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Away from the coastal resorts the volcanic island of Lanzarote is a natural wonder full of surprises for the intrepid explorer.
As you drive up the west coast of Lanzarote on the LZ 2 towards Timanfaya National Park make a left turn onto the LZ 703 as you come to the salt flats at Janubio and continue north towards the town of El Golfo.
The scenic LZ 703 hugs the ocean on this part of Lanzarote and has been the backdrop for many a car commercial thanks to the crashing Atlantic waves and the way the tarmac appears like one long stretch of carpet laid on top of the solidified lava.
Los Hervideros is located about halfway between the salt flats and El Golfo and has ample cliff top parking for visitors, so resist the temptation to pull into one of the many lay-bys as Los Hervideros is where all the real action takes place.
Los Hervideros translates as boiling water in English and is called such due to the fact that at high tide the mighty Atlantic waves crash into to molten lava tubes and burst out like steam from the funnel of a kettle.
The majestic cliffs at Los Hervideros were formed during the volcanic explosions of the 1730’s when red hot lava met the cold Atlantic Ocean leaving behind caves and cracks in the rock face.
To witness the spectacle at its best, visit during high tide, or better still when the tide coincides with a full moon.
Paths and balconies have been constructed into the rock face, providing excellent viewing and photographic opportunities to gaze not only on the cliffs but through peepholes to the ocean below.
Unlike many of the other attractions in Lanzarote a visit to Los Hervideros is free, but it is also unsupervised, which means you need to keep a close hold of any young children, and like any adventure that involves interacting with nature be sure to wear sensible shoes.
Make a day of it...
A trip to Los Hervideros can easily be combined with a visit to the hauntingly green hued lagoon of Charco de Los Clicos, one of the inspirations for Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s award winning film “Broken Embraces”. Charco de Los Clicos was also used as the setting for Raquel Welch’s animal clad bikini scene in the Hammer Film Production of “one million years BC”.
Formed when fissures in the lava allowed sea water to fill a volcanic crater, the lagoon gets its colour from Ruppia maritima algae that thrive due to the high sulphur content in the water. Set against the black sand beach, red cliffs and ocean it is quite spectacular, a portrait any professional photographer would love to have in their portfolio.
Following on from Charco de Los Clicos, drive a few more kilometres north to the tiny fishing village of El Golfo where you can stop for a drink or a bite to eat. The speciality, of course, is seafood, yet being so close to the tourist hot spot of Timanfaya National Park prices can be a little on the steep side.
Other than perhaps paying for lunch, a trip to Los Hervideros and Charco de Los Clicos is an inexpensive day out, that the whole family will enjoy.