Lanzarote is one of the seven main Canary Islands. The island is geographically part of Africa and located in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is known for its unique character and landscape. The centre of the island has often been described as a moon landscape. Here you will find black rocky and sandy mountains created by the eruptions of millennia old volcanos. Lanzarote is home to more than 100 Volcanos. It is a land of opposites. While it may often look bare, with only life for cactus, Aloe Vera, goats, birds and fish, the volcanic activity of the past has at the same time produced some of the most fertile sand in the world, which is now being exported to other countries. Most tourists who come to Lanzarote will stay in the large beach resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise, or Playa Blanca. Each of these resorts offers lovely beaches, a large selection of restaurants, many bars, and discothèques. From these towns it is easy to organise excursions to other parts of the island. These beach resorts are also the towns that offer most of the available accommodation, although you can also find apartments on the other side of the island, mainly in La Santa and Famara.
Things to do and see in Lanzarote
Explore natural wonders
Places that you should not miss on your trip to Lanzarote are: Cueva de los Verdes, Lagomar, El Golfo, Jameos del Agua, and Timanfaya. Timanfaya is a national park that consists of volcanos; here you can go on a bus trip to an actual volcano where you will be able to cook food above the heath of real lava. There are also tours through the park on camels available. The Cueva de los Verdes is a large cave that was created in one of Lanzarote’s latest volcanic eruptions. The streams of lava moving down to the ocean left a network of caves and tunnels that you can now visit on a guided tour.
Visit local towns!
Some very nice towns to visit are Teguise, Haria and Yaiza. Teguise is famous for its Sunday market. From the resorts there will be excursions organised to the market. This village has a special character; here you will find good restaurants, organic shops, and artisanal boutiques. There are also several historical buildings that are interesting to visit.
Learn to surf and kiteboarding!
Lanzarote is also famous for its water sports. On the North West coast in Caleta de Famara there are many schools and surf camps that will offer you the opportunity to learn surfing or kite surfing in safe conditions. Both Caleta de Famara and La Santa used to be fishers villages, but over the course of the last decades they have turned into real surf towns. The east coast is more suitable for windsurfing. Windsurfing is usually practised in Costa Teguise. There is a large hotel with sports training facilities located in la Santa in the north west of the island. Many athletes come to Lanzarote to train. The island attracts cyclists, runners, swimmers and triathlon participators, many of whom aim to take part in the world famous Iron Man Lanzarote triathlon. The Iron Man Lanzarote triathlon usually takes place in May and is known to be the toughest Iron Man triathlon in the world.
Try local wine!
This sand has made it possible for Lanzarote to develop a thriving wine production. In the wine producing area of the island, called La Geria, the small green vines against the background of black volcanic sand and white painted houses form a beautiful contrast. In Lanzarote you will find sand beaches, pebble beaches, and black sand beaches. The sunsets are stunning from basically anywhere on the island. Palm trees and volcanos form patterns against the darkening skies while the setting sun changes the colours of the clouds and spreads a typical soft light over the land.
Best time to visit
Tourists visit Lanzarote from May to October
Getting there and around
The only airport on the island is the Airport of Arrecife. From there the nearest resort town is Puerto Del Carmen, but all resorts can be reached easily. And, because the island is small nothing is ever far. There are flights to Lanzarote from most of the main Spanish cities and larger European cities.
Sometimes it will pay off to change the city you leave from. Good deals can usually be found with Ryan Air leaving from Brussels Charleroi. The island can also be reached by ferry from Cadiz in the south of mainland Spain, or from the other Canary Islands. In the past there have been ferries between Morocco and the Canary Islands, but it remains unclear whether these will continue at some time in the future.
The best thing about Lanzarote is that the island is small with a lot of interesting places to visit. If you want you will be able to see everything allow yourself one or two weeks and get the most out of your holiday. If you want to see more of the islands there are good flight connections between all of them. And from Lanzarote there are ferry connections to La Graciosa, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The best thing to do is to rent a car. The prices of cars can be cheap, if booked in advance.
Another famous fiesta is de festival de Dolores. It is the celebration of the Virgen de los Dolores, also called virgin de los Volcanos; she is the patron saint of Lanzarote. This fiesta celebrates when a volcanic eruption took place in the 1730s taking over the island and threatening the village of Tinajo. The people of the village sought protection from the Virgen de los Dolores. According to the legend the lava came up to the church where the villagers had gathered, but stopped spreading its mortal heath as a priest was praying inside.
This fiesta is celebrated by all the people on the island. Even many restaurants in the tourist resorts will close on this day. The people, from everywhere on the island, start walking in the morning to reach the location of the celebration in the afternoon or evening. They take with them wine and food and by the time they arrive the festive tone has been set.