This walk is a toughie but worth it! When you visit the Mirador del Río at the Northern tip of Lanzarote, there is a stunning view from the Risco down over the Río to the island of La Graciosa. If you look down you will see a beautiful sandy beach called the Playa del Risco and next to it the pink ruins of the Salinas del Risco.
The photos above were taken on an earlier visit to the Mirador del Río to watch the sunset.
To find the start of the walk first drive to the Mirador del Río close to the village of Ye. Take the narrow coast road to the left of the viewpoint, follow this along keeping your eyes on the road and not on the view! When the road turns away from the cliff top after a couple of corners look for the opening to the car park on your right, there is a large upright grey stone and the road is paved with flagstones of lava rock, the rural hotel Finca La Corona is on the left. Follow this track around to the car park.
Take the path from the car park along to the viewing platform at the top of the cliff, the path is visible below, zig zagging back and to across the cliff face. The descent is around 650m and 2km long. The path down is not physically hard but there are loose stones underfoot and you can slip on the smaller stones, take your time and look for the fixed rocks to step on.
The views are incredible, you can see down to the beach and salt pans, along the risco both ways towards the Mirador del Río and Famara and over to La Graciosa.
Once at the bottom you’ll reach a sandy crossroads, straight on or right will lead around to the beach, the path left is the start of the cliff walk around to Famara.
We walked straight on and followed the coast around to the beach, there were some interesting blow holes in the rock where the sea splashed through.
This beach is lovely, Playa del Risco is a large sandy cove and invites you to take your walking shoes off and paddle along the waters edge.
I had to laugh when a Spanish man ran up to us and asked if we had a mobile phone to call a taxi, when I looked puzzled as there aren’t any roads, he explained the water taxi from La Graciosa will collect from this beach during the summer! Sure enough he made a quick phone call and the boat arrived 10 minutes later to collect him and his camping gear.
Resisting the temptation we walked the length of the beach to go and visit the old salt pans Salinas del Risco, I was amazed at the depth of colour here, underneath the salt water was a bright pink / red offset with the dark black lava stone zocos and white salt cristals.
The beach was calling us so we headed back, stripped off and went for a swim which was just gorgeous! After a chill out on the beach and lunch we dressed and started to make our way back. I’ve seen someone run up this path in 12 minutes, the quickest I’ve walked back up is around 35 minutes but I would allow an hour as the going is tough and you can stop for water breaks and to enjoy the view whilst you get your breath back.
If the walk back up is too much for you, the water taxi number for a transfer over to La Graciosa 676 901 845!!
If you would like to walk in Lanzarote please read our guide to the footpaths we’ve covered so far Walks in Lanzarote.