Lanzarote’s north is dotted with artificial caves and landscapes which have been sculpted by human hand, wind and water.
Lanzarote’s volcanic nature cannot just be seen at Timanfaya. It extends throughout the whole island, and the quarrying of rofe (volcanic gravel) in the past has created some of the most spectacular landscapes on the island.
Abandoned rofe quarries are called roferos, and the most famous of these is located on the LZ404 between Teseguite and the LZ1 main road.
However, there are other amazing sights tucked away in the north of the island. One of them is the Cueva Catedral (Cathedral Cave), situated in the Valle de la Paloma, up behind the dam at Mala.
You can hike up, or risk your car on the narrow dirt road. Leaving the track in the road a few hundred yards beyond the Rincón de la Moza. At first sight, there is nothing on the hillside to hint at the existence of these caves, but a closer look reveals large deposits of black gravel which mark the entrances to the caves.
There are a number of smaller caves, here, but the main attraction is the Cathedral – an immense gallery that has been carved out of the hillside. You descend into it through a tunnel and immediately realise why the cave received its name – it’s an impressive gallery with huge pillars and columns, sunlight streaming in through the ceiling and even a platform carved into one side of the main chamber.
Like a cathedral, it’s also a silent, magical place where visitors simply stand in quiet awe.
Take care when visiting wild places such as this. Always go with a partner, take a mobile, show the utmost respect for local farmland and don’t take any foolish risks. The rock is crumbly, so do not even consider approaching the upper edges of the cave.
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