Timanfaya's volcanic barbecue pit

Volcanic barbecue pit at Timanfaya

The barbecue pit at Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote has to be the ultimate barbecue experience – this stone well sits above a vent in the ground which cooks the meat on the grill. If you dare to look into the well, you might catch a dull red glow a few feet down.

The restaurant features a few other neat tricks as well – volcanic shafts which shoot columns of steam into the air, and another stone well outside that can ignite dry grass in seconds. It just shows that a few feet under the surface, the effects of volcanic activity on Lanzarote can still be felt.

It amazes me that the heat under the surface should remain such a constant after so many years – you’d think that the heat level would die down, but it must be fairly reliable to provide the site for a permanent barbecue! I also love the Spanish name for the area – Montañas del Fuego – or “Mountains of Fire”. This area really is worth a visit, both for the amazing views and the almost alien terrain that the lava flow has left behind.

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