Just 125 kilometres from the coast of Morocco, Lanzarote is, in many ways, set apart slightly from its larger Canary Islands siblings. With volcanic craters, jagged peaks, green caves and plants growing out of the black soil, the island may be the youngest member in the Archipelago, but it has managed to forge its very own style.
Lanzarote has been listed by UNESCO as a protected Biosphere Reserve, due to its unique nature and flora. Away from the urban developments along the south coast, the island has retained an unpolished beauty and traditional charm about it. One of the people who championed preserving the landscape of the island was polymath and Lanzarote-native, Cesar Manrique. A keen architect and artist, several of his unique artworks and buildings can be seen across the island and visits to the Cesar Manrique Museum in Haria, as well as the windmill in Arrieta and the panoramic splendour of the Mirador del Rio viewing platform, will introduce you fully to the great work he did for the island and the artistic gems that he left behind here.
The island, despite its relatively small size, is packed with activities to do and sights to marvel at, and regardless of where you find yourself on the island, you’re never far from picture-perfect scenery and adventures. Lounge along the beaches in Playa Blanca, go swimming and snorkelling in the sea or have a go at some of the water sports on offer here. Hiring a car or going on guided day tours will expose you to the stunning sights inland. Wander around the exotic gardens at Guinate Tropical Park, gaze across at the volcanic solitude of the Timanfaya National Park, or head underground to explore the Cueva de los Verdes. Used as a hiding place for locals from marauding pirates and slave traders, the network of caves is today a beautiful system of colour rock and tunnels that even include a concert hall.
Day tours to local vineyards are also possible from the various luxurious resorts and hotels that are found near the coastline. On Lanzarote the grapes are grown in a unique way that sees the trees being kept along the ground. The result is a delicious and sweet wine that should be enjoyed against the backdrop of the setting sun over the volcanic peaks.
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