The stunning Spanish-influenced Canary Islands are just a few hours away by plane, and among them is the beautiful Lanzarote. From its dramatic volcanic landscape and array of beaches, to the year-round sunshine and warm climate, it is one of the most intriguing of the group of islands located just off the West African coast.
Drawing in cyclists with its mostly flat terrain, and holiday-makers with its many beaches and attractions, there are plenty of reasons to want to escape to the island of Lanzarote…
Adventures at the Timanfaya National Park
No trip to Lanzarote is complete without a visit to the Timanfaya National Park on the west side of the island. This volcanic area is dramatic in the extreme, living up to its name ‘Mountains of Fire’ due to the miles of hot solidified lava. Venture up to the visitors’ centre to test out the heat at one of the experiment areas, or head to Echadero de los Camellos for an unforgettable ride on a native camel. Depending on the season, you can also catch sight of the unusual volcanic vineyards and enjoy a glass or two of the local wine.
Swimming at Punta Majeres
This small coastal fishing village on the north-east side of the island is a real gem, and perfect for some truly unique photo opportunities. As well as its traditional whitewashed houses and relaxed vibe, it’s also known for its manmade pools and lagoons that are cut into the rocks on the shoreline. Cool off in the water and then enjoy some local cuisine at one of the small restaurants that boast incredible sea views.
Ferry rides from Orzola to La Graciosa
For a day off the beaten track, take a ferry from northern village Orzola to the tiny island of La Graciosa. Inhabited by just 700 people and featuring only sandy roads, it’s the ideal place to get away for the day and enjoy some peace and quiet. Head to one of the many sandy volcanic beaches around the island or explore the quaint streets and ocean-side restaurants of Caleta del Sebo, the main settlement on La Graciosa.
The nightlife in Puerto del Carmen
If you want somewhere to dance the night away after a restful day of lazing in the sun, the coastal resort of Puerto del Carmen is definitely the place to be. A hotspot for both local and visiting revellers, it has everything from relaxing cocktail bars to lively clubs that stay open into the small hours. You can also try your luck at a casino or head down to the harbour area for an ambient evening meal.
Ocean views at Mirador del Rio
This clifftop viewing point built in the 1970s is the perfect place to admire panoramic views of the ocean, either from one of the viewing platforms or over a cocktail or light lunch at the cafe. Designed by local artist César Manrique, the distinct structure has been built into the lava rock and is barely visible from afar. Once a lookout point for landing ships, it’s now the perfect place to enjoy breath-taking views out towards the nearby tiny island of La Graciosa.
Teguise’s Sunday Market
If you’re after some great souvenirs from your trip to Lanzarote, there’s no better place to find them than at the Teguise Market which enlivens the town every Sunday. From typical tourist knickknacks to handcrafted products from local artisans, you’ll find everything from food and drink to trinkets and clothing. If you’ve got time, venture up to the Castle of Santa Barbara, a 15th century fortress that houses the local pirate museum as well as boasting stunning views across the island’s dramatic landscape.