Lanzarote was never high on my list of must visit destinations and I suppose we visited quite by accident, timings, flights and plans just coordinated well enough to make this trip happen. Only when I arrived did I realise just how breathtaking a landscape awaited me, volcanic, rugged and wild with stunning beaches and real points of interest. This was also my first experience of driving on the other side of the road and I have to say, it really was not all that bad! Renting a car is almost certainly the best way to explore the island, you will undoubtedly miss out on so much of the stunning scenery if you stay confined to one area, as well equipped as most of the resorts are.
We chose to stay in Arrecife which was actually undergoing extensive town renovations during the slow season. Arrecife has quite the gastronomic reputation, there are a myriad of restaurants. We chose to stay in the Arrecife Gran Hotel which is the towering building along the beach skyline. The rooms have stunning views, the restaurant is exquisite and there is a lovely pool area complete with a complimentary and very well-equipped spa for guests. The cocktails are delicious! If this is not where you are staying however you probably don’t need longer than a day in the capital.
Timanfaya National Park
The volcanic national park was my highlight of the trip; views like this are some of the best lunch views I think I’ve ever had. For safety reasons you cannot hike around but instead take a guided coach tour of the park. There is an unmissable restaurant with panoramic views of the volcanic structures at the summit which cooks all of its meat on a huge barbecue over a crater with the heat of the volcano. Sounds like the perfect lunch spot to me! There are also plenty of camels offering cheap volcano rides to visitors and an exhibition centre detailing the history of camels on the island.
Owing to its volcanic nature, Lanzarote has both yellow and black sand beaches which are utterly enchanting in their contrast.
How cool is the Cactus Garden? Check out the rolling scenery, extending away into the distance.
Mirador del Rio
On the northernmost tip of the island you will find the bar, cafe and viewpoint of the Mirador del Rio which is stunning in its design and architecture, only rivalled by the astounding natural beauty of the viewpoint over the ‘Rio’ which is a strait between the island of La Graciosa and Lanzarote. The caves and buildings surrounding the viewpoint were designed by the visionary artist and famous son of Lanzarote Cesar Manrique who has created a psychedelic feel with the distinct lack of right angles. It isn’t difficult to be inspired when met with a view like this.
(thought this panorama with my hair positioning was hilarious)
Jameos del Agua
I was very taken by this when I saw the photos on Instagram. We had a grey rainy day for our visit which I think is reflected in our photos but this was another of my favourite activities in Lanzarote. Again designed and executed by Cesar Manrique, there is an art deco, dream like quality to what he has designed here. A centre for culture, design and tourism, the whole property consists of a salt lake, gardens, museum, auditorium and my favourite, the emerald-green pool. Rita Heyworth of old Hollywood apparently referred to this as the eighth wonder of the world so make of that what you will.
Anyone been to Lanzarote?
What did you think?