Lanzarote, the most eastern of the Canary Islands, is a favourite for many holiday makers.
The weather is warm and dry all year round. Its volcanic landscape provides a dramatic setting for its best-known attractions, which include Rancho Texas Park, Timanfaya National Park and the works of César Manrique.
The island can be reached on flights to Arrecife, Lanzarote's capital city. Just 4 to 4.5 hours away from the UK by plane, it is part of Spain but a duty-free destination. Lanzarote offers a wide range of accommodation. From basic self-catering apartments and small local hotels to chain brands and luxury spas, Lanzarote hotels can be found in cities, the countryside, volcanic landscapes and by the beach, so there's certain to be the perfect setting for your ideal holiday. All in all, there's 30km of beach resorts, including Costa Teguise, Matagorda, Playa Blanca, Playa de los Pocillos, Puerto Calero, Puerto del Carmen, Arrieta, Haria, El Cable beach, Playa Dorada and San Bartolme.
Hotels in Lanzarote are situated all over the island so it's easy to find one near the areas you're most eagerly anticipating visiting. The volcanic eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries have left some areas in Lanzarote looking rather other-worldly and these are well worth a visit.
A visit to the Cesar Manrique Foundation is a must. It really is unique and it hosts displays of art works and other exhibitions. If you enjoy this then do go and see Los Jameos del Agua, which was also built in volcanic bubbles and contains a lovely restaurant and bar, concert space, a pool that contains 'jameito' (albino crabs only found on the island) and a fascinating museum dedicated to volcanoes.
If it's nightlife you're looking for then a busy resort such as Puerto del Carmen might well work for you. It boasts great restaurants with terraces overlooking the marina and a backdrop of those amazing volcanic ranges. It's also a brilliant central place to stay for a family holiday, with much more than shops on offer. The nearby Rancho Texas Park is a wheelchair-accessible Wild West themed park, for example. It contains a farm section as well as exotic birds and animals on display. Animal shows, canoeing and pony riding are available and you can even have a go at panning for gold!
Lanzarote is a great place to go for water sports. Stay near the south coast if you want to go swimming. This area is also well suited to diving and snorkelling and you can go on several types of boat trips here, such as big-game fishing or whale and dolphin watching. The north coast, on the other hand, is windier and consequently rougher yet still has a pleasant climate which makes it ideal for windsurfing, surfing and sailing. Look for accommodation at this end of the island if you prefer these sports.
Many people travel to Lanzarote for the stunning golf courses, designed by some of the world's best, including Ron Kirby. Situated at the base of the volcanoes they offer some very different play with stunning scenery and lovely views of the Atlantic. Golfers would be well advised to choose a hotel near Costa Teguise or Puerto del Carmen as these are the main locations for golf courses. The latter has a resort dedicated particularly to the sport, with clubs and buggies for hire and lessons available for beginners or the more experienced, so the whole family can join in. Costa Teguise, on the other hand, is a championship course which may provide the perfect setting for the more advanced player.
Some of the best times to visit are during special events and festivals but be aware these are very popular and hotels will, inevitably, be booked up in advance so do book early to avoid being disappointed. Lanzarote is a Catholic country and many of the most magnificent festivals are related to the church calendar. Don't worry, though, you certainly don't have to be Catholic, or even religious, to join in!
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