It may only take four hours to fly to Lanzarote but driving around the island it can feel like you’ve been transported to another planet. Its strange Mars-like black lava fields, filled with spent volcano cones, make for a surreal experience and the interior is easy to reach from any of the beach areas.
Lanzarote has a beach for everything so whether you want to soak up some rays, surf, kitesurf, dive or windsurf, you should find a place to do it here. And, you’ll be able to do it pretty much year-round – with average highs of 21C in January and 29C in August, Lanzarote is pleasant at any time of year.
Whereas the island’s original resort of Puerto del Carmen remains very busy, the more recently established Puerto Blanca is quieter and more upmarket, with a focus on villas and apartments rather than monolithic package hotels.
What to do
The Timanfaya National Park, home to many of the island’s dormant volcanoes and lava fields, offers some excellent walking trails, as well as camel rides and museums. There’s also a good example of the work of revered local artist César Manrique, who designed the El Diablo statue at the entrance and whose artwork and architecture is sprinkled liberally around the island.
Cycling is popular on Lanzarote and you can rent bikes for either around town or more arduous journeys on the island. The small island of La Graciosa, just west of the north of the island, makes for a good day trip and has some fine swimming spots.
Where to stay
Everything from rustic beach shacks to all-inclusive five-star resorts can be found on Lanzarote so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. For something special that also caters for families, the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Playa Blanca ticks all of the boxes, while the Sentido H10 White Suites nearby is popular with those seeking an adults-only experience. If you’re looking for a bit more privacy than is afforded by a hotel, there are plenty of private villas for rent, many with their own pools.
Where to eat
Lanzarote offers up not only good food, particularly seafood, but also some spectacular settings in which to enjoy it. The El Diablo restaurant in the Timanfaya National Park has breathtaking views over the Montañas del Fuego, while the less touristy Restaurante Mirador de Las Salinas just outside Playa Blanca provides stunning vistas of the nearby salt pans. For fine Canarian dining, try La Tegala, not far from Puerto del Carmen.
The easiest way to get around Lanzarote is by renting a car. Roads are good and relatively free of traffic and signposting is adequate. If you’re not confident navigating the opposite side of the road, there is a reasonable bus service operating on the island that should get you to most points of interest with careful planning.
When to go
Although summer is the warmest time and winter the coldest, the average high ranges by only about 8°C throughout the year and it’s sunny most of the time so it’s a popular year-round destination.
Three things we like
Something we don’t like
Many restaurants and bars have touts who try and entice you into their establishments, and some are very pushy, bordering on aggressive.
The caves. Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua are two of the best choices for a visit, both were formed by the eruption of the La Corona Volcano.
The small village of Teguise, with its distinctive white houses and cobbled streets, is a sleepy place that encourages aimless wandering during the week; on Sunday it hosts a bustling market that’s well worth a visit.
There are very few places in the world where tourists can go on submarine excursions and Lanzarote is one of them. It’s pricey but the novelty of being 100ft under the sea makes it worth it. Staff divers will also hold up a board with a ‘Happy birthday’ or similar message for no extra cost, so you could create an interesting card for a loved one.
High50 insider tips
Travelling with family?
There’s loads to keep the kids occupied in Lanzarote, particularly if you stay in one of the family-oriented hotels, many of which offer children’s activities on a daily basis. There’s also the Aqua Park in Costa Teguise and the Rancho Texas Park theme park in Puerto Del Carmen.
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