Lanzarote, a unique destination
Lanzarote is quite unlike anywhere else in the Canary Islands and a unique destination for the discerning visitor. Just 80 miles off the coast of Africa, many parts of the Spanish island are like some kind of alien landscape, thanks to its creation by ancient volcanic eruptions. Of course, there are still plenty of beaches, bars and all-inclusive resorts here, but Lanzarote retains a look and feel that is unmatched elsewhere.
It was the artist and architect Cesar Manrique who first saw the potential for transforming Lanzarote into a world-class tourist destination, and his considerable influence can be seen throughout the island. Fittingly, Manrique’s house, which itself is built over five lava bubbles, is now one of the island’s most visited attractions.
Nowhere is Lanzarote’s uniqueness more evident though than at the Timfanya National Park. Almost 300 years ago the entire area was blanketed with lava during a six-year volcanic eruption. Today, you can experience these otherworldly vistas for yourself, and even take a guided bus tour through the mysterious lunaresque landscape.
Another striking thing you may notice during your visit to Lanzarote is that there are no skyline-dominating high-rise hotels here, thanks to building restrictions aimed at preserving the authenticity of the island. Despite this, there is certainly no shortage of tourist amenities and superb accommodation, and you’ll find everything you need to have a wonderfully relaxing holiday.
Many people head straight to the beach after their flights to Lanzarote, and you may want to do the same, but there are plenty of must-see sights and attractions to keep you occupied the rest of the time. The superb Jardin de Cactus (cactus garden) is one which is surprisingly entertaining, and is home to over 1400 varieties of cactus.
The Jameos del Agua underground caves provide a memorable experience, and are inhabited by hundreds of tiny blind white crabs. Elsewhere on the island, the Cueva de los Verdes (Green Caves) were once used as hiding places by islanders to avoid capture by pirates and slave hunters. Today you can take a tour through over a mile of these dark subterranean passageways, and discover some awe-inspiring sights, as well as learning more about the history of the island.
A land of mountains and green hillsides, desert, caves and lava fields, Lanzarote is understandably one of the most talked about and visited of the Canary Islands.