Are you considering a holiday to Lanzarote this year? Well, you’re in for a real treat. Being one of the Canary Islands (situated off the coast of Africa), this destination combines incredible weather, stunning scenery and a welcome change of pace from your normal life: exactly what we all look for in a holiday!
But what will you do while you’re there? There’s nothing wrong with doing the typically ‘touristy’ things of course (and in fact, they’re popular for a reason), but sometimes it’s nice to get off the beaten path and see a different side to your holiday destination. Here’s an alternative guide to Lanzarote if waterparks, zoos and busy beaches aren’t your thing…
Begin your getaway to Lanzarote with a trip to Timafaya National Park. This expanse of ‘Martian’ scenery looks like something from another planet, with cracked ground and beautiful mountains making the volcanic landscape a memorable experience. You won’t be able to wander through the national park on your own, but you can book yourself onto a free walking tour, or pay for a camel ride across the park. Watch your tour guide throw dry bush down a hole, only for the bush to catch fire immediately (temperatures below the surface are very, very hot), while water poured into a pour hole immediately erupts in the form of steam. You can even stop for dinner at the restaurant on the summit of the Islote de Hilario volcano – it was designed by César Manrique, which leads us on to another fun thing to do in Lanzarote…
Soak up the Art and Architecture
If you like to learn about art and architecture, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to César Manrique’s home. Nestled into the boulders in a lava field, this artist’s house is now a foundation for visitors to visit. Explore the ground floor if you’d like to see works by Millares, Picasso an Sauras, but look beyond what’s hanging on the walls to see the art that Manrique made himself: the huge windows frame beautiful views that are as mesmerising as the artwork on display.
Time Travel in Teguise
Teguise is a little town in the centre of Lanzarote – in fact, it used to be the capital, and nowadays you can while away the hours ambling down cobblestone streets or standing in awe at the colonial mansions. Explore the Convento de San Francisco and the Convento de Santo Domingo, but perhaps skip the bustling market on Sunday morning (it’s lovely but it’s fairly ‘touristy’). So, for an alternative (and perhaps even better) market, call in to Haríaon on a Saturday morning if you can: it’s more authentic and you’ll be spoiled for choice of local food, produce and crafts.
Catch the waves at Famara
Many tourists will head to Playa Blanca – it’s a beautiful beach if you fancy laying out a towel somewhere with plenty of activities and amenities nearby, and it’s excellent for families too. But if you like the idea of going a little off-track, head to the Famara instead. Famara beach offers 5km of sand and surf, perfect for making the most of the wind and waves. In fact, Lanzarote is known as the Hawaii of Europe, which tells you everything you need to know about the quality of the waves you can expect if you’re thinking of doing a spot of surfing, and the shape of the beach makes it a perfect place to try surfing if you’re new to it.