Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. Known for it’s volcanic nature and the wonderful climate all year long. To be honest I was a bit sceptic when friends of mine suggested a trip to the island. The idea I had about the place was one of all-inclusive resorts, mass tourism and a dull landscape. I know, I know… I should’ve known better. It doesn’t mean that Lanzarote doesn’t know mass tourism, but the island is big enough to avoid that. It turned out to be one of our best trip’s. Let me tell you about my marvelous experience with this Spanish beauty.
Loction, location, location! For me accommodation is very important. By that I don’t mean over the top luxury, but cozyness, privacy, comfort and cleanliness. The house we rented with the four of us was just that. Casa Perdomo is located just outside the village Masdache. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a little gym, a fireplace in the large living area, an outside kitchen with a BBQ… Long story short, everything you could need. There is no swimming pool but there are two outdoor showers. We have visited Lanzarote in November and didn’t feel the need for a pool. We have cooked dinner on the BBQ twice and went out for dinner the other evenings since there were enough restaurants 15 minute’s by car. The National Park Timanfaya is only 7 minutes by car and the nearest beach just 15 minutes as well as the airport of Lanzarote. If you’re looking for an authentic and spacious house, away from the touristic madness, this is the place.
We’ve rented a car for the whole week of our stay. The roads on Lanzarote are of excellent quality and a car is of great value if you want to move around and explore. The little village Teguise is definitely worth a visit. If you ask me I’d say it’s the prettiest one on the island. Teguise has a history that goes back to 1418. Until the year of 1852 is has been the capital city of Lanzarote. Unfortunately, most tourists visit Teguise at the wrong time: Sunday. On that day, the weekly market takes place in the village from 9 am to 2 pm. This is by far the most visited and most important market in Lanzarote. Due to the many stalls set up in the center, you still find yourself in a beautiful village, but the actual beauty of Teguise is buried by the crowds and the many merchandise. As soon as the market has ended, it does not get much better, because the staples by three o’clock have largely disappeared there is still a lot of dirt left in the streets. The best visit is on a weekday. Avoid Monday, because not all the shops are open. Choose one of the other days and preferably after 2 pm. The last buses with tourists have disappeared by then. The moment most tourists are gone, you see how beautiful the village is. There is absolutely no structure in the streets and squares. This creates a great exploration along tapas bars, beautiful shops, authentic streets, beautiful buildings and attractive squares. The most beautiful square is Plaza de la Constitución.
As for the food, we had lunch and dinner at Cantina. It has a “hidden” garden/patio, good food and delicious wine by the glass. Go check it out.
Jardin de Cactus
It’s quite touristy I’ll admit, but still, I liked it. The whole island is covered with cactus, but I’ve found it very pretty to see them all centered in one place. The park is not very big and we went near closing time so there were not many people there and we wandered around for a while.
Jardin de Cactus combines more than 1,400 species of cacti from around the world. Easy to recognize from the road thanks to the large metal cactus at the entrance, this cactarium is the last work on the island realized by César Manrique. Every visitor who loves the proximity of nature will find a quiet place on the stone trails to walk and enjoy the landscape of Lanzarote. Respect for the natural environment is one of the characteristics of the architectural work of Cesar Manrique and is also reflected in the Jardin de Cactus, which is fully integrated into the landscape of the island. The windmill stands out clearly at the black rock and is one of the best places to get a panoramic view of the garden, built in the form of an amphitheater. To rest during your visit, you can sit by the pond in the garden or have a drink in the cafeteria.
Timanfaya National Park
Another popular destination on Lanzarote is the Timanfaya National Park. This as well can be very crowded and busy but again, it’s all a matter of smart planning.
Everyday you can visit the national park between 9 am and 5 pm. After purchasing a ticket you drive up to El Diablo restaurant where you can park your car. From there you can not drive further into the park, but you will be transported by bus. This excursion through the rough volcano landscape takes about half an hour and is included in the entrance fee. During the ride you get a beautiful view of some of the 25 craters and more than one hundred volcano tiles. Multilingual explanations (Spanish, English, German and French) tell the story of the park. At a number of places the bus will stop so you have the time to take pictures from the bus. You are not allowed to leave the bus during the tour. Therefore, keep in mind that you can get annoying reflections in your photos because of the sun and the bus windows. But hey, you should try to focus on the beauty around you anyway 😉
If you want some beach time I recommend Papagayo Beach. It’s a small beach with an easy going atmosphere. The water is clear and you can spot al lot of fish, so great for snorkeling. There is also a little restaurant there that serves great sangria, cold beer and yummy food. Try the traditional Papas Arrugadas – literally wrinkled potatoes – which are always served with mojo, a rich sauce of garlic, olive oil, vinegar, herbs, and a selection of spices.
Lanzarote is well known for it’s wine. Along the road LZ-30, which runs across the wine area, you will find several Bodega’s like La Geria, El Grifo, Stratvs and Rubicón. These bodegas have a wine tasting annex store, sometimes with a small museum. The purpose of opening up to the public is of course to sell wine. Some Bodega’s also sell some other delicious local produce such as goat cheese from Uga. All Bodega’s sell fine wines. The one win’s more prizes than the other. You can also buy the wines at the bodega’s by glass, so you can enjoy the different varieties.
If you have rented a car then you should just go and drive. It is such a beautiful island that you will stumble upon many beautiful sights. Just park the car and take a moment to enjoy the serenity and stillness. Dare to get lost. This island will reward you for it.