If you are looking for an island near Europe where the weather is always nice, you can’t get around the Canary Islands. These islands just before the coast of Africa have a warm and sunny subtropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year.
The Canary Islands consist of seven main islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro) and several smaller islands and islets. If you are looking for a small but lovely island, Lanzarote might be it!
With our Lanzarote Travel Guide, you know where you need to go, how to get there, and everything else to make the most of your holiday. Although Lanzarote is part of Spain, it has a lot of African influences, which makes the vibe of this island quite unique.
Where is Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a Spanish island located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa. It is the easternmost island of the Canaries. It is best known for its volcanic appearance and the artist César Manrique. You will certainly see this when you drive across the island. There is little vegetation and towards the national park, you see volcanic rock everywhere. On every roundabout you come across (and there are many!) there are works of art that refer to César Manrique.
The island only has low buildings, all fairly in the same white style. The door and window frames are painted blue or green. Because the soil retains little water, agriculture is difficult. In some places, you see walls built by the local population to collect and hold back the water. This way, it is still possible to grow grapes, tomatoes, and potatoes. You will also see a lot of cacti and Aloe Vera plants.
How to get there
Lanzarote is easily accessible by air. Aeropuerto de Lanzarote (ACE) is situated in Arrecife, the capital of the island. There are daily flights from several European cities, such as Amsterdam, London, and Valencia. But you could also fly in from one of the other Canary Islands.
If you are traveling from one of the other Canary Islands you could take a ferry as well. The ferry ride between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura is relatively short, taking about 20 to 30 minutes. The ride between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria takes around 4 to 5 hours, and the ride between Lanzarote and Tenerife takes around 6 to 8 hours.
It is possible to travel by ferry from the mainland as well. The ferry departs from Cádiz in southern Spain and arrives at the port of Arrecife in Lanzarote. The journey takes around 26 hours.
How to get around the island
Although Lanzarote isn’t that big, it’s a good idea to rent a car to get around the island. This way you are more flexible and are able to go to all the main attractions. The roads are comfortable and not crowded. If you are not comfortable driving yourself, hire a taxi. A convenient option for shorter journeys or for getting to hard-to-reach destinations.
Lanzarote has a fairly extensive public transport system that makes it easy to get around the island. The buses in Lanzarote are modern and comfortable, with air conditioning and plenty of seating. The day and weekly passes can save you money if you plan on using the buses frequently.
Things to do
Although Lanzarote isn’t that big, it has a lot to offer. We loved that everything was just a short drive away. It’s easy to combine a couple of these items in one day since they are clustered together. We spent a full week exploring the island and that was perfect.
Market of Teguise
Every Sunday there is a market in Teguise, which attracts many people. When you drive towards Teguise you will see men standing everywhere waving ribbons to indicate that you can park there. Parking is inexpensive and convenient since you’ll be walking quite a bit.
From the parking lot, you can walk straight into the town. On the market, you will find a lot of souvenirs, such as Aloe Vera and volcanic jewelry. There are all kinds of restaurants and food stalls to enjoy a cup of coffee or try Spanish tapas.
Usually, you will find several street performers and musicians at the market who add to the lively and festive atmosphere of the market. The Teguise market can get quite crowded, especially during peak tourist season, so it is recommended to arrive early if you want to avoid crowds.
Mirador Del Rio
The most famous viewpoint of Lanzarote is Mirador Del Rio. It is located on the northern tip of the island at an altitude of 475 meters. The viewpoint was designed by the famous Canarian artist and architect Cesar Manrique and is considered one of his most iconic works.
You can see the island of La Graciosa from here. The entrance fee is €4.75. If you park the car outside the complex and walk left past Mirador Del Rio you get the best views without having to pay the entrance fee.
The further you walk, the better the view of La Graciosa becomes. We got lucky with the weather because it was a clear day with sunshine. The water is clear blue and the island is yellow/orange, with a tuft of white houses here and there.
Mirador El Golfo
El Golfo is a small coastal village located on the west coast of Lanzarote. The village is famous for its dramatic coastline, pristine beaches, and stunning volcanic crater lake known as the Green Lagoon or the Emerald Lake. If you are looking for fresh seafood, this is a great spot!
Next to the town, you will find Mirador El Golfo, also known as El Golfo Viewpoint. The viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the ocean and black beaches with red cliffs.
Lago Verde, also known as the Green Lagoon, is a volcanic crater located in the Timanfaya National Park. The crater is filled with emerald green water that stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding black and red volcanic landscape.
The green color is caused by the algae that live in the salt water. The lake is continuously refilled with seawater underground. You can’t get close to the lake but it is quite spectacular from the viewing platform. There is a walking trail that will take you there.
Los Hervideros is a volcanic formation of cliffs and caves that have been eroded by the sea over time, creating a dramatic and rugged coastline.
It is especially impressive because you can see and hear the power of the water here. While the water splashes up, you have to be careful not to get wet. The sea can be quite turbulent but this makes a visit to Los Hervideros even more spectacular.
Don’t forget to visit the caves where the sound of the water roars through the room. There are several viewing points and all of them let you experience the roaring ocean in a different way. You don’t have to pay an entry fee to visit Los Hervideros.
Antigua Rofera is located on LZ 404, near the entrance to LZ 1. We stumbled upon this by accident, but it’s worth a visit. Just park your car anywhere and wander around through the caves and rock formations.
Cueva de los Verdes
We can’t say too much about a visit to Cueva de los Verdes without spoiling the experience. What we can tell you is that once you park the car you might think you are in the wrong place because there is nothing to see. Until you go down the stairs.
Buy a ticket and wait for the group to fill up. You are not allowed to walk through the caves by yourself. There are guided tours and you have to wait until one starts. But it is definitely worth the wait. Wandering through caves is never a bad thing.
Jardin de Cactus
Jardín de Cactus, also known as the Cactus Garden, is a botanical garden dedicated to the conservation and display of a wide variety of cactus species from around the world.
PACKING TIP: bring your own snorkel set, water shoes and a fast-drying towel if you want to go snorkeling!
The garden was designed by the famous artist and architect César Manrique. Jardín de Cactus is located in a former quarry, which was transformed into a stunning garden that now houses over 10,000 cactus plants from over 1,400 different species.
Although we liked it, we thought it was a bit overpriced for the plants you see all around the island. But if you have some time to spare, this might be a fun place to grab a bite to eat and wander around.
Where to stay
When it comes to choosing a place to stay on the island, there are many options to consider, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly apartments, and everything in between. Some of the most popular areas to stay include the bustling resort town of Puerto del Carmen, the tranquil village of Playa Blanca, and the charming old town of Teguise.
Sandos Papagayo is an all-inclusive hotel near Playa Blanca with views of the ocean.
This apartment is located in Tinajo and offers sea views and city views.
Finca Marisa provides accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool.
Use our Lanzarote Travel Guide to plan your trip
Although it’s small, the island is quite lovely and has a lot to offer for a holiday. Whether you are looking for a winter escape or want to backpack the Canary Islands, Lanzarote won’t disappoint you. Spend 5 to 7 days exploring the island for the best experience.
Use this Lanzarote Travel Guide to plan your trip and don’t miss anything. Check our map for cute restaurants and cafes to complete the Lanzarote experience. We had so much fun while driving around the island and finding the best spots.
Please share your favorite places on Lanzarote below this article so we can add them to the map! This way our Lanzarote Travel Guide will grow and reflect the best of what Lanzarote has to offer!
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