The volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote feel like traveling on the Moon. Countless lava field and craters, a full palette of red-brown-golden-grey colors – it feels out of this world, for sure. Nevertheless, the emerald blue waters of the Atlantic remind that you´re literally “in the middle of the ocean”: approx. 1000 km from the Spanish Peninsula and only 150 km from the African continent…
If I am to pick one place for an exotic and yet relaxing vacation – I´d go with Lanzarote! Let’s discuss the best things to do in Lanzarote.
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands is a great choice for both summer and winter holidays: the weather is amazing all year round. Local food is Spanish (in its most true and authentic sense) which for me is already worth a visit [lol]. And yet the volcanic landscapes significantly differ from those of the Iberian Peninsula. You often feel like you´re traveling to the Moon. Besides, technically you´re closer to Africa than you´re to Spain. Nevertheless, hospitals, roads, infrastructure – you have all the best European features in a completely exotic setting.
Also read: A Photographic Journey to the Canary Islands
Tenerife, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura are the most famous European islands near the African continent. And while Tenerife, in my opinion, is the best choice for hiking and sightseeing, and Fuerteventura definitely rocks with its sand dunes and chilly beaches, Lanzarote has a bit of both.
For some reason, it ended up being one of my most comfortable and relaxing trips ever. Lanzarote – I´ll be back for more!
Tenerife had some mountainous roads (that Masca drive…omg) and parking was a problem in the North of the Island. Fuerteventura, despite being a natural paradise, had less infrastructure and things to do in general. However, with Lanzarote, I really can´t find anything to complain about.
Your Perfect Vacation: Lanzarote
Lanzarote was the first island, colonized by the Europeans and yet it´s significantly less touristic than Tenerife or Gran Canaria. Long story short: Lanzarote is a perfect combination of safety, relax and adventure. Driving was great: the roads were new, almost empty and I´ve never had a problem with parking – and it was August, the peak season.
All the touristic sites on Lanzarote are relatively close. Therefore, 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.
– Yes! It was definitely a perfect vacation!
Also read: Best beaches in Spain Off The Beaten Path
Must-See Places on Lanzarote
Quick sum up: Timanfaya National Park – Jameos del Agua – Fundacion Cesar Manrique – Jardin de Cactus – Cueva de los Verdes – Los Hervideros and Charco de los Clicos – Mirador del Rio – Museo de la Pirateria – Playa Blanca /Marina Rubicon /Puerto Calero – Playa de Papagayo – Costa Teguise and SUP class – Local Wineries – Day trip to Fuerteventura
To the moon and back: Timanfaya National Park
- Parque Nacional de Timanfaya ( book online in advance and go earlier in the morning)
Cave or art gallery? – Jameos de Agua
- Jameos del Agua / one of the architectural masterpieces, designed by Cesar Manrique: natural cave, art gallery, and museum, all in one
Design goals: A house in the Volcanic Rock
- Fundacion Cesar Manrique (house of a famous artist made with volcanic rocks: a true mix of architecture and nature)
Cactus, Cactus, and Cactus again…
- Jardin de Cactus (a really nice garden full of rare and exotic plants, mainly cactuses)
A Mysterious Cave
- Cueva de los Verdes (excursion to this cave has a surprising revelation at the end and they ask you not to share it – I´m keeping the secret, you´ll have to visit it yourself )
What a view
- Mirador del Rio ( offers great panoramic views to the Graciosa Island: a boat trip to this quiet island is also one of the popular activities in Lanzarote)
More out of this world places
- Los Hervideros and Charco de los Clicos
- Museo de la Pirateria (an interesting museum dedicated to Piracy: especially cool for kids – but I, honestly, loved it as well)
How about a night out?!
- 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 fine dining.
Also read: My Most Beautiful Sunsets Around The World
Some beach vibes…
- Playa de Papagayo / the most famous beach with crystal blue waters, but as we visited in the peak season it was packed: you can always head to the nearby Playa del Pozo or Playa de Mujeres
- Costa Teguise and SUP (stand up paddle) class / another great experience, after which I´ve bought my own board
- La Graciosa Island / If you really crave for an epic Canarian beach experience – head to La Graciosa Island. You only have to get on ferry that departs from Orzola, in the Northeast of Lanzarote. 20 min and you’re in a peaceful heaven.
- Playa Famara / popular for surfers
What to buy?
- To eat: wine, cheese, Mojo sauces (also in dry version), smoked fish, olive oil, saffron
- Natural cosmetics, aloe products
- Olivine Jewelry / Olivine is the typical volcanic mineral you could find only in the Canary Islands. It´s quite budget-friendly and looks pretty.
- Lava jewelry and handmade decor
- Pottery and art
Day trips: Fuerteventura
Besides the previously mentioned Isla Graciosa, another great day trip from Lanzarote is Fuerteventura. A ferry departs from the little port of Playa Blanca. You can take an organized tour or go just on your own.
Tip: if you decide to take this trip on your own – rent a car/moto/quad in advance. You´ll need to move around Fuerteventura in order to see the most interesting places and there might not be cars available last moment (happened to my friends).
Those beaches of Fuerteventura still chase me on cold winter days. Playa de Aguila definitely looks like a surfer´s paradise – one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, for sure!
However, Fuerteventura is the second largest one in the Canary Islands with over 150 beaches. You can find smth for every taste with this number. How about Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste, Sotavento, Cofete, Aljibe de la Cueva or La Concha?!
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This post is linked up with Feet Do Travel