Lanzarote – the most unusual island in the Canary archipelago
Lanzarote (Canary Islands), also known as the island of fire-breathing mountains, is not the most popular tourist destination, but on closer acquaintance you clearly understand that its attractions in no way inferior to the partying Tenerife and fashionable Fuerteventura. On the contrary, there is no other place like it not only in the Atlantic Ocean but in the rest of the world.
Lanzarote is the fourth largest island of the Canary archipelago, located in the province of Las Palmas. Its area is 850 km² and it has a population of about 140 thousand. Conventionally it is divided into 7 municipalities, the most populous among which is Arrecife. The world fame of this place brought 3 hundred extinct volcanoes, which covered all around a thick layer of ash and gave the area a truly unearthly look. With all this, local residents are able to shoot quite a good crop of potatoes, onions, melons, tomatoes, grapes and other crops. But perhaps the most unusual product extracted in this part of the Atlantic is cochineal, a natural red dye used in the production of lipsticks.
In 1993, the island of Lanzarote in the Atlantic Ocean was designated a Biosphere Reserve. Despite the developed resort infrastructure and the absence of large crowds of tourists, it has managed to preserve its pristine, untouched by civilization beauty. Like many centuries ago, the islanders take care to preserve the environment and the unique lunar landscape, created in the first half of the 18th century.
Attractions and entertainment
The sights of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands include a variety of natural, cultural, historical and architectural attractions. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
The Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, the result of several big eruptions, is a huge biosphere reserve protected by UNESCO. On a vast area covering almost 5,000 hectares, there are almost three hundred extinct volcanoes and a huge number of large lava fields. Travel through the park can only be on camels or a special tourist bus. Treading on petrified lava is strictly prohibited, because even a few inches from the surface of the earth it is at least 350 ° C.
In Timanfaya National Park you will not see picturesque landscapes and dense tropical thickets. Everything here is covered in black volcanic dust from its many eruptions. After enjoying the fantastic scenery and the huge observation deck, you can visit the local restaurant El Diablo. It differs from traditional catering establishments by the fact that the food here is cooked right on the ground – on an original volcanic grill.
Location: 35560 Lanzarote, Spain.
Ticket price (includes bus tour of the park):
- Adult – 12€;
- Children – 6€.
Opening hours: daily from 09:00 to 17:45.
When looking at the photos of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, you will surely see another important natural attraction. We are talking about the Cueva de los Verdes, a two-tiered cave formed more than a thousand years ago after the eruption of Monte Corona. The burning lava that rushed from the top of the volcano at enormous speed formed a tunnel with a mass of different galleries and narrow corridors. The length of Cueva de los Verdes, directly overlooking the Atlantic coast, is not less than 6 miles, the width of some of the rooms reaches 24 meters, and the height of the vaults is 15-17 m.
To get into the underground tunnel is possible only as part of a 40-minute tour (groups are formed on the spot, the stories are conducted in English and Spanish). All passages are illuminated by powerful electronic devices, which emphasize the beauty of the volcanic rock and turn the walk into a real show. At the end of the program tourists will enjoy a small string concert held in the underground hall with stunning acoustics.
Location: 35520 Lanzarote, Spain.
- High season (01.07 – 30.09) – daily from 10:00 to 19:00;
- Low season (01.10 to 31.06) – daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
- Adult – 9€;
- Children (7 to 12 years old) – 4,5 €.
Among the most visited attractions in Lanzarote is Rancho Texas, a large zoo decorated in the best traditions of the Wild West. On its territory, which occupies about 60 thousand square meters, live Bengal tigers, crocodiles, monkeys, boa constrictors, iguanas and other exotic animals. Among other things, there are artificial lakes, water slides, relax zone with pools and lounge chairs, and even a small waterfall. Any visitor to the park can go to the shaman’s cave, pan for gold in a special mine, and go canoeing.
In addition, the ranch regularly hosts parrot and sea lion shows, cowboy shows, bird-of-prey demonstrations, and themed country nights with wine and barbecue. The youngest campers will enjoy pony rides and photos with a few harmless inhabitants.
Location: Alcalde Cabrera Torres, s/n, 35510 Puerto del Carmen. Hours of operation: daily from 09:30 to 17:30. Ticket prices:
- Adult – 30€;
- Children (3 to 12 years old) – 22€.
The volcano Montaña Roja, whose name literally means Red Mountain, is located 194 meters above sea level. Despite its impressive size to climb it is not so difficult. The way up takes no more than half an hour. In addition, this is not some impassable path, and a convenient path, starting from the town of Playa Blanca. The area around the crater, which resembles a shallow pit, is also very well-maintained – you can walk and admire the nature.
There are no traces of eruptions on the Red Mountain, with small bushes growing below. From a distance the volcano seems red, but on closer inspection turns out to be brown.
Location: Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain.
When exploring the photos of Lanzarote in the Canary archipelago, note the modern marina located between the resort areas of Playa Blanca and Papagayo. The marina not only has over four hundred berths, but also a sailing workshop, dry dock, slipway and crane for lifting yachts. It is also the place where the vessels in Rubicon are serviced.
Rubicon is now the permanent home of several charter companies providing yacht rentals (both with and without crew). Among other things, the port has many luxury stores and very decent markets, showers, lockers, restaurants and cafes.
Location: Urbanizacion Castillo del Aguila, calle Berrugo nº2, 35570 Playa Blanca.
Salinas de Janubio are large-scale salt mines that provide salt for the entire fishing industry of the Canary archipelago. In terms of scenic beauty this place cannot be called the best, but the symmetrically placed baths, painted in different shades of color, make it quite unusual and attractive. Near the mines you can see another local attraction – a huge emerald lake with salt water, the only body of water that survived the eruption of the island volcanoes. All the rest, littered with volcanic rocks, is underground at a level of 1 thousand meters. A little away from the salt checks is an endless beach with black sand and deposits of semi-precious stone olivine, which is widely used by local jewelers. However, it is not advisable to swim there because of the strong ocean currents. At present, Salinas de Janubio is under the protection of the state.
- Monday to Friday: 10: 00h – 18: 00h
- Saturday: 11: 00h to 17: 00h
The Fundacion Cesar Manrique, which occupies the former studio of the famous Spanish painter, designer and architect, completes the overview of the best attractions of the island of Lanzarote. The Museum of Modern Art, opened in the late 1990s, is interesting not only inside but also outside.
The house, built on solidified lava flows, is designed in the best traditions of local architecture and is complemented by many more modern elements (French floor windows, barbecue area, swimming pool, etc.). The museum is surrounded by a picturesque garden with palm trees, cacti and bougainvilleas. As for the museum collection, it contains not only many works of Cesar Manrique himself, but also paintings of other prominent 20th century landscape painters.
Location: Calle Elvira Sanchez, Aria.
- July to October: daily from 10:00 to 19:00;
- Rest days: Mon-Sat. – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. – From 10:00 till 15:00.
Ticket price: 8 €.
The beaches of Lanzarote, no more than 30 km along the Atlantic coast, have up to 40 organized recreation areas. Most of them are small enclosed coves with light yellow sand of artificial origin. The most beautiful places, which have managed to preserve their pristine nature, are located in the southern part of the island. The oldest – in the south-east. Fans of surfing and windsurfing prefer to relax here. Well, the most popular island resort is Costa Teguise, located just 15 minutes from the airport and has a considerable list of attractions. To choose the best option, check out the top 5 places based on the latest travel reviews.
Playa de las Cucharas is the central city beach located on the Costa Teguise. The shoreline, which is no more than 650 meters long, is covered with soft white sand and surrounded by a small but very beautiful garden. The entrance to the water is comfortable, the bottom is clean and gentle, but in a strong wind you will have nowhere to hide.
On the territory there are water transport rentals, diving, surfing and windsurfing schools, a lot of cafes, restaurants and various stores. In addition, vacationers can use the toilet and shower with fresh water. Rent umbrellas and sun loungers is paid. In summer there are lifeguards on duty. Nearby is the city promenade.
Playa Dorada is a compact sandy cove located in the eastern tip of the island. It has a good entrance to the water, clean clear water and gradually increasing depth. Most importantly, there is virtually no wind – the shore is protected from it by a large ridge of stones and a special breakwater.
Judging by the photos of Lanzarote in the tourist brochures, Playa Dorada Beach has all the traditional amenities. In addition, there are several travel agencies and a small port, where you can take a boat trip or ferry. For those who like to be active, there are banana boat rides, catamaran rides and jet ski rides.
Playa del Jabilho is a small sandy beach, located in the Costa Teguise area. It is very clean and comfortable, but on the shore you can see a huge amount of black lava. Entrance to the water is comfortable, the sea is clear, the shallow water line is warm and wide, you can swim with children. From the strong winds coast shelter huge volcanic rocks.
The main entertainment is riding a board with a paddle and feeding the fish dried bun. In gratitude for the treats they immediately swim up to a man and arrange him a free foot massage. Playa Del Jablillo has a developed infrastructure. On the coast there are cafes, stores, toilets, Fish Spa, rentals, showers, etc. Rent umbrellas and sun loungers are for a fee. In summer, there are lifeguards.
Playa de Papagayo, which is on the list of the best natural attractions in Lanzarote in Spain, is located in the natural park of Los Hachaches. Its main features are clear water, fine volcanic sand and picturesque, almost wild scenery. You have to pay to enter, but tourists are not embarrassed by this fact. However, because of the strong remoteness from the nearest settlement there are not many tourists.
The coastline of Papagayo is surrounded by high rocky formations. Going into the sea is comfortable, but the water is quite cool. The infrastructure is limited to a couple or three summer cafes and a large parking lot nearby. In the immediate vicinity of the recreation area is an extinct volcano, the crater of which formed a freshwater lake. In addition, if desired, you can rent a bike and walk through the natural park or sign up for a boat trip, which lasts about 4 hours.
Playa de los Pollos, which is one of the most visited beaches of the island of Lanzarote in the Canaries, is famous for its long coastline, comfortable entry into the water and clean soft sand. The main facilities (toilets, showers, sun loungers, etc.) are close to the hotel area. There are a lot of cafes, bars and stores, as well as a huge parking lot. In high season there are lifeguards on duty. There are no water sports, but you can always stroll along the city promenade. Plus, the local airport is nearby – kids love to watch the planes land right overhead.
Weather and climate – when is the best time to visit?
The climate in Lanzarote is cooler than in the other western resorts of the Canary archipelago. This is due to the lack of natural protection and the strong influence of the northeasterly oceanic trade wind. It’s coolest in winter, when temperatures drop as low as +20°C. As for the summer figures, they rarely exceed +26 … +27,5 ° C. The high tourist season lasts from early August to mid-October. You can rest here practically at any time of year – it never rains, and the water in the Atlantic Ocean always stays warm enough (from 21 to 24 ° C).
How to get to the island?
If you don’t know how to get to Lanzarote, be prepared to make more than one flight connection. The fact is that there are no direct flights from CIS countries to this island, so you’ll have to visit Tenerife, that plays the role of the main transfer point. You can fly here from Moscow, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam and other European cities.
The ticket from Tenerife to the island of fire-breathing mountains costs about 100 €. Flights between the two famous resorts provide two local airlines – Islas Airways and Binter Canarias. Lanzarote International Airport is located 5 km from Arrecife and is linked to it by a good bus service.
Another option is to take a ferry from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The trip takes 9.5 hours.
The prices on the page are for January 2020.
Lanzarote is an island in the Canary Islands and has some very interesting things to tell. Here are just a few of them:
- The color scheme of all island buildings is limited to 4 basic shades – white, blue, green and brown.
- Lanzarote is considered one of the oldest islands of the Canary archipelago. The process of its emergence began simultaneously with the geological processes that took place more than 20 million years ago.
- The resort took its name from Lancelotto Malocello, an Italian merchant who discovered it in 1312.
- The island was originally called Titerogakaet, which means “the one that burns” in Aboriginal language.
The best beaches on the island of Lanzarote:
Author: Olga Sheiko
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