The many attractions include Rancho Texas Park, Timanfaya National Park, and the works of Cesar Manrique...
The volcano-dotted island of Lanzarote has an easy-going attitude that families, couples and quieter groups find really appealing. Like a shower of snow (unheard of in Lanzarote), the striking, almost barren, landscape has been sprinkled with white homes, which is the only colour permitted for painted houses here. The resorts are low-rise and varied, with Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen, and Playa Blanca being the three biggest and most popular. The island can be reached on flights to Arrecife, Lanzarote's capital city. Just four to four and a half hours away from the UK by plane, it is part of Spain but a duty-free destination.
Lanzarote offers a wide range of accommodation - where you stay will depend on what type of holiday you are after...
From basic self-catering apartments and small local hotels to chain brands and luxury spas, Lanzarote hotels can be found in the city, the countryside, amid volcanic landscapes and by the beach, so there's certain to be the perfect setting for your ideal holiday. And if you're after a big brand name, there are offerings on the island from Barcelo, Iberostar and Sol Hoteles.
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, El Cable beach, and Playa Dorada, plus inland destinations such as Haria and San Bartolome.
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 in the sea. 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!
A week isn't long enough to see all of the attractions (as well as spending time lazing on the white, gold and black sands)...
Volcanoes, green lagoons, lava tunnels... Lanzarote's best bits have mostly been crafted by Mother Nature.
Top five attractions
Timanfaya National Park
The incredible volcanic landscape at Timanfaya National Park is a unique must-see attraction. A bus tour will take you around the lunar-like scenery and treat you to spectacular views.
Just off the north coast of Lanzarote, a short ferry trip will take you to the small island of La Graciosa. Enjoy spectacular beaches, beautiful walks and cycling routes.
Cueva de los Verdes
Take a trip underground into this lava tunnel which, in the past, was used as a refuge from pirates. Amazingly, it also contains an auditorium where regular concerts are performed.
Cesar Manrique Foundation
Located in the artist's former home, visitors will be able to get an insight into Cesar Manrique's life and artistic flair here by admiring the style of his house and the gallery showcasing his work.
Visit this small seaside town to experience a fantastic coastline and to see the famous green lagoon. Just remember to pack your camera to get some stunning snaps.
A packed calendar of events enthrals locals and visitors in Lanzarote...
The Spanish love a good party and you can find a lively event to be a part of whenever you visit this lovely island.
Day of the Kings; January 5-6: This is one of the most important dates on the Christmas calendar in Lanzarote and it's the day that children receive their presents. A colourful camel procession weaves its way through the main towns on the island with the Three Kings throwing sweets to delighted children.
Carnival; February/March; across the island: Costumes, revelry, festivity and fun are the main ingredients of Lanzarote's annual carnivals. Visitors to the island will be able to enjoy vibrant parades, lively music, energetic dancing and colourful floats.
Day of the Canary Islands; May 30: This celebrates the day the Canary Islands were granted independence from Spain. Many cultural events take place such as traditional food tastings, religious services, sports events, music concerts, and art and craft exhibitions.