Lanzarote - the island
Fly over Lanzarote by plane, and you’ll behold this island of contrasting landscapes and geology in its full glory.
The first thing that might catch your eye is the beautiful surface dotted with hundreds of round craters – the sign of millennia of volcanic activity. The south of the island is dominated by spectacular barren mountains. But look north and you’ll find green slopes where wild flowers have nestled against cactus and palm trees in the black volcanic soil to provide an improbable lushness. Visit us in February, and you’ll witness them blossoming from coast to hilltops.
Everywhere glistening sandy beaches alternate with rugged rocky coastline. And you’ll spot the white crest of the waves that make Lanzarote home to some of the best surfing in the world.
What to see and do
Lanzarote is small enough to traverse in a day, but rich in culture, heritage and landscapes to explore. Be sure to visit the local volcanic tunnels, the longest of which can be viewed at Jameos Del Agua, one of Lanzarote’s biggest visitor attractions. It was here that Cesar Manrique (1919-1992) – artist, sculptor and possibly the island’s most famous resident – created a stunning underground amphitheatre out of the motionless lava.
Admire the feats of local agriculture at the stunning cactus gardens in the north and the unique wine valley of La Geria. Lanzaroteños have been nurturing vineyards here for centuries, ingeniously using the black volcanic ash to combat the constant wind, sun and lack of rainfall.
Lanzarote’s ancient capital, Teguise, is named after the tribal princess who brought peace to the island. It retains the feel of antiquity with its cobbled streets and town square situated around its impressive ancient church. Every Sunday Teguise hosts the biggest outdoor market on the Canary Islands, bursting with colour and bustle under the watchful eye of the fortress on the hill.
For a day out with a difference, visit the island’s nearest neighbour – Fuerteventura. You can spot it off Lanzarote’s eastern coast and reach it by ferry from Playa Blanca in just 20 minutes.