We attended the “Pisadas sobre huellas – Los avestruces de Órzola” walk organised by the Cabildo of Lanzarote, to visit the sites of archaeological interest at Valle Grande & Valle Chico, where giant fossil eggs have been found.
There are two short walks both within a kilometre of the main road, where you can visit the area that has been excavated to discover these giant fossil eggs which are believed to be around 6 million years old. We met the latest team of 30 students from different areas of Spain who are spending the month of August excavating to try and uncover more fossils and hopefully bones, although it is rare to find any in situ with the eggs.
To find the footpath to Valle Grande pick up the dirt track on the right of the LZ-203 heading towards Pardelas Park. The track becomes a single file footpath to the barranco of Valle Grande. You will see the layer of basalt that has been carefully chipped away over several years, if you climb up to that level, you can find a smooth egg shaped dish on the furthest section where one of the eggs was found.
We followed the footpath around to the left on exiting Valle Grande which led down to the beach Playa de Atras. There is a car park here accessed by a well used dirt track from the village. The footpath climbs up to the left of the beach following the edge of the cliff face, until you turn the corner and arrive at Valle Chico. The excavation team were working high up at the back of this site. The earth here is much finer and lower down than the other site, evidence of turtle eggs has been found in this location.
We would suggest taking an approximate 5km circular walk, following the road from the harbour up out of the village and picking up the footpath to Valle Grande, then doubling back to find the path along the base of the mountain down to the beach for Valle Chico. Returning to pick up the rocky footpath from Playa de Atras along the coast back to the harbour. An alternative and easier route back to the village is along the dirt track from the beach.
If you do fancy cooling off at this beach, please take care, there are dangerous currents, it’s OK for paddling but not for swimming.
We’ve posted an album of photos from our walk on our Facebook page: Fossil Eggs Walk
These eggs are an enigma, how could these birds have lived on Lanzarote? Even the experts are baffled as to how eggs dating back 6 million years could be found here, when their ancestors lost the capacity to fly around 90 million years ago and the oldest sections of the island emerged around 20 million years ago.
More Lanzarote Walks.