What to visit in Lanzarote?
Lanzarote, the fourth largest Canary island, is one of the most exotic places in the entire archipelago. Its nickname, "Fire Island," says it all. Lanzarote has a red-black volcanic landscape with mostly smaller volcanic cones, black sand beaches with red cliffs, and bare, dry desert-like mountains. Traveling around Lanzarote can feel like you're exploring Mars's red wasteland. Every few kilometers, however, you will be led astray by typical Canarian well-kept villages with white houses of unique architecture for this part of the world. Lanzarote's southern and eastern coasts also have classic beach resorts with hotel resorts, and Lanzarote tours are becoming increasingly popular.
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What not to miss?
Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya National Park is unquestionably one of Europe's most exotic landscapes. The vast landscape of red-black volcanic cones, bare, dry plains, and old lava fields resembles the planet Mars far more than the Earth's surface. Go to the Mountains of Fire, or Montanas del Fuego as the locals call it, and take a trip to another world.
Snorkelers, divers, and local fauna will be able to visit the one-of-a-kind exhibition in the Canary Islands, specifically the northernmost of the larger Canary Islands. The underwater museum on the seabed in Las Coloradas Bay displays the works of Jason deCaires Taylor. The British sculptor is well-known worldwide for his expertise in underwater art, combining his two grand passions in life. Taylor's work is included on the National Geographic institution's list of the twenty-five most miraculous results of the world. His sculptures are made of environmentally friendly concrete and depict everyday themes. Its mission is to raise awareness about ocean issues and advocate for their conservation. Four hundred ghostly figures can be seen above on the surface; the brave will sink to 15 meters and swim between them. Jason deCaires Taylor's sculptures contribute to the formation of the artificial reef, and the entire area serves as a breeding ground for fish and other aquatic life. Lanzarote's Underwater Museum offers a one-of-a-kind artistic and diving experience.
Jameos del Agua
The Jameos del Agua cave complex, formed by volcanic activity, is one of Lanzarote's most popular tourist attractions. Unique shallow water-flooded lava tunnels reach the surface, creating daylight-lit pools in the middle of 7km long underground caverns. Furthermore, the famous Lanzarote native, artist, and architect César Manrique, who made this cave complex the number one tourist attraction in the late 1970s, reshaped the Jemos del Agua area quite dramatically for tourists purposes, but with great respect for nature. Along with Jameos del Agua, don't miss the 1.5 km lava tunnel with the Cueva de Los Verdes caves.
Jardín de Cactus
Another popular tourist attraction in Lanzarote is the cactus garden in the village of Guatiza. It was built in the early 1990s by the famous Lanzarote architect César Manrique and is home to over 1,400 species of cacti from all over the world. The Jardin de Cactus was built on the site of a former quarry to extract volcanic sand. It is made in harmony with the surrounding nature as much as possible, so it does not interfere significantly with the landscape. You can expect to see over 4,500 cacti of various types, sizes, and appearances. The garden is dominated by a picturesque windmill, from which you can capture the best panoramic shots of the entire area.
Teguise, located inland in Lanzarote's northern half, is a historic town with several tourist attractions. Teguise is also one of Lanzarote's oldest towns. It was founded in 1414 and served as the island's capital until 1847. Teguise was even the capital of the Kingdom of the Canary Islands between 1425 and 1448. It is strategically located in the middle of the island, relatively far from the sea, primarily to protect against frequent pirate raids.
What else to visit?
Santa Barbara Castle
The most beautiful monument overlooks Teguise from the rim of the volcanic caldera, nearly 200 meters above the city center. Since the 15th century, the medieval castle of St. Barbary (Castillo de Santa Bárbara, also known as Castillo de Guanapay after the volcano on which it is located) has been a city's main defensive fortresses. It was rebuilt in response to increasing pirate and Berber raids and assumed its current form around 1586. Its significance faded in the 17th century when a massive fortification was built near Arrecife's main port. The Museum of Piracy is currently housed in the castle.
Mirador del Río
The Mirador del Ro viewpoint is one of Lanzarote's most popular stops. It overlooks the arid volcanic-desert landscape of northern Lanzarote and the island of La Graciosa from the north edge of the majestic Famara cliffs. The manufactured stone walkway with railing on the edge of a 450-meter-high cliff is located at the end of the Famara Mountains and was named after the narrow strait that connects Lanzarote and the island of La Graciosa, which is nicknamed "Ro," meaning river. In addition to parking, there is a small cafe here. The entrance fee to the lookout is 5€.
Punta Mujeres (village)
Punta Mujeres, a small fishing village in the north of the island, attracts visitors with its jagged lava coast, which creates sea pools in many mini-bays. They spill in various ways over the lava thresholds created by nature, and there is the option of swimming in pools with calm water and a view of the stormy sea just a few meters away. Some collections have also been modified with artificial dams and stairs to improve accessibility and safety. In Punta Mujeres, you can swim without fear in approximately eight different locations along the entire length of the 2 km lava coast.
César Manrique Foundation
The César Manrique Foundation is housed in Taro de Tahiche, a house in Lanzarote's center. Manrique, a painter, architect, and sculptor, was the mastermind behind making this island the most beautiful of all. This structure, built on five volcanic bubbles and later converted into rooms, is an example of the artist's architectural style. The visitor can best understand how Lanzarote was transformed by combining art and nature while respecting the island's landscape and traditions.
El Golfo (village)
El Golfo is a fishing village on the west coast of Lanzarote in the Parque Natural de los Volcanes natural park. It is surrounded by incredible lava formations formed by eruptions between 1730 and 1736. It's a charming enclave of whitewashed Lanzarote-style sailor's houses with flat roofs lining the narrow streets that lead down to the boats on the black sand beach. El Golfo has a diverse range of lodging options. A visit to this village during your vacation is highly recommended. This is due not only to the area's natural beauty but also to the omnipresent calm, excellent gastronomy based on fresh fish, and nearby natural attractions. And watching the sunset from one of the terraces will add a gold touch to a few days of relaxation.
As we like to recommend quality services, if you are looking for a fantastic tour operator in Lanzarote, we can recommend Líneas Romero!
How to travel there?
Lanzarote is located in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly at the level of the Moroccan city of Guelmin, and is part of the Canary Islands and Spain. The island is served by Lanzarote International Airport (ACE), also known as Arrecife Airport, after the nearby capital city. Lanzarote can be reached by plane in less than 5 hours from Central Europe, and Ryanair dominates the low-cost airline market. Inter-island flights are reasonably priced. Binter Canarias and CanaryFly fly to Gran Canaria and Tenerife islands several times per day, with one-way tickets starting at 15€.
If you want to visit more than one Canary Island, you can use boat transportation in addition to the air connection. This is especially beneficial for the nearby island of Fuerteventura, where there are no direct flights. Regular ferries run between Playa Blanca and Corralejo; the trip takes about 35 minutes. Lineas Romero offers the cheapest tickets starting at 18€ for the boats that run between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
The company Naviera Armas provides direct connections to Gran Canaria from the port of Arrecife at around 90€ for a 6-hour journey. Transferring to Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura is the only way to reach the other islands.
Lanzarote is also accessible by ferry from the mainland, making it accessible to those who do not wish to fly. The company Naviera Armas operates a regular ferry line on the route Arrecife-Cádiz, which runs once a week and takes more than 36 hours. A round-trip ticket will cost around 180€.
When to travel there?
Like the rest of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote has a pleasant year-round climate that invites visitors at any time of year. Like its neighbor Fuerteventura, the island has a subtropical desert climate with little rainfall. This significantly differs from the larger Tenerife or Gran Canaria, which have rainy seasons. Lanzarote is open to visitors all year. Although the sea water is considerably colder than in the Mediterranean, the island is particularly appealing for a combination of beach and sightseeing vacations. Lanzarote is one of the most pleasant travel destinations due to its more or less constant temperatures, virtually non-existent winters in the true sense of the word, and lack of extreme weather fluctuations. Summers are kept cool by continuous winds, while winters are almost entirely sunny. Lanzarote receives very little rain, and even in the wettest December, the chances of getting wet are meager. If you are only interested in the beaches, the best months to visit are July to October, when the sea temperature is at least 21 degrees Celsius.
The low-cost traveler. A night's accommodation for two people will cost around 46€. A person's daily meal costs about 11€ on average. You can travel around the island by bus for about 6€ per day and use the tourist attractions, but only those that are free, because you want to save money. A day in Lanzarote will cost you 63€ in total.
The standard traveler or the traveler who wants to treat himself to something special. A night's stay for two people will cost you 75€. Food on the island will cost about 29€ per person for the entire day. When traveling, you use local transportation and taxis, so it is approximately 13€ per person. You are willing to pay the entrance fee for tourist attractions, about 8€ per person per day. The day's total budget is 125€.
The luxury traveler wants to spoil himself, so he spends an average of 119€ for one night's accommodation for two people. He wants to try new foods, so he treats himself to a typical 48€ meal. He doesn't skimp on transportation or taxis, spending around 24€ for the entire day. He wants to see everything he wrote down in his notes and spends 15€ per person per day on admissions and sights. A more luxurious vacation in Lanzarote will cost you around 206€ daily.
Where to eat?
Traditional tapas are consistently good on Lanzarote, a windswept island in Spain's Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. However, a new wave of inventive cuisine combines traditional flavors with modern presentation.
Restaurant Costa Azul is a simple blue-and-white beachfront spot in the tiny seaside village of El Golfo. Still, it's one of the best places on the island for fish and seafood, best paired with a bottle of crisp malvasia white from the island's Bodega La Geria. Bring a jacket because the breeze can be strong, and walk off your lunch along Avenida Marítima. The black pebble beach offers excellent rock pooling if you're traveling with children. Fantastic location, excellent service, and reasonable prices begin at 12€ per meal and rise from there.
Coentro is another suggestion. Chef-owner Joo Faraca brings the flavors of his native Brazil to this inventive Puerto Calero restaurant. In 2018, he was named Best Chef in the Canary Islands for innovative dishes such as gazpacho with goat's cheese ice cream, cocoa-braised pig cheeks, and wagyu carpaccio with silky burrata. Small plates and the tasting menu are served on lava-esque tableware, wood, and rough ceramics. Because of the specific and unique concept, the prices start at 17€ and go up. But it all depends on what you plan to eat.
Last, Villa Toledo Restaurant in Costa Teguise offers upscale dining in a spectacular setting above the ocean, opening onto volcanic rocks that descend to the sea. It was built in the 1960s as a private home for a wealthy salt-mining family, and the sea is visible through the glass walls whether you're dining inside or out. Fideuà is a dish to try; it's similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. It goes well with a glass of local malvasia wine. Prices range between 15 - 25€, which is reasonable if you want to eat in a restaurant.
Día de la Cruz (3rd May)
The famous Da de la Cruz (Day of the Cross) celebration occurs when the towns and villages of Lanzarote hang decorated crosses covered in flowers all over the walls, doors, and streets. Teguise is the best place to see these pretty displays because the locals go all out, creating beautiful and sweet-smelling presentations that add some magic to its cobbled streets.
Fiesta de San Gines (25th August)
This spectacular fiesta commemorates Arrecife's patron saint, San Gines. The event is primarily held in the El Charco area and includes various exciting events such as traditional Canarian sports such as sailing and wrestling. On the evening of August 25th, the event concludes with the crowning of a new Miss Lanzarote and a spectacular beach firework display.
We hope you had a good time driving around Lanzarote with us! We fell in love with this island, and we hope you will too as a result of our recommendations! We also have other places for you to visit, such as Split, Mykonos, or Tenerife. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases. Check out @lanza.guru for more photos of Lanzarote or @elbocado_sibarita if you like food! Let us know what you liked the most in Lanzarote if you decide to visit!