Tuesday 13 September 2016

Lanzarote diaries : Exploring the north of the island

After visiting the Jardin de Cactus (click through to read that blogpost), our visit of the northern part of the island continued with a visit to Cueva de los Verdes.

Cueva de los Verdes is a tunnel that was formed by lava flows erupting from the nearby Monte Corona Volcano around 3,000 years ago. As they flowed towards the sea, the lava cooled and created a solid crust which was left behind when the lava drained away, leaving the top part as the roof of a cave. In about 20 spots, the roof of the cave collapsed, forming a cavern known locally as a jameo.

There was a fairly big queue but we only had to wait about half an hour before we were out of the searing heat and heading down into the cooler underground caves. I saw something scurrying under a rock while were in the queue and called over the kids, thinking it was a lizard.

They tempted it out with morsels of food and were surprised and delighted to discover that it was in fact a cute little mouse ! He disappeared after about five minutes and we kept seeing people further back in the queue trying (and failing) to see what the kids had been getting so excited about !

Unlike most of the other rocks we had seen on Lanzarote which were black, these ones were more of a rust colour. The scale of the caves is pretty spectacular and you don't feel at all claustrophobic.

It was hard to take any decent photos inside the caves because of the poor lighting but we did get the obligatory selfie !

There are several interesting features to discover, including a concert hall that can seat 500 people and this viewpoint which looks like a really big drop - the guide told everybody to make sure they didn't get too close to the edge and to keep hold of their kids, then laughed her head off when she threw a rock and shattered the illusion, revealing that it was a perfectly still lake reflecting the cave roof above !

Once we got back out, we headed back to our hire car for the day and opened all the doors and windows to cool things down.

We headed up to Orzola on the northern tip where we had lunch in a quayside cafe.

From here, there is a ferry that goes across to the neighbouring island of La Graciosa.

We watched the little fishing boats bobbing about in the harbour and the kids threw their hamburger and toasted sandwich crusts to the ravenous fish !

Our final stop was at Mirador del Rio, a viewpoint created by - you've guessed it - C├ęsar Manrique. He really does seem to be the only person to have ever created anything on Lanzarote ! From the outside, you can barely see the structure because it is built into the lava and camouflaged behind a stone skin.

You walk down a winding corridor into some vaulted rooms, including a cafe and gift shop.

Sophie had a bit of a zen-moment !

It was slightly misty but you could still get a pretty good view over the strait of Rio towards the island of La Graciosa.

It's slightly surreal seeing the structure built into the natural lava. 

You might not want to go right to the edge if you're scared of heights though !

On the drive back to the hotel, we stopped off by the side of the road to take a photo of one of the iconic Lanzarote views - these strange semicircular walls that are all over the place.

They are actually very cleverly designed walls put there to protect the island's grapevines from the strong winds. Ingenious !

If you're enjoying discovering Lanzarote with us, make sure you click through to see our other posts about Timanfaya Volcanic National ParkTeguise MarketJardin de Cactus and exploring the south of the island.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. Great photos! Looks like a great day. So cute to see the little mouse too! :D

    1. It was the perfect way to pass the time while we were queueing up for the caves !

  2. What a cute mouse. The caves look interesting but I definitely wouldn't go near the edge of the cliffs!

    1. There are big railings but I did keep the kids well back !

  3. It looks like you squeezed plenty into your day exploring Lanzarote! Those caves look magnificent, that lake is amazing, I bet you really thought it was an amazing drop. That viewpoint is rather spectacular too, I bet you all enjoyed looking out over the next island and admiring the views.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    1. We certainly did - I think we saw pretty much everything the island has to offer ! )

  4. Isn't it great to go and explore somewhere new abroad? I like the look of the caves and that little mouse was very cute. Mich x


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