The island of Lanzarote is the most spectacular of all the Canary Islands. It is an island full of contrasts where the volcanoes are the protagonists, it will surprise us between the black landscapes of the volcanoes and its towns full of white houses.
Lanzarote has 846 square kilometers and was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993. Its warm climate throughout the year attracts visitors at any time.
The ideal to discover all the charm of this island is between 3 and 5 days in which we will be able to discover the artistic footprint of Cesar Manrique, enjoy its beaches and its wines, tour the volcanic lands of the island and taste its exquisite gastronomy.
The best option to move around the territory is to rent a car that will allow us more freedom and flexibility when moving or stopping in places with the most spectacular views and landscapes.
From Shuttleasy Taxi Transfer at Lanzarote airport we leave you our recommendation of the places to see in Lanzarote:
TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK.
The Timanfaya National Park is one of the most spectacular places in all the Canary Islands. The lunar landscape that we find in Timanfaya was formed from the volcanic eruptions of the years 1730, 1736 and 1824. The one of the year 1730 lasted 6 years and buried more than 50 towns. We find an area without vegetation where the red, black and ocher colors of the volcanic remains predominate. Earthquakes, lava eruptions, seawater leaks and geysers took place here, destroying a large part of the island but which were the origin of the Timanfaya National Park.
The best way to learn about the formation process of the park is by visiting the Mancha Blanca Interpretation Center where we can observe different exhibitions and projections that will help us understand how this chain of volcanoes was generated. Admission to the center is free.
Once the informative visit has been made, we can get to know the interior of the park by reserving a bus circuit in which we will travel the impressive route of the volcanoes. We can also join some of the hiking trips that are done on foot, but it is necessary to book well in advance as it is quite restricted. Free access to the park is totally prohibited.
In the area where the bus excursions begin, you will find El Diablo Restaurant, the work of Cesar Manrique. We will be able to observe how they cook the food with the heat that the earth gives off. Timanfaya is an active volcano and under the surface there is a large chamber of incandescent magma.
We can visit the park from 9 in the morning until 5:45 p.m., although the last departure of the bus tours is at 4:45 p.m. Admission is priced at €12.
Close to the Timanfaya park we find the Natural Park of the Volcanoes. It is an area that we can explore on our own through the different hiking trails that it offers us. The Caldera Blanca Route is one of the most traveled. It is a circular route of about 9 km where we can reach the crater of the volcano and from its top if the day is clear we will see the island of La Graciosa.
MIRADOR DEL RIO
In the Famara area and 400 meters away we find the Mirador del Rio, probably the most popular in Lanzarote. Built by Cesar Manrique, it offers us excellent views of Graciosa Island.
The viewpoint is located inside a bar that simulates a cave from which huge windows open, perfectly integrated into the landscape. We will be able to access the exterior viewpoint, go up to the viewpoint of the watchtower and buy some souvenirs in the store that we will find in the building.
The narrow arm of the sea between the island of Lanzarote and the island of La Graciosa is known by the nickname of "the river". This is where the name Mirador del Rio comes from.
The viewpoint is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and you will have to pay an entrance fee of €5, which is well worth it.
CAVE OF THE GREENS
The Cueva de los Verdes is a volcanic tube that was formed by the eruption of the Corona volcano 5,000 years ago. In its beginnings it was used by the inhabitants of the island to protect themselves from pirate attacks. In the middle of the 20th century, Cesar Manrique conditioned it to be visited by tourists.
The visit is made in groups of about 30 people who leave every half hour. It is a route of 1 kilometer in length easily practicable in approximately 50 minutes during which they will tell us how these lava tunnels were formed.
We can make the visit between 10:00 and 17:00 and it has a price of €10.
JAMEOS DEL AGUA
In the vicinity of the Cueva de los Verdes we find the Jameos del Agua. The extension of the volcanic tube of the Cueva de los Verdes has created a lagoon in this area due to water seepage. A small white crab, unique in the world, lives in the lagoon.
Cesar Manrique also left his mark on this area by designing a restaurant that was located in the middle of the Jameo. A Lanzarote-style white pool and a concert hall complete the complex.
You can visit Los Jameos del Agua from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Tuesdays and Saturdays they offer us a night time to contemplate their lighting and enjoy some night shows between 7:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.
Cesar Manrique left us in this splendid garden his last work before his death. A garden with more than 1500 species of cacti from all corners of the world. Here, the contrast between the different colors of cacti, the black volcanic soil and the large mill that stands in the center of the garden make it a spectacular place.
Once we have visited the garden, we can take the opportunity to get to know the town of Teguise, cataloged as one of the most beautiful towns in all of Spain.
Visits to the Cactus Garden can be made from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in winter and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in summer. The ticket price is €6.50
**Useful Information: We have the possibility of buying a voucher that includes 3 of the 4 great monuments that we must visit in Lanzarote for €23.50, or the one that includes 4 of the 5 main ones for €29. The vouchers allow us to choose between tickets to the Timanfaya Park, the Jameos del Agua, the Cueva de los Verdes, the Mirador del Rio or the Cactus Garden. Vouchers can be purchased at any of the entrances to these places and visits must be made within 15 days maximum.
LA GERIA CRATERS
The wine region of La Geria is one of the jewels of Lanzarote. We will observe a territory covered with black lava where each vine grows in a hole dug in the lava and surrounded by a stone wall that protects the vine from the strong winds in the area.
The wine par excellence of this area is Malvasia Seco, ideal to accompany fish dishes. We can visit several of the wineries in this area where they will offer us guided tours and a tasting of their wines. The El Grifo Winery, the La Geria Winery or the Rubicon Winery are a good option for visits and the purchase of some of the island's wines.
Our visit to Lanzarote should always include a few hours to visit the island of La Graciosa. There are 28 square kilometers of peace and tranquility, on an island without paved roads with paradisiacal beaches with hardly any people and with two small charming towns. We can only access the island with the ferry from Orzola (€26 round trip if we make the purchase online, €30 at the ticket office). Mobility on the island is limited to authorized bicycles and 4x4 ATVs.
Caleta de Sebo is the main nucleus where some 700 people live. Although the island lives on tourism, we will not find any hotels, but some tourist apartments.
A good option to have a different vision of the island is to do it with a catamaran excursion, a good idea if we travel with children.
If we want a day of tranquility, relaxation and total disconnection, we recommend spending at least one night on the island of La Graciosa.
WHITE MOUNTAIN CRACK
This is one of the secret visits to do in Lanzarote. It is not a well-known place but it will not cease to surprise you. Halfway between Tías and San Bartolome we find these lava cracks from the Montaña Blanca volcano. Walking through the cracks between its vertical walls is quite an adventure. A different experience on the island.
POOL OF CLIOS
Within the Natural Park of the Volcanoes, between the towns of Yaiza and El Golfo, we find a green pond formed in the crater of a volcano submerged in the sea by the seepage of water between its cracks. The intense green color of the pond is due to the algae found at the bottom of the pond, a green that contrasts with the black color of the beach that is right next to it.
It is one of the best places to watch the sunset on the island. From here we can go to the town of El Golfo where you can eat excellent fish. El Galeón Bar is one of the essentials in the area.
A short distance from the Charco de los Clios we find some cliffs and rock formations that originated when the maga fell into the sea after volcanic eruptions in the area. These formations are called Los Hervideros. This name comes from the effect caused by the waves of the sea hitting the lava tunnels eroded by the sea water. The water rises through the cracks and holes and reminds us of boiling water.
SALINAS OF JANUBIO
If we are in the west of the island visiting the Hervideros or the Charco de los Clios, we can take the opportunity to do something different, such as visiting the Janubio Salt Flats and learning how this product that is so valuable to the island is formed. One of the best salts in the world is extracted from here. Las Salinas de Janubio were built in the 19th century and are the largest salt flats in the Canary Islands. The best time to visit the salt flats is at sunset, apart from contemplating a beautiful sunset we can see how the salt flats acquire a golden hue similar to gold.
From Monday to Friday we can join one of the guided tours that are offered every morning, where the entire process of salt formation will be explained to us.
NATURAL SWIMMING POOLS: LOS CHARCONES AND PUNTA MUJERES
In all the Canary Islands we can find fantastic natural pools, where the water has arrived naturally and where you can take a bath in crystal clear waters surrounded by black volcanic stones.
In Lanzarote we find two of the most famous; The Charcones and Punta Mujeres. Being the most famous, they are also the most crowded by visitors. If you want a little more tranquility you can also do it in the Barranco del Quijere in Puerto del Carmen, the Cueva del Agua in Guatiza or the Charco del Palo which is a nudist pool.
In Punta Mujeres, in addition to being able to bathe in its fantastic natural pools, we cannot miss visiting one of the most beautiful towns on the island. It reminds of the towns of the Greek islands with their streets dyed blue and white. Punta Mujeres is a fishing village where we can escape from the overcrowding that we will find in other areas such as Costa Teguise or Puerto del Carmen. To highlight the sunset from the coast where we will observe how the natural pools are dyed a spectacular turquoise color.
In the south east of the island we find the Los Ajaches Natural Park, an area where we can discover the best beaches on the island. Wild beaches where the overcrowding of hotels has not yet arrived. One of the most famous and accessible is Playa del Papagayo, surrounded by cliffs and with fine golden sand. When we get to the area we must park our car in a parking area that costs €3 and from there we can walk to the different beaches or coves. Although the closest to the car park is Playa del Papagayo, if we walk a few minutes we will also find Playa Mujeres, Caleta del Congrio, Playa La Cera, Caleton del Cobre or Puerto Muelas.
Our recommendation to visit the area is to take some sandwiches and a drink and change the area, so we will discover different beaches. We can spend a whole day discovering and bathing in these beaches. Although there is a bar in the park, the food is nothing to write home about.
COVE OF FAMARA
Another of the preferred beaches in this case by water sports practitioners is Playa de Famara. Ideal to generate adrenaline practicing surfing or kitesurfing due to the almost constant gusts of wind that the area has. Famara beach is spectacular because of its location, at the foot of the Risco de Famara cliff, and because it is 6 kilometers long.
The town of Famara has managed to stay a little apart from the mass tourism in other areas. It maintains its charm of a fishing village with small white houses with different colored doors. Taking advantage of the visit to the town of Famara we cannot fail to go into one of its small restaurants to try good fresh fish from the area.
Teguise was the old capital of Lanzarote until in 1852 it became Arrecife. Costa Teguise is one of the most visited places in Lanzarote. Water activities, music festivals and a wide range of nightlife make it one of the favorite places for tourists.
If we walk through its small historic center we can see several emblematic buildings such as the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Castle of Santa Barbara or the Casa Museo del Timple. Walking through its streets with small whitewashed houses we will discover pleasant corners, local craft shops and some good restaurants where you can taste the cuisine of the island.
On Sundays, the most important popular market in the Canary Islands takes place, occupying the main streets of the historic center. We can buy local crafts, pottery, basketry, leather goods, natural and typical products, such as cheeses, wines and those made from cactus and aloe.
Teguise is one of the most beautiful towns to see in Lanzarote.
Very close to the town of Teguise we find this house built in a cave by Cesar Manrique and Jesus Coto. Inside the house we find an art gallery. Egyptian actor Omar Shariff lived in the house for a time and it is rumored that he lost it in a card bet.
Playa Blanca is the recommended party area on the island. If what you are looking for is fun, Playa Blanca's nightlife offer leaves no one indifferent. This is the area where most of the island's youth tourism is concentrated. In Playa Blanca you can party until dawn having a few drinks in the infinity of nightclubs in this area.
In addition to nightlife in Playa Blanca we can also enjoy some beautiful and extensive beaches, highly recommended is Playa del Papagayo.
Playa Blanca is also a place of passage if we want to get to Fuerteventura by ferry, since the ferries leave from its port that bring us closer to the neighboring island.
Arrecife has been the capital of Lanzarote since 1852 and has become the administrative and commercial center of the island, as well as being the most populous city on the island.
Arrecife is a city to which we can dedicate a morning, it is not very big and it is quite lively. We can get to know its Paseo Marítimo where we can enjoy its gastronomic offer in one of the restaurants. The must-see places in the capital are the Puente de las Bolas, the Charco de San Gines, the Castillo de San Gabriel and the Castillo de San Jose.
If we want to take a bath in one of the beaches, Playa del Reducto is one of the most visited since it is protected by a reef.
DOLPHINS IN LANZAROTE
One of the most impressive activities that we can find in Lanzarote is the contemplation of dolphins. We will have to hire a tour that leaves from Puerto del Carmen and that runs along the entire coast of Lanzarote.
We must take into account that it is not guaranteed that we can see dolphins, but that does not stop us from trying. Both dolphins and all cetaceans are very unpredictable animals and are not always seen.
CESAR MANRIQUE IN LANZAROTE
Finally we are going to talk about that character that appears in every corner of the island, and how important it has been for Lanzarote.
Cesar Manrique was a painter and architect from Lanzarote who dedicated his life to the promotion of this wonderful island. He united nature with art in all his works and reinvented places on the island with a personal, different and modern style.
Most of the visitors who come to Lanzarote do so attracted by the works that Cesar Manrique has left on the island. The Cactus Garden, the Mirador del Rio, the Jameos del Agua or the Cesar Manrique House Museum are some of the most visited places.
In the Casa Museo Cesar Manrique you can take a tour where you will learn about all of his works and the reasons and processes for making them.
This artist who has left an indelible mark on the island is considered Lanzarote's favorite son and Lanzarote airport has been named after him.
Without Cesar Manrique the island would not be what it is today.
In this article we have presented almost all the visits that we can make on the island of Lanzarote. Do not hesitate any longer and book a flight to get to know this wonderful island that you will surely love.
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