The Island of Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the fourth largest island in the Canarian archipelago. An island of contrast, the landscape can stimulate the eye and reveal a number of surprises. Small in comparison there are plenty of sights including the nationaly protected park of Timanfaya. This volcanic region which dominates the south is an abundance of rich colours set into a black lava canvas. It is the most popular attraction displaying a historical moment which changed the island dramatically. At Los Hervideros the sea crashes onto the solidified lava streams creating a spectacular shows which are never repetitive.

The history is mysterious and intriguing and traditions are celebrated throughout the year giving any tourist an insight to the quality of life islanders have enjoyed. The real Lanzarote can easily be discovered and is not hidden from visitors.

Lanzarotes myth of black sandy beaches can be challenged by yet another nationaly protected area. The Papagayo beaches nestled in the south easterly tip boast fine white sand against rich magenta coastlines. This is without doubt an example of the finest beaches Europe has to offer. Playa Blanca is the closest resort to Papagayo.It started life as a small fishing village and has grown with demand offering relaxation and panoramic views out to sea stretching over the neighbouring islands of Los Lobos and Fuerteventura. These islands are connected by a regular ferry service and a number of excursion boats.

Moving inland through the sleepy white washed villages La Geria demonstrates how islanders have not been beaten by the volcanic eruptions. Fertile soil has been cultivated to produce some of the Canary islands finest wines. Vines are protected inside semi circular volcanic stone walls which cover the numerous dormant volcanoes. Bodegas are scattered throughout the region, tempting you to sample their best.

Leaving the shadows of Timanfaya behind you and moving further north, the historic village of Teguise transforms itself every Sunday morning. The quite cobbled streets come alive with an abundance of market stalls. The atmosphere is helped with music and folk dancing overshadowed by the old town clock chiming on the hour. Return to this village another day and the peaceful streets echo the historic roots of the island.

Famara on the west coast, has a an seamlessly never ending beach shadowed by a back drop of dramatic mountains. Popular with surfers the village has a small selection of fish restaurants.

Winding mountain roads fording spectacular views over the island and sea, occasionally dip down into quaint villages. Haria, also known as the Valley of the thousand palms due to a tradition of planting palm trees for births in the village is tucked away, waiting to be discovered. The Mirador at the northern tip, looks down over the island of Graciosa, Alegranza and Montaclara. Tiny Graciosa which is inhabited, can be reached by a ferry service from the small village of Orzola.

The pride of the volcanic eruptions is mirrored in the north with a volcanic tube which stretches into the sea. The natural Green Caves, a family hideaway from pirates years ago, are a fine example of an underground lava stream. Part of the canal has been developed into an oasis. Separated from the Green Caves, Jameos del Agua has an auditorium, museum, restaurant and natural tidal lake which is home to white albino crabs.

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