There are loads of different excursions to do in Fuerteventura depending on which side of the island you stay at, but if you’re to the north either in or near to Corralejo then there’s one particular excursion I recommend every try, which is the Lanzarote Grand Tour, featuring Mt. Timanfaya in Timanfaya National Park. It’s a popular Canary Island tour that the whole family can enjoy, with loads to learn about Lanzarote’s volcanic past.
El Golfo Fishing Village
The trip starts very early in the morning from Corrajelo, where you get the ferry over to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote. From here the coach tour begins, taking you first to El Golfo, a quaint fishing village to the west of Lanzarote. There are some beautiful views here, as well as the chance to buy locally made jewellery and small bottles of olivine, also known as peridot. There was also a café and gift shop, however we were so preoccupied by the view that we didn’t get a chance to check them out! The stop was quite short so I would have liked more time to explore the place, however it’s understandable given that the operators have crammed so much into one day.
Along the way we also stopped at a nearby café where we got to buy breakfast. They sold a variety of pastries and rolls, and I also tried out a traditional nocciolino coffee with hazelnut flavours which quickly became my favourite type of coffee. This was a lovely way to gather our thoughts for the day before we started the main part – the journey around Timanfaya.
Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya National Park is one of the most famous parts of Lanzarote – Mt. Timanfaya is an active volcano that last erupted in the 18th century, and this paired with the many other eruptions at the same time caused the arid and spacelike landscape of the island today. Whilst the coach is driving around the island the tour operator gives information about everything that is passed, and it’s really quite interesting. Over the course of the day I learnt about Lanzarote, from its geography and formation to the history of society on the island and notable events from the past. The tour guides provide the tour in English, Spanish, and German, and often they are combined so you choose whichever language you want (our tour was specifically English and German).
Once we got to the base of Mt. Timanfaya, within Timanfaya National Park, we were given a surprise option, as it was a day when the camel rides were on offer. This option is only available on certain days so definitely check with the operators if it’s something you really want to do, and unfortunately it’s only available if enough people on the coach want to do it. This could have led to some disappointment (mainly for me) but eventually we managed to persuade enough people to take part. The ride was fairly short but lovely in the sun and presented us with some interesting views of the volcanoes, plus a very different experience to what we had expected.
Edited to add: Since taking part in this activity I was made aware of the treatment of the camels – although not visible when I was there, it is now clear to me that they are not looked after properly and so I can no longer endorse this part of the trip. If you do happen to go on the Lanzarote Grand Tour then I would recommend not participating in the camel ride and instead enjoying what the rest of the tour has to offer.
And now onto the Timanfaya volcano. I’d already done it once before but it was still just as fantastic – the coach tours takes you round winding and ascending roads so you get to see the whole layout, with an information-packed audio playing throughout which describes how the volcanoes formed and caused Lanzarote to exist. It taught me a lot about their formation and really put into perspective how scary it must be to witness such a thing. The music part of the audio was really bizarre though – the dramatic drums and string crescendos made us feel like we were in some sort of sci-fi film! Although the majority of the tour is vehicle-based we were dropped off at the top afterwards and were able to witness some volcanic demonstrations from the rangers, as well as visit the restaurant and purchase more souvenirs from the gift shop.
Lunch, Wine Tasting, & Canarian Honey Rum
After the volcano tour we were understandably quite hungry, so next stop was a restaurant in the middle of the area that served traditional Canarian food in a buffet style. There were dishes for everyone so no one went hungry, and the food was served with water and wine. Once we’d eaten we had the opportunity to test out samples of wine grown on the premises – one quite dry, and the other more of a dessert wine. If you want to you can buy wine from here, or other gifts. This stop felt less pressured as we had more time, and it was a nice way to chill in the middle of such a long day.
We then travelled for quite some time, heading gradually north, until we came to a café almost in the clouds. The views were beautiful here, showing the rocky valleys leading towards the oceans. This was another very quick stop but I managed to try out a traditional alcoholic drink while I was there – Canarian honey rum topped with cream. It’s said to be an aphrodisiac – I didn’t quite get that from it but it did make me very tired!
Jameos Del Agua
The final stop was actually the most impressive of all and woke me right back up out of my rum-induced slumber. Jameos Del Agua is situated far north of Lanzarote and is an underground volcanic lava tube caused by the lava at the top of the flow hardening to create a sort of tunnel. The place was so beautiful that I don’t think my words can do it the justice it deserves – I was left speechless by how incredible it was to visit something like this (something which I didn’t even know existed).
Thanks to eternally loved local artist César Manrique, the lava tube is now a fully visitable site and features a restaurant, decorative pool, and even a 600 seat auditorium within the tube which gave the best acoustics I’d ever heard – I could have quite happily sat there all day listening to the Canarian guitar band on the stage. We didn’t get to eat at the restaurant as we weren’t there long enough, but I know we’ll be going back there for sure as I can’t think of a more beautiful spot for a romantic dinner for two. The lava tube also had a lake deep within, which featured a rare type of albino crab which could only be viewed terrestrially from that specific location – pretty cool, right?!
What You Need To Know
You can book onto the excursion from various different providers – We purchased it from the Excursion Center on the Corralejo main strip by Burger King as that’s our favourite one. The trip lasts a whole day and is a bit more expensive than the others (we paid around €75 each when we went in October 2018), but for what you get I’d say it’s one of the more cost effective trips, featuring volcanoes, food, and loads of information. We’d already been on the smaller Lanzarote tour a few years back so wanted to see a bit more of the island this time.
It’s also good to note that whilst the tour is certainly family-friendly, some children may struggled with the length of the day – you leave very early and don’t get back until the evening! I personally think it’s fantastic for children as it offers many wonderful sights and learning opportunities, but perhaps is more suited to older children that are able to keep amused while driving and don’t tire out so easily.
Finally, make sure to take lots of water – as with all excursions in Lanzarote the heat can get very intense and there aren’t too many places to buy water should you run out.
I was knackered by the end of tour but so sad that it had to come to end, and it was certainly the highlight of my trip to the Canaries. I’d thoroughly recommend that anyone undertake this tour if they’re in the area, but make sure to spend a bit more to get the Grand Tour option as being able to visit the Jameos Del Agua is so worth it. Overall it was an incredible experience with amazings sights, great food, and both lovely and informative tour guides, and is certainly a trip I will never forget.
Have you been to Lanzarote before? Where is your favourite place on the island? If you enjoyed this review please don’t forget to like, pin, and leave a comment! You can also check my other travel reviews for the Canary Islands here: