Lanzarote, the fourth largest island of the Canary Islands, stands out for its volcanic, almost unreal landscapes and large beaches framed by tall palm trees. Its landscape is so unique that in 1993 UNESCO declared it a biosphere reserve. But apart from the breathtaking views and unspoiled nature, Lanzarote has much more to offer, as it is also one of the busiest islands of the archipelago.
Visit the vineyards that have grown on volcanic land and taste excellent wines, inspect the stalls at the markets and stay late at the numerous bars on the island. In a word, it is simply impossible to get bored in Lanzarote. To top it all off, there is a bohemian atmosphere that can be breathed almost everywhere, thanks to the works of the famous artist Cesar Manrique, which make the face of the island so special.
Timanfaya National Park
Lanzarote is often called a place that seems to belong to another world, and by visiting Timanfaya National Park, you will understand why. Formed as a result of several volcanic eruptions that occurred between the 18th and 19th centuries, the park is almost completely devoid of vegetation, and its volcanic rocks are characterized by shapes and colors that give the landscape an almost unreal beauty. To visit the so-called Montagnas del Fuego, you will need to take a bus, as these fragile geothermal hills are too dangerous to cross on foot. If, on the other hand, you like hiking, go to the Natural Park de Los Volcanes.
Along the way, you will be able to observe dozens of volcanic cones of great scientific interest. Also, you should not miss the simulation room in the Visitor Center, where you can put yourself in the place of one of the inhabitants of the island during a volcanic eruption, and the restaurant El Diablo, which serves delicious dishes prepared using geothermal heat.
Playa de Papagayo
Playa de Papagayo is a small beach with golden sand, which is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Lanzarote. The sheltered location and crystal clear water, free from dangerous currents, also make it an ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. Given the size, it can be difficult to find a place in summer, but luckily for you, you’ll find 7 other beaches nearby, all surrounded by volcanic rocks.
Other beaches that cannot be missed are Playa Chica because of the richness of the seabed and Playa del Charco de Los Cliques, where it is impossible to swim, but which is still worth a visit because of the extraordinary beauty of the landscape.
Cueva de Los Verdes
Cueva de Los Verdes is a gallery formed more than 5,000 years ago after the eruption of the Monte Corona volcano. With a total length of more than 6 km, it is the longest lava tunnel in the world, and about a quarter of the way is open to the public. The visit lasts about 50 minutes and allows you to make an unforgettable journey to the center of the earth among curious magmatic formations with otherworldly shades.
Another particularly popular underground attraction is Jameos del Agua, a cave system reinvented in an avant-garde way by Cesar Manrique. Originally from Lanzarote, the artist transformed the space into a fabulous underground world with a restaurant, bar, auditorium, and an unusual swimming pool surrounded by an exotic garden.
El Cuervo Caldera
The El Cuervo Caldera is an ideal place to observe the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island up close. El Cuervo, located in the eastern part of the Volcanoes Natural Park, is a volcano that in 1730 began a series of eruptions that forever changed the face of Lanzarote, Spain. Today it is easy to visit it by leaving your car in a public parking lot and taking a route suitable even for novice travelers.
The path is about 5 km long and is simple and includes only a small uphill climb before reaching the crater. Once at the top, pause to admire the wild and desolate landscape that surrounds you before experiencing the thrill of entering the heart of the volcano.
Wines from La Heria: try the volcanic wines of the island
Lanzarote is a unique place in the world, and the same goes for its wines. If you are a fan of white and red wines, do not miss the opportunity to visit the vineyards of La Jeria, the valley where the island’s excellent wines are produced. Here, a special method of cultivation allows you to use the characteristics of volcanic soil to protect the vines from the winds and nourish them thanks to substances held overnight by lava granules.
The so-called “Ruta del Vino” is an oenological route with a length of about 20 km between the villages of Uga and Teguise and includes the best wineries on the island. The El Grifo winery even offers an interesting museum where you can discover all the secrets of the local winemaking process, and along the way, you will find many wine cellars offering tastings.
Cesar Manrique House Museum
Painter, sculptor, and architect Cesar Manrique is undoubtedly the most famous artist in Lanzarote, and even if his name or works are unfamiliar to you, visiting his quaint mansion turned into a museum will be a truly interesting experience, especially if you want to delve into the culture of the island.
The artist’s house, known as Taro de Tache, is located in the picturesque village of Aria and was designed by Manrique himself. On the lower floor, the structure consists of five underground rooms derived from the same number of volcanic bubbles connected by tunnels dug in lava, and the upper floor is inspired by the typical architecture of the island. Outside you can visit the swimming pool, dance floor, and garden with exotic plants.
With its pristine beaches washed by turquoise waters, this small island with a population of only 700 people seems to be created for those who want to take a day trip away from everyone and everything. From the port of Orzola, La Gracios can be reached in just 35 minutes by ferry. Upon arrival, you can walk or bike along the paths that cross the ochre hills, or relax on one of the beautiful beaches. Among them, the most impressive is probably Playa Las Conchas, where the white sand contrasts with the bright blue sea and black volcanic rocks.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to admire La Graciosa without leaving Lanzarote, Mirador del Rio on the north coast of the island is a natural viewing platform, which the artist Cesar Manrique enriched with his approach. It is a structure built into lava rock, offering a magnificent view of La Graciosa and other islets of the Chinijo archipelago.
The Teguise Market is a great place to chat with the locals and buy a real Lanzarote souvenir (perhaps by haggling a bit to get it for a good price). Founded in 1402, Teguise is the oldest city on the island and is characterized by whitewashed stone houses and squares framed by huge palm trees.
The market is held every Sunday in the historic center, on the Clavijo y Fajardo Square, and is considered one of the best in all of the Canary Islands. On the shelves, you will find a little bit of everything: from ceramics to leather goods, from clothes to wicker baskets. And if you get hungry, you can satisfy your appetite with fruits, wines, cheeses, and other local products.
Halfway between an exhibition space and a dive site, Museo Atlantico unites the world of art and nature in a truly unique way. The idea belongs to the artist Jason de Caires Taylor, who, after creating a series of sculptures depicting humanoid creatures, decided to put them underwater to a depth of about 12 meters to turn them into an artificial coral reef, which today is home to a rich variety of marine species.
Especially touching is “Zattera di Lampedusa”, depicting 13 refugees on board an overcrowded rubber boat. In total, ten different sculptural groups of considerable size are installed on an area of about 2500 square meters. Visiting this museum is a truly unique experience; just don’t forget to keep an eye on the manometer while admiring the fascinating works of art and the marine life that surrounds them.
Stay late in Puerto del Carmen
Do you want to spend the whole night full of fun? Puerto del Carmen is the place for you. Along with Playa Blanca, it is the Lanzarote resort that offers the most nightlife options, including discos, lounge bars, discos, and even casinos. Also, since most of the clubs are concentrated along the Avenida de las Playas, you can easily walk from one place to another and choose the one that best suits your tastes. You will be spoilt for choice between exclusive cocktail bars, traditional breweries, and pubs with live music.
Puerto del Carmen is the main tourist center of Lanzarote and, in addition to nightclubs, offers many shops, hotels, and trendy restaurants.