It is one of the seven islands of the Canary archipelago. In addition to its privileged climate, Lanzarote has inherited an advantageous physique shaped by its fiery mountains. Since then, the volcanoes have stopped spitting magma but are still talked about thanks to the grandiose scenery they compose.
A setting that leaves no one indifferent, starting with César Manrique, artist and local child. Landscapes, architecture, gastronomy, beaches… We give you 5 reasons to fly to Lanzarote.
Stay on the moon… in the Canary Islands!
Some call it “the island of 1,000 volcanoes”. A slightly exaggerated figure for this piece of land of 862 km²! With its 58 km long and 34.5 km wide, Lanzarote is satisfied with some 110 craters and other volcanic cones, each more photogenic than the other. Thanks to its volcanic character (and well tempered), the island has forged a splendid panorama over the millennia and the mood of the magma.
There is of course his famous Timanfaya National Park. The only one of Spain’s 15 national parks of a geological nature, it can be visited mainly by bus. Through the window awaits you an arid, lunar landscape that, unfortunately, you can only touch with your eyes. To have the authorization to trample it with the feet, the places are reserved well in advance.
Result of the eruptions of 1730 to 1736, then that of 1824, the place gives the impression of following the first steps of Neil Armstrong on the moon. Choose your seat wisely, at the risk of having to strain your neck to admire the natural sculptures formed by the lava and the layers of red, orange and yellow earth.
To walk on the moon without special authorization, it will be necessary to move away from the park. But don’t worry: if the volcanoes haven’t spit fire for a long time, they are everywhere! Since its creation 23 million years ago, the oldest island in the Canaries has rolled its – or rather – its bumps. Direction the coastal road (9 km), the Tremesana road (4 km) or in the bowels of Los Hervideros At the seaside.
Volcanoes have also shaped the island’s underground passages, like the volcanic cavities of Jameos del Agua fitted out by Cesare Manrique. Then, a little tour in the Caleta de Famara will offer you a splendid journey to the center of the earth thanks to the 1 km route through the lava tunnel created by the Corona volcano.
Take a fun architecture class with César Manrique
Impossible to stay in Lanzarote without hearing about a certain Cesar Manrique. If you don’t know the man yet, you’ll know just about everything about him before you go home. Born in 1919 in Arrecife and died in 1992 a handful of kilometers away, the painter, also a sculptor and architect, left his traces all over the island.
In agreement with the local government, the man took part in the safeguard of his native island according to his own ideas: to build dwellings perfectly integrated into nature or to renovate traditional houses. A century later, its buildings have become works of art in their own right, to be visited between two dives in the Atlantic Ocean.
You will need a good week to overcome all his creations. During your road trips, you will undoubtedly come across some of the master’s inventions, such as the El Diablo restaurant in Timanfaya park, the Campesino monument or the carvings El Triunfador and Juguetes delviento.
We advise you to add a few essentials to your agenda, such as the superb Cactus Gardenthe Mirador del Rio with its view of the island of La Graciosa (clouds permitting!), the house Tahiche Taro and his Cesar Manrique Foundation (former residence of Manrique built on bubbles of lava), the Casa-Museo del Campesino (last house of the artist) and the Museo Lagomar (house that belonged to Omar Sharif).
If you still have some time, head for the International Museum of Contemporary Art which houses paintings by Manrique and other big names such as Miró!
Eat well (with a view) in Lanzarote
After all these activities, you will have to regain your strength. If you like tapas, you will be served. Despite the distance (about 2,158 km), Tenerife is indeed in Spain!
However, the typical dishes of the Iberian Peninsula have given way to other slightly more local recipes: it’s up to you dads arrugadas (local potatoes) or fish cakes! With its feet in the water of the Atlantic, Lanzarote likes to draw food from the ocean. Also, fish and other seafood are popular, like old (parrot fish) and cherne.
Other stars on the island: the gofio (dough made from roasted corn, barley or wheat flour) and the mojos (cold sauce concocted with olive oil, vinegar, coarse salt, garlic, herbs and spices).
The meat is not to be outdone, with in particular goat or kid, called here ” guanche baifo “.
And if you’re thinking of washing it all down with French wine, you’re wrong! The archipelago produces its own nectar, with for example the malvasia, a delicious sweet wine. It is in fact in Lanzarote that the wines are considered the best in the archipelago, no doubt thanks to its vines cultivated on volcanic sand. Take advantage of your stay to push the door of a bodega and taste its production to have your taste buds clear!
Wake up all year round on the beaches of Lanzarote
Located on the doorstep of Africa, Lanzarote enjoys very pleasant temperatures (from 21°C in January to 29°C in August). Despite its proximity to Morocco, the island is never too hot. Many thanks to the trade winds which regularly sweep inland and along the coast. In total, the beauty has 26 km of beaches on 249 km of shoreline, which is to say the wild character of its coastline.
Thanks to this natural setting, the Lanzarote beaches have inherited great beauty. White, yellow or black sand, rest or water sports: there really is something for everyone.
If idleness is your cup of iced tea, opt for the splendid beaches of Mujeres, of cera and of papagayo (our favourite), both nestled in the natural park of the same name… But beware, all these beautiful people have to be earned! On the program: several kilometers on a dusty track that shakes the hind legs. On arrival, the golden sand, the translucent waters and the protected natural environment will be a great reward.
Walkers can also treat themselves to a trip on the 7.5 km path which offers many panoramas, including a magnificent view of the island of Fuerteventura and the islet of Lobos.
If your thing is rather sliding sports, prefer the village of Caleta de Famaraits endless beach, windswept dunes and waves that attract surfers from all over the world.
If you want to take your eyes off it, head for the famous el Golfo beach and its Lake Verde, a lagoon with deep green water. Finally, if you prefer snorkelling in shallow waters, choose the beach of Blanco underpants. Multiple options that will echo your desire of the moment.
Being alone in the world (or almost) in La Graciosa
In 1993, Lanzarote won the title of Unesco biosphere reserve. Today, if more and more visitors are taking a close interest in its charms, it still remains a preserved destination, far from mass tourism and soulless hotel bars.
Although some places have become touristy, it is still easy to walk in a landscape untouched by civilization. Choosing an off-season period is the guarantee of having the sun without crossing human beings at every corner of the palm trees.
If you want to be sure not to come across any living soul outside the premises, we advise you to take the direction of the neighboring islet of La Graciosa. After a more or less agitated crossing (people prone to seasickness refrain), you will disembark in the town of Caleta de Sebo.
A coastal path will then allow you to reach the beach Montana Amarilla after some 45 minutes of walking in a setting as beautiful as it is windy and desert. Placed at the foot of a volcanic cone, these two stretches of sand are clearly worth the detour for a moment one-on-one with nature. The more we are alone in the world, the more we laugh…
To know more
Find all the practical information, tips and addresses in the Routard Canaries bookstore.
Consult our Lanzarote and Canary Islands online guides
Canary Islands Tourism
Flights to Lanzarote with Transavia, Easy Jet, Vueling… Find your flight to Lanzarote
Book your hotel in Lanzarote
Text : Solene Duclos