Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands, is a popular holiday destination for many Britons – and with its year-round hot weather, inviting beaches and natural attractions, it’s not difficult to see why.
Well established resorts catering to couples, families and groups of friends, affordable flights and accommodation, great beaches and watersports, plus the chance to explore the island’s interior, mean there is something for everyone in this Spanish hotspot.
Getting there/getting around Lanzarote
Several airlines, including British Airways, Jet2, MyTravel Airways and Thomsonfly, run flights to Lanzarote’s main airport, Arrecife, from a number of British airports, including some regional ones. The journey takes about four hours.
As the island is fairly small, getting around is pretty easy. The island has good buses, and abundant hire cars and taxis.
Most of the island’s coastline is made up of rocks, but whether you want to play some beach sports or just want to soak up a few rays of sunshine, you won’t be spoilt for choice for beaches in Lanzarote. The beach at the mountainous area of Famara, for example, is excellent for surfing, as is the stunning Punto del Papagayo (the Parrot Spot).
Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca are all popular resorts with British tourists. There is a peaceful nudist beach called Charco de Palo near the village of Mala on the north east coast.
The capital Arrecife is sprinkled with interesting sights. There’s San Gabriel castle housing a small museum, a pretty church and the Charco area denoted by palm trees, cottages and souvenir shops.
There are also a number of pretty villages scattered throughout the island which are best explored by hiring a car. Femes, Tinajo and Tahiche are some of the more remarkable ones.
Timanfaya National Park, in the south-west of the island, is a must-see sight. Many operators offer excursions to see its dramatic landscape sculpted by volcanic eruptions over two centuries ago.
Other points of interest include: La Geria wine region, the island’s salt pans, and a cave called Los Hervideros renowned for its blow holes.
Family attractions in Lanzarote
Costa Teguise is home to a water park that will keep the kids happy, while the Guinate Tropical Park, which is easily accessible from most places on the island, also comes recommended – especially the parrot show that takes place there.
You can also board a yellow submarine at Puerto del Carmen and observe the local underwater wildlife in clear-blue waters. The Cactus Garden, which was designed by the island’s very own Cesar Manrique, also offers something a little different.
Day trips around Lanzarote
Take your pick from fishing, glass-bottom boat trips, catamaran excursions to deserted beaches, jet-skiing, swimming and snorkelling. Many tourists pop over to neighbouring Fuerteventura to see its rolling sand dunes and to go shopping at Correlejo.
Holidaymakers who like hiking should explore the Valley of 1,000 Palms.
Eating out in Lanzarote
You’ll find plenty of British fare and international cuisine in the resorts on the island. It’s worth trying to seek out a typical Canarian restaurant to sample tapas and fresh seafood. The most northerly village of Orzola is renowned for its exquisite seafront seafood restaurants.
And to top it all off, have a glass or two of Malvasia wine, whose distinctive taste can be attributed to the fact that it is made from grapes grown on the island’s volcanic terrains. Tinto de verano (a mixture of wine and lemonade) and sangria are also readily available on the island.
Nightlife in Lanzarote
The island’s main tourist resorts, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise, come to life in the evening, with a mixture of bars and clubs to satisfy most palates. And there’s no rush for last orders on the island – many bars in Lanzarote tend to stay open till the last person has left.
However, if you want to sample some local entertainment, you’ll need to head away from the main tourist areas – head to Arrecife, for instance, which retains much of its Hispanic identity.
Shopping in Lanzarote
There are lots of duty-free goods to be found in Lanzarote’s main resorts. Popular souvenirs include leather, arts, crafts, clothes, jewellery and locally-made wines.
The markets in Teguise are a good place to find gifts and local produce, such as wine and cheese. It also boasts the Art and Antiques Emporium, great for souvenirs.