In the middle of the ocean: The Canary Islands
The volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote made me feel at times that I was traveling on the Moon. And indeed, all the lava field and craters, full palette of red-brown-golden-grey colors – it felt out of this world. And yet the emerald blue waters of the Atlantic reminded me I was literally “in the middle of the ocean”: approx. 1000 km from the Spanish Peninsula and only 150 km from the African continent…
The Canary Islands is a great choice for both summer and winter holidays. The weather is amazing all year round. The food is great, like everywhere in Spain, and yet the landscapes differ significantly from those of the Iberian Peninsula.
My trip to the Canary Islands was one of the most comfortable and relaxing trips I´ve ever done. Lanzarote was the first island, colonized by the Europeans and yet it´s significantly less touristic than Tenerife or Gran Canaria. It´s the ideal combination of safety and adventure. Even driving was relaxing and the roads – awesome and empty. All the sights were relatively close, so this was one of a few trips in my life when I had enough time to visit all the places I´d planned and still relax on the beach.
My main stops around the island:
- Parque Nacional de Timanfaya ( book online and go earlier in the morning)
- Jameos del Agua / one of the architectural masterpieces, designed by Cesar Manrique: natural cave, art gallery and museum, all in one
- Fundacion Cesar Manrique (house of a famous artist made with volcanic rocks: a true mix of architecture and nature)
- Jardin de Cactus (a really nice garden full of rare and exotic plants, mainly cactuses)
- Cueva de los Verdes (excursion to this cave has a surpriving revelation at the end 😉
- Mirador del Rio ( great panoramic views to the Graciosa Island: a boat trip to this quiet island is also one of the popular activities in Lanzarote)
- Los Hervideros and Charco de los Clicos
- Museo de la Pirateria (interesting museum with views, especially cool for kids -but I, honestly, loved it as well)
- Playa Blanca /Marina Rubicon /Puerto Calero – we had our hotel in this area, but it´s a great place to stop by anyway. Most of the best-rated restaurants and bars in Lanzarote could be found here. From those I remember, we loved Blue Note and La Chalanita. These were not very budget options, but worth visiting if you don´t mind spending more on a fine dining.
- Playa de Papagayo (It is the most famous beach with crystal blue waters, but during my stay, it was always too crowded, so we went to the one nearby, called “Playa Mujeres” )
- Costa Teguise and SUP (stand up paddle) class / another great experience, after which I´ve bought my own board when back at home
One awesome thing I´ve brought from Lanzarote (aside from souvenirs like wine, cheese, sauces and natural cosmetics) was the Olivine Jewelry. Olivine is the typical volcanic mineral you could find only in the Canary Islands.
The water was a bit cold, but crystal clear with all shades of blue…
After visiting it all, me and my man, we even had time for a day-trip to Fuerteventura. We took an organized tour to cover more things. A ferry to Fuerteventura departs from the little port of Playa Blanca (Lanzarote). The only tip if you decide to take this trip by your own – rent a car, moto, quad etc. in advance. You´ll need to move around Fuerteventura in order to see the main sights and there might not be available cars last moment (happened to my friends).
“Playa de Aguila” was impressive. In general, Fuerteventura appeared to me even more quiet and less touristic than Lanzarote – especially when you leave the cities – at times there was no one around.