Guest post by Nell Miller
Lanzarote is a beautiful Spanish island with sandy beaches, spectacular volcanic landscapes and (almost) all-year-round sunshine! It can have a little bit of a ‘Brit’s Abroad’ reputation, and it’s true that there are quite a few large hotel complexes offering bargain holidays.
But there’s so much more to Lanzarote from it’s secret beaches to it’s impressive scenery, interesting history, tasty culinary traditions and fabulous wine.
With so many things to do in Lanzarote, it’s perfect for anyone who wants a holiday that combines exploring and relaxing.
Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, along with the likes of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, located near the coast of Africa. This means that it’s one of the best European holiday destinations for a winter break – it’s often beautifully sunny even in January!
Because it’s a Spanish island, you can expect plenty of tapas and Sangria, but the food and culture is most definitely Canarian.
Although they speak Spanish, there are a few words which are specifically Canarian, like my favourite guagua (pronounced wah-wah), meaning bus.
So, what are the best things to do in Lanzarote?
Explore Lanzarote’s Beautiful Beaches
There are some beautiful beach spots in Lanzarote! My absolute favourite is Playa de Papagayo in Playa Blanca. These are a series of white sandy beaches of varying sizes – some only reachable when the tide is out – and you can walk along them until you reach a fabulous cliff-top restaurant serving fresh fish and local wine.
If you’re looking for a striking photography spot rather than a sandy beach, Caletón Blanco is perfect for admiring the stark contrast between black volcanic rock and bright white sand.
For a sandy yet small beach, try Playa Chica in Puerto del Carmen, which is just 100m long with calm water and interesting lava protrusions.
For wind and waves (perfect if you’re into surfing!), head to the north of Lanzarote to visit Playa de Famara.
Delve into Canarian Cuisine
Eating is my favourite thing to do in Lanzarote – it’s my favourite thing to do anywhere! I mentioned in the introduction that you’ll find plenty of tapas in Lanzarote. In my opinion, tapas is the perfect holiday dish because it’s designed to be shared and it’s perfect to snack on in the sun with a glass or two of wine.
My favourites are garlic prawns, grilled cheese, croquettes, fried aubergine and spanish omelette. If you’re visiting Playa Blanca specifically, I’ve written a guide to where to find the best tapas and what’s best on the menu at each stop on what I call the ‘tapas trail’.
The best place to find authentic dishes is in the centre of the island where there’s less tourism, and you’ll find a lot of goat and camel cheese up here! Pork, chicken and rabbit are popular, as is beef stew.
Obviously for fresh fish you’ll want to stay near the coast, and you’ll find a lot of cherne on the menu, which is a delectable white fish. Fish will usually be served with Canarian potatoes and mojo, a herby sauce which comes in red or green variations.
When it comes to drinks, Lanzarote produces incredible white wine! You can visit vineyards across the island (there’s another thing to do in Lanzarote!), or just sit in the sun and drink the stuff.
There’s a growing craft beer scene too, and of course you’ll want to hunt out the best Sangria. If you’re a coffee drinker, make sure you try a Leche Leche, which is made with condensed milk, making it oh-so rich and delicious.
Explore Caves in Northern Lanzarote
This is one of my favourite things to do in Lanzarote! There are two main caves to visit on the island: Jameos del Agua (where you’ll find thousands of tiny, white, blind crabs called Munidopsis Polymorpha), and Cueva de Los Verde. They’re literally across the road from each other so you could easily visit both, but if you’re going to visit one I would 100% recommend Cueva de Los Verde.
You explore the cave in groups, so it’s likely you’ll have to wait a short while for the next tour, but it’s so worth it! I won’t spoil it by going into too much detail, but honestly don’t miss out.
Follow in the Footsteps of Caesar Manrique
Caesar Manrique was an artist, architect and activist from Lanzarote and has had a huge influence on the island. There are loads of ways to follow in his footsteps, here are a few:
- Jardín de Cactus – beautiful Cactus garden to wander around, and the last of Manrique’s work
- Mirador del Río – a panoramic viewing point built into the side of a mountain, designed to combine art and nature
- César Manrique’s House – which he built himself!
- Wind toys – these are large sculptures dotted all over the island, which move or make a sound with the wind
- Jameos del Agua, which I’ve already mentioned above
Marvel at the Work of Nature
There’s so much natural beauty in Lanzarote, mainly due to it being a volcanic island. You can’t go to Lanzarote without visiting a volcano, and Timanfaya National Park is the place to go.
This volcanic range was created between 1720 and 1736 as the result of continuous volcanic eruptions, and it doesn’t look much different now.
You can take a bus ride through the Mountains of Fire (which you can’t drive through on your own), and watch food being cooked by volcanic heat. It’s a great day out, and one of the most popular things to do in Lanzarote.
It’s not just volcanos that make Lanzarote beautiful. There are many other natural attractions to visit such as El Lago Verde (a striking green lake surrounded by black sand), Los Hervideros (underwater caves that cause eruptions of water as they’re filled up by the sea) and Los Charcones (a series of natural pools, perfect for swimming in).
You could easily fill a two week holiday with all of these things to do in Lanzarote, but if you’re short on time have a read of my ultimate one-day road trip itinerary, which shows you how to fit as much of this as possible into a day or two, whilst still enjoying it all!
If you have any questions about Lanzarote, head over to my Instagram, @adventureswithnell, and feel to send me a DM.
About the author
Nell is a UK based travel blogger at adventureswithnell.co.uk. She creates content to inspire busy, young professionals to make the most of their weekends, limited annual leave and hard earned cash. Her main focus is on European city breaks full of food, wine and fun. You can follow her travels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest!
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