There are lots of old volcanos scattered all around Lanzarote. One of the easiest to climb is Montana Guanapay which is located in the centre of the Island. It rises from the slopes which start in the south and finish at the high cliffs of the Risco de Famara. The volcano’s isolated position is right above the town of Teguise. From its crater rim, there are extensive views of the town and surrounding countryside.
The height of the volcano above sea level is 425 meters, about 135 meters above the height of the Teguise. The diameter of the crater is 200 meters.
Teguise Is a busy place on a Sunday when the weekly market takes place. The rest of the week it is quiet and whatever day you visit well worth exploring. Click to read my separate guide about Teguise.
The short walk and climb up the volcano start directly from Teguise. The walk uses the road up to the Castle of Santa Barbara on the crater rim. The road zigzags up fairly gentle slopes. So, a fairly easy walk and in less than an hour, you’ll be standing on the crater rim. This is an amazing place, looking out from the crater rim there are extensive views in all directions. Looking inwards you gaze into the mouth of the volcano. The views change as you take a circular walk around the rim and you can also walk down into the centre of the crater.
Castle of Santa Barbara (Castillo de Santa Barbara)
Built on the volcano’s rim is the Castle of Santa Barbara (or just Guanapay Castle). This is the oldest in the Canary Islands. Originally it was just a watchtower. This was built in the early 16th Century by Sancho de Herrera, the 1st Lord of Lanzarote. After the bloodthirsty invasion by Berber pirates in 1586, the King of Spain commissioned a fortress builder to strengthen the fort. This was completed within 10 years and the finished fortification looked much as it does today.
The building was renovated in 1989 and it now houses the Museo de la Pirateria (Museum of Piracy). It also homes the Museo del Emigrante (Emigration Museum) which details the hardships faced by locals in the past. Periods of famine and drought forced many people to leave Lanzarote and settle in Latin America.
Sadly, at the time of writing the building is closed for renovations.
Walking Routes to Montana Guanapay
The circular walk from Teguise starts at the parking area on Calle Garajonay which is not far from the plaza, church and windmill. If you are planning on visiting Teguise on a Sunday this car park might well be full, but there are plenty of “pop-up” car parks as you drive into the town.
From the car park walk towards the main road (LZ-10). Cross the road and follow the road marked Castillo de Santa Barbara. Note there are a few car parking spaces here. The road passes a barrier and then starts its ascent of the volcano. The road winds up the volcano’s ochre slopes, these are crossed by lots of water gullies.
On the higher slopes, you pass a signpost where there is a track, this goes to Teseguite. Ignore the track and continue up the road. When you reach the summit, walk around the crater rim and down into the centre if you wish. The circuit from the signpost to the summit, around the crater rim and back down to the signpost is about 1.5 kilometres.
The volcano can also be climbed from Teseguite. In Teseguite start at the church (Ermita de San Leandro) and walk south along Calle San Leandro. When you reach the last house in the village follow the dirt road which leads to the signpost mentioned above.
Picture Gallery – Montana Guanapay
Other things to do in Lanzarote
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