Lanzarote – positive surprise!
At the end of our Canary Islands trip we left ourselves a smaller easternmost island than Tenerife and Fuerteventura Lanzarote. A destination very popular among the offers of travel agencies, and somehow we were not drawn there… Until now! A small, modest, austere island, what you can do there?
It turns out that quite a lot, and the island very positively surprised us with the climate, terrain, beaches and… everything else!
This volcanic island is inhabited by slightly more than 140,000 people. You won't think much, but the towns give the impression of being crowded, and on the streets traffic like you don't know what. OK, we were in high season (Christmas), and from what we have read, it is during such periods that the population on the island doubles 🙂
Travel by ferry between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote
At Lanzarote there is, of course, an airport, so that between the islands you can fly m.In great airlines Binter Air, which we have written about more than once before. This time, however, we took the sea route from Fuerteventura. There are ferries between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote several times a day. So no matter on which island of the above you decide to spend your vacation, you can easily cross over to a neighboring island for a day.
The trip itself is very short, about 45 minutes. You can go both with a car and on foot version 😉
We recommend you to book your ticket in advance (online), even more so if you will be in peak season. It is not required, but sometimes there are not enough places for a specific time and you have to wait for the next course. Besides, by buying in advance you can save a little 🙂
By ferry we arrived at Playa Blanca and here we also had another shortest stay booked. This time we were in a typical tourist resort, with cottages. We had a well-equipped apartment with a kitchen and a terrace at our disposal. But, of course, being in Lanzarote two days, it would be a shame to spend them in a hotel, so we decided to hit the road right away.
Little Big Lanzarote
Below we describe the most important places we saw in the whole two days.
In general, we were very surprised that there is so much to see here. We simply did not expect that such a small island could offer us so much as the larger Tenerife or even Fuerteventura. And we were wrong, and very wrong. Lanzarote made a very big and positive impression on us. The landscapes are beautiful, varied and when spending a vacation on this island we don't have to limit ourselves to just beachcombing.
It's just a pity that a lot of attractions are payable. Interestingly, there are special combination tickets for various attractions, which we recommend getting if you know what you want to see and where to enter. You can easily save a lot of euros by buying entrance fees to several places in advance.
At the outset, it should still be mentioned that a very big influence on the appearance of Lanzarote has been César Manrique – The local artist who designed the m.in. Mirador del Rio, Jardin de Cactus or the concert hall at Jameos del Agua. Being on Lanzarote you will surely encounter this name more than once 🙂
Jameos del Agua
This is one of the biggest attractions on the island – the most characteristic place here is a cave with a water reservoir, which was created in a volcanic tunnel as a result of the eruption of the volcano de la Corona. The tunnel itself at Jameos del Agua is one of the longest volcanic tunnels in the world, and the biggest phenomenon is just a reservoir filled with sea water. It is inhabited by "jameitos", white blind crabs that are up to 1 cm long and have almost become a symbol of the place.
The cave itself is not long (60 meters), a promenade has been prepared along it, which leads to an arranged pool. The grotto also has an auditorium for 500 people with surprisingly good acoustics.
The whole area is very interestingly arranged, there is also a restaurant, so you can have lunch in a unique place.
Cueva de los Verdes
Not far from Jameos del Agua, there is the following Cave de los Verdes, Which is also part of a volcanic tunnel following the eruption of the aforementioned Volcan de la Corona. The tunnel was created when flowing lava solidified from the top, while hot lava continued to flow underneath, forming various rock formations.
Passing through the cave is done only with a guide, in a group. It tells you about the history of the place and points out unique formations that we probably wouldn't have noticed on our own. The walk is quite long and you often have to bend down, as the cave is very low in places. The biggest attraction is the "mini-show" done by the guides inside the cave, but we won't reveal what it's about so as not to spoil your surprise 😉
According to us, the cave is number 1 in Lanzarote 🙂
Mirador del Rio
Already quite familiar with the Canary Islands, we were accustomed to the ubiquitous "miradors," or viewpoints. Always free! What was our surprise when at the Mirador del Rio We were required to pay an entrance fee…
Is it worth paying for such a view? Well… you can stand on the road next to it and have a very similar view… albeit we pay not only for the view, but also for admission to the complex also created by César Manrique in 1974. Mirador dle Rio is an elevated viewpoint (475 meters) with a special platform and restaurant, offering views of the nearby islet of Isla Graciosa.
You can have admission as part of a combined ticket to multiple attractions, so then it's even cheaper. Is it worth it? Judge for yourself by the photos 😉
Lanzarote is also famous for the salin – Places where rock salt is extracted by evaporating water from salt pans. In the village Janubio To the southwest are the largest salt pans in the Canary Islands (440,000 m2 of surface area!).
Their construction began at the end of the 19th century in order to obtain salt for preserving fish. The colorful palette is a very interesting variety of the local landscape. Of course there is a viewpoint of the salinas nearby.
Driving towards the El Golfo From the salinas of Janubio, on the way we pass the rocky coastline Los Hervideros. This is a major attraction in the area, as indicated at least by the parking lot full of cars. Here we can admire the wonders created by the lava in the form of numerous caves, isthmuses, rifts and crevices.
The view is all the more interesting because every now and then strong waves hit the shore, pouring into all these formations. We hit the really high waves :).
Charco de los Clicos/El Golfo
El Golfo is the name of the village and the volcano, the latter of which is now partially underwater. For this, on land, we can admire one of the effects of its activities – Lake Charco de los Clicos. It is a bit of a cosmic sight – a furiously green lake right at the foot of the rocks.
The lake owes its color to the algae growing in it. Interestingly, the lake is diminishing quite dramatically – in the last twenty years its area has halved! Just so you know…let's hurry to love…
Of course, with our luck, there were repairs going on here at the time and access was only possible from one side, with heavy equipment spread all around. Going down was impossible.
Montanas del Fuego and Parque Nacional de Timanfaya
Parque Nacional de Timanfaya is located in the western part of the island. This is the area where one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world took place. It started 1. September 1730 and lasted 6 years, destroying 50 villages. Looking at satellite images, one gets the impression that the place has been the target of asteroids, which have left tiny craters in the ground.
Otherwise, this area is known as Montanas del Fuego, or the Mountains of Fire.
There is a fee to enter the park. After a short ride, you reach the information center, where you transfer to buses that tour the park's grounds. We probably don't need to mention that this place is designed by César Manrique ? 😉 Passage by private car is prohibited!
The route is called Ruta de los Volcanos And it is some 14 kilometers long. The road is picturesque, leading among numerous craters and rock formations. Everything is admired from behind the windows of the bus – it does not stop anywhere to go out to take pictures. An attraction in itself is the ride itself and admiring the skills of the driver, who with a vehicle of quite a size maneuvers on narrow paths over steep slopes.
At the end of the tour, a short show is prepared for tourists showing how active and hot the ground is – you can watch explosions, shooting water and other attractions.
Aha, important – quite passionately tourists are looking for local insects, so expect that the windows of your car will be even covered with them 😉
Jardin de Cactus
Nearby towns Guatiza There is a garden with cacti – you will recognize this place by the big cactus by the road 🙂
The garden is paid (5 eur), and you need to spend 30min – 1h for the tour, depending on your interests. There are more than 1,000 different types of cacti in the garden, and a windmill reigns supreme, offering a view of the immediate surroundings.
Of course, the place was designed by? 😉
Lanzarote? We recommend!
In summary, the island really surprised us positively 🙂
There are a lot of attractions here, you can easily spread out over several days. These are mainly places shaped by nature, not any historical monuments. In addition, it is all nicely organized – attractions are prepared to the same standard, you can get tickets for many attractions, which comes out favorably priced.
You can see that all the attractions are managed top-down, rather than each place organizing the work itself, which makes it much easier for tourists to visit.
Of course, this is a typically touristy island, in high season it's hard with reservations and expensive at every turn, but nevertheless it's worth sailing/flying to Lanzarote if only to see how different this island is from the others.