Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canary Islands and has a volcanic origin. It was born through fiery eruptions and has solidified lava streams as well as extravagant rock formations. The island was formed about 35 million years ago by the Canary hotspot. Alfred Wegener’s study of the island whilst visiting in 1912 showed how it fitted in with his theory of continental drift. The island, along with others, emerged after the breakup of the African and the American continental plates. The greatest recorded eruptions occurred between 1730 and 1736, much of which is protected in the Timanfaya National Park.
Timanfaya National Park or Parque Nacional de Timanfaya is a Spanish national park covering the municipalities of southern portion of Tinajo and the northern portion of Yaiza in the southwestern part of the island of Lanzarote. The area is 51.07 square kilometres (19.72 sq mi). The parkland is entirely made up of volcanic soil. The statue “El Diablo” by César Manrique is its symbol.
The greatest recorded eruptions on Lanzarote occurred between 1730 and 1736. The volcanic activity continues as the surface temperature in the core ranges from 100 to 600 °C at the depth of 13 metres (43 ft), which is demonstrated by pouring water into the ground, resulting in a geyser of steam which is an attraction for tourists.There is only one active volcano, Timanfaya volcano which the park is named after.
In 1993, UNESCO designated a Biosphere reserve covering the whole of Lanzarote. The national park is one of the core areas of the biosphere reserve.
Access to the park by the public is strictly regulated to protect the delicate flora and fauna. There are one or two footpaths, and a popular short route where one can visit by camel. There is a public car park from which one can tour the volcanic landscape by coach using a road that is otherwise closed to the public.