Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Get Under the Surface of Lanzarote at the Cueva de los Verdes

Thanks to its turbulent volcanic origins, the island of Lanzarote has one of the most intriguing landscapes to be found anywhere in the world, but there’s much more to the island’s geography than initially meets the eye. Underneath Lanzarote is a system of labyrinth-like caves known as the Tunnel de la Atlantida, stretching for 6km above sea level and 1.5km below the water.

The Tunnel de la Atlantida was formed by cooling lava streams from the nearby Mount Corona volcano, around 3000 years ago, as is the longest lava tube ever discovered. At numerous locations along the length of the Tunnel de la Atlantida, the roofs of the caves have collapsed, forming caverns through which people have been able to access and explore much of the caves.

Photo Credit: Terry Whalebone http://www.flickr.com/photos/terry_wha/1544454703/


One of these caverns leads to the Cueva de los Verdes, which in the past was used by the Guanches, Lanzarote’s original inhabitants to hide from pirates, but has now been transformed into a fascinating visitor attraction.

Photo Credit: Luc Viatour http://www.flickr.com/photos/luc_viatour/6038833165/

Found within the Monumento Natural del Malpa√≠s de La Corona, a protected region of the Canary Islands, the Cueva de los Verdes were occupied by the Verde family during the 18th and 19th century – hence the English name, ‘Green’s Cave’. Their name can mislead many people into believing that the caves themselves are green, although they are artificially lit up colourfully in many places to allow visitors to appreciate their magnificence.

Photo Credit: Stu Mayhew http://www.flickr.com/photos/stumayhew/5609887704/

The unique atmosphere of the Cueva de los Verdes is also enhanced by the atmospheric music that provides the perfect soundtrack for visitors to the cave, and makes their exploration feel like a real discovery. As the Cueva de los Verdes are over 15 metres high, the acoustics here are inimitable, and the lowest part of the caves are occasionally used as a concert hall – an experience that’s one not to be missed.

Photo Credit: Andres Sanchez http://www.flickr.com/photos/andres-colmen/1224641142/

As you make your way through the caves on a guided tour, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of the rock itself, which in some places even appears to resemble molten wax.

Photo Credit: Isa Valor http://www.flickr.com/photos/valorisa/2970627847/

Breath-taking rock formations protrude from the walls of the cave from all angles, and in one of the caves you will discover a small lake, also beautifully illuminated for an effect that will stay with you for long after your visit.

Photo Credit: Son of Groucho http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonofgroucho/7160113428/

The Cueva de los Verdes are a highly popular visitor attraction for holidaymakers to Lanzarote, especially as they are so easy to reach from many of the island’s best resorts, including the Costa Teguise. You can find plenty of cheap package deals to luxurious accommodation on the Costa Teguise like the Ficus Apartments, which are less than a 30-minute drive from the Cueva de los Verdes and provide everything you need to relax after a thrilling day of exploring.


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