day in 2020 and the tripAbrood team were bringing to life our Iceland activity pack. Travel was off the cards at the time. Families all over the country were stuck at home. To give everyone some much needed entertainment, we dreamed up a volcanic explosion craft – which some of our children began to test. It took us seconds to realise that they thought it was the best thing ever, as foam and bubbles started exploding from the top of the bottle. “A real volcano!” one of them shouted. Well not quite!
So let us tell you about where you can see real volcanoes, surrounded by beaches and sun - the extraordinary island of Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands.
As you come into land, it’s very clear that this island is different to other places you might visit as a family. The landscape is dark and scarred, effects of a huge volcanic eruptions between 1730-1736. No better way to educate your children on the earth’s mighty power than to take them to Lanzarote where they can see it for themselves.
What this battered yet beautiful landscape offers is an almost unparalleled opportunity to explore nature in its richest and deepest forms, whilst also enjoying the comforts of a beach holiday. Paradise for budding scientists – and rest-seeking parents.
Here are our top five places to visit, especially with mini scientists in tow:
Timanfaya National Park
This incredible park covers one quarter of the island, with volcanic landscape as far as the eye can see. It’s a must for any visitors to the island. Although you cannot roam freely with the family, you can take coaches which drive carefully through the Road of the Volcanoes (“Ruta de los volcanes”). Walking tours are also available but need to be booked in advance. To get to the national park you can either drive by car (for a walking tour) or join an organised coach tour. With 25 volcanoes across the park (only one which is active), your kids will “experience” the power of nature first-hand. The park includes a visitors’ centre, a restaurant called El Diablo (“The Devil” - serving food cooked with volcanic heat) and an area for camel rides.
Entrance fee: €12 for adults and €6 for children (7-12 years old). This includes parking, geothermal demonstrations & a tour of the Ruta de los Volcanes by bus.
Camel rides: €12 per camel for 2 people.
Cueva de los Verdes
Cuevas (caves) are always a total hit with our families, and these are no exception. Cueva de los Verdes (Caves of the Greens) were created around 3,000 years ago thanks to lava flows from the nearby “Volcán de la Corona” (Volcano of the Crown). Famous for its concert hall with capacity for up to 500 people, this 6km lava tube is a must see in our books. Throughout the centuries these caves have protected local people from invasions and pirates. Note: these caves are not ideal for babies and toddlers.
Admission: €10 adults, €5 children (7-12 years old)
Open: Daily 10.00 - 18.00
This quaint seaside village is home to an other-worldly green lagoon. Located on the remains of a volcanic cone, the lagoon featured in the 1966 movie, One Million Years BC. It will certainly feel like you are stepping back in time when you visit. Why not make a day of it and sample the wonderful seafood restaurants? Just remember to reserve a table as they are very popular with the locals too.
Los Hervideros (The Boilers)
This exhilarating and strange phenomenon is most certainly worth a visit. A series of underwater caves mean that the sea hits this shoreline with such power that the waters look like they are bubbling and boiling, the sound is roaring and the seawater sprays fly metres into the air. You can observe all this from the safety of a path at the top of the cliffs.
Fancy diving to the bottom of the sea without getting wet? “Submarine Safaris” in Lanzarote is one of only 15 similar tourist attractions in the world. They take visitors 30m down to the seabed where you can see many varieties of marine life and spot shipwrecks on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Note: this activity is temporarily closed due to covid-19 restrictions. When this attraction opens again, best to book online as there are cheaper rates available if you pre-book.