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Lanzarote

9 things you probably didn’t know about Lanzarote

By Jeanette Parkin

26 September 20236 min read

Aerial view of people at Papagayo beach in Lanzarote

With golden beaches, year-round sunshine and just enough nightlife, Lanzarote is a beach break classic. But go beyond the island’s all-inclusives and you’ll find that this Canary Island is more than a little offbeat.

From an eerie underwater museum to the moon-like landscape around the Fire Mountains of Timanfaya, here are nine things that will surprise you in Lanzarote.

1. You can find beaches that are all yours

From the honeyed bays of Punta del Papagayo in the south to the vast caramel-coloured sands of Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote has no shortage of beautiful beaches. Step on to them in summer any time after 11am, however, and there is no shortage of bronzing bodies and salt-dipped swimmers either.

Luckily, it’s easy to find your own patch of ocean-side paradise. Hop on a ferry from Orzola to the nearby island of La Graciosa, where the roads are sandy tracks, the population numbers in its hundreds, and the beaches are blissfully quiet.

There are quiet bays in the north too, such as the snow-white lagoon of Caleton Blanco. In the south, walk across the hills and away from the busy beaches of Papagayo and Mujeres to find a hushed oasis in one of the neighbouring bays. A lack of car access keeps these beaches just as nature intended.

BelleVue Aquarius

  • Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 9 April 2024
  • Self Catering
  • From Gatwick

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2. You can admire the sunset from a volcano cone

With most resorts, towns and villages huddled along the eastern and southern coasts of the island, Lanzarote is seriously lacking in places to watch the sun dipping into the ocean at the end of day. So, if you’re going to try and catch a sunset, make it a spectacular one.

Looming above the resort of Playa Blanca is Montana Roja, the Red Mountain. You can walk around the rim of the caldera or dip into the mouth of the extinct volcano, where visitors spell out names or create love hearts with stones, made to be visible from the rim. Claim a spot on the western edge as the sun goes down for a far-reaching sunset to remember.

Park around the streets of Montana Baja to find the worn track that leads to its summit (bring water and wear sensible shoes).

Apartamentos Panorama

  • Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 28 November 2024
  • Self Catering
  • From Liverpool

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3. You can step back in time

Sunday’s market in the old capital of La Villa de Teguise lures bargain-hunting residents and visitors on the lookout for trendy threads, designer ‘inspired’ bags, aloe vera products and homemade goats’ cheese.

Visit from Monday to Saturday, however, and you’ll discover that, behind the stalls and souvenirs, Lanzarote’s oldest town is also one of the most beautiful. Tour the public squares, fountains, statues and historic churches that line these cobbled streets and slip into Cantina for a drink and one of the best brownies in Spain.

The Volcán Lanzarote

  • Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 11 April 2024
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • From Gatwick

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4. You can taste wine like no other

NASA should come to Lanzarote for a lesson in how to grow produce on the moon. One look at La Geria – desolate, lunar-like, grey – and the idea of growing grapes seems as far-fetched as reaping spuds on Mars. But grow they do.

The pockmarked hills of Lanzarote’s biggest wine-producing region provide shelter from the stiff breezes that whistle through the peaks. Paired with the island’s rich volcanic soil and year-round sunshine, the result is some exceptional wines. Malmsey, a sweet white made from the Malvasia grape, is the most famous.

You can pick up a bottle anywhere, but a tour of a vineyard or bodega in La Geria will enhance your appreciation of the stuff.

LABRANDA El Dorado Apartments

  • Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 21 April 2024
  • Self Catering
  • From Birmingham

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5. You can eat the freshest seafood on the island

Coach tours stop at El Golfo to allow visitors to filter off across the hill to the olivine-hued lake known as Lago Verde. Olivine is a green semi-precious stone found here amid the black sands and you can pocket a decent chunk if you leave a euro or two for the collectors.

Make your own way to the village of El Golfo and stay a little longer. The sea gives up her bounty in abundance here and you can often watch chefs preparing fish right on the rocks. The catch of the day doesn’t get fresher than that!

You’ll find mouthwatering seafood dishes on the menu at all the restaurants here, but Costa Azul claims the best ocean and sunset views.

TUI BLUE Flamingo Beach

  • Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 22 July 2024
  • All Inclusive
  • From East Midlands

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6. You can appreciate the amazing artwork of island artisans

Lanzarote-born artist Cesar Manrique saw his beloved island as an unframed work of art. His masterpieces include the reworked volcanic lakes and caves of Jameos del Agua, his volcanic bubble home and studio, and a scattering of Wind Toys – huge sculptures that tinkle and turn in the breeze. You can see these on traffic roundabouts and various other public spots.

Of course, the master inspired the masses and other pieces of artistic brilliance shine across the island. Local sculptor Paco Curbelo has taken the helm of Manrique’s vessel; his work includes the giant camel family on the main road from Arrecife to Playa Blanca and the sailboat sculpture on the road into Puerto Calero’s marina.

Hotel Costa Calero Thalasso & Spa

  • Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 14 April 2024
  • Half Board
  • From Birmingham

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7. You can have a high-altitude coffee in the only skyscraper on the island

Upon returning from a stint in 1960s New York (where you think he would have become used to high-rise buildings), Manrique recoiled at the new multi-storey hotel in the island capital of Arrecife. His reaction led the way to tougher building regulations that were more sympathetic to the island’s rural beauty.

The Gran Hotel remained, however, and today it is a glass-clad, five-star place to stay with a sumptuous spa. But you don’t have to stay here to appreciate the views from Lanzarote’s only skyscraper. Take the lift to the 17th floor and order a coffee and cake by day or a cocktail by night in the Star City lounge. Head to the roof and you’ll find the Blue 17 restaurant.

BLUESEA Costa Teguise Gardens

  • Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 14 March 2024
  • All Inclusive
  • From Newcastle

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8. You can see Europe’s first underwater sculpture museum

Lanzarote’s art has taken a dive – right to the seabed off Playa Blanca. The fascinating Museo Atlantico is the brainchild of Jason deCaires Taylor, the visionary behind Cancun’s underwater museum of art, MUSA.

This thought-provoking ocean installation is the only underwater museum in Europe and is open to divers and snorkelers. Between 12m and 15m beneath the waves lies a raft haunted by sculpted refugees, a sunken couple taking a selfie and rows of Lanzarote residents immortalised in the Atlantic.

Apartamentos Aloe

  • Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 23 April 2024
  • Self Catering
  • From Newcastle

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9. You can avoid the main resorts

While you’re taking an alternative look at Lanzarote, consider changing the view from your hotel room. The three main resorts of Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca are not without their charms, but there are plenty of other places in which to wake up.

Rural and rustic come hand in hand with countryside fincas, while eco-yurts take you off grid as well as off the beaten track. Lanzarote Retreats offers plenty of chic and eco-friendly holiday homes across some of the quietest spots on the island.

Book a hotel in Arrecife for a taste of city life or, for sporty types, take a look at the fantastic Club La Santa on the island’s rugged west coast. Top athletes come here to train, while families fill their days with activities ranging from aerobics and badminton to windsurfing and yoga.

BelleVue Aquarius

  • Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain
  • 9 April 2024
  • Self Catering
  • From Gatwick

Prices and availability shown can change. Always check pricing with partner before booking.

Prices from

£417

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