A lunar landscape dotted with César Manrique’s architecture, fine sandy beaches between palm trees and volcanic cones, trails between craters and cacti, and, of course, a delicious volcanic malvasia wine at sunset.
In this guide you will find everything you need to explore Lanzarote on your own: what to see, weekend, 5-day or week-long itineraries around the island, how to get there, how to get around, where to sleep, and even where to eat.
Guide updated in June 2023 after visiting the island two more times and, for instance, being able to finally do the Tremesana Route through Timanfaya National Park
- Basic facts for traveling to Lanzarote
- When to visit Lanzarote
- How to get to Lanzarote
- How many days to dedicate to Lanzarote
- Things to see and do in Lanzarote
- Map of Lanzarote
- 1. North of Lanzarote
- Cueva de los Verdes
- Jameos del agua
- Punta Mujeres
- Caleta del Mojón Blanco Cove (or Caleta del Mero Beach )
- Caletón Blanco Beach
- Mirador del Rio
- Nahum viewpoint
- La Corona Volcano (La Corona Natural Monument)
- Risco Beach and Camino de las Gracioseras
- Guinate Viewpoint
- Haría and the César Manrique House Museum
- Viewpoint of El Risco de Famara – Park El Bosquecillo
- Cueva de las cabras (or Cueva de los Suecos)
- Ermita de las Nieves Viewpoint
- Famara, La Caleta and San Juan beach
- Jardín de Cactus (Cactus Garden)
- Charco del Palo (nudist village)
- Cueva del Agua Natural Pool (or La Olla)
- Guatiza Salt Flats (Los Cocoteros)
- Antigua Rofera
- 2. Lanzarote Center
- Timanfaya National Park
- Caldera Blanca
- Mancha Blanca, the miracle and the Ermita de Los Dolores
- La Geria: Wine, Vineyards & Wineries
- Santa Barbara Castle (Museum of Piracy)
- Costa Teguise, Las cucharas beach and Jablillo beach
- Nazaret: LagOmar Museum
- César Manrique Foundation
- Casa Museo del Campesino
- San Bartolomé and Playa Honda
- Las Grietas
- Palmera inclinada (Leaning palm tree)
- El Cuervo Volcano (Los Cuervos Caldera)
- Montaña Colorada (Red Mountain) (Caldera Colorada)
- The Cave of Las Palomas
- Tinajo, the mill of Tiagua and the Costa de la Santa
- Uga and its smoked salmon
- José Saramago House Museum in Tías
- 3. South of Lanzarote
- Tickets in Lanzarote: save with the vouchers
- Get inspired by the stories of our visit to Lanzarote
- Best Hiking Routes in Lanzarote
- Where to dive in Lanzarote
- Where to stay in Lanzarote: best areas
- Where to eat in Lanzarote
- Lanzarote itineraries
- Transportation: rent a car in Lanzarote
- How much does it cost to travel to Lanzarote
- Recommendations to enjoy Lanzarote
- Checklist: what to pack in your backpack/suitcase for Lanzarote
Basic facts for traveling to Lanzarote
Declared a Biosphere Reserve since 1993 by Unesco, Lanzarote hides more than 100 volcanoes in its Timanfaya National Park, a striking volcanic complex that forms one of the highlights of the island. It is the second oldest island of the Canary archipelago after the grandmother Fuerteventura (which is half an hour away by boat), making it one of the most eroded and flattest of the Canary Islands. Lanzarote was the home of choice for one of our favorite writers, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, the Portuguese José Saramago.
Population: 156,000 (in 2021)
Daily budget: From 60€/day per person (approx.) for a one-week trip with a rental car and the cheapest options of private accommodation for 2. More info here.
Climate: Spring-like all year round with average temperatures between 17º and 25º. It varies somewhat, not much, between summer and winter months, and the best months are in our opinion September and October. Find out more about when to go here.
Accommodation: Our area of choice is the north of the island and we always try to stay in Punta Mujeres or Arrieta (and if it is in a cottage in front of the sea, even better). However, there is more accommodation available in the southern resorts such as Playa Blanca or Puerto del Carmen. The last time we visited the island we stayed in this apartment in Costa Teguise and we liked it. More info here.
Duration: Minimum 3 days, recommended one week (if you decide to visit La Graciosa, you should add at least a couple of days more). More info here
Flights: There are many flights to Lanzarote both from the mainland (Spain) and from other european countries. The cheapest flights are usually with Ryanair / Easyjet. We recommend you use flight comparators like Skyscanner and Kiwi and be flexible with dates. More info on how to get here
Transportation: The best option is to rent a car. There are bus lines that connect the different points of the island but the schedules are very limited and it is not an option that we can recommend if you want to make the most of your time on the island. We tell you more about how to get around the island here.
Time zone: UTC +1. The time in Lanzarote and the Canary Islands is one hour behind mainland Spain.
Covid-19 measurements: Find the latest information on the official website of the islands, Holaislascanarias.
When to visit Lanzarote
Lanzarote is an island with sunshine and stable temperatures all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 17º in winter to 25º in summer. However, the best months to visit the island (and the Canary Islands in general) are September and October, since this is when temperatures are higher both in general and in the water, the trade winds stop, there is very little chance of rain and the heavy tourism (summer season) is over.
We visited Lanzarote twice, both times in winter:
- 4 days in February 2014, where we were unlucky and it rained almost every day.
- 20 days in January 2022, where especially the first week we had spectacular weather (highs of 23º with very little wind). Being Christmas, that first week the amount of tourists was quite noticeable (both in the most touristic places and in the prices of car rentals – prohibitive – and accommodations).
Lanzarote weather chart, with temperatures and rainy days per month:
|Month||Average temperature||Average temperature (water)||Rainy days|
|Month||Average temperature||Average temperature (water)||Rainy days|
How to get to Lanzarote
The fastest way to get to Lanzarote is flying. There are many flights both from the mainland (Spain) and from other European cities, with very competitive prices thanks to low cost companies like Ryanair and Easyjet. We recommend you to be flexible with dates and use price comparators such as Skyscanner and Kiwi.com.
If you are in Fuerteventura, it is also very easy and fast to get to Lanzarote by boat (half an hour trip between Corralejo and Playa Blanca), where you can also bring your own car or your rental car. Book your ferry one way or round trip from Fuerteventura here.
How many days to dedicate to Lanzarote
We recommend a minimum of 3 days, although the ideal for Lanzarote is a week (to be able to explore all areas of the island, do some trekkings, etc.) and if you want to take the opportunity to visit the neighboring La Graciosa, add at least a couple of days to your trip. We propose different types of itineraries.
Things to see and do in Lanzarote
To make it easier to locate and classify the places of interest in Lanzarote, we have classified them into North, Central and South; here is a summary and then all the information for each of the places.
- North of Lanzarote
- Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua
- Punta Mujeres and Arrieta
- Caletón Blanco Beach (Caleta del Mero)
- Órzola and ferry trip to La Graciosa
- Mirador del Rio
- Camino de Las Gracioseras and Risco Beach
- La Corona Volcano
- Haría and César Manrique House-Museum
- Viewpoint Risco de Famara and El Bosquecillo
- Ermita de las Nieves Viewpoint
- Famara, the surf capital
- Cactus Garden
- Old Rofera
- Lanzarote Center
- Timanfaya National Park
- Caldera Blanca
- Mancha Blanca, the miracle and Hermitage of Los Dolores
- La Geria: Wine, Vineyards & Wineries
- Teguise and Costa Teguise
- lagOmar Museum
- César Manrique Foundation
- Arrecife, the capital of the island
- Casa Museo del Campesino
- Las Grietas
- Palmera inclinada
- Montaña Colorada
- Yaiza, Uga and smoked salmon
- José Saramago House Museum
- South Lanzarote
- Papagayo Beach and other beaches of the Ajaches Park
- Playa Blanca
- Los Charcones
- Janubio Salt Flats and Janubio Beach
- Los Hervideros
- Montaña Bermeja Beach
- El Golfo and Charco de los Clicos (Charco Verde)
- Puerto del Carmen
Map of Lanzarote
Here we leave you all the places to visit in Lanzarote that we talk about in this guide on a Google Maps map that you can carry on your smartphone to consult at any time. As in the guide, the points on the map are classified by area with a different color (North: blue, Center: brown, South: orange).
We also leave you a touristic map of Lanzarote made by Cicar (you can download it in larger size and resolution here or by clicking on the image):
1. North of Lanzarote
The north of the island was our favorite area of Lanzarote. The dark lava from the eruptions of the Corona volcano (where the Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua are located), the arid roads dotted with cactus, fine sandy beaches, white villages and incredible natural pools (like our beloved Punta Mujeres) or breathtaking panoramic views where surfing paradises are hidden (Famara) make up some of the best postcards of Lanzarote.
Cueva de los Verdes
One of the most interesting and, in our opinion, essential places to vist of the island, is the Cueva de los Verdes. This cave is a section of a volcanic tube generated by the eruption of the Corona volcano more than 20,000 years ago.
The volcanic tube has 6km on land (and 1.5km more submerged in the sea), and it is the same where we can visit, closer to the sea, another section known as “Jameos del Agua” which we will talk about in the next section. If you are curious to know how these lava tubes are formed, here you can watch a video of RadioTelevisión Canaria where, following the recent eruption in La Palma, they explain it very well graphically, or in this other one.
A volcanic tube is generated during an eruption when the outer part of a lava flow cools down and solidifies first while the same lava flow continues to flow inside, without solidifying. When the volcano stops emitting lava, the tube remains empty, in the form of a tunnel, and can reach several tens of kilometers.
The Cueva de los Verdes is in its natural state, although the intervention of Jesús Soto (right hand of César Manrique, Lanzarote artist of whom we will talk a lot in this guide) to make it visitable consisted of creating accesses and adding lighting and music. The cave was finally opened to the public in 1964.
The visit to the Cueva de Los Verdes is with a guide, it lasts about 45 minutes and we travel approximately 1 km of this volcanic tube, where they explain what we see and different curiosities.
By the way, the name ‘Cueva de los Verdes’ does not refer to the fact that there is something especially green (“Verde” is green in spanish) inside, but to the fact that in the past it seems that the cave belonged to a family of shepherds whose surname was “Verde”.
The cave has different levels since it is formed by two overlapping galleries, so during the visit we go up and down using the stairs provided for this purpose (in fact we enter on one side, through the lower gallery, and exit on the other from the upper gallery). The temperature inside the cave is stable all year round, between 17º and 19º and has natural ventilation. By the way, the route of the visit start towards the volcano, not towards the sea.
Upon entering the mineral room, we are given a brief explanation where we identify white parts (calcium carbonate), red (iron oxide) and yellow ochre (from sulfates). There are no stalactites in the cave (there are no water filtrations to generate stalactites), only some small stones generated by the lava called stalafites.
The visit to the Cueva de los Verdes also hides a surprise, a secret that visitors are forbidden to reveal, and that you will discover when you also visit it.
The Cueva de los Verdes also has a privileged auditorium where concerts are sporadically held: besides being a very special place to attend an event, the acoustics are incredible! If you are lucky enough to be able to attend a concert during your visit, don’t miss the opportunity. You can check if there are any events when you are on the island here.
In our case we were lucky enough to attend a concert of Voz en Contra, a unique experience that was engraved with fire or, rather, with lava, in Randomtrip. In addition, to enter the concert, you can walk freely through the cave, at your own pace, to the auditorium (if you arrive early, without many people) although the area is limited (you can not go, for example, to the place with the secret).
For the visit, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothes and appropriate footwear with rubber soles, remember that we are in a natural lava tube, where the floor is not always completely regular, and due to the humidity you can slip. Pay attention at all times to the recommendations of the guide and look towards the floor when leaving so that your eyes get used to the clarity little by little, after all, you have just spent almost an hour inside a cave.
The visit to the Cueva de los Verdes can be done every day from 10:00h to 16:00h (the visit lasts 45 minutes approximately, in small groups, so you may have to wait a little to start the visit) and the individual ticket costs 10€ (cheaper if you buy one of the vouchers).
Jameos del agua
We are in a different section of the same volcanic tube of the Cueva de los Verdes, although here it is a Jameo, that is, an area of a volcanic tube where the roof collapsed. This one, in particular, was designed by César Manrique, taking advantage of this work of art of nature as raw material to build his architectural work. Actually Los Jameos del Agua was the first architectural attraction he designed, in 1968.
The word jameo comes from a Guanche word used to refer to “the natural or artificial sinkhole or hole in the lava that quickly absorbs water“.Source: Rae
Upon entering, we descend 10 meters to a main gallery where there is a cafeteria and almost 70 meters down we find a large lava cave with a lagoon below sea level where crabs live! It turns out that it is a species endemic to Lanzarote and only found here: the blind albino crab known as “jameíto“. The jameítos have become the symbol of the Jameos del Agua and are of enormous scientific interest.
If you are wondering how it is possible that crabs live here, we will tell you what we learned. It turns out that the volcanic tube is 6 km long on land and 1.5 km under the sea and this lagoon is fed with water through small subway galleries. With the formation of this volcanic tube, the Jameitos were isolated from the open sea and the light conditions of the Jameo allowed them to adapt and survive since they belong to a species that inhabited the ocean floor at 4 thousand meters deep!
By the way, the jameitos are in serious danger of extinction, and their population has been drastically reduced since the opening of the Jameos del Agua to tourism. Partly because people used to throw coins into the water to attract good luck (something completely forbidden nowadays), whose rust poisons the jameitos.
However, from our experience, it is not the lagoon or the restaurant that attracts most tourists, but the swimming pool! It is very photogenic, surrounded by a beautiful garden, although, as you can see because it is always empty (of people), swimming is not allowed.
The ‘Jameos del Agua’ is one of the most touristic points of Lanzarote and, apart from cafeteria, bar and restaurant, it also has an auditorium with capacity for 600 people where there are usually music, theater and ballet shows. Every October the Festival de Música Visual used to be held but since the pandemic it has not been held again. Find out about the calendar of events on the official website and , as in the Cueva de los Verdes, you may be lucky enough to attend a concert in the auditorium.
Unfortunately, throughout the entire tour we found no information (e.g., informative signs or a brief introduction at the entrance) or a guided tour option that could explain what we were visiting and everything we learned about was on our own, not from information provided at the tourist attraction. In theory, there is the Interpretation Center “La Casa de los Volcanes” (about insular and global volcanic phenomena) there but it seems to have been closed since 2018 with no planned reopening date.
In our opinion, at the moment, it is very similar to what we see as a fast money-making machine as a point of mass tourism. Unlike the Cueva de los Verdes, it seems to us an expendable visit unless you come many days to the island like us, you are curious or you do a lot of research on your own. The space is impressive, the problem in our opinion is the management and the use that is given to it.
Also, from what we read and were told on the island, César Manrique was someone who cared about the sustainability and protection of the island (for example, he influenced the island plan that limited urban growth in Lanzarote to be a more sustainable island destination) and in our opinion, the visit to this attraction does not reflect his intention at all. Hopefully it will be better managed in the near future.
You can visit the Jameos del Agua every day from 10:00h to 18:00h, it is not a guided tour but an on-your-own visit throughout the space and the individual entrance costs 10 €(cheaper if you buy any of the bonds).
Arrieta is one of the towns where you will find more accommodations to stay in the northern part of the island (and some good restaurants). You will find there La Garita Beach where you can cool off and watch the sunset.
That’s exactly what we did, after a day among the natural pools of Punta Mujeres, we decided to say goodbye to the day at the Chiringuito de Arrieta and have some tapas, highly recommended.
Our point of choice where to stay on the island, Punta Mujeres is a small and pretty fishing village with several natural pools along the coast. La piscina del Cura will always be special for us, alone on December 31st with the island quite crowded.
This is where we stayed during our first visit to the island, at the Sunrise Casita del Mar and after revisiting the island, Punta Mujeres (followed by Arrieta) is still our favorite place to stay on the island. Find several options here.
The accommodation where we stayed on our first time in Lanzarote was this one and we couldn’t have liked it better. We know it tends to sell out quickly but don’t worry because there are others very similar (with sea views) and very close, also in Punto Mujeres. Take a look at this other Casita del Mar, the Casa Azul, the Casita Lanzaocean, Aguaviva or Punta Mujeres Casitas del Mar.
Caleta del Mojón Blanco Cove (or Caleta del Mero Beach )
La Caleta del Mojón Blanco is a small cove of fine white sand, paradisiacal turquoise waters with various shades of blue, surrounded by volcanic rocks. In addition, overlooking the Chinijo archipelago.
There is a free parking lot a little further along the beach, but beware that it is small and in high season it can get crowded. There is also some parking space right on the beach, although it is uneven and sandy, so it can be dangerous to put your car there. We parked our motorcycle there.
It is advisable to wear booties, as there are many rocks at the entrance to the water, although there is a sandy area more or less free and at high tide you can easily enter without getting hurt.
If it is windy it can be uncomfortable, so there are several round huts made of volcanic stone for protection. We were lucky enough to go on a windless day, it was luxurious. We recommend as always to check the winds at Windy/Windguru and the tides at surf-forecast.com.
In our opinion it is one of the most beautiful beaches of Lanzarote, if you go without wind and with good weather.
Caletón Blanco Beach
Caletón Blanco Beach is a white sand beach on solidified lava flows, with a fairly large shallow area and very calm waters, ideal to go with children or for a relaxing swim.
You will probably be familiar with Órzola if you have contemplated visiting the neighboring island of La Graciosa, since ferries depart from its port (book here) to the smallest island of the Canary archipelago and the largest of the Chinijo archipelago (everything is always a matter of perspective).
The trip takes only 25 minutes by ferry and it is well worth visiting the eighth Canary Island. If you can, spend at least one night there. You can buy your ferry ticket from Lanzarote to La Graciosa and back here, leave your car parked in Órzola for free in the parking lot provided by the boat companies (in La Graciosa there are no paved roads and cars are not allowed) and enjoy a day (or more) on the small island of paradisiacal beaches.
But Órzola has more than that port and apart from being a peaceful white fishing village, it has two beaches that are worth a visit if you are in the area: Playa de la Cantería, for surf lovers, with strong waves and Charca La Laja, quieter, if you feel like cooling off.
Book your ferry for the time you want between Lanzarote (Órzola) and La Graciosa (Caleta de Sebo) here
Mirador del Rio
One of the architectural creations of César Manrique that most impressed us on the island is the Mirador del Río, which hides the most beautiful window of Lanzarote.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the neighboring La Graciosa, the breathtaking scenery in the large window is the protagonist of the viewpoint. It is, therefore, the most beautiful place where you can have a coffee on the island.
If you go outside, you will contemplate the huge cliff with the Playa del Risco and the Salinas del Río from above. Climb the stairs to the cafeteria floor for even more breathtaking views.
The viewpoint is located at the northern tip of Lanzarote, in Punta Fariones, a huge cliff of rocks and lava that juts into the sea and offers some of the best views of the trip at 479 meters high.
César Manrique rebuilt what had been an old military artillery position and the Mirador del Río was opened to the public in 1973.
Actually you can contemplate the views from the parking lot or from other points of the road as the Mirador del Guinate of which we speak later but really what you pay is to access the incredible space of the artist from Lanzarote.
You can visit the Mirador del Río every day from 10:00h to 17:00h and the entrance fee is 5€ (1€ for residents in Lanzarote, 4€ for residents in the Canary Islands) (cheaper if you buy one of the vouchers).
Near the Mirador del Rio, if you follow the road (LZ-202) and look to the right you will have a free viewpoint with incredible views:
La Corona Volcano (La Corona Natural Monument)
The eruption of the Monte Corona volcano covered the southeastern and northeastern part of Lanzarote with a river of lava forming an extensive malpaís and the great volcanic tube where the Cueva de los Verdes and Los Jameos del Agua are located.
Monte Corona is a protected area with the category of Natural Monument and it is possible to climb to the top of the volcano, obtaining spectacular views of La Graciosa and the north of Lanzarote through an easy circular route, about 5km long, which will take between 1h30 to 2h.
To start the route (here you have the complete info of the trail) you must park the car in the village of Yé (near this point, where the trail starts). In this article of Ocio Lanzarote they explain quite well the different stages and landscapes that you go through until you reach the top of the volcano.
Here you can also check a “geo-route” through several places of interest related to the eruption of La Corona Volcano.
Risco Beach and Camino de las Gracioseras
Because of its difficult access it is a little visited beach which makes it even more appealing to enjoy a day at the beach with adventure and dips. On our trip to Lanzarote we didn’t have time to visit it, but we’ll keep it in mind for our return.
If the plan sounds appealing, you should know that there are more than 7 km of trail (downhill and uphill), with considerable difficulty (especially the downhill) due to the slipperiness of the trail (very loose volcanic gravel), and a considerable difference in altitude (500 meters in a few kilometers). It will take you more than 2 hours to go up and down, not counting the time you will spend at the beach itself.
The reward, a wide beach of fine white sand that you will share with very few people or even enjoy it alone. You have all the info of the route here.
It is called the “Camino de las Gracioseras” because during several decades of the twentieth century, the barter of the women of the island of La Graciosa consisted of going up and down the cliff of Famara daily loaded with baskets of fish up to 30 kgs! on their heads to exchange for meat, farm products and other necessities in villages in the area. They left at dawn, barefoot and to cross the sea between Lanzarote and La Graciosa (which by the way they call the river, hence the name Mirador del Río – “río” is river in spanish) they used small sailing boats. It was thanks to these gracioseras women that the isolation of La Graciosa was broken and to whom the survival of their village is due.
Although, in our opinion, the Mirador del Río is worthwhile for being one of the works of César Manrique that we have liked the most on the island, if you are not interested in entering the viewpoint made by the artist, from the Mirador de Guinate you will have similar views to the ones from the Mirador del Río.
This viewpoint is located left to the previous one, so you will not see La Graciosa from the front but from the side, but you will have a privileged view of the Camino de las Gracioseras and the Risco beach.
Haría and the César Manrique House Museum
The village of Haría is characterized by the stamp of white houses between green and palm trees, a less common landscape in the arid Lanzarote, but what attracts most tourists to this small town is the Casa Museo de César Manrique (not to be confused with the César Manrique Foundation in Tahíche). This was the house where Cesar Manrique lived during the last years of his life, between 1987 and 2002, when he died in a car accident. The house was opened to the public that same year and is distributed on a single floor surrounded by palm trees and plants and offers a tour of the artist’s last years through personal belongings, books, photographs and his workshop. The César Manrique House-Museum (Casa del Palmeral) is open daily from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm and the entrance fee is 10€ (you can purchase the Combined Ticket with the César Manrique Foundation for 17€).
In front of the square of Haría you will find the Museo Sacro y Popular that preserves religious objects donated by its neighbors and the church where the controversial sculpture of a pregnant Virgin, work of the Canarian artist Luján Pérez, is located.
It is worth stopping at the Mirador de Haría to contemplate the postcard view of the valley of Haría dotted with palm trees and white houses and the imposing volcano of Monte Corona, which you can reach the top through a path. It is not by chance that the valley of Haría is also known as the “valley of the ten thousand palm trees”, because this is where the largest number of palm trees in the Canary Islands is concentrated. The green that sprouts from the valley of Haría contrasts with the lunar landscape that you will be getting used to in your days in Lanzarote.
Viewpoint of El Risco de Famara – Park El Bosquecillo
It was at the viewpoint of El Risco de Famara in the Bosquecillo park that the island gave us its best sunset. To get there, you will have to drive carefully along a dirt road, park your car and walk a few minutes.
The Riscos de Famara keep the largest botanical reserve of Lanzarote and offer one of the best panoramic views over the islets that make up the Chinijo archipelago (La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste) and, of course, the imposing and majestic Famara beach.
By the way, the Bosquecillo is the only forest in Lanzarote where several neighbors go on Sundays to spend the day because it has a picnic area and barbecue grills.
Cueva de las cabras (or Cueva de los Suecos)
If you are in the mood for adrenaline and you are a somewhat intrepid person, near the viewpoint El Risco de Famara small cave is hidden, the Cueva de las Cabras. It is located about 10 minutes from the Bosquecillo park, to the left and getting to the cave is not easy. If it’s windy don’t even think about it because it’s very dangerous.
The access is next to a cliff, by a small staircase on the ground that can be slippery through which you reach the cave. Of course, if you are lucky enough to go on a clear day and with no wind, you can calmly reach and enjoy incredible views over Famara.
Ermita de las Nieves Viewpoint
Another incredible place for a sunset overlooking Famara. It will be, along with the Bosquecillo, the most breathtaking place to enjoy the sunset. Contrary to the luck we had at the viewpoint El Risco de Famara, the viewpoint Ermita de las Nieves (so called because it is located there) was cloudy and with haze so we could not contemplate the magnitude of the views in all its splendor.
Famara, La Caleta and San Juan beach
Famara is the surfing capital of Lanzarote. An imposing kilometer-long beach constantly beaten by the trade winds that delight those who practice this sport.
Although it is not one of our favorites for swimming precisely because of the waves, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches (if not the most beautiful) of the island. The protagonism is taken by the mountainous massifs of Famara-Guatifay with its impressive vertical walls on which stands the highest point of the island, the Peñas del Chache, at 672 meters above sea level. In fact, from here paragliding and hang gliding enthusiasts are launched and descend the cliffs to land on the beach, so it is common that the picture in Famara is of people surfing, paragliding or just enjoying the beach.
In the village of La Caleta de Famara, a former fishing village, you can feel the atmosphere of surfing and barefoot life that we like so much. In fact, most of the streets are unpaved (sandy). We recommend parking the car and walk along the beach calmly. If you square your visit with the sunset, walking back to the village along the beach will give you an incredible image, with the sun reflecting on the shore wet by the water and the massifs dyeing orange.
To the left of Caleta de Famara, you will find Playa de San Juan, a somewhat quieter and much smaller beach with white sand where, of course, surfing is also practiced. To access, simply follow the main road to the end, making the last unpaved stretch.
Jardín de Cactus (Cactus Garden)
The Cactus Garden, also a work of the Lanzarote artist César Manrique, has approximately 4,500 specimens of 450 different species of cactus from the five continents, that is, a paradise for cactus lovers.
The curious garden is surrounded by agricultural landscape and at the foot of the Guatiza mill, one of the last millo (corn, in the Canary Islands) mills still standing in Lanzarote.
The artist conceived the installation of the garden, a botanical and floristic study center in a former rofera (a site where the rofe is extracted) in the shape of a Roman circus.
Rofe is the superficial part of the lapilli, fragments of lava expelled by the volcano during an eruption. It is known as picón in the Canary Islands but it is specifically called rofe in Lanzarote.
You can visit the Cactus Garden every day from 10:00h to 17:00h, it is not a guided tour but an on-your-own visit throughout the space and the individual ticket costs 6,50€ (cheaper if you buy one of the vouchers).
Charco del Palo (nudist village)
Charco del Palo is a completely nudist village founded in the 70’s by a German. The access is by a good road although it is far away from everything, which gives it more privacy.
Most people (residents and visitors staying in one of the apartments or resorts) practice nudism, although in the few restaurants it is theoretically mandatory to wear clothes. It has a couple of natural pools between volcanic rock. If you go to Charco del Palo to take a dip, respect nudism.
If you get hungry and crave for arepas, nearby is the delicious Arepera Jojojoto y Millo, the arepa de huevos pericos that we tried was spectacular.
Cueva del Agua Natural Pool (or La Olla)
The Cueva del Agua is a spectacular natural pool located between Charco del Palo and Los Cocoteros, with complicated access, which gives it an extra charm as there is a high chance that there will be few people when you go.
To get there, from Guatiza you have to take a dirt road to an isolated house (exactly here), where you can leave the car. From there, you have to walk a few meters to the exact location of the Cueva del Agua.
The natural pool is a jameo (natural cave generated by the detachment of the roof of a volcanic tube), so the volcanic landscape around the pool is incredible, but also dangerous. Very important to go with proper footwear! It is also advisable to wear water booties.
The ideal is to go when the tide is rising and/or high, and only when the sea is calm, otherwise it can be dangerous.
Guatiza Salt Flats (Los Cocoteros)
The Salinas de Guatiza are the only salt flats in operation together with those of Janubio (much more famous), although the activity in these ones is very reduced. We did not go there, but according to what we read, the salt maker lives next door and you can buy very good quality salt from him at very good prices.
This curious landscape is formed by the remains of an ancient rocky area on the island, where the Rofe was extracted, as it is called in Lanzarote to a type of volcanic sand of coarse and rough grains.
It is a very photogenic place due to its rock formations and is becoming more and more popular among tourists.
2. Lanzarote Center
Lanzarote is a land of volcanoes and most of the more than one hundred volcanoes that exist on the island are found in its geological jewel, the Timanfaya National Park, the most striking landscape you will ever set foot on. To enter the center of the island is to enter into its history and the history of the formation of the Canary Islands, climbing to the edge of craters and walking among volcanic bombs. It also hides some of the most beautiful villages of the Canary Islands, such as Teguise, surprises like the House-Museum of a Nobel Prize for Literature who found his refuge here (José Saramago) and invites you to savor a delicious glass of white wine between volcanic vineyards among the beautiful landscapes of La Geria.
Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya National Park is undoubtedly one of the most impressive areas of the island. Contrary to what some people believe, Timanfaya is not a volcano, it is a volcanic complex, currently a protected natural park, which has several volcanoes in its interior. The entire territory of the natural park is volcanic material, the result of eruptions that totally modified the island. Almost 20,000 hectares of land covered with lava, ashes, volcanic bombs and lapillis.
There were two eruptive periods: the longer – for 6 years – eruptions of the Montañas del Fuego that occurred between 1730 and 1736, and the more recent eruptions in 1824.
“On the first day of September 1730, the green plains and white villages of the southwest of Lanzarote were surprised by the most violent volcanic eruption in living memory, both for the duration of the phenomenon – six years – and for the abundance of lava that buried ten villages and covered a quarter of the island with a mantle of incandescent magma.”Alberto Vázquez Figueroa “Océano”, we read it at the Mancha Blanca Visitor Center.
During the 6 years of the longest eruptive period (1730-1736), a series of volcanoes appeared. The first of them arose near the village of Chimanfaya, which evolved into Timanfaya and gives the park its name. Geologists believe that this first volcano is the one currently called Volcán el Cuervo (but it is not known for sure).
Now that we have witnessed the eruption of La Palma that lasted a few months, imagine what it must have been like for the people who lived here at that time, with eruptions during 6 years…
Despite the violence of the eruptions, considered one of the most important in world volcanism, they did not cause human casualties. Under these mountains, calderas and deserts of petrified lava (called malpaís here) remain hidden the villages of Tingafa, Mancha Blanca, Maretes, Santa Catalina, San Juan, Masdache, Peña Palomas, Chimanfaya (Timanfaya), Testeina, La Geria or Los Rodeos.
The area of Timanfaya National Park does not cover the whole extension of the mentioned eruptions. As we can see in the following maps of the Timanfaya Geological Guide, in red is the area covered by the eruptions of 1730-1736 (map below) and in dark green (map below in “How to Visit”) is the whole area of the National Park.
How to visit Timanfaya National Park?
You can only visit Timanfaya National Park in one of the following ways:
- Volcanoes Route by bus (yellow line on the itinerary map)
- Tremesana route, on foot, with previous reservation with a guide (black line on the itinerary map).
- Litoral Route, walking, the only one you can do on your own or also with a guide (orange line in the itinerary map).
- There is a fourth option to visit Timanfaya that we only mention for you to avoid and reject: to visit it on the back of a dromedary. We do not understand how officially this aberration is still an option in a National Park and also promoted by the government. Do not be an accomplice of animal abuse and promote responsible tourism.
A bus ride for 14 kms (approximately 50 minutes) that starts and ends at the Islote de Hilario, a place where the temperature reaches 400º at a depth of two meters, so called because here, a man named Hilario used to live in solitude. Around here you will find ‘El Diablo’, designed by César Manrique, a circular building that houses a restaurant, with the facade covered with volcanic stone where you can see inside a well about five meters deep. The bus makes some stops such as the Mirador de Montaña Rajada from where you can see much of the national park and the coast.
Honestly, we did the route by bus the first time we visited the island in 2014 and we did not like it. Apart from the fact that getting to know such a natural and special place in a tourist bus takes away its charm, the dirty and/or scratched windows did not let us enjoy the scenery and the explanation is a pre-recorded audio (not a guide) that in our case, in addition, sounded terrible and was difficult to understand. The entrance with the bus costs 12€ per person (cheaper if you buy one of the vouchers).
If you still don’t have much time, here you can book a half-day excursion that includes the Volcanoes Route by bus.
Remember, if you are ever offered a camel/dromedary ride, refuse and denounce this practice. Do not be an accomplice to animal abuse.
Tremesana (or Termesana) Route
What we believe is the best way to get to know the national park, its particularities, fauna and flora is to take the guided Tremesana route.
Try to book as soon as possible (you can book up to a month in advance), because there are only 8 places in Spanish and 8 in English per day and they don’t do it every day. If you don’t get a place, there is the option of showing up at the starting point early to get on the waiting list. If any of the 8 people do not show up, they will allow other people in order of arrival.
If you want to book, you can do it here but the experience is so unusable and the website works so poorly that we have decided to create a specific section to explain how to book the routes .
As a curiosity, you will hear and see Tremesana or Termesana and both are correct. Termesana is the name of a large mountain of Lanzarote located on the southern boundary of Timanfaya National Park, so although the most established name in the tradition is Montaña Termesana, recently the variant Tremesana, by metathesis, is increasingly used.
The only one that you have the option to do on your own or, if you want, with a guide, is the route along the coast between Piedra de Ventura and Playa del Paso. Of course, if you want to do it on your own you have to ask for permission in advance. You can do it in this web page .
If you want to book a guided tour, you can do it here or you can show up there first thing in the morning, try your luck and they may have a space but we recommend booking if you really want to do the guided tour.
How to book the Tremesana and Litoral routes?
To book, go to this website which, we warn you in advance, works very badly:
- You have to visit the desired route page (in this website you can find all of them):
- Once inside the route, in the menu above (in dark red) you must click on “Reservations“.
- A calendar will appear, where the blank days are the ones with available places (although it works very poorly, we were shown blank days that had no places when we clicked on them). Click on the desired day, and the schedule and available places will appear on the right side.
- If there are indeed places, you must click on “Select” to continue, put the number of people you want in the form and click on “Next Step”.
- Finally, you will have to fill in the data in the form that appears and complete the process
Our experience booking the Tremesana route
The first time we booked the Tremesana, January 2022, unfortunately, we were unable to do it due to the poor management of the reservation process. The second time (February 2023) we could indeed do it. The first time, two days before starting the route, with the reservation confirmed in our email for more than two weeks, we called to confirm whether or not we had to pay the entrance fee to the park. The person who attended us, besides being very rude, told us that it was impossible that there would be a tour that day and that we would not be able to do it. We were shocked. After several calls and emails to the person in charge of Tourism of Lanzarote, the National Parks, etc., the conclusion is that no one was responsible because supposedly they opened places unintentionally on a day that there was no route, they did not propose another day and there was no more space for several weeks (we had a bit of margin, as we were almost a month on the island).
That is, we did all this process, booked for 2 people, received the confirmation and only found out that there would be no tour two days before by chance because we called the information center. If not, I imagine that we would have stood there in Yaiza waiting for someone to show up at 9am in the morning because we did not receive any information that there would be no tour, neither by phone nor by email.
We hope they improve the usability of the website, the management of the national park’s reserves in general, and the attention to visitors in the future because it is a shame that such a jewel as Timanfaya National Park continues to be so poorly managed.
Our experience doing the Tremesana route
The second time we booked the route (in this case only Chris) we did manage to do it.
The meeting point was at 9:30 in Plaza de los Remedios, in Yaiza (you can park for free next door, around here), and there were people with a reservation who did not show up, which allowed another couple who showed up without a reservation to try their luck to join the route. We don’t know if it’s very frequent, but if you want to do the route and you can’t find a place, it’s worth going there at 9:30 just in case! Seats are limited to 8 in Spanish and 8 in English because transportation to the route is carried out in two vans with 8 seats each: one goes to one end of the route and another to the other (the route is linear). and when the two groups meet in the middle, the keys of the vans are exchanged.
Here are some notes taken during the tour, where Miguel, the guide, shared a lot of interesting information:
- The limits of the National Park, which does not cover the entire extent of the eruptions, have to do with the towns that escaped the tragedy and the complexity of the expropriation of the land
- Miguel explained and taught us to differentiate some of the types of pyroclasts (material expelled by the volcano during the eruption) that we can see on the island:
- Volcanic ash: particles less than 2mm in diameter can be seen in the Geria
- Lapilli: fragments between 2mm and 64mm. The name originates from Latin, and in the Canary Islands it is generally known as “picón”, and in Lanzarote more specifically as “rofe”. As Miguel explained to us humorously, it stings because if you walk barefoot on it, it stings; and rofe for the sound it makes when you step on it
- Volcanic bombs and volcanic slag: fragments larger than 64mm; the difference between them is that some are porous (the slag) due to the amount of gases in their formation, and the others are not.
- The rofe (picón or lapilli) was key in the recovery of Lanzarote after the eruptions because, being a porous material and being broken into pieces, it acts as a natural water collector: when temperatures drop at night, dew appears and soaks the soil, which is absorbed by the rofe and reaches the layer of fertile soil below it. In Lanzarote it rains about 10 days a year so this gave a boost to agriculture
- The rofe extraction quarries are called roferas, which is used on the island for agriculture (as we explained in the previous point), for roads (it is mixed with tar) and for construction (it is mixed with cement for better isolation). Currently the quarries are legal.
- Along the route we see several specimens of a grasshopper that is endemic. As there are no mountains or mountains in Lanzarote, Miguel tells us that they are affectionately called “saltalava” on the route.
- Miguel also explains the different types of lava flows:
- Type AA: in the Canary Islands they are called Malpaís or Malpey, since it generates inhospitable terrain that cannot be worked or walked comfortably. They are slow and strong castings, which come out at a temperature of about 1000º, due to the greater presence of gases; they can push things or even climb up terrain. The slowness causes the upper zone to cool more quickly and the gases come to the surface, generating this irregular terrain. Miguel’s humorous explanation for the name “AA”, of Hawaiian origin, is that when they tried to walk barefoot through them they hurt themselves and said “Ah! Ah!” because of the pain… The most plausible explanation is that in Hawaiian, “‘A’ā” is “stony with rough lava”, but also “burn” or “fire”
- Pahoehoe-type: they are fast and fluid flows, they come out at a temperature of about 1200º and the strong contrast with the outside temperature causes them to solidify quickly on the surface, generating volcanic tubes as the lava continues to flow below. It was said that in Lanzarote they flowed like milk (when hot milk cools it forms cream on the surface). Once again, Miguel explains the Hawaiian nomenclature (pahoehoe) with which when trying to walk through this type of colada barefoot, since it was smooth, it would not hurt (pāhoehoe in Hawaiian means smooth).
- During the route we enter one of those volcanic tubes (smooth pahoehoe type flow). In the Canary Islands, the entrance to the tube is called Jameo (tube area that collapses and allows access to its interior). Inside the tube we can see marks of the passing of the lava (changes in quantity and the final tongue of lava on the floor) and also dripping on the ceiling (the lava is solidifying and generating staphyllites). The tubes were useful for the local population, as a pen for animals (goats), a hideout for pirates and as warehouses (the temperature is stable inside).
- We also stopped at the María Hernández crater (named after the owner of the land), where there was a lava lake that cooled, generating a large solid rock.
- We stopped next to a fig tree, something typical that is grown in the area. Unlike of the fig trees on the peninsula, it has no trunk and is inclined by the winds, which prevent it from growing upwards, growing wide and taking advantage of the humidity. They allow us to try one of the figs (at this time there aren’t usually any but due to recent rains this year there are). Due to the climate, their figs are sweeter.
- We also pass through a lava river, a tube that looks like a log and we see Los Ajaches in the distance, the area that gave rise to the island. It formed at the bottom of the sea and later rose to the surface. The same happened with the Famara area. Subsequently, different fissure eruptions generated more volcanoes that ended up uniting both areas.
- Miguel tells us that currently no island is volcanically active except Tenerife, because it has a stratovolcano (El Teide) with its own magma chamber. He says that one day it will erupt. The rest of the island can only have fissure eruptions. He also comments that the islands that have a probability of future eruptions are El Hierro, La Palma, Tenerife and Lanzarote; the rest are unlikely because no activity has been detected for many years. Although Lanzarote is not active, it has hot magmatic remnants, which are what generate hot air on the surface and that we can see in the park visit demonstration.
- We pass between Montaña Encantada, Caldera Rajada and Montaña Rajada: we see that the eruptions were the same but the winds defined the shapes of the volcanoes (in addition to regulating the temperature).
- We also see several rocks with different colors, which are due to gases. The pretty rocks are a problem because tourists take them away. Controls are usually done at the airport. In 2018, they counted 2 tons of rocks seized at the airport (carry-on luggage only). In November 2022 Lanzarote received some 2,000,000 tourists, if each person takes a stone… The stones are important because they are part of the ecosystem (lizards hide in them, if there are no stones when it rains the water washes away the terrain, etc.)
- We also observe lichens, the first living being to manage to inhabit these post-eruptive environments. It is a fungus + alga (a symbiosis between the two, although in 2022 a study concluded that more than a symbiosis it is a hijacking of the fungus to the alga). There are several types (calcareous stuck to the rock, those that get into the cracks or the one that is shaped like a lettuce). They colonize the rock generating soil, giving way to other plants. There are more than 500 types of lichens in the park due to the good air quality. They are oriented to the northeast (where the trade winds come from), something that we can easily verify and that can help us to identify the north simply by looking at the stones in the park.
- Lanzarote due to its nature is a “gruyère cheese”, it is full of holes, which favors the presence of rabbits that hide in them. The people originally from Lanzarote are commonly known as conejeras or conejeros because it was common for them to appear on the other islands selling rabbits or parts thereof, given the abundance of the animal on Lanzarote.
- We finish by observing the Tremesana volcano, which gives its name to the route, and which predates the historic eruptions of Timanfaya. It is covered with rofe from the Timanfaya eruptions.
The visit is highly recommended, since it allows you to step on the National Park and walk on it, in addition to receiving a class on volcanology and the origin of the islands by the guide who accompanies you.
Mancha Blanca Visitor Center
In our opinion, this Visitor Center is the first place you should visit on the
island to learn not only about Timanfaya but also about volcanology,
about the formation of the Canary Islands and about what you will see on the island the days you are in Lanzarote.
In the Visitor Center you will learn, for example, what a jameo is before stepping on César Manrique’s Jameos del Agua or how volcanic bomb fields are formed before you come across one of these bombs on the Montaña Colorada trail. In short, this center will help you understand everything you will see on the island and, as a bonus, you will be able to walk through the landscape of Timanfaya on a wooden walkway, part of the center.
Admission to the center is free and the opening hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
By the way, on the way to the Visitor Center, on the LZ-67 road that connects Tinajo and Yaiza, you will step on a little piece of the National Park. In addition, the road is one of the most beautiful ones of the island because it is surrounded by spectacular volcanic landscape.
The hiking route through the Caldera Blanca is incredible and can be done on your own.
The trail passes through very different terrain, both “rough” terrain from the 1730-36 eruptions and older terrain, as the height of the Caldereta and Caldera Blanca volcanoes meant that they were not affected by the lava expelled during those eruptions. In local terminology they are considered “islets” since they were left uncovered but surrounded by that “sea of lava” as a result of the eruptions.
The word islet can have two meanings: elevated volcanic terrains (usually cones) that have been surrounded by historical eruptions or a small island such as those in the Chinijo archipelago.Source: Geological Guide of Timanfaya
The route could be better signposted (it is common to make mistakes and to get lost) but basically you have to continue towards the peak of the volcano, skirting the entire caldera, to go back down later. Here you can see an example route on Wikiloc.
During the tour there are several signs explaining what you are seeing, telling you what is the malpais (land covered by solidified lava) or líquenes (a form of primary life that covers the lava flows) as well as the different ecosystems represented in the landscape. After a couple of hours, an interesting climb and a couple of silly detours because of getting lost, we arrived at the crater rim. The views from the crater rim are breathtaking and, on a clear day, even more spectacular, although the strong wind makes it necessary to be very careful.
Randomtrip Scale of Difficulty: Hard. It is almost 10 km (it took us about 4 hours in total) over uneven terrain, slippery in some sections, and in our case, very windy at the top of the volcano, but it is totally worth it.
Special thanks to the folks at La Gaveta Voladora whose post was super helpful to understand what we were seeing and organize the hike! Thank you!
Mancha Blanca, the miracle and the Ermita de Los Dolores
We approached the small village of Mancha Blanca to investigate a curious history of its hermitage that dates back to the six years of eruptions between 1730 and 1736. The enormous devotion to the Virgen de los Dolores, patron saint of Lanzarote (also known as Our Lady of the Volcanoes), makes that every September 15, tens of thousands of people from all corners of the island and other Canary Islands pilgrimage to the Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores, in Mancha Blanca, to worship her.
The reason for this devotion is because these eruptions made the neighbors of Tinajo go in procession to Mancha Blanca to pray to the Virgin to stop the lava, promising her the construction of a hermitage if such a miracle happened. The miracle was worked, the river of lava was stopped just in the place where a cross of firewood was nailed (you can see it today, in front of the hermitage) but the promise was not fulfilled and the hermitage was not built in its day. And here is where the curious story behind the hermitage begins:
“Tradition has it that years later when the shepherdess Juana Rafaela, daughter of a humble family of goatherds, was taking care of the cattle in the mountain of Guiguan, a lady dressed in black approached her and asked her to remind the elders of the promise they had made some time before. The lady in black appeared to the girl again on another herding day and repeated the message. The girl told her that she had told it but that her parents did not believe her. The Virgin then carved her hand on the girl’s back and said ‘Go away, now they will believe you’. And, astonished, this time they did believe her. The little shepherdess, who was 9 years old, connected the lady with an image of Our Lady of Los Dolores, and that is how the people of the town hastened to build this hermitage, a place of pilgrimage”.
Excerpt from the explanatory sign in front of the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, in Mancha Blanca.
La Geria: Wine, Vineyards & Wineries
The origin of all this area where the vineyards and several wineries are located, La Geria, was born from the need to take advantage of the lava extensions of the Timanfaya eruptions. Most of the arable land in this area was buried under lava, scoria and ash that thanks to the ingenuity of the people of Lanzarote turned the area of La Geria into a unique volcanic soil cultivation in the world.
You can visit the Vega de Yuco winery for 1 hour where you will discover all the secrets of this Lanzarote wine and, in addition, you will do a tasting of organic wines for 14€, booking here. Or you can hire a tour that includes a visit to three wineries– Bodega Los Bermejos, Bodegas Rubicon and Bodegas El Grifo – tasting, guide and transfers included, hiring this 4-hour tour among vineyards of La Geria.
The Geria is the hole in which the vine is planted and that protects it from the wind (this area can reach gusts of 120 km/h) and thanks to its conical shape, channels the water to the plant. To make these cones, the superficial part of the lapilli is dug (this superficial part is called picón, in the Canary Islands, specifically rofe in Lanzarote) of approximately 2 and a half meters, until soil is found and the planting of some of the 23 endemic grape varieties is carried out.
During the night, the rofe allows the passage of humidity to the ground and during the day, it prevents evaporation. The semicircular walls of volcanic stone, so photogenic, are called zocos. Thanks to this technique, it has also been possible to grow melons, watermelons, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic and corn.
If you have accompanied our trip through the Azores islands, you will be familiar with something similar on the island of Pico whose vineyard landscape is formed by currais (volcanic stone walls to protect the vines that make up a landscape that is a Unesco heritage site), however, the Azorean currais are not like those of Lanzarote since those are directly on the volcanic rock and at sea level and the ones here, called zocos, are not.
La Geria is located in a protected natural park, with two rules that affect them in particular: they cannot irrigate and they cannot bring in machinery (except during the grape harvest when they are allowed to bring in vehicles to transport the grapes).
Harvesting in La Geria lasts about two and a half months, everything is done by hand and is considered one of the most difficult in the world, especially due to the temperature. At the bottom of the pits, temperatures of more than 70° can be reached in the middle of a summer heat wave.
There are several wineries responsible for the delicious wine produced on this island (La Geria, El Grifo, Los Bermejos, Rubicon,… on this website you can find them all) and they all offer guided tours and wine tasting.
We visited two of them: Bodegas La Geria, where we took a guided tour through the whole process of cultivation, harvest and wine tasting and where we learned all this; and Bodegas El Grifo where we went to the museum and its particular cactus garden.
Bodegas La Geria
The guided tour of the winery La Geria costs 10 € and lasts about 45 minutes with a detailed explanation of the cultivation and harvesting process and subsequent wine tasting by a sommelier of the winery, in our case it was the friendly Gustavo.
In addition, we also learned a series of curiosities such as the fact that these were probably the first wines in the world to travel: in the past, ships took wine from here to the American continent (for example to Cuba) and brought back rum. We also learned that with grape protein (which in Galicia, for example, is used to make orujo) they make soaps and other products for wine therapy.
As we mentioned before, the guided tour includes wine tasting: white, red and muscatel.
In the case of La Geria, the white wine “La Geria” is the most common wine sold in supermarkets but we discovered their most premium line in the visit with the wine called “Manto” that we loved. It is made from selected grapes with a minimum of 100 years old vines, the oldest vineyards are about 170 years old.
Moscatel is an ancient wine, very rich and very expensive because it is made in small quantities (the bunches are dried in the sun, dehydrating the grapes). You should be warned beforehand that it is very dangerous because it is very soft when you drink it and when you wake up you realize that, although you did not notice it, the alcohol content is there. It is also very interesting because when you smell it initially it smells fruity and as soon as you oxygenate it a little bit it smells a lot of sulfur (something similar to “rotten eggs”).
If you are very interested in wine (or just love volcanic malvasia wines), here you can hire a tour that includes a visit to three wineries– Bodega Los Bermejos where Bermejo wine is made (our favorite volcanic malvasia wine), Bodegas Rubicón and Bodegas El Grifo – tasting, guide and transfers included, hire this 4-hour tour among the vineyards of La Geria.
If you prefer a shorter tour, you can visit the Vega de Yuco winery for 1 hour where you will discover all the secrets of this Lanzarote wine and, in addition, you will do a tasting of organic wines for 14€. Book here.
El Grifo Winery
We also went to the wineries of El Grifo which are the oldest in Lanzarote, dating back to 1775. These wineries have a free entrance wine museum where you can learn more about the history of Lanzarote wine. The museum shows different instruments that were used for wine production and also has a small but photogenic cactus garden outside.
Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain for its historical-artistic architectural ensemble, the village of Teguise was the ancient capital of Lanzarote since the fifteenth century (Arrecife is the current capital, since the nineteenth century).
The best plan in Teguise is to get lost in its narrow, white and cobbled streets admiring the facades of Franciscan and Dominican buildings, churches, palaces and whitewashed houses, stopping for a drink on one of its terraces in the historic center, near the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Special attention to the 18th century Spínola Palace, a house museum where you can admire its halls, courtyard, garden and chapel. Also the stately mansions like the Casa Torres or the Palacio del Marqués (a building from 1455), where we ended up eating very well and with live music.
If you can plan your visit to Teguise on a Sunday morning, there is a flea market from 9:00h to 14:00h and the streets are filled with craft stalls, terraces, and life. Of course, although it is the most famous market (and, apparently, the largest on the island), we expected to find something more local and not so tailored to the tourist, a feeling that assailed us several times on this trip to Lanzarote. In the market we have seen many stalls with imported products, imitations, etc. and not so many local crafts and gastronomic products as we would expect. Even so, it is worthwhile to visit even if it is just to have a drink in one of its terraces for the atmosphere that is brewing.
As a curiosity, a large part of the masters of the Canarian timple, a musical instrument that resembles the ukulele, come from Lanzarote and, more specifically from Teguise, so if you are lucky enough to see someone playing it, know that you are facing a joyful custom and tradition.
Santa Barbara Castle (Museum of Piracy)
Outside the town of Teguise, on the volcano of Guanapay, you will find the Castle of Santa Barbara, nothing more and nothing less than the oldest castle in the Canary Islands. This castle, built in the first half of the sixteenth century, has a history marked by successive invasions of pirates and privateers and therefore, today, here is the Museum of Piracy.
Unfortunately when we went there it was temporarily closed and, apparently, it is still closed when writing this guide. We leave you the photo of our friend Ana from the castle of Santa Barbara in the article they wrote for Randomtrip on their one week trip to Lanzarote .
Costa Teguise, Las cucharas beach and Jablillo beach
It was in Costa Teguise where we stayed the second time we visited the island because it is, out of the three towns with the highest tourist concentration (Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise), the “most bearable”, that is, where the concentration is lower. Whenever we travel we always try to stay outside these areas full of resorts and restaurants with English menus, trying to find some more local areas instead, but sometimes it is not possible and Lanzarote, in this sense, does not make it easy. In this type of island areas such as Costa Teguise is where more accommodation is concentrated with better value for money especially if, as in our case, you are looking to stay several weeks.
However, although it is an area where mass tourism is the order of the day, there were a couple of places that surprised us. Jablillo beach, for example, seemed to us a quiet beach and a good place on this coast to enjoy the sunset. It has little space in the sand where you can lay your towel, which makes it less comfortable, but if you don’t mind, there are several volcanic rocks where you can sit and dry off. Also, don’t forget your snorkel goggles as there are plenty of little fish to say hello to around here. If you get hungry, we had dinner once on the terrace of the Doña Lola restaurant and, although we found it a bit expensive, the food was tasty. Nearby is Playa Bastián, an option with more space to lay your towel if Jablillo doesn’t convince you.
The other beach we visited is the beach of Las Cucharas, the most famous one in Costa Teguise. Unlike Jablillo, this beach is much less quiet because its calm sea, its accessibility and the number of restaurants on the promenade where it is located, which makes it very visited by families and various tourists staying here. Nearby is the beach of the Charcos, less frequented than the previous one possibly because of the amount of rocks that are found when entering the sea that make it less appealing to go with kids. On this beach it is very common to find several people taking advantage of the Lanzarote wind for windsurfing.
If you have always wanted to try scuba diving, you can do it in Costa Teguise for the first time: Diving baptism of 2 hours. If you want to take it more seriously, have more time and want to leave this trip as a certified diver to dive all over the world you can do the Padi Diving Course: in Costa Teguise you can do it in 2 days.
If you do not want so much depth but you want to discover the marine fauna of Lanzarote, you can snorkel in Costa Teguise.
Nazaret: LagOmar Museum
Together with the Mirador del Río, the LagOmar House-Museum is one of the architectural works of César Manrique that we liked the most on the island. It is located in an old rofera, was originally conceived by the Lanzarote artist and designed by his right arm, the artist Jesús Soto.
Its name comes from Omar Sharif, to whom it belonged. In the early 70’s, the famous actor came to Lanzarote to shoot the movie “The Mysterious Island”, visited the house, fell in love and bought it. Although he supposedly did not own it for a long time. San Benady (the British who commissioned this architectural project), knowing of Sharif’s reputation (addiction) playing cards, challenged him to a Bridge game betting the house and so Omar Sharif lost it, shortly after buying it.
It is not only a beauty on the outside but also on the inside, a house with a jacuzzi included where it is possible to stay inside the complex!
The LagOmar House Museum also has a bar with a terrace, the bar La Cueva, where you can have a drink in front of the pool if you get thirsty. It is open daily from 10:00h to 18:00h and the entrance fee is 6€.
César Manrique Foundation
In the small village of Tahíche you will find the house built and where the great Lanzarote artist (and the most famous on the island), César Manrique, lived for several years. After his time in Madrid (where he went in 1945 to study at the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando), in New York (where he lived between 1966 and 1968) and to become an internationally recognized artist, it was in this village north of Arrecife that the artist built his house and where he lived until 1987. In 1992, a few months before his death in a traffic accident, the house was opened to the public as the César Manrique Foundation. From 1987 until 1992 the artist lived in Haría, in a house that can also be visited, the Casa-Museo César Manrique, which we also told you about in this guide.
The house was designed on five volcanic bubbles on top of a lava flow and consists of two levels between palm trees, cacti and, of course, a swimming pool (as in the Jameos del Agua and the LagOmar Museum). The foundation seeks to preserve and disseminate the artist’ s work through paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, sketches and even some plans of projects that did or did not see the light of day.
The César Manrique Foundation is open every day from 10:00h to 18:00h and the entrance fee is 10€ (you can buy the Combined Ticket with the César Manrique House-Museum in Haría for 17€).
The capital of Lanzarote since 1852 (until then it was the Villa de Teguise), was not the most interesting thing to see and do on an island with so many options. However, there are some points that make Arrecife worth visiting.
Our area of choice in the capital is the Charco de San Ginés and its terraces where you can have a drink or dinner. It was here that the city was born, where the first chapel was built, the Church of San Ginés, and several fishermen’s houses that make up the picture that we contemplate having a drink on the banks of the Charco.
The Charco se San Gines is actually a natural lagoon of calm waters dotted with small colorful boats linked to the Atlantic Ocean by a channel. It was precisely around this lagoon that the buildings began to emerge and where we can meet the most interesting things of the area as the Puente de las Bolas that connects the city with the Castle of San Gabriel where the Archaeological Museum of the city is located. Also around here is the Cultural Innovation Center “El Almacén”, the best place to soak up the cultural offerings of the city and even have some tapas at the bar on the first floor. In addition, Arrecife has a beach within the city limits, Playa del Reducto.
Although it is becoming increasingly difficult, it is still possible to find in Arrecife the essence of a fishing village with Canarian colonial architecture. The Mercadillo is a good example of that architecture (and an ideal place to buy a souvenir in one of its craft stores) and also the Calle León y Castillo, the commercial axis where most of the stores, cafes, and restaurants are located. We also highlight the yellow facade of the Cabildo de Lanzarote and the Casa de la Cultura Agustín de Hoz.
One of the most important points that attract the most tourists to the capital is the San José Castle and Museum of Contemporary Art. The Castillo de San José, built in 1779 by order of King Carlos III to defend the city, is also known as the “Fortress of Hunger” because apparently its construction was aimed precisely at creating jobs in the face of famine due to the lack of crops (between the lack of rain and volcanic eruptions that devastated the fertile soil).
It is located in the bay of the port of Arrecife and hosts, since 1976, the headquarters of the Museum of Contemporary Art on the island, after the restoration works of, of course, César Manrique. In its permanent exhibition are works by Picasso, Tapiés, Miró, and Manrique himself, among others. Admission costs 4€ (cheaper if you buy one of the vouchers) and can be purchased at the museum itself or here, in advance. The museum is open every day from 11:00h to 18:00h.
The Islote de Fermina was also recently inaugurated, with free access and open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The name of the islet comes from its use in the past as a place to build boats by the businesswoman from Lanzarote with that name. Later, in the 70s, Cesar Manrique was commissioned to redesign the islet, among other areas in front of the Arrecife Gran Hotel, although the project began and remained half-finished for decades and not open to the public, until it was completed in 2023. and inaugurated. The islet is connected to the land with a wooden bridge, and has a saltwater pool (although bathing or swimming in it is currently prohibited) and a cafeteria where you can have a drink with views of the pool and the sea. As a curiosity, the islet was also known as “islet of love” because in the past some couples frequented the place to express “their love”.
Casa Museo del Campesino
Another of César Manrique’s works in Lanzarote, the farmhouse where the Museo del Campesino is located was restored and enlarged by the artist. It was precisely the link of this area of the island with the cultivation of the land that led Manrique to create this space dedicated to honoring those who work the land. He wanted it to be in an old farmhouse to authentically reflect the way of life on the island.
The museum, in white and green colors, exhibits instruments of island agricultural work throughout history. On the tour through the farmhouse, you will find a canteen, with a terrace, and several stores with artisan products. Explore the entire museum, go down the photogenic stairs, go through the tunnel and you will find a restaurant with typical Canarian food.
The Museo del Campesino is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and admission is free.
In the Casa-Museo Campesino you can discover the traditional culture of Lanzarote through the workshops, market and crafts of the Mercado Autóctono Sostenible (MAS) from Monday to Saturday from 10.00h to 17:45h. Here you can learn to make rosettes, ceramics, looms, hats, salts, taste cheeses and wines, learn to make mojos and gofio, learn all about the cochinilla and its possibilities, buy handmade gifts and even buy some organic fruits and vegetables from the island. The price is 3€ for each workshop and the duration varies between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the activity.
Directly in front of the House-Museum, in the roundabout, you will find a 15-meter-high abstract sculpture named “Monumento a la Fecundidad” (Monument to Fertility). Dedicated to the forgotten efforts of the peasants, it was designed by Manrique and constructed by Jesús Soto. It is made of water tanks from fishing boats, welded and white-painted, and is intended to represent a peasant with his cattle.
San Bartolomé and Playa Honda
The town of San Bartolomé has always been linked to the history of jable (derived from the word sable, sand in French), a particular and ingenious way of cultivating the land by transforming an arid field into fertile land. Apparently, the sand from Famara beach, loaded with nutrients ideal for plantations, circulates freely along the so-called “jable corridor” (between Teguise and San Bartolomé) covering the soils up to Playa Honda on its way, with the help of the trade winds, fertilizing them.
Jable is a canarism meaning “volcanic sand with which certain crops are covered to protect the humidity of the soil“.Source: Toponymy of the Canary Islands
If you visit the city, highlights include the Casa Ajei (Ajei was the name given to San Bartolomé by the aboriginal Canarian ancestors), the Casa-Palacio del Mayor Guerra, and the Tanit Ethnographic Museum, located in one of the first wineries of the island and an old mansion of the eighteenth century. The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 10:00h to 14:00h and the entrance fee is 6€.
In addition, San Bartolomé is surrounded by interesting archaeological sites such as Zonzamas, considered one of the most important indigenous archaeological sites of the Canary archipelago. Today the site is abandoned and at risk of disappearing, but here resided, among “casas hondas” (one of the primitive types of housing on the island), Guardafrá, the last chief of the Majos before the conquest in 1402. The main attraction of the site is the so-called queseras de Zonzamas (quesera because of its resemblance to the container in which cheese – queso in Spanish – is made), built on flat surfaces on basaltic stone. More info about this site is here.
If you feel like cooling off, Playa Honda is a semi-urban beach located on the tourist coast of Tías.
We enter the bowels of the crust of the Montaña Blanca volcano. These Grietas (cracks in Spanish) are the result of cracking of the surface of the volcano giving birth to the incredible shapes that we can visit today. Here is the location of the parking and how to get to the cracks. Below you can see an “orientation map” of how to get to the cracks:
Lately a very sought-after spot on the island for being very photogenic and “Instagram worthy“. In the place itself, there are several grietas that can be explored, not just one, in case you arrive and see all the people crowded in the first one. As more and more people are getting to know it and to avoid crowding too many people, we recommend you go on weekdays and early (or late) to enjoy it with some solitude, if you can.
Remember that a large influx of people can have a negative impact on the place, so as always if you visit it, be responsible: do not leave trash, do not paint on the walls, avoid touching the formations, and out of respect for the rest of the people who visit the place, do not make noise or “monopolize” the place with your pictures.
Palmera inclinada (Leaning palm tree)
Update October 2022: Unfortunately the leaning palm tree no longer exists. At the time of writing this update it seems that someone very irresponsible destroyed the palm tree (you can read about it in this news). Let this work as a reflection on how we want to travel and know places, respecting them, since the warning of the Cabildo about this place “Respect, be sensitive and do not repeat the same photo for a few more likes on social networks” with the aim of asking that no one climbed the tree, did not work.
Speaking of special corners, this curious palm tree located in the Natural Park of the Volcanoes is also worth a visit not only for its curiosity but also for the environment in which it is located. Apparently, the palm tree was displaced from its original place, remaining in that position.
In our case, we opted to pretend the palm tree was falling and pretend we were holding it with all our strength but there are many ways you can clown around here. Of course, always responsibly, we want the special leaning palm tree to live among volcanoes for many years to come so think twice before climbing it because of the impact your weight will have on the poor palm tree. It’s already leaning enough…
Book a hiking Route through the Natural Park of the Volcanoes here.
El Cuervo Volcano (Los Cuervos Caldera)
It is believed that El Cuervo Volcano was the first to erupt in Timanfaya, in the eruptions of 1730 to 1736. It can be visited inside in an easy, flat, and short route of one hour. Just park here and walk towards the interior of this small volcano. If you are up for it, you can also go around the outside of the volcano on a longer route. During its eruption, one of the slopes of the volcano gave way, allowing lava to flow towards the surrounding plains, leaving the entrance through which we can pass today without difficulty to access its crater.
Next to it you also have the Montaña Negra, if you climb it you will be rewarded with one of the best images of the El Cuervo Volcano.
Montaña Colorada (Red Mountain) (Caldera Colorada)
Montaña Colorada or Caldera Colorada is an incredibly photogenic volcano due to its unmistakable reddish hues caused by the high concentration of iron oxides. There is a simple, circular, flat trail (4km, approximately 1 hour) that skirts the volcano (although it also has a detour to climb to the summit).
A third of the way to the trailhead, we can see a rounded and giant stone quite peculiar: it is a volcanic bomb, expelled into the air during the eruption of the volcano, and that during its journey to the ground acquired this characteristic rounded shape and solidified.
All along the way there are several informative signs to help us understand what we are contemplating.
To get to Montaña Colorada, you can park here, from where the trail starts. If you don’t want to do the whole trail and just want to see the volcanic bomb, from the parking lot you can walk about 10-15 minutes to here and then retrace your steps.
The Cave of Las Palomas
The Cueva de Las Palomas or Cueva de los Naturalistas is a volcanic tube generated during the famous eruptions of 1730 to 1736, with two entrances (one and the other) to access it, and you can visit for free. It is just over 1km long, and you can enter through one entrance and exit through the other.
It is advisable to bring a flashlight, appropriate footwear and be very careful. And of course, do not leave trash or anything else in the cave.
Tinajo, the mill of Tiagua and the Costa de la Santa
The village of Tinajo is characterized by its onion-shaped chimneys that crown many of its white houses but to understand the agricultural importance of the entire municipality you have to go to the Agricultural Museum El Patio which can be visited in the hamlet of Tiagua, southeast of Tinajo. When we went there it was closed (temporarily, apparently because of the pandemic) but the museum is installed on a farm that was once a model farm, both for its varied production and colonial architecture. There is also a nice mill that can be visited, the Molino de Tiagua, but unfortunately, when we arrived it seemed completely abandoned and without any information.
In the eastern part of the municipality is the great Caldera del Cuchillo, where you can also make a trail, and whose southern part of this caldera retains its shape of a large cliff that looks like an arch. In the western area is the spectacular Caldera Blanca, which we went to and found spectacular.
Also in the municipality of Tinajo is the coast of La Santa, famous for the sports-tourist complex Club de la Santa, which boasts some of the best sports facilities on the island and where the famous Ironman race is held, one of the toughest triathlon races with athletes from all over the world. In the Club La Santa, there are natural swimming pools connected to the sea and, just in front of the sports club, La isleta, a natural phenomenon whose reef is barely elevated and surrounded by an arm of the sea offering good diving possibilities.
We had read that Tenesar was a beautiful village and we were curious. It is really very pretty and although we had read that it is abandoned, it did not seem so to us (some houses open and lived around) although unfortunately, we did not find anything open to drink the more than deserved beer after the Caldera Blanca trail.
Yaiza, a name of Guanche origin, is a village (homonym of the municipality that includes Timanfaya, La Geria, Los Ajaches, Janubio, Hervideros, and El Golfo) that survived the sea of lava from the eruptions. It is, therefore, one of the best-preserved populations with traditional Canarian architecture, and white streets adorned with flowers and plants.
It is here where the famous poster of César Manrique announcing the Timanfaya National Park with the little devil created by the artist is located.
On our way through Yaiza it was also time to eat so we stopped, literally, at the Bar Stop, a centenary bar highly recommended to try a good garbanza (a stew with chickpeas, delicious) or whatever they have on their menu of the day with homemade food. Just in front of the “Stop” is the church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios that preserves in its interior interesting carvings of that virgin.
Uga and its smoked salmon
Famous for its smoked salmon, the village of Uga is a peaceful village of white houses built on the primitive population of the same name, buried by the volcanic eruption of Timanfaya under a 10-meters-thick layer.
You can visit the smokehouse but only for buying the famous smoked salmon right there.
To taste it, it’s better to do it in Bodega Uga or Bodega de Santiago, in Yaiza. We went to the latter and loved it, especially the tuna tartar with wasabi ice cream, smoked salmon (of course), ceviche, rice, and the volcanic dessert.
José Saramago House Museum in Tías
The José Saramago House Museum is one of our favorite spots on the island, where we went the first time we set foot on Lanzarote, in 2014, and to which we returned now in 2022. Here you will enter the house where the Portuguese writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, José Saramago, lived.
Book your ticket for “A Casa” by José Saramago here
In this house, now a house museum, lived José Saramago and Pilar del Río, an incredible woman, journalist, and translator of some of his works into Spanish. They shared life together almost from the moment they met until Saramago’s death in 2010. By the way, Saramago met Lanzarote on vacation, visiting his sister-in-law (Pilar del Rio’s sister) and her husband. They fell so much in love with the island and got along so well that they decided to build a house, both couples, designed by Pilar’s brother-in-law, architect, and the one you can visit. They are really two houses attached, as you will see when you visit, being that you only can visit the one of José and Pilar. The guided tour will actually take you to two buildings: the house where they lived, built between 1992 and 1993, and the library, built later, in 2006, next to the house.
It is precisely in the library that the tour begins. In front of the entrance to the library, there is a Portuguese olive tree that Saramago brought in a small pot between his legs on the plane, not knowing if it would adapt and grow in this type of volcanic terrain. The olive tree, a symbol of peace and wisdom, welcomes you, imposing, growing every day facing the sea.
The library is beautiful and huge: it has 15,000 books and there are still books to be brought from the “Fundação José Saramago”, in Lisbon. The books are classified by subject and origin of the authors, except for a very special area of the library dedicated to female authors. Apparently, this women authors’ corner was an idea of Pilar del Rio’s that Saramago accepted and respected. In the library, we can also see the first book that José Saramago bought, with money lent to him by a friend.
According to what we were told, Saramago’s initial idea was that the library building would be the headquarters of the Saramago Foundation, but in the end, the foundation is located in Lisbon. It was also the writer’s wish that the library would be the site of literary residences for writers, but this did not happen.
As a curiosity, I would like to tell you that “The Elephant’s Journey” (2008) was a work written entirely in this library although, due to the writer’s health that year, he spent a long time in the hospital and it took him a long time to finish it. Whenever journalists asked Pilar del Río when (and if) Saramago would finish the book, Pilar always answered “patience”. Not only did he publish “The Elephant’s Journey” but also “Cain”, a year later. Unfortunately, he wrote only three chapters of her last work “Alabardas” which was finally published posthumously in 2014 with texts by Fernando Gómez Aguilera (Saramago’s friend, poet and essayist) and Roberto Saviano (Italian journalist and writer whom Saramago defended) with engravings by Günter Grass (whom hhe had edited years ago).
In the second part of the visit, you enter Pilar and José’s house where all the clocks in the house are set to the exact time when José and Pilar met (around 4 pm). The house is full of art on the walls, a volcanic carpet at the entrance, travel souvenirs, photographs, and red carnations that transport us to the April 1974 Portuguese revolution.
To contextualize, initially, the idea of José Saramago and Pilar del Río was to use this house as a second residence, for the periods they spent in Lanzarote, but finally, it became their first residence. In 1991 the book “The Gospel according to Jesus Christ” was published where Saramago tells the story of several biblical characters according to his interpretation of that sacred book. Something like an alternative version of the Bible where a messiah of flesh and blood is a little bit different. We do not want to make spoilers but if you do not know the work, we encourage you to read it because it is still one of our favorites of the writer, along with “Baltasar and Blimunda” and “Blindness”. We are currently reading, of course, “Cuadernos de Lanzarote”.
With the publication of “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago was aware that he could expect criticism from more conservative and religious sectors or from the press. But the fact is that the book was withdrawn from an official list of candidates for a European literature prize by the very Secretary of State for Culture of the Portuguese government at the time, António Sousa Lara (at the time a member of the social democratic PSD party and recently part of the extreme right-wing fascist Chega party). In 1993, two years after the publication of the book and with this house in Tias ready, Saramago comes with Pilar to Lanzarote in a kind of “voluntary exile” and here he lives and writes his novels (first at the desk of the house, then in the library) until his death.
It is a very nice visit and very well told, sometimes by the charming Juanjo (son of Pilar del Río, stepson of José Saramago), other times by one of the other collaborators of the museum who will tell you the story in detail. We highly recommend this visit when you come to the island, especially if, like us, you are a fan of the writer’s works. We also recommend the documentary “José and Pilar” from 2010 (the year Saramago died) which you can watch on Filmin.
The entrance fee is 8€ per person (2€ for Lanzarote residents and free for children under 16), you can book it here and be careful, it is only open on weekdays, in the mornings (from 10h to 13h30), except Thursday which is also open in the afternoon (from 16h to 17h30) and it is essential to book your place (by phone +34 928 59 60 87 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org ). When you go, say hello to the cats Frido and Blimunda, mascots of A Casa.
In addition to “A Casa”, the town of Tías (located in the Protected Landscape of La Geria) has a Municipal Theater and a Museum of Engraved Art.
3. South of Lanzarote
The protagonist of the south of the island is the natural monument of Ajaches where some of the most famous beaches are concentrated, such as Playa Papagayo, with fine sand and clear waters. It is also around here where the two largest tourist centers of Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca, are located. Hence, it is precisely in the south where you will find more hotel and gastronomic offers but also more crowded. Do not be surprised if, in some of the most famous and interesting points of this area, such as the beautiful fishing village of El Golfo, Charco de los Clicos or Los Hervideros, you come across several busloads of avid (and hurried) tourists on their daily tour of Lanzarote.
Papagayo Beach and other beaches of the Ajaches Natural Monument
All this volcanic area in the south of the island is the Natural Monument of the Ajaches. This volcanic massif hides some of the best beaches on the island, among which is the famous Papagayo beach. Although Papagayo is beautiful, there are other incredible beaches around that we liked even more and we will tell you more about them in a moment.
Do you want to paddle surf and snorkel at Papagayo beach? Book here. Or, if you like, go coasteering and explore the more rugged areas of the beach.
To enter the area you have to drive a few kilometers on an unpaved track in pretty bad condition (at 20-30km/h), being careful (remember that most rental companies do not cover damages on unpaved tracks). There is a ticket office at the entrance where you have to pay 3€ per vehicle, but when we went (a Saturday in January 2022 at 10:30h) there was nobody there.
We recommend having downloaded the Maps.me app with the map of Lanzarote because there are better indications there than in Google Maps for this kind of roads
List of beaches from east to west:
- Caleta del Congrio and Puerto Muelas beach: they are behind a large campsite that seemed completely closed. You park for free in the parking lot of the campsite and walk (to the right is Caleta del Congrio, and to the left Puerto Muelas). Caleta del Congrio is nudist, large, and beautiful (it reminded us of Playa de los Ojos in Fuerteventura). If you go at low tide, you better wear water booties because of the stones. There are no services or stores on this beach.
- Playa del Papagayo: the best known of the island, has 2-3 restaurants at the top overlooking the beach. It has free parking although it gets crowded.
- Playa de la Cera: to the right of Papagayo, accessed from the same parking lot, somewhat larger. We liked it better than the well-known neighboring beach.
- Playa del Pozo and Archaeological Site of Playa del Pozo: also accessible on foot from the previous ones, much more extensive with a large sandy area (be careful with the wind).
- Caletón de San Marcial and Caletón del Cobre: solitary coves that are practically untouched.
- Playa Mujeres and Cueva de Agua: Playa Mujeres is a very long beach with a large sandy area, the closest to Playa Blanca. It has two free parking lots (one and the other), and we saw quite a few campervans and motorhomes. To the left, there are two coves (those of the previous point, which can be accessed on foot) and to the right a cave that can be accessed by sea or sometimes on foot at low tide. There are no services although a guy on a bike with drinks passes by.
Along with Puerto del Carmen and, to a lesser extent, Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca is one of the largest tourist centers of Lanzarote. What used to be a small fishing village, is nowadays a center full of hotels, house complexes, and restaurants with a lot of tourism.
From the port of Playa Blanca it is possible to arrive in half an hour to the neighboring island of Fuerteventura, making the trip by ferry to Corralejo. This way you can get to know the island that hides the best beaches of the whole Canarian archipelago. If you want to know what we’re talking about, take a look at our guide to Fuerteventura. Do you like the idea?Book your ferry one way or round trip here.
If you are an adventure lover, don’t miss parasailing in Playa Blanca: you will fly over the Atlantic while you have a panoramic view of the entire south coast of Lanzarote. Click here if you want to know more.
We could say that Los Charcones are several natural jacuzzis, one after the other, whose foam is given by the waves of the sea. Of course, to enjoy this natural spa, fresh and free, it is essential to go at low tide because once it starts to rise it can become dangerous. To check how the tide will be you can check tideschart.com or windguru.
These natural pools are also ideal to see at sunset, saying goodbye to the sun in the sea so if you coincide with both the low tide and the sun going down, you get the best experience in the pools. And don’t forget your snorkeling goggles (here you have a good kit for less than 20€) because there is nowhere to rent them here and you would miss the incredible biodiversity that exists in these pools created by the sea.
The arrival is not easy, you have to go very quietly and without haste (with the car at less than 20 km/h) by a very bad dirt road with several high stones and very carefully but with patience it can be done perfectly with a normal, small car.
To get there we leave you the exact point on Google Maps (if you put this point in the GPS of Google Maps takes you well, catching a detour by dirt road here), which is an abandoned hotel of the 70s, and once parked the car just walk towards the sea with great care as it is lava terrain with some more sharp and/or slippery stones.
Janubio salt flats and Janubio beach
Since fishing activity has always been very important on the island, other industries developed around it, such as salt production with the aim of supplying the ships that fished on the African coasts. The natural lakes that were formed along the coastline were used to make the most important salt mines on the island and the largest in the Canary archipelago, the Janubio salt mines.
These photogenic salt pans are in operation and can be visited: book a guided tour here. Also, if you want, you can buy salt and take an edible souvenir home with you.
During the visit, you will see how the windmills push the seawater to the hundreds of earthen and clay containers in which most of the salt needed by the island’s fishing industries is produced.
Next to the salt flats is Janubio beach, an extensive beach of black volcanic sand with strong currents that make it dangerous for a dip.
These rock formations, called “Los Hervideros”, were created by the cooling and solidification of lava when it came into contact with seawater.
The sea continued to erode, generating holes and tubes between the lava that are authentic performances of nature. The force of the sea flowing through these tubes makes the water suddenly rise to the surface and it is impressive to feel the trembling when the sea hits the lava. If you are lucky, you may even see a rainbow rising directly from one of the boils. It is recommended to visit at high tide and when the sea is not too calm to feel the full force of the sea from above.
Of course, Los Hervideros are not only of water but also of people… It is a very touristy spot where all the tour buses stop so we recommend that you avoid visiting the place between 11h and 13h which is when most of the tourist buses go.
Montaña Bermeja Beach
Black sand beach on the road from Los Hervideros to El Golfo. The beach is homonymous with the volcano that lies next to it at the westernmost end of Timanfaya National Park. This beach also has a green pond (much less famous than Charco Verde or Charco de los Clicos).
Bordering the mountain of the same name is El Golfo: a sea-eroded crater formed during the volcanic eruptions of the 18th century, shaped like a Roman amphitheater.
The pretty white village of El Golfo, nestled between volcanic mountains by the sea, has several restaurants with terraces overlooking the sea where you can eat with the sea breeze or enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island.
When we went, we passed by several restaurants with terraces: the Costa Azul, the Bogavante, the Casa Torano, and the Mar Azul. Be careful! If you just want to have a drink they will probably not let you have a table as they are usually reserved for lunch/dinner but the Bogavante has the terrace divided into two areas (one only for a drink) and if you go between hours you might be lucky. We tried at 16:30h and they only let us have a drink in the Mar Azul, everyone else had to have lunch or dinner (or have lunch very late or dinner very early, at that time…).
El Golfo hides one of the treasures of Lanzarote, the Charco de los Clicos (or Charco Verde) that we will talk about next.
Charco Verde (Charco de los Clicos)
At the foot of the volcanic cliff of El Golfo lies a small and curious lagoon (between 8 and 10 meters deep) whose waters seep from the sea. The name of this puddle, Charco de Los Clicos, with its contrasting green color among the black volcanic waters, comes after the clicos, a type of shellfish similar to the clam that existed in this lagoon.
It is also known as Charco Verde or Lago Verde and apparently, olivine, a semi-precious stone used to make a lot of local jewelry, was once found there.
To see it from the viewpoint you have to go to the village of El Golfo, park in the first parking lot on the left (we leave it on the map), and walk to the left along the path, where you will reach a small viewpoint from which you can see the pool of greens and the beach, and back to the village of El Golfo.
Quemada Beach, Quemada Cove and Sand Beach
From the small village of Playa Quemada, you can access these two quiet and uncrowded beaches off the map for most tourists: Cala Quemada (in the village itself) and Playa de Arena (accessible on foot from Cala Quemada at low tide).
Puerto del Carmen
Puerto del Carmen is one of the most important tourist centers of the island and the truth is that we hardly visited its beaches, since most of the island’s tourism is concentrated here; in Randomtrip we always try to flee from the overcrowding to less accessible beaches (and also with fewer services).
In Puerto del Carmen you will find 6 km of beaches, being the most famous and crowded Playa Grande. Pocillos is the longest beach, Matagorda the windsurfing beach, and Guasimeta the one next to the airport (next to the airport there is also a viewpoint to watch the landing of the planes closely). You can also take a dip in small volcanic coves such as La Pila de la Barrilla, La Chica, La Peñita and Barranquillo.
From Arrecife to the south there are 20 km of coastline full of resorts, apartments, and many restaurants. It is the area of the island with the greatest offer of accommodation and gastronomy. Little is left of what Puerto del Carmen was in its origins, a peaceful fishing village, but if you want to still feel some of that atmosphere, the best you can get is in the area known as La Tiñosa where small boats still take refuge.
If you want to visit the most luxurious marina of Lanzarote, Puerto Calero, you can do it by ferry from Puerto del Carmen for only 9 €. We didn’t go there but it is known for its wide range of gastronomy, spas, and designer boutiques. If you think it’s something that might appeal to you, here you can book the ferry from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero for €9.
Being the largest tourist center of the island, there are several activities to do in Puerto del Carmen. If you stay here or enjoy one of its beaches, we recommend the following:
- A sunset catamaran ride (book here).
- A boat trip with dolphin watching and snorkeling, book here!
- If you like adventure, you can parasail in Puerto del Carmen and admire the entire east coast of Lanzarote from a flight up to a height of 60 meters!
- Have you always wanted to dive and never tried it? You can try it in Puerto del Carmen! You can do a 3 hours diving baptism or if you prefer, the Padi Discover Scuba Diving Course of 5 hours.
Tickets in Lanzarote: save with the vouchers
As you have seen if you have read thus far, in Lanzarote there are many things to see and do, and an important part of those attractions are paid, increasing the price of the trip. Depending on the places you are going to visit, you can save some money with the CACT (Centros de Arte Cultura y Turismo del Cabildo de Lanzarote) vouchers.
Basically, there are 3 vouchers that allow you to access some of the places managed by CACT, so if you are going to go to all the places included in the voucher, it pays off by saving a few euros.
The bonuses are as follows
- 3 centers voucher (23,50€). Includes:
- 2 centers to choose from Timanfaya-Montañas del Fuego, Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes
- 1 center to choose from Mirador del Río and Jardín de Cactus.
- 4 centers voucher (29€). Includes:
- 3 centers: Timanfaya-Montañas del Fuego, Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes
- 1 center to choose from Mirador del Río and Jardín de Cactus.
- 6 centers voucher (35€). Includes:
- 6 centers: Timanfaya-Montañas del Fuego, Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes, Mirador del Río, Jardín de Cactus and MIAC Castillo de San José.
To calculate whether or not it is worthwhile for you and which centers to choose in the 3 and 4 center vouchers, these are the prices of each center without the voucher:
|Timanfaya-Mountains of Fire||12€|
|Jameos del Agua||10€|
|Cave of the Greens||10€|
|Mirador del Rio||5€|
|MIAC Castillo de San José||4€|
In our case, in this second visit to the island, we wanted to go to Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes, Mirador del Río and Jardín de Cactus, so what came out cheaper was:
- Buy the 3 center voucher with Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes and Jardín de Cactus (23,50€ instead of 26,50€)
- Buy separately the entrance to the viewpoint of the river (5€)
If you do not have your own vehicle, you can also visit the 3 most visited places (Timanfaya, Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes) with this tour that includes transfers and entrance fees.
Get inspired by the stories of our visit to Lanzarote
If you want to get inspired, we have saved on our Instagram (don’t you follow us yet?), in Featured Stories, a selection of what we did during our trip to Lanzarote:
Best Hiking Routes in Lanzarote
- Tremesana route in the Timanfaya: guided route through a small area of Timanfaya with very limited places (book here), easy difficulty (3km, 3h). More info
- Timanfaya Coastal Route: route can be done guided (very limited places, book here) or on your own, between El Golfo and Tenesar. Medium difficulty (2,5km, 3h). More info
- Caldera Blanca Route: route through the Natural Park of Los Volcanes (an area also affected by the eruptions of Timanfaya but not within the National Park and therefore access is free). High difficulty (you climb to the edge of the volcano Caldera Blanca, where it is usually windy), 10km, 4h. Sample route on Wikiloc
- El Cuervo volcano: it is believed to be the first volcano to erupt in Timanfaya. You can go on your own, and there are several route options; the easiest and shortest, inside the crater, is of easy difficulty and takes 1h.
- Montaña Colorada (Caldera Colorada): very close to the previous one, it can also be done on your own to appreciate this volcano of reddish tones and to be able to see a volcanic bomb up close. There are also several options, the most typical one that skirts the mountain is of easy difficulty (4km, 1h).
- La Corona Volcano: volcano responsible for the creation of emblematic places of the island such as La Cueva de los Verdes and Los Jameos del Agua, among others. You can climb to the top and enjoy beautiful views of La Graciosa and the north of Lanzarote. The route is of easy difficulty, 5km, 1h30. Example of route in Wikiloc
Where to dive in Lanzarote
There are more than 15 incredible dive spots in Lanzarote, scattered between the Northeast Coast, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca. I finally didn’t have the chance to dive on the island but I was told about two centers: AlisiosSub (check their website to see all the dives and courses they offer) and Pura Vida Lanzarote (here you can see all the dives and dive packages they offer).
Here are some of the most famous dives in Lanzarote:
- The Atlantic Museum: about 12 meters deep in the clear waters off the south coast of Lanzarote, in the Bay of Las Coloradas. This museum, designed by Jason deCaires Taylor, has been conceived as a cry for the defense of the oceans and as a place for the preservation, conservation, and education of the marine environment and nature. The project is creating a large artificial reef formed by a set of sculptural installations made of pH-neutral concrete that, over time, will serve to increase marine biomass and facilitate the reproduction of the island’s species.
- The neighboring island of La Graciosa is part of the Marine Reserve of the Chinijo Archipelago and is home to the greatest marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands, which makes diving there incredible both for the visibility of its waters and the number of marine species that inhabit it.
- Flamingo Beach (Playa Blanca)
- Las Coloradas (Playa Blanca)
- Veril de los Fariones (Puerto del Carmen)
- Veril de Playa Chica (Puerto del Carmen)
- Blue Hole (Puerto del Carmen)
- Sunken Ships of Puerto del Carmen
If you have always wanted to dive, you can try it in Lanzarote for the first time! The calm waters of the island are ideal for first contact with the wonders hidden in the underwater world of the island:
- Book your Diving Baptism of 2 hours in Costa Teguise
- Book your Discover Scuba Padi 5 hours in Puerto del Carmen
If you want to take it more seriously, have more time, and want to leave this trip to Lanzarote as a certified diver and ready to dive all over the world you can do the Padi Diving Course: in Costa Teguise you can do it in 2 days.
Where to stay in Lanzarote: best areas
Our area of choice is the north of the island and we always try to stay in Punta Mujeres or Arrieta (and if it is in a little house in front of the sea, even better). However, there is more accommodation available in the southern resorts such as Playa Blanca or Puerto del Carmen. The last time we visited the island we stayed in this apartment in Costa Teguise and we loved it (plus the host, Laura, gave us a lot of recommendations of places to visit and restaurants all over the island).
North: where to stay in Famara, Punta Mujeres, Arrieta and Órzola
Famara is an excellent option to stay away from the tourist hustle and bustle of the south, with the tranquility offered by the north of the island and with a surfing atmosphere. Some recommendations for where to stay here:
- Yokomosurf Camp, a hostel with a bar, terrace, lounge, and barbecue area. It has double and shared rooms.
- Red Star Surf & Yoga Camp Lanzarote, a surf hostel with shared and private rooms and a rooftop terrace overlooking the sea where you can enjoy a beer after some good waves.
- Juanita Beach, 1 bedroom apartment in front line beach
- Casa Medusa, a house with a terrace, kitchen, and a very cute decoration where up to 6 people can stay.
- Playa Caleta de Famara, a house also for up to 6 people in Caleta de Famara with views to Caleta de Famara
More accommodations in Famara here
Punta Mujeres, the beautiful and quiet area where we chose to stay our first time on the island. Arrieta, next door, is also an excellent option:
- The amazing apartment Sunrise Casita del Mar, is ideal to have breakfast on the terrace with the breaking of the waves.
- Apartamento romántico Piscina Privada, with a kitchen and sea views.
- Villa Sama, a villa with swimming pool and sea views for groups up to 6 persons
- Modern Home with Ocean View: apartment in Arrieta for up to 4 people with kitchen and terrace with ocean view
You can also stay in the quiet coastal village of Órzola, the northernmost village of Lanzarote, where we find this little pearl:
- Ocean Sunshine: first line beach apartment in Órzola
If you are less people, see the offer of accommodations in Órzola here
Center: where to stay in Arrecife, Costa Teguise and San Bartolomé
Arrecife, the capital of the island of Lanzarote, offers many accommodations. Here is our selection:
- Arrecife Beach Apartment, ideal beachfront apartment with 2 bedrooms, 100 meters from Playa del Reducto beach.
- Apartamento Almirante with a balcony, 1 large double bed and 1 sofa bed, equipped kitchen and next to Reducto Beach.
- La Concha Boutique Apartments, for a whim: this 1-bedroom apartment with whirlpool bath on the beachfront is ideal for a romantic getaway.
More accommodations in Arrecife here
Costa Teguise, close to good beaches, several restaurants and some bars:
- Los Ancones Apartment, apartment with terrace and sea view
- Residencial Teguisol 403 with terrace, outdoor swimming pool and the beach just a few minutes walk away.
- Casa Volcanes, a house for up to 6 people with pool and garden, less than 400 meters from El Ancla beach and less than 1 km from Bastiá beach.
More accommodations in Costa Teguise here
If you are more into rural tourism, we recommend staying in San Bartolomé. You will not have sea views but you will wake up in the middle of nature between vineyards and volcanic landscapes.
- Ecofinca La Buganvilla, this villa with apartments only for adults enters directly to our wish list. Swimming pool, cactus, views of the volcanoes and the beautiful landscape of the vineyards that give origin to the delicious white wine of volcanic malvasia.
- At Caserío de Mozaga you will sleep in a room in an 18th century rural house decorated with antique furniture.
- If you prefer, the Quintero Suites apartment has a patio and fully equipped kitchen, garden and terrace.
- Hotel Rural Finca de La Florida offers rooms in the heart of the vineyards with a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees.
- Rural Villa Canaria under Volcan: if you are a lot of people do not hesitate. This house for up to 9 people couldn’t be nicer. It is located in Montaña Blanca and has a private pool, patio and garden views.
South: where to stay in Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen
Playa Blanca is one of the favorite places for most tourists to stay in Lanzarote both for the hotel offer that is quite recent (and usually everything is quite new) and for the beaches and coves that are nearby:
- Sol y Luna Room and Suite: private rooms with private bathroom and separate entrance with heated outdoor pool and garden, a 10-minute walk from Flamingo Beach.
- Apartment Las Brisas, apartment with pool and shared kitchen
- Apartment El Galeón, a one-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen and sea views. It is located 500 meters from Playa Blanca, 650 meters from Flamingo beach, and less than 1 km from Playa Dorada.
More accommodations in Playa Blanca here
Puerto del Carmen: if you want to be close to beaches, services, and nightlife this is for you:
- Pool & Relax, one-bedroom apartment with equipped kitchen and swimming pool
- Pension Magec, rooms with a private bathroom overlooking the bay and neighboring Fuerteventura.
- Gin Gin, apartment with balcony and outdoor pool
More accommodations in Puerto del Carmen here
Where to eat in Lanzarote
Before recommending specific restaurants, there is something we have to tell you. Does the word Teleclub ring a bell? If it doesn’t ring a bell, pay attention, because this will interest you. A Teleclub is a neighborhood center where people, among other things, met to watch TV (hence its name) during the Franco dictatorship. The thing is that several of the teleclubs are still running today with concessions offering local food at very good prices and it is an excellent way to get close to the neighborhood and chat for a while. There used to exist all over Spain but in the Canary Islands there are still many Teleclubs (and specifically in Lanzarote there are a lot!). Thanks to our friend Javier Moral to whom we are very grateful for improving this “CanaRandom” trip to another gastronomic level by teaching us about teleclubs. If you are interested in the topic here you have more info about teleclubs and here is an interesting documentary.
This is an example of a Teleclub that we went to and loved, the Ubigue Teleclub in Nazareth:
Here is a selection of restaurants that we tried and/or were recommended by friends and local people we met during our visit to Lanzarote:
Where to eat in the north of Lanzarote:
- Arepera Jojoto and Millo (Mala). Very good Colombian arepas, between 3 and 5€ each arepa. We paid for 4 arepas and two drinks, 19.75€.
- El Chiringuito (Arrieta): tapas bar next to Arrieta beach with good prices and a local atmosphere.
- La Casa de la Playa (Arrieta): typical Canarian food and fish, right on the beach in Arrieta, and with good prices.
- Restaurante El Lago (Arrieta): next to the sea, good rice, and fish dishes.
- Restaurante Mirador El Roque (Órzola): excellent food with sea views.
- Teleclub Yé (Yé): traditional food at good prices.
- Restaurante Volcán de la Corona Asador (Yé): specialty in grilled meats.
- Restaurante Tacande (Haría): fusion food restaurant
- Restaurante Dunas de Famara (Famara)
- El Rincón de La Abuela (Famara): our favorite in Famara and, why not say it, inthe island! Everything we tried there was delicious and homemade
- La Mar Café (Famara)
- Restaurante El Risco (Famara) to sit on the terrace, fish and Canarian food
Where to eat in the center of Lanzarote:
- Leo’s burgers (Costa Teguise): homemade burgers, very popular among the locals.
- La Taberna del Mar (Costa Teguise): seafood and fish. We shared a barbecue (20€) and fried cheese, with a drink and dessert and it came to 40€ for two.
- El Bocadito (Costa Teguise): Spanish food, good quality, and price.
- La Bohemia (Costa Teguise): specialized in Uruguayan meat.
- La Otra Pizza y Pasta (Costa Teguise): Italian with good pizzas.
- Mi Piace (Costa Teguise): this place is always packed, although the food is average. We ordered a takeaway pizza and garlic bread one day (nothing special, 14€ both), and went for dinner another day and were still not impressed (starter, 2 plates of pasta, 2 glasses of wine, and dessert, 39€).
- Teleclub Nazaret (Costa Teguise): Teleclub with good food and good prices.
- El rincón simple gastro bar (Costa Teguise): tapas with a good atmosphere in the Pueblo Marinero
- Bonbon cafe (Costa Teguise): excellent for breakfast.
- Suculenta Café (Costa Teguise): another excellent option for breakfast.
- Palacio del Marqués (Teguise): salads, burgers, and sandwiches with a nice interior patio and sometimes live music. We went during the Sunday market at 2 pm; two tostas and two drinks, 16.50€.
- Casa Cejas (Teguise): typical Canarian food at good prices, has an interior patio.
- Teleclub Muñique (Muñique): typical food at good prices
- Teleclub de Tao (Tao): typical food at good prices
- Restaurante Cala by Luis León (Arrecife): Mediterranean food, good prices
- Majo Picón (Tinajo): original food, excellent service, and very good prices.
- Cervecería Malpeis (Tinajo): craft brewery, they also have snacks (hamburgers, toasts, gyozas…).
- La Bodega de Santiago (Yaiza): an excellent restaurant where you can taste the smoked salmon from Uga, although everything we tried was delicious. It is expensive but of very good quality. If it is not windy, you can sit on the terrace.
- Bar Stop (Yaiza): Native bar more than 100 years old, with typical and very cheap local food.
- La Bodega de Uga (Uga): Another excellent option to try smoked salmon, excellent food.
- Bodega La Geria (La Geria): apart from the guided tour of the winery (10€), it has a restaurant with many pinchos, cheeses, etc., where you can taste the wine while having tapas with views of the vineyards.
Where to eat in the south of Lanzarote:
- Restaurante Costa Azul (El Golfo), fish, rice, and Canarian food with terrace and sea views (good option for sunset).
- Restaurante Mar Azul (El Golfo): another recommended restaurant for fish and seafood with terrace and sea views (another good option to enjoy a sunset dinner).
- Restaurante Casa Torano (El Golfo): another option like the previous ones in El Golfo for lunch or dinner overlooking the sea.
- Arenas Lounge (Puerto del Carmen): fusion cuisine
- Vino + Lanzarote Bar (Puerto del Carmen): for a glass of wine and tapas.
- Kamezí Deli & Bistro (Playa Blanca): restaurant with tasting menu
- Cofradía de Pescadores (Playa Blanca): good place to eat fresh fish in Playa Blanca
- La Taberna del Puerto (Puerto Calero): rice restaurant on the seafront with good prices.
- Coentro (Puerto Calero): fusion cuisine with a tasting menu. We didn’t get to go but our friends Ivo and Juju told us wonderful things about it.
As you have seen, Lanzarote is an island with many things to see and do, so to get to know the island well you will need at least a whole week. As that is not always possible, we leave you several suggestions of itineraries for 3, 5 and 7 days.
Things to do in Lanzarote in 2-3 days (one weekend)
In 2 or 3 days you will have to choose very well what you want to visit, as there is not enough time to visit everything. We leave you a suggested itinerary of 3 days with what we consider the highlights of Lanzarote:
- Day 1: North (Mirador del Río, Cueva de Los Verdes, Punta Mujeres and Famara)
- Day 2: Center (Timanfaya National Park, La Geria (winery visit), some hike (Volcán el Cuervo or Montaña Colorada), and Las Grietas).
- Day 3: South (Papagayo and Los Ajaches, Los Hervideros, El Golfo and Charco de los Clicos)
Things to do in Lanzarote in 4-5 days
With 4 or 5 days you will have time to get to know each area of the island, although you will still have to discard things. You can do the same itinerary of 2-3 days proposed in the previous section, doing it in a more relaxed way, or you can add places to get to know more. Here is a suggested route for 5 days in Lanzarote:
- Day 1: North (Mirador del Río, Cueva de Los Verdes, Punta Mujeres and Famara)
- Day 2: Center (Timanfaya National Park, La Geria (winery visit), some route (Volcán el Cuervo or Montaña Colorada), and Las Grietas).
- Day 3: South (Papagayo and Los Ajaches, Los Hervideros, El Golfo and Charco de los Clicos)
- Day 4: Cactus Garden, Antigua Rofera, Teguise, Nazareth (LagOmar Museum), Casa Saramago
- Day 5: Route Caldera Blanca, Los Charcones, César Manrique Foundation and/or César Manrique House-Museum
Things to do in Lanzarote in 6-7 days (one week)
We leave you the 7-day itinerary through Lanzarote that our friends and collaborators Ana and Javi did. Here is a summary of their 7 days route:
- Day 1: Northern route (Órzola, Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos del Agua, and Playa del Caletón Blanco)
- Day 2: Tour of the southern beaches (Papagayo and other beaches of Los Ajaches)
- Day 3: North and central route (Famara and Teguise)
- Day 4: Route through the center and south (Timanfaya, Hervideros, Charco de los Clicos, El Golfo, and Jardín de Cactus)
- Day 5: Tour through the center of the island (Casa de Saramago, La Geria, Volcán el Cuervo and Arrecife)
- Day 6: César Manrique Route (César Manrique Foundation, Casa Museo del Campesino, LagOmar, Mirador del Río)
- Day 7: Punta mujeres and return flight
If you have time, it may be a good idea to visit the neighboring island of Fuerteventura, which is only half an hour away by boat. Fuerteventura hides what are, in our opinion, the best beaches in the Canary archipelago. In our complete guide to Fuerteventura we tell you everything you can see on a weekend, in 5 days, or during a week on the island.
Transportation: rent a car in Lanzarote
In our opinion, as in the rest of the Canary Islands, it is essential to rent a car to be able to travel freely and get to know the corners of Lanzarote. If you can choose an electric or hybrid car, all the better, the island will thank you.
In the Canary Islands we usually rent with Pluscar which in general has the cheapest prices, all inclusive and the possibility to modify/cancel the reservation easily, although we always compare with the other companies because depending on the demand and the time of the year prices can vary a lot. We recommend you use comparators like DiscoverCars to find the best prices (although we recommend you to check very well the conditions of each company and not only the price).
Other recommended companies in Lanzarote are (all of them have fully comprehensive insurance with no excess, second driver included and “return the same” fuel policy):
- Cicar and Cabrera Medina (they are the same company)
- Payless (the low cost of the above)
In our various trips through the Canary Islands, we have rented with several of these companies (Pluscar, Cicar, Cabrera Medina and Autoreisen), in all cases without any problems.
As we say, it is advisable to compare prices so it is ideal to use comparators such as DiscoverCars to see what is cheaper depending on the dates.
Important: most car rental companies do not cover damage caused by driving on unpaved roads.
Important 2: since the pandemic, the rental companies had to sell part of their fleet to hold on and now they have difficulties acquiring more vehicles, so with less supply and the same or more demand, prices have risen and it is possible that in high tourist seasons, they may be sold out or have very high prices. Therefore, it is very important to try to book as far in advance as possible. We visited Lanzarote from December 30 to January 17, 2022 and for the first week cars were 70/80€ per day, so we rented a motorcycle which, although it was cheaper and allowed us to move around a bit, with the wind and long distances it is not recommended to explore the island.
How much does it cost to travel to Lanzarote
Making an indicative budget is always a complicated task because it depends greatly on factors such as your style of travel, what you prefer to prioritize, in what season you travel, etc.; but here we will give you an approximation. There is something to keep in mind when organizing your budget travel in Lanzarote and that is that there are many attractions that are paid for. From any of the architectural works of César Manrique to really absurd points like the viewpoint of Haría where you can only see the views if you are a customer of the XX restaurant or, failing that, pay XX € for the viewpoint (and the most absurd thing is that you can enjoy the views next door, for free). The thing is that unlike its neighbor Fuerteventura, here you pay for everything, or almost.
Therefore, the approximate budget would be (we reiterate that prices are ORIENTATIVE and may vary at any time, so check the prices of everything before deciding on your trip to avoid unexpected surprises):
- Flights: with low-cost companies like Ryanair and Easyjet you can find flights from 50€ round trip per person, from different European cities. Use comparators like Skyscanner and Kiwi to find the best price.
- Car rental: between 5 and 30€ per day for the cheapest car, which is usually a Twingo (depending on the company and the number of days), all inclusive. The approximate price for a week with Pluscar with a couple of months in advance (except in high season) is 20€ per day (i.e. 140€ in total). Gasoline is cheaper in the Canary Islands, it will depend on the kms you do, as a guideline a tank of an economy car is about 50-60€. Use comparators like DiscoverCars to see what is cheaper depending on the dates.
- Accommodation: from 50€/night for a double room with private bathroom or self-catering apartment. Find accommodation of all types and prices on Booking, with up to 15% discount.
- Restaurant meals: between €10 and €20 per person per meal.
- Beach meals (sandwiches) or tapas at a beach bar: between 3 and 10€ per person per meal.
- Tours: 20 to 60€ per person per tour.
- Tickets to attractions: They usually cost between 5 and 15€ per person, depending on the attraction. You can save some money with the CACT Lanzarote vouchers.
In total, as a guideline, a one-week trip to Lanzarote with a rented car visiting the main paid attractions can cost between 60 and 80€ per person (with the cheapest options of car, accommodation, and restaurants).
Recommendations to enjoy Lanzarote
- Respect at all times the rules that are found throughout the National Park and Protected Areas: read carefully what it says on the signs of the sites you visit.
- Avoid going to places like the Aquarium of Costa Teguise, Guinate Tropical Park, and similar. In short, avoid any center where animals are kept in captivity for human entertainment. Do not be an accomplice of animal abuse! It is very likely that you are driving along the roads of the island and you will come across advertising for some animal entertainment park (dolphins and other cetaceans, parrots, etc.) or other animals in captivity. In these types of places, they offer shows where behind these jumps, tricks and forced contact with humans is, for example, the deprivation of food so that the animals learn everything with which to surprise the tourists in their shows. Captivity causes them deep sadness and even serious psychosis and therefore we appeal to you to practice responsible tourism and ask you not to go, as it is another example of animal abuse. This is valid for any place where animals are used for human entertainment and we advise you not to go. As an alternative, you can observe the dolphins in their natural habitat by hiring a dolphin watching boat trip.
- In some parts of the island, they offer the option of camel rides (in Timanfaya for example) , called “safaris”. We recommend and ask you NOT to do it because it is one more example of animal abuse. Don’t be an accomplice of animal abuse!
- Visit what you consider essential, not what they tell you. It is a small island but, in our opinion, it has lost the charm of the smaller ones of the archipelago (e.g. El Hierro) due to its overcrowding in several parts of the island.
- Respect other people and the island: don’t play your music loudly on the beach (if you want to listen to music, wear headphones), don’t leave trash, don’t throw cigarette butts, etc. Leave the beach better than you found it.
- On some beaches of the island, bathing is dangerous, due to strong currents. Do not be brave.
- If the beach is nudist (like Charco del Palo), go nudist. If you don’t want to do nudist, go to another beach. Almost all the beaches on the island are not nudist so n the few that are nudist beaches, respect it.
- Always travel with travel insurance: Medical expenses due to Covid-19, theft, or problems with your plane on a trip can cost you a lot of money, so the ideal thing is to take out travel insurance that includes it. We always use IATI which includes all this and we recommend it. If you hire your insurance through this link you get a 5% discount.
Checklist: what to pack in your backpack/suitcase for Lanzarote
Here is a list of essentials that you should not forget to bring on your trip to Lanzarote, both for the beach days and for the walks:
- Reef-friendly sunscreen, i.e. free of coral damaging chemicals, oxybenzone free, and not tested on animals, such as this one or this one.
- Cap, the sun is very strong
- Swimsuit, of course
- A water bottle like one of these to carry water with you at all times. This way you will avoid using single-use plastic.
- A neck warmer like one of these to protect you from the wind.
- Long sleeve lycra T-shirt with UV protection that we wear to protect us from cold water or the sun when snorkeling, such as one of these.
- Snorkel kit/glasses. Here is a kit for less than 20€.
- Waterproof bag, to keep your electronic devices safe on beaches or boats, this one for example costs 12€.
- Microfiber towel, which occupies little and you will use for the beach. If you don’t have one, you can buy the typical ones from Decathlon or one of the following ones
- Camera to record the adventures in Lanzarote. We took a Sony A5100 and a GoPro for underwater images.
- Power bank: with so many photos you will spend a lot of battery, so it always comes in handy to carry a good power bank. We travel with these 2(Xiaomi and Anker), which allow us to charge our smartphones, camera, and GoPro.
- First-aid kit: in our first-aid kit there is always medicine against seasickness (such as biodramine for seasickness on boats), antibiotics, antidiarrheals (and some probiotics to recover more quickly), antihistamines, painkillers, and antipyretics. And, of course, our travel insurance (here with 5% discount).
Although there are already several points on the island where massification has taken hold, Lanzarote continues to surprise, especially those of us who move away from the obvious and choose to lose ourselves in the dance of shadows of its volcanic mountains at sunset, in a relaxing swim in one of the turquoise pools of its northern fishing villages or contemplating an olive tree in the house of a beloved writer that the world wanted to recognize with the Nobel Prize for Literature.
See you soon Lanza, we will be back.
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