If you don’t live in Europe, then you may have hardly heard of the cozily tucked away yet awesomely cool place called Lanzarote. As unique as its name is, the place is a UNSECO biosphere reserve. Tranquil beaches and volcanic landscapes which mesmerize you with their beautiful sights all make this a Spanish haven. Did you know this place is pitted with 300 volcanic cones?
The landscape is an exceptional combination of crinkly, majestic lava fields and palm-filed valley fields. Can you imagine the mesmerizing and magnificent sights that would be? What other worldly place would that be? This is a place where the two opposites come together not for destruction but for creating a truly attractive landscape.
The island’s major land sights were developed by the late César Manrique. He was a Lanzarote native and artist. He also left a prominent impact on the island’s cultural foundation. Its characteristic whitewashed houses are due to the late architect. These white washed houses with blue and green shutters lend another dimension to the island.
There are tons of beaches on this picturesque island. Francesa, Playa Grande, Las Cucharas, La Concha and El Reducto are some of the islands distinguished by white sand. If you fancy seeing golden beaches, then you may head towards any of the following beaches: El Risco, Famara, Playa de Papagayo, Playa Honda and La Garita among others.
Did you know the island has 365 days of spring? Yes! Any day you arrive, the spring-like weather welcomes you on this blooming island. With around 3,000 hours of sunlight a year, it lies in the part of Europe with the most hours of sunlight. Also, it has an amazingly cool annual average temperature of 21°C.
This volcanic island is close to the Tropic of Cancer. The entire island is dominated by volcanic rubble, lava rocks, and ash. Add to it the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean and you have a scene worth traveling the seven seas for. No wonder it has tourists flocking to it throughout the year.
How you reach the island is exciting in itself. Due to the island’s size and position of the airport, airplanes headed for Lanzarote actually hover over the water and touches ground just seconds before landing. Upon reaching, you will notice that the island has no tall buildings. Natural to the core, the beaches and majestic mountains gracefully welcome you, taking you in with their silent beauty.
Reading the description of Lanzarote may have motivated you enough to start planning your next trip to this heavenly location, but once you arrive, what do you do? Here are just some of the places and sights worth visiting.
Timanfaya National Park
Made up of volcanic soil in its entirety, this park is a work of natural art. The volcanic soil is from eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736. This strange and enigmatic park seems like it’s out of a science–fiction movie. The volcanic craters, nascent and active volcanoes, and rubble from volcanic explosions, this park will take you by surprise.
You cannot take a walk or drive inside the park. However, a coach trip will very willingly take you around this national park amidst various ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’! Plus, you can also take camel rides across this surreal landscape to marvel at this out-of–the-world piece of land!
But what will truly blow you away is yet to come. Have you ever cracked the joke to someone else that it was so hot outside that you could just as well fry an egg? Well, you get to experience it here. The park sits atop some steaming volcanic activity so the restaurant El Diablo makes use of it. It utilizes the geo-thermal energy to cook food and grill meat, giving new meaning to harnessing the power of earth, perhaps? The bottomless grill provides for an interesting view and amazing food!
In the same area is the El Golfo. It is a volcanic crater with a green pool. The water is green in color because of the algae on its surface, in addition to the minerals left from volcanic activities. Perhaps, nowhere else you would get to see such a stark spectrum of colors ranging from the black beach to the green pool to the turquoise sea, all in close proximity of each other.
Fundacion Cesar Manrique
This is the house of the creative architect Cesar Manrique. As one visitor says online, “How must it be to have the vision to create such a masterpiece as your own home.”
It’s built on top of a mountain trail from a volcanic eruption. The living room in the lower level makes use of the natural formation of five volcanic bubbles – talk about taming nature! Even the tables are carved out of volcanic rocks and the theme used is natural vegetation (cacti). It truly is a unique combination of the fiery nature and civilization, leaving you in awe of this place.
Jameos Del Agua
Part of a 6 kilometer long lava tube formed by the eruption of Montana La Corona, this tourist attraction was also conceived by Manrique.
It’s entered by climbing down a staircase into a cave which has been turned into a restaurant overlooking a small lake.
The lake, with its extremely clear water, is the home of blind albino crabs, known as ‘Jameitos’. They are only found in Lanzarote and hence have been fondly taken as the symbol of Jameos del Agua.
Once you cross the lake by a footpath, you would suddenly find yourself out into broad daylight in a huge open-air cave having tropical trees and swimming pool. A staircase takes you to a surreal café built inside.
Mirador Del Rio
This is a viewpoint located on the northern side of Lanzarote. One of the cliffs line the road so you can cozily settle in there and see the sun set on this magical land. With the last rays of the day shining down, you can see the land in a new light. Where else would you find this awe-inspiring scene of bluebells on one side and the majestic Canary Islands on another?
The last moments of the sunset aptly remind you that this journey will end at some point so treasure the best of memories while you can! As the land bathes you in amazing hues of pinks, blues, and peaches of the dying sunlight, this memory is captured in your heart forever.
Thankfully, this Spanish haven does not have crowded beaches. With a popular vacation site can come a bucket load of tourists, however, this is not the case and you will find secluded beaches here. To access the most gorgeous beaches, rent a car, and head towards the south. Punta de Papagayo has sandy beaches which are sheltered by cliffs. Hidden away in Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches, they are a tourist’s delight. These five spectacular beaches are led to by a dirt track. And what is more, they are again surrounded by the island’s familiar volcanic hills.
The small cliffs jut out to provide a small secluded enclave at the beach. Pack away your food and head for this beach for a quiet day out.
Perhaps the second most important item on a tourist’s checklist is what food is there to eat? The islands in the Canarian archipelago bring together awesome food and warm weather for a truly amazing experience. Beware though that the tourist cafes in Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca may be a bit overpriced.
Instead, what you can do is head towards the smaller villages. Each of these villages is a treasure trove of restaurants and cafes – a foodie’s heaven. Be sure to check out the villages of Teguise and Haria which offer local Spanish food.
There are a plenty of variations of tapas, getting a taste of which will take up quite a bit of your evening! There are tapas with anchovies, olives, tortilla Espanola, and albondigas. Albondigas refers to meat balls rolled in tomato sauce. Just talking about these gets our mouth tingling! The Boccadillo is a sort of Spanish tribute to the renowned French baguette. Adorned with garlic and having a meat filling, this is a gastronomic delight!
A land of sights and food combine together to lend you the most amazing memories, what more would you want?
What To Wear?
Pick outfits which are easier to travel in as you will spend a lot of time walking around the island and discovering it. You will be visiting villages, alleys, and buildings tucked away. A summer dress, maxi or long, would be the perfect choice to explore the small village.
To explore the Timanfaya National Park and Fundacion Cesar Manrique though, a better choice would be trousers. Mix and match colors in your scarves, dresses, and statement necklaces for that bohemian look. Keep it simple at the beach though to take in the soft, breezy beach.
So if you plan to escape the daily grind of your hectic urban life, you know the Lanzarotian beaches are waiting to welcome you!