The circuit of Montaña Colorada is one of the most accessible ways to experience Lanzarote’s spectacular volcanic heartland on foot. David Penney leads the way…
I arranged this walk with seven Dutch ladies, and we parked in the car park area just off the LZ56 on the right heading towards Mancha Blanca (it’s just before a double-bend warning sign). Don’t leave any valuables on display in your car, as smash-and-grab robberies are not unknown.
The track is easily picked up from the end of the parking area and has a very gentle rise to get started along the track. It levels out very quickly and follows an anti-clockwise route around the base of the volcano.
Along the track you will see many volcanic rocks and basalt rocks impregnated with olivina, which is the pale green semi-precious crystal they make the jewellery from.
Most mornings the sun illuminates the side of the volcano, producing a very big surface area to show the red colouring of the volcano. This is simply the result of iron oxidation, but when speaking to a local farmer they will gently slap their face to make the side go red. When the clouds pass over the volcano, it creates a shadow therefore giving the impression of the blushing face of the volcano.
Soon you will see the huge volcanic lava bomb over to the right-hand side. The centrepiece of thousands of Instagram posts, this strange and impressive rock is probably the main reason people venture on to this route. Some say this is the largest volcanic lava bomb throughout the Spanish territories, while others claim it could be the biggest in the world.
The lava bomb is simply a piece of lava which was fired out of the volcano under pressure and solidified before reaching the ground. It stands about 6 metres high and about the same in width, which truly is an impressive display of the power of Mother Nature.
After taking several photos, we continue our walk and return on a path which leads us back on the track around the base. We chose not to climb up to the top of the volcano as we wanted to keep it an easy and mainly flat walk.
The whole route is alive with the light green lichen which is growing on the basalt and volcanic rocks. You can see that the lichen only grows on one side of the rocks which indicates it is getting the moisture from the trade winds. The side where no lichen is growing is the sunny side which burns off any vegetation growth.
We continue around the base of the volcano along the track and as we turn the corner we see Montaña Ortíz, another extinct volcano in this range. The track leads us off to the left, eventually taking us away from Ortíz.
Along the route you will see places where we place small volcanic rocks around the plants and vegetation to protect them from people walking over them and destroying the plant. Over the years I’ve seen how many of the wild geranium plants have become established and are now adding another hint of life as they display their pink flowers.
The path brings us back to the car park area, making it an easy circular walk around the protected natural park area.
Because this trek is easy and non-challenging, we decided to combine it with the popular walk around the Volcán del Cuervo which is just across the road. The result is a satisfying morning of exploring the impressive Parque Natural de los Volcanes.
This is a circular 4.5km walk which should take you approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. The terrain is easy and non-challenging.
Unfortunately, there is no public transport to get to this walk. So, you’ll have to use a car.
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