Lanzarote is a unique island of unusual and spectacular beauty. In this Lanzarote travel Guide, you’ll discover its incredible nature, dramatic landscapes, black sand, red volcanos and intriguing local culture, which all make this island an ideal destination for your next holidays.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing break or an active vacation, Lanzarote is the perfect place to be. The island host some crystal-clear waters and incredible white, golden and black beaches. Papagayo, Puerto del Carmen and Matagorda are some of the best beaches in the south, while Famara, Costa Teguise and Orzola in the north are going to leave you speechless. If you are looking for an active, sporty holiday, look no further, Lanzarote, with its spring weather all-year-round, has everything to keep you busy. Sports enthusiasts from all over the world come here to cycle, surf, do triathlon, sailing, diving, trekking and more.
Lanzarote also features an incredible cuisine. Here you can enjoy delicious, fresh fish and shellfish, vegetables and excellent wines (keep reading for more!)
I rarely accept press trip offers. They are exhausting and ridiculously rushed. And I also rarely return to a destination I’ve already visited. But when Jet2 invited me to Lanzarote, I had no doubts. I visited Lanzarote over 10 years ago, so I was really curious to see if and how it had changed. And a Jet2Holidays to the Canary Islands was the perfect occasion to see it all, once again.
Below, you will find all the info to plan your trip to Lanzarote, including some local tips and hidden treasures I had the opportunity to visit during my month on the island.
Lanzarote Travel Guide
In this complete guide to Lanzarote, I will cover the followings:
- Getting Started: Practical and General Info
- What to see and do in Lanzarote
- Food in Lanzarote
- Sleep and Dream in Lanzarote
- Books + Movies about Lanzarote
Lanzarote’s guaranteed sunshine, a short flight time from London and the relaxed attitude of the locals has been attracting travellers for decades but without turning into a crazy tourists hotspot.
Lanzarote, a fascinating volcanic island just off the coast of Africa, features year-round sunshine, traditional villages, gorgeous beaches and a lot of outdoor activities, like surfing, volcano climbing and wine tours.
And, differently to the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote’s strict building regulations have saved the island from high-rise hotels, leaving space to the traditional villages, valleys and history.
Getting Started – Lanzarote Travel Guide
When to visit Lanzarote
Less than 80-miles of Ocean separate the north-west coast of Africa and Lanzarote. Its location means that you’ll find year-round sunshine, with temperatures rarely dipping below 16 degrees. Summer is hot but a constant breeze keeps temperatures manageable, while winter is perfect if you love sports and travelling offseason.
- Currency – Euro
- Time Zone – Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT)
- Language – Spanish, but don’t worry, most people also speak English
- Airport: The UK is well connected to Arrecife Airport, Jet2 offers a direct flight from Stansted Airport.
- Public Transport: With no trains and limited public transport, the best way to explore Lanzarote is by hiring a car. You can either get one at the airport or from the city centre. If you are interested in great car-rental deals, leave me a comment below and I will get in touch with the details of the cheapest rates on the island.
- Taxis/ Ferries: There are taxis on the island, which run on meters.
There are also ferries that connect Lanzarote with La Graciosa, Fuerteventura and the other Canary Islands.
As mentioned, the local language is Spanish, but like anywhere else in the world, it is good to learn a few words of the local language. So here are a few handy phrases to get you started:
Hola – Hello
Buenos días – Good morning
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good night
Por favor – Please
Gracias – Thank you
Adiós – Goodbye
Sí – Yes
No – No
What to see – Lanzarote Travel Guide
So what to do on a volcanic island on top of lying on the beach working on your tan? Here are some ideas!
1. Timanfaya National Park
This National Park was created in 1730 after one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the history of humankind, which lasted for six years and completely destroyed several villages. Today, the Mars-looking Timanfaya National Park is a 20 square miles of lava beds, volcanic cones and the Mountains of Fire.
Head to the visitor’s centre to book your tour as you cannot access this area without a guide since it’s a protected area.
🌵Secret Tip: If you opt for the official tour, arrive after 15:00, when the crowds have eased off, the weather is cooler and you get 20% off the entry price. Grab a window seat on the right-hand side of the bus for the best views.
Cost: Adult €10. Children under 12 €5 (under 7 go free)
2. Jameos del Agua
Another of Manrique’s artworks, and a truly spectacular one. Jameos del Agua is a subterranean cave network that reaches the sea water and includes the world’s only cavernous auditorium.
🌵 Secret Tip: Book tickets in advance for the Jameos Nights like screenings and concerts (Tuesdays and Saturdays).
Cost: Adult €9.50. Child under twelve €4.75 (under sevens go free).*Bargain hunters should arrive 15:00 – 19:00, when you get 20% off your entrance fee.
3. Cueva De Los Verdes
Another incredible sight in this tiny island and one you don’t want to miss! Cueva de los Verdes is a lava tube which lies within the Monumento Natural del Malpaís de La Corona, a protected area of the Canary Islands.
🌵Secret Tip: Go to the end of the tunnel for an incredible surprise. Scary!!!
4. El Golfo
This is a half-submerged cone of a volcano, which over time has been eroded by the sea. At the foot of the crater wall is Lago Verde, a half-moon-shaped striking green lagoon filled with volcanic minerals and micro-organisms which give the lake this incredible green colour.
Here, you’ll also see a beach of black volcanic pebbles which gives a striking sight to the blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
5. Cactus Garden
Whether you have a minimalistic-MarieKondo style, a boho vibe or a hipster vision, I am pretty sure you also have 1 (or 10) succulents at home.
The Cactus Garden was the last of the many works César Manrique, the island’s favourite child and artist, created. Back in the 70s, Manrique found the site of an old disused quarry and a mill and immediately thought of giving the space a new life turning it into a cactus garden, so well before cactus were considered cool – when you talk about being avant-garde! It took him over 20 years to complete the #JardínDeCactus which was inaugurated in 1990, two years before his death.
Manrique’s botanical amphitheatre is unassuming from the outside – as most of his sites are – but once you are inside, you’ll embark on a slow-paced journey on paved paths surrounded by more than 4500 specimens and 450 species of cactus from the five continents.
Check the amazing succulents I’ve found on my gallery here Now swipe right to see the amazing succulents I found at the @cact_lanzarote and let me know which one is your favourite.
6. Join a Wine Tour
Believe it or not, Lanzarote is home to thousands of acres of vineyards, especially in the region of La Geria. In fact, wine production was once the island’s main source of income. But forget Tuscany’s or South Africa’s vineyards, here, each vine is buried beneath a layer of volcanic ash and protected from the wind by a wall of volcanic stone.
🌵 Secret Tip: Join a wine tour organised by Ollie of Wine Tours Lanzarote where you’ll taste 6 of Lanzarote’s best wines along with some local goats’ cheese while learning about the farmers’ constant fight against the island’s adversity. PS: if wine isn’t your cup of tea (pun intended), Ollie also organises craft beers‘ tours.
7. Papagayo Beach
🌵 Secret Tip
8. Cycling Tour
What’s better than cycling around and inside a volcano? Well, I really enjoyed my tour!
9. La Graciosa
After the press trip, I decided to stay on the island for about a month to really take it all in and explore the rest at a leisurely pace. No better place than La Graciosa to totally immerse in the Lanzarote’s chilled vibe. This is probably the most distinctive island of the Canaries with just 600 inhabitants and completely surrounded by stunning beaches, a handful of restaurants and shops.
10. El Mirador del Rio
Another incredible building signed by Manrique where the architecture perfectly blends in with the landscape. From the balcony, you will have spectacular views over La Graciosa and the Chinijo Archipelago.
11. Famara Beach
Whether you know how to surf or not, this is the place to be. Famara beach attracts surfers of all levels, all year round. There is a great yoga school in the village too!
Food & Restaurants in Lanzarote
Wherever I go, I always want to try the local food. Whether is pho in Vietnam or curry in India. I have to eat what the locals eat. And in Lanzarote, I made no exception. Here are some of my favourite dishes and restaurants.
- Cactus Burger at the Cactus Garden Restaurant
- This dessert at the La Cascada del Puerto:
- soup at the Jameos Del Agua Restaurant
- Codfish “Encebollado” (traditional pickled sauce) at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Lilium
- chicken cooked over the heat of the vulcano 🌋at the El Diablo Restaurant
- this incredible dessert at the Amura Restaurant
Sleep and Dream in Lanzarote
Seaside Los Jameos
Located in Los Pocillos, Puerto del Carmen, the Seaside Los Jameos Playa Hotel is strategically placed by the ocean as well as to explore the rest of the island.
This 4-star hotel features 530 air-conditioned rooms (it’s a true maze inside) and a stunning entrance hall (pictured above).
If you are looking for something romantic or very special, you can also opt for a stay at Lanzarote Getaways. This could also be an excellent surprise treat for your loved one.
Massive thanks to Ana Sanchez, our guide and now a friend who led us around the island with incredible patience and knowledge.
Hope you enjoyed this Lanzarote Travel Guide, if you did or need further info about Lanzarote, leave me a comment below!
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