The series of eruptions that took place on Lanzarote in the 18th century was one of the most significant in the world at that time. The eruptions started and finished in the area now known as the Volcanoes Natural Park that encompasses Timanfaya National Park. It was in 1730 when the Cuervo volcano burst its bowels in what would be the first of a string of eruptions to befall the island over a period of six years. It wasn’t until 1736 that they finally came to an end. The last two volcanoes to spout their lethal lava were the Calces de las Nueces and the Colorada volcanoes which, curiously enough, stand close to the volcano where it all began.
If we were to take all the rock that was spewed out of the earth’s entrails during those six years, we’d end up with a solid column that measured one kilometre wide on each side and towered 16 km high, almost reaching the stratosphere.
The most frequently visited volcanoes in the Volcanoes Natural Park are the Cuervo volcano and Montaña Colorada. The former is popular because its crater is pretty easily accessible and the latter because the route there takes you through stunning scenery amid spectacular volcanic bombs. To understand how something so big can be ejected from a volcano, you need look no further than more recent examples of volcanic eruptions like Mounts Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland and Sakurajima in Japan.