One of our favourite attractions in Lanzarote, Cueva de los Verdes is part of the 6km-long Volcan de la Corona lava tube – one of the longest volcanic caves in the world. It is well worth a visit and a great chance for some respite from the blazing sun.
The cave was formed during the eruptions of the nearby Volcan de la Corona. Lava, pouring out of the Volcano, cooled quickly on the surface, solidifying, whilst the lava underneath continued to flow to the sea, resulting in a spectacular underground tube. Only a small section (2 km) of the entire tunnel system is open to the public and of the total 6km, around 1.5km is underwater. Another local attraction, Jameos del Agua, is also part of this same lava tube.
The latest scientific dating techniques show that the cave formed around 21,000 years ago – about 15,000 years older than was previously thought. This is significant as it explains how the present-day underwater sections were formed during the last Ice age, when the sea level was much lower than today. More recently, the caves were used both by the pre-conquest natives and European settlers as a shelter and hiding place during pirate attacks.
Named after the family who owned the land rather than the colour of the cave, the caves were developed for tourists in the mid 1960s by local artist Jesus Soto. With great acoustics, the lowest part of the cave is sometimes used as a concert hall.
Tours run every half an hour with guides speaking English, Spanish and German (other languages may also be spoken). Well worth the visit and reasonable cost given the guides are very informative. Note that the caves may not be suitable for those with limited mobility or claustrophobia.