Despite the ongoing pandemic and the volcanic eruption on La Palma, we were able to once again run our trip to the Canary Islands in January 2022. Our tour took in three islands (Tenerife, La Gomera & La Palma) and offered the opportunity to explore the fascinating geology of these volcanic islands.
GeoWorld Travel’s ‘Canary Islands: Volcanic Island Hopping’ route map
Day one: Arrival day
Our tour group convened on the island of Tenerife today, giving people a chance to meet each other in person and to settle in to our accommodation on Tenerife. This year, our group comprised of guests from the UK and the Netherlands. We met in the evening for our first meal together and to chat about the plans for the coming days.
Day two: Lava tubes and the ancestral volcanoes of Tenerife
Today was the first full touring day of our tour and we spent the whole day on the island of Tenerife Our first stop was the Cueva del Viento lava tubes. Outside of Hawaii these are the longest in the world and occur in 27,000-year-old basalt that erupted from Pico Viejo, a parasitic cone of Teide volcano. The first few photos below were taken inside the lava tubes on our guided tour. We then visited the nearby Dragon Tree in Icod de Los Vinos before heading to Garachico (TF1.6). Here we saw how a 1706 lava flow blocked the port which was, at that time, the capital of Tenerife and a major port linking Spain to the Americas. In the photos below, you can see lava from 1706 in front of a fort which marked the entrance to the port and you can also see the former port, which is now a park a few hundred metres from the shore. We then moved on to Los Gigantes (TF1.2). These 600m high cliffs are made from 5 million-year-old lava that formed in the Teno volcano, an ancestral volcano of Tenerife. We also observed olivine and pyroxene crystals in the Teno basalt (pictured below). Finally, pictured in the last photo, we saw the oldest rocks in Tenerife (TF 1.1) which formed in the “central volcano” 8-12 million years ago. It is on top of this that later volcanoes grew to form the modern island of Tenerife.