About Lanzarote

Volcán de la Corona

LANZAROTE – THE ISLAND

At once tropical, exotic, and rustic, Lanzarote is the fourth largest of the Canary Islands, placed closest to the Moroccan coast. On particular summer days, the hot desert winds can be felt from neighboring Africa, making for the perfect excuse to take up windsurfing lessons at one of many beaches where professionals come to train. Coastal towns of Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen, and Playa Blanca offer up traditional Canary Island dishes, which more often than not means the catch of the day accompanied by a fresh glass of wine from local vineyards. Driving inland, one can see the vast spread of volcanic lava which swept the island in the 19th century and today provides an alien-like experience, whether driving through alone or on the guided tour buses winding through Timanfaya National Park.

TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK

The majestic Timanfaya National Park covers nearly a third of Lanzarote’s surface area, and was designated a UNESCO Biosphere reserve along with the rest of the island in 1993. Although the vast majority of the park is strictly regulated to protect the rare indigenous flora and fauna, the iconic tourist center built by Cesar Manrique in the Islote del Hilario offers scenic bus tours and entertaining demonstrations of the islands volcanic activity. Whether it’s a geyser created by the latent heat of the volcanoes, or the grill that draws its heat from the innards of the earth, this attraction is guaranteed to please those seeking for something truly unique.

Centros Turísticos y César Manrique

César Manrique, Lanzarote’s most influential artist, not only made a massive impact on the island’s planning regulations and architectural style but also designed a series of truly unique tourist centers. Scattered across some of the islands most scenic and breathtaking locations, these centers embody the various aspects of life on a volcanic island, and help the visitor gain a better understanding of what life on Lanzarote meant to him.

Some of Manrique’s most prominent works on the island include the Mirador del Rio (a restaurant/lookout spot overlooking the island of La Graciosa), the Jameos del Agua (a complex concert/entertainment halls built inside natural volcanic tunnels), and the International Museum of Contemporary art (built in the Castillo de San José, and featuring works from some of Spain’s most influential contemporary artists including Miró, Millares, Mompó, and Manrique himself).

BEACHES

The beaches on Lanzarote are many and varied, providing options for those looking for an active, relaxing, or romantic day at the water. Costa Teguise has played host to the 2011 world windsurfing championships and visitors can find lessons at various local surf shops. The secluded beaches of Famara can be reached by an exhilarating hike down from a path entry near Finca la Corona, and the black sands of El Golfo can be intriguing for kids and adults alike. More than a few brides have chosen to take pictures here for the beautiful contrast between the white dress and black beach. Couples looking for a little more peace and quiet can take the ferry from Orzola to the neighboring island of La Graciosa, and follow one of many paths to the semi and fully private beaches, secluded but still offering majestic views of the cerulean blue waters and cliffs of Lanzarote.

Golf

Lanzarote is currently home to two 18-hole golf courses situated in Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen. Both of these courses offer a challenge worthy of any golfer no matter the skill level, and great views of their respective parts of the island. Costa Teguise Golf (link) guests also have at their disposal a full service restaurant, paddle courts, and an on-site golf coach should you want to take a private or group lesson.

 

HICKING

Although Lanzarote is a relatively small island, it still offers a number of hiking/walking opportunities to please the outdoor enthusiast. With it’s 846 sq km and over 300 volcanoes the island has ample opportunities to see a truly unique scenery. Between the months of February and March, when the Lanzarote gets it’s yearly dose of rain, the island comes into bloom with a sea of grassy meadows covering the previously barren volcanic ash. Although these months offer quite the opportunity for amazing photography, the rest of the year is more characteristic of the islands natural state.

Some of the more intriguing hiking trails can be found in the north and south tips of the island along it’s main mountain ranges, Famara and Los Ajaches. That said, there are numerous opportunities to hike around the coast, particularly around Costa Teguise, and on the neighboring island of La Graciosa.

WINE TASTING

Even thought Lanzarote only gets on average less than 100mm of rainfall per year, the island is home to a number of very unique and distinct wineries. In a region of the island called La Geria, close to the Timanfaya National Park, sit a number of vineyards cultivated by local families. These vineyards are rather different from the traditional European or American model in that they do not grow the vines along straight paths, but rather grow each vine individually in small stone enclosures called zocos, in order to protect the vines from the dry winds. Additionally the vines grown in Lanzarote, due to the isolation of the island, were never affected by the phylloxera plague that decimated vineyards across Europe. This unique situation makes the vines pristine, and truly representative of their appellation. Within La Geria we strongly recommend visiting the Stratvs and El Grifo wineries, and are happy to arrange visits for you if you would so desire.

DINING

Lanzarote offers a great number of dining experiences, from traditional island cuisine to sophisticated modern dishes. For those interested in the local cuisine, we highly recommend the following restaurants: Amanecer, located in the fishing village of Arrieta; Casa Pedro, in Playa Blanca; and La Cantina, in Teguise. All of these restaurants offer truly local cuisine, and exceptional seafood. Amanecer and Casa Pedro are located right next to the ocean, an incredible experience for anyone looking to experience the local cuisine.

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