In the north of Lanzarote there is a chain of volcanoes, La Corona, Las Calderetas, Los Helechos and La Caldera, which were all aligned over a fracture in the earth’s crust that allowed the magma to burst through. It’s thought that these were probably the most spectacular eruptions in the history of Lanzarote – we say ‘probably’ because having occurred 30,000 years ago there were evidently no humans around to witness them.
The sight of the 400 metre cataract of molten lava must have been breathtaking! It came about when one of the rivers of lava reached the cliff of Famara. You can still make out the where this enormous vertical current poured down the side of the cliff and reached the sea if you follow the Camino de los Gracioseros path, named after the people of La Graciosa who had no choice but to traipse up and down the cliffside on a regular basis.
It was the opposite side of the island, however, that was mostly affected by the sea of lava. As it hit the coastline, the magma flowed 500m offshore so increasing the size of the island by some 18 km2. Despite burying vast swathes of land under thick layers of petrified lava, the eruption of La Corona did bequeath some stunning natural treasures such as the volcanic tubes that form the Jameos del Agua water grotto and the caves at Cueva de los Verdes.