Whether it’s your first visit or one of many, exploring Lanzarote’s great outdoors should definitely be on your holiday agenda. The whole island has been a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve since 1993, on account of its magnificent geological and volcanic areas, so whether you’re the active type or you simply want to admire it all from afar, there are plenty of reasons to get out and about.
Hiking, surfing, rock-climbing, diving – Lanzarote offers excellent opportunities to try your hand at outdoor activities. Explore the striking volcanic landscapes of Timanfaya National Park (don’t worry, the volcanoes haven’t erupted since 1824), ride the waves at Famara Beach or take a dip in one of the island’s many outdoor sea pools. Calmer than open water swimming, and much more serene than any man-made swimming pool, Los Charcones, near Playa Blanca, is a great place to get a few laps in.
Vino lovers rejoice! With year-round sunshine and bountiful landscapes, this beautiful island is also one of the world’s up-and-coming wine producers. Back in the 16th century, the Canary Islands were renowned for their wine, and the locally produced malvasia grape became a firm favourite among European royalty. Today, when you take a tour of one of Lanzarote’s vineyards, you’ll be greeted by ominous-looking black soil and a barren, moon-like landscape that’s a stark contrast to anything you might see in Italy or France. Although a little different to the norm, these areas are almost arrestingly picturesque, and definitely worth a visit.
Lanzarote’s cuisine is a mouth-watering mix of Spanish, Mediterranean and Traditional Canarian influences, and whatever you’re in the mood for, it’ll certainly be a treat for the taste buds. Some particularly popular local favourites include papas arrugadas (wrinkly, salted potatoes), puchero (a rich, meaty stew made with root vegetables, chickpeas and either goat or rabbit) and lapa (a local species of limpet, griddled and served with seasonal herbs and sauces).
When it comes to natural beauty, Lanzarote really is a winner. Timanfaya National Park spans 51km across the island’s Montañas del Fuego (mountains of fire), and with almost no living creatures present expect a few hundred different varieties of lichen, it really does make for quite an eerie sight. More like a moonscape than a national park, the landscapes here are truly breath-taking, and unlike almost anything you’ll see anywhere else in the world. The park gets very busy around mid-morning, especially during the peak of summer, so arrive before 10am to avoid long queues.
During the 1960s, Lanzarote’s most famous artist, César Manrique decided to turn this underground cavern into a bar-come-restaurant-come-music venue, and today, Jameos del Agua is still one of the island’s most captivating attractions. There’s also a lake, a swimming pool and a 600-seater concert hall with acoustics that – unsurprisingly - are out of this world. Whether you visit during the day or head here after dark, you can guarantee a truly mesmerising experience.
When it comes to food and drink, Lanzarote takes a lot of influences from both Spain and the rest of the Canary Islands, but there’s one local speciality that the island holds dear to its heart: mojo sauce. There’s goat’s cheese on just about every menu on the island, as well as salted potatoes (papas arrugadas) each accompanied by generous helpings of mojo, which you’ll find in a number of variations: with parsley, chilli or coriander. Wherever you go, you’ll probably notice that no two recipes are the same (each chef tends to have their own way of doing it), but no matter how the method differs, it’ll always be delicious.
Lanzarote is renowned as a perfect year-round destination, so you can usually expect pleasant weather, whatever time you go. In the winter, it’s rare for temperatures to fall below 16 degrees, and the summer months regularly see highs of the mid-late 20s.
You don’t need a visa to enter Lanzarote if you’re a British Citizen, but you must have a valid passport. For the latest information on European travel regulations, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/entry-requirements.
The currency used is the Euro (EUR).
The main language spoken is Spanish.