Cueva de Los Verdes. Canary Islands. Spain
Lanzarote is one of the most amazing islands of the Canary archipelago. What does make it interesting? This is the “island of volcanoes”! It was even called “the Moon on the Earth.” Vast areas of hardened lava, sleeping craters and other evidence of the volcanic past of the island constitute its unique landscape.
The cave Cueva de los Verdes tops the list of the amazing phenomena of the Canarian nature. Moreover, it is one of the most extensive caves of volcanic origin in the world. Before 1970, it was considered be the longest volcanic tunnel.
Imagine that such caves are formed almost instantly! Fiery rivers of lava flowing on a terrestrial surface during the volcanic eruption gradually harden and form a crust. A channel remains under this crust, and it is called lava tube. For some time the fiery liquid magma is still flowing along this “pipe”. When the tube becomes empty and cools down, the pipe turns into a system of volcanic caves.
Cueva de los Verdes has appeared thanks to the eruption of the volcano Monte Corona about four thousand years ago, when the giant lava flows were trying to break through to the sea coast. So, this underground meandering gallery stretches for about 6,100 meters in a totally bizarre form. Enormous halls with 15-meter vaults spill over into the narrow and winding tunnel. The upper one is rather spacious; here you will find a concert hall with perfect natural acoustics. The cave has really very unusual acoustics due to the porous lava walls which allow you to hear sounds, devoid of resonance. Performances of acoustic concerts with the participation of famous world stars are held here.
Another attraction of the cave is located in the lower part – an underground saltwater lake Jameos del Agua. The literal translation of the name means “lake in a collapsed cave”. The lake is fed by salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Blind crab albino, a rare creature always living in the deep bowels of the earth, lives in this lake.
Cueva de los Verdes became available for tourist excursions since 1964. The cave is also open for tourists nowadays, but not completely – about one-two kilometers of the tunnel from the total length. Air temperature in the cave is acceptable for a visit, and during the year it holds at a constant mark of 19 ° C. Multi-colored lights and strange mysterious but pleasurable music emanating from the walls make a walk in the cave fabulous and fairy. But do not think it’s an easy walk! The journey through the lava tube is quite laborious. The winding corridors make travelers to bend low to pass under the stalactites, and sometimes they need to overcome the rather high rocky thresholds. Part of space of the cave corridor is below zero sea level, and the height difference in the cave is more than two hundred meters.
But it is worth the journey anyway. You will definitely enjoy watching the gas bubbles released from the cooling lava that skillfully draw fantastic patterns on the walls of the cave. Mysterious atmosphere, lighting effects, feeling of the mythical maze – all this gives pleasure not only to fans of adventure, but especially those who commit such a trip for the first time!