Friday, March 1, 2013

Playa Quemada to the Decorated Beach

In the south of Lanzarote is  Los Ajaches National Park, an area of huge glaciated valleys sweeping down from the mountain ridges to the coast.  Whilst the topography is reminiscent of the Welsh mountains, the landscape is completely different, with an almost complete lack of vegetation making it very barren and rocky.  Where the valleys meet the sea, is a series of beaches, separated by high headlands.  A couple of miles south of Playa Quemada, a little village with a black sheltered beach, scattered houses, and a few restaurants, under a cliff forming the southern boundary of a cove, is an extraordinary sight, like an oasis in the desert, a carefully tended walled garden, next to a shrine to the Virgin, dated 1991 and surrounded by artefacts that people have left over the years. I think that every week or so, a family come down the (very scary) track in their ancient truck, and camp out overnight, whilst they carefully tend, and extend the garden.  To date, I've found nothing about it in any publication, but, being on a marked Lanzarote walking route, it is visited almost every day by several hikers. The size and weight of some of the mementoes people have left makes me think that either they returned to leave them, or that they were told in advance - nobody normally walks the mountains carrying a huge chess piece on the off chance!

Here is a link to a 360 degree panorama of the shrine and garden, taken in February 2013 by Paul Boden of  360TurismoVirtual Tours

Panorama of the Decorated Beach

And here are some photos of the shrine and garden

And here is a photo taken by my wife, who blogs as Little Nell, in February 2011, when there was a boat, sadly now destroyed, on the beach. 

I suggest that you start the walk from the little square in Playa Quemada, where there is space to park your car.  When you return from the decorated beach, it's worth walking back to your car along the Quemada beach itself, which has wonderful views across the coast and mountains.

Finally, no walk from Playa Quemada would be complete without a drink and tapas at 7 Islas where Jose and Ana are delightful hosts.


  1. This is one of my favourite places to walk to; so strange and unexplained!

  2. A most lovely place to wander in wonderlust- and beauty and good for the body as well. I can imagine there is an endless supply of area to walk, and stop along the way to gather picture moments to share, with us! Looking forward to seeing more!

  3. This is such a pretty spot. I have only visited a couple of times, but would love to go again.

    A nice writeup and photos JOhn - thanks for sharing. Another great 360 from Paul too!

    Elle xx

  4. I had to google "Lanzarote". I had never heard of it but it seems like a very interesting and exotic location to visit.