Crystal-clear waters, golden sandy beaches, white-washed villages and black lava fields, the fourth largest Canary Island is anything but its unfair nickname of “Lanzagrotty”.
The island is the easternmost of the Canary Islands – lying just 130km off the African Coast. Lanzarote has no high mountains and has a dry, sub-tropical desert climate. With beaches galore, little rainfall and summer and winter sun, it really is a sun-lover’s dream.
Beaches in the tourist resorts are of golden sand (there are a few black sand beaches elsewhere). The Papagayo beaches, close to Playa Blanca, are the most photographed on the island and are definitely worth a day trip (entrance fee is charged). There are also more sheltered family-friendly beaches such as Playa Flamingo in Playa Blanca, Playa Chica in Puerto del Carmen and Playa Bastian in Costa Teguise. For the adventurous, Famara in the North is best for surfing. This stunning beach with sheer cliffs as a backdrop is spectacular, but rip tides and strong winds mean this is not for sun-bathers or water paddlers. Charco del Palo, located in the North, is a naturist resort.
The main, established tourist resorts are Costa Teguise in the East and Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca in the South. The sports resort of La Santa draws people from all over the world, with many cyclists training here thanks to the island’s mild winters. Puerto Calero, just south of Puerto del Carmen, is an upmarket resort centred around a Marina.
Lanzarote is well known for its unusual grape growing technique, where individual vines are planted in hollows around 2 meters deep, protected by a crescent-shaped stone wall and covered in picon (small volcanic stones). The main growing area of “La Geria” makes for a stunning drive and a great day out tasting superb dry and semi-sweet white wines.
The most well-known and visited attraction, Timanfaya National Park, resembles a Martian landscape with desolate black and brown lava fields, dotted with red volcanic cones. Another worthwhile visit is Cuevas de los Verdes, an underground cave system featuring one of the longest volcanic tunnels in the world with an added surprise awaits those who visit.
For more information on Lanzarote, visit Lanzarote Guide.