Thursday 4 July 2019

Lanzarote: Montaña Corona

This short excursion to Montaña Corona can't really be described as a hike and it wasn't even originally on our itinerary but it is worth doing if you're in the vicinity. We'd planned a longer, coastal route for our final walk on the island but the day before we were due to do this we visited Cueva de los Verdes, a six kilometre lava tube in the north of the island. Around the entrance to this cave system stretch the badlands known as Malpais de la Corona and standing proudly above all of this, as though admiring its handiwork, is Volcán de la Corona itself. In fact this jagged volcanic cone was impossible to miss almost wherever we were in the north of the island that day, rising as it does to almost 2000 feet above sea level.

We'd hired a car for the last couple of days of our holiday so we decided to combine a visit to this mountain with trips to various other locations around the north and central part of the island. To get to Volcán de la Corona, we headed to a small village called Yé, where we found parking next to a picturesque church. Flowers bloomed in the gardens and meadows beside the road and a hand-drawn sign directed us towards the track that would take us to the volcano.

The broad trail headed gently uphill through farmland. Some of this was dimpled with zocos, other fields were covered in shrubby bushes. While still obviously cultivated, the landscape here had a wilder feel than the pristine vineyards of La Geria. When we looked back, we could make out Mirador del Rio in the distance. Designed by César Manrique, this stylish viewpoint sits in a dramatic, cliff-top location and looks out across the sea to the island of La Graciosa.

Mirador del Rio in the distance.
On the farm track to Montaña Corona.

After we'd followed a slightly meandering course though the farmland, the soft volcanic sand beneath our feet gave way to rockier terrain as the path narrowed and began a steeper ascent over uncultivated ground. You can see where the level of ascent changes as you draw closer to the caldera in the picture above.

On rockier terrain as we approached the caldera.

It really didn't take long at all to reach the rim of the shattered volcanic cone and we were able to look down from there into the steep-sided crater. Apparently, you can venture into it if you're feeling adventurous. There was a path of sorts that headed directly downwards to the crater floor, which was strewn with boulders.

The view down into the crater, with the unappealing path down into it from the left.

It didn't look like it'd be much fun descending that narrow strip of loose stone - or ascending it again afterwards, assuming you didn't get crushed under a falling rock while down there. We contented ourselves with a wander around the area by the crater edge, taking in views across the north of the island to La Quemada de Orzola, the northernmost volcano in this series.

Looking north east at the crater edge - note the hikers for scale. 
The steep sides of the caldera.
Looking south to some of the precarious overhangs of volcanic rock.
La Quemada de Orzola.

We retraced our steps back to the village, closely observed in the lower sections of the path by a Berthelot's pipit, which kept pace with us for a while, flying from wall to wall. This was a new sighting for me and a change from the ubiquitous meadow pipits on the moors and farmland near where I live - though truth to tell, it hardly looked any different from those "small, brown birds" and the rest of their family.

Back in Yé, we admired more of the flowers as we strolled back to the car. 

Although not perhaps as impressive as some of the volcanoes in Timanfaya, Montaña Corona is certainly well worth a visit if you're travelling around this part of the island. The whole walk only took an hour and a half, if that, and presents no particular challenges. It is advisable to have stout footwear with a good grip though - the farm track is easy going underfoot but the rockier terrain higher up can be quite slippery and it would be easy to turn an ankle or fall without decent boots.


CLICK HERE  for more walks on Lanzarote and other useful information.


Date: January 2019

Walk length: 3.25 km 

Total ascent: 114 metres


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