Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the fourth largest of the Canary Islands, about half the size of its neighbour Fuerteventura. It is 1000 km away from mainland Spain, and about 125 km to the African coast. It has been a biosphere reserve since 1993.
Regions and cities
The resorts of Lanzarote are in the south and southeast of the island, most of them are only a few decades old. The traditional municipalities are in the middle of the island, and agriculture is still present. The north-west of the island is sparsely populated and is characterized by bizarre volcanic structures. To the north is the Chinijo Archipelago. It includes the smaller island of La Graciosa and four other islands, including Alegranza and Montana Clare, both uninhabited.
The island is divided into several regions around the biggest cities:
- 1 Arrecife. – Greatest area, the island's capital. It's the nerve center of the island and almost obligatory entrance point of Lanzarote (unless you come via Playa Blanca). The city has no great attraction except for its coastal area: Playa del Reducto, a pretty calm beach, Fort San Gabriel on an islet accessible by La puente de los Bolas, and the Charco of San Gines, lagoon of sea water surrounded by a beautiful walk. The other center of interest of the city hides towards the merchandise port. It is the International Museum of Contemporary Art which took its quarters in the fort San José. Designed by Cesar Manrique, the museum also houses a gourmet restaurant at reasonable prices.
- 2 Arrieta – A nice town with an interesting break for surfing. The wave does not break for a while and builds up and goes down several times, a good chance to practice as an intermediate surfer. Depending on the tide the length of the break and ultimately wave varies, so get some information beforehand.
- 3 Famara – A beach and surfers town with excellent waves for beginners and intermediates. The town itself though is dull and overpriced, there is no competition and all shops and rentals have the same prices, one overpriced supermarket, and above than average priced restaurants. The "deals" the schools and shops offer are not worth their name. However, it's the best place to surf and take lessons in Lanzarote—maybe go with a one/two day lesson and learn the rest by yourself. Surfboards are €15-25/day, neoprene €5/day, and they also have all the other (newest) gear; kite, foil, wings, etc. As for later discounts beforehand, when going with one surf school—often they offer reduced accommodation and rental if you did a course with them. You are better off buying equipment and suits used, e.g. on Wallapop or Facebook Market, and even stay in the car or van along the eastern stretch of the beach, in case you intend to stay here longer and just take your time—there are many offers for used surf boards and suits below €100 (for both), especially by people that are in a hurry to sell since they have a flight scheduled.
- 4 Haria. – In the north, with famous volcanic caves and the most green area. After crossing a pass from Teguise, Haria appears like an oasis at the bottom of a valley. With a nickname "Ten thousand palm trees valley", Haria contains palms than a classic city. The major attraction of Haria is the house of César Manrique. Eccentric, the artist's last home is an unfinished work. The center is quite small but nice. At the Leon y Castilla square, it is possible to take a break on the terrace of a café, in the shade of eucalyptus. On the same square, a craft market happens every Saturday morning, selling local products.
- 5 San Bartolomé. – Central city of the island. San Bartolomé is above all a large crossroads between the North (Tinajo), South (Arrecife), East (Geria Valley) and west (Teguise). A gigantic sculpture by Cesar Manrique The monument to the peasant is visible at the intersection of these roads. Beyond this symbolic work, Casa Museu, in the same place, allows to appreciate the local culture and its (peasant) history. Half way between a museum and a craft shop, the creation "manriquienne" also houses a restaurant.
- 6 Teguise. – Former capital, with the holiday resort Costa Teguise. It naturally presents the most representative face of the traditional aristocratic architecture. Walking through ancient cobbled streets or around the church square, the visitor can admire numbers of facades, massive doors or other wooden balconies. The Spinola Palace, home to the Timple Museum (local musical instrument) and the piracy museum hosted at Santa Barbara Fort (outside the city, placed on a volcano) are the two unavoidable attractions of the city. Also here, a large weekly market occurs on Sunday, attracting crowds of tourists.
- 7 Tías. – The city is not very interesting, the municipality is primarily known for Puerto del Carmen seaside resort - which is even bigger than the city. The vineyards of the Garia valley are also here.
- 8 Tinajo. – At the north of the island and the edge of the Parque Natural de Los Volcanes, it's the most authentic and secluded. The flow of tourists from the south and east of the island stops mostly in the Geria Valley or Timanfaya National Park. Two points are worth a visit: Mancha Blanca on one side (hermitage of Los Dolores and Sunday morning market) and the agricultural museum El Patio on the other. The Lanzaroteño identity is undoubtedly most present here.
- 9 Yaiza. – A tourist center and ferry port Playa Blanca. The most spectacular scenery on the island. If the north of the island has been valued by the artistic work of Cesar Manrique, the landscapes of the south (and thus the municipality of Yaiza) are sufficient for themselves. Yaiza resides between Timanfaya, Papayago and el Golfo - a charming little sleepy village. There is little to see except maybe in the neighboring village of Uga, a smoked salmon smokehouse (you can buy one, too) and a dromedary (camel) breeding center. The latter organizes daily round trips to Timanfaya, performing a promenade for the coming tourists.
- The North – The North of Lanzarote is rural, and unusually green when compared to the rest of the island. The main town is Haria, and there are three fishing villages, Punta Mujeres, Arrieta and Orzola. The area is also home to two attraction Jameos del Agua, and Cueva de los Verdes
- 1 La Graciosa - Derived from the Spanish word for 'graceful', this volcanic island was formed by the Canary hot spot.The entire island is composed of volcanic rock and sand. It is also apart of the Islands conservation groups Parque Natural del Archipiélago Chinijo, Reserve of the Biosphere, and "Marine Reserve of La Graciosa". Having only a population of approximately 700, there are only two inhabited areas on the Island. those areas are Caleta del Sebo and summer-friendly Casas de Pedro Barba. The island has a school, lyceum, post office, supermarkets, a bank, port, beaches, and — except bar-restaurants — a square where bicycles can be hired (plaza). The main industry of the island is tourism and fishing. The climate of the island is one of the most commonly reported pull factors for travelers. Streets and roads on La Graciosa are unpaved sand. The Gracioseras can often be seen early each morning sweeping the streets smooth of the previous night's footprints. Motor vehicles are strictly prohibited and limited to a handful of licensed vehicles for special purposes. Since the roads are bad, and cars have to be shipped to Lanzarote for repair, about 70% of the motor vehicles on the island are old Land Rovers which often can be repaired by a local serviceman. There are no natural water sources on the island. Desalinated water has to be piped directly from Lanzarote since 2001.
- 2 Alegranza – In the most northern part of the Canary Islands, Alegranza is another one of the smaller scaled islands. Its name comes from the Spanish word for 'Joy'. The terrain is mostly flat, home to only one small volcano. The island is part of a conservation act with (Chinijo Archipelago) Natural Park, so it has no active or documented inhabitants. The historic lighthouse of (Punta Delgada) can be found on the eastern part of the island. Built in 1865, it was declared a historical monument in December 2002.
- 10 Costa Teguise – Mostly a tourist resort with countless apart hotels, bars and restaurants. Depending on the type of tourists and season, it can be offsetting.
- 11 Playa Blanca – A more upscale and picturesque tourist resort in the center, but with countless cheap options around it.
- 12 Puerto del Carmen – Locals, foreign house owners and apart hotels mixed together with a LIDL in walking distance. Might be a good alternative to Costa Teguise.
Not all that much is known about the island's early history, because most archaeological evidence has either been buried under lava or carried off by raiders. The Phoenecians were there, followed by the Romans. The Arabs then settled the island, the French explored it, and the Spanish conquered it.
It was named after Lancelotto Malocello , who is considered to be the (re-) discoverer of the Canary Islands. The old Canarian name of the island was Titerrogatra or "the red mountains", which refers to the volcanism, which has shaped the island more than all other Canaries.
The island thrived for a while by producing cochineal, an expensive, crimson dye taken from the carapace of a scale insect that lives on cactus. Cochineal is used for dying fabric, decorating china, in cosmetics, and as a food colouring.
The eruptions in 1730-1736 covered a quarter of the island's surface, destroying its most fertile farmland and eleven villages. Still, visitors marvel at how stone walls and semi-surrounds are used to capture moisture to grow crops elsewhere on this decidedly desert island.
The coherence and beauty of the island's cultural and tourist centres is largely the legacy of the local artist César Manrique (1919-1992). He also played a key role in having the island declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993.
Lanzarote is known for its strong winds, but September to October it is less windy and still very warm. Then it is also a good time for surfing.
Lanzarote islanders speak Spanish (Castilian) with a distinct Canary Island accent and some vocabulary not found on the Spanish mainland.
Lanzarote's principal economic activity is tourism, and a large proportion of tourists are from Ireland and the UK as well as Germany, so most people working with tourists can speak at least some basic English.
Most restaurants offer menus in Spanish, English, and German. Although, do remember that this is a Spanish speaking island and try not to get too flustered if the local people cannot understand you. Many residents speak some English or German as a second language, but it helps greatly to speak slowly and use simple words and grammar.
- 1 Arrecife Airport (ACE IATA), Apartado de Correos 86, 35500 Arrecife, Lanzarote (5 km west of Arrecife via LZ-2), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. The island's only airport.
In addition to the charter flights that serve Lanzarote from Northern Europe, there are scheduled flights operated to some of the other Canary Islands, to the Spanish mainland and to a few international locations, most notably London (Gatwick). Live arrivals and departure information for the airport at Lanzarote is available here: Lanzarote Airport Live Arrivals information [dead link]
Some of the airlines serving Lanzarote (ACE) include: Iberia, Air Europa, Vueling, EasyJet, Thomsonfly, Jetair, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, and Jet2. Two local companies are Islas Airways and Binter Canarias, with mostly flights between the Canary Islands.
ATMs at the airport charge about €8 to get cash; wait until you get out where it can be as low as €1.50.
Getting there and away:
- By bus – For finding the right bus line, check IntercityBus Lanzarote. Buses operate between Playa Blanca and the airport, as well as Arrecife and the airport, with mosts places served in between. Price are €1.40–3.30. Alternatively, you can walk to nearby Playa Honda which is served by more lines, or Puerto del Carmen, or even Arrecife (5 km), depending on your fitness.
- By taxi – A taxi ride with Taxi de Arrecife from the airport to Arrecife is €18 (Jan 2023).
- 2 Arrecife. To Tenerife and Gran Canaria
- 3 Playa Blanca. To Fuerteventura
- 4 Orzola. To La Graciosa €20 return.
For more information on available ferry companies, times and prices, see Canary Islands#By boat 2.
There are several several small marinas that allow ship docking. One of the more interesting is Marina Rubicon at Playa Blanca because of its architecture and available services.
It only takes about 40 minutes to cross the entire island from North to South by car, and about 25 minutes across. Fuel is cheaper than on mainland Europe.
Lanzarote tends to be a bit windy, and often a bit more in July, making motor scooters or bicycles a little difficult and risky. This is compounded by the rocky landscape and mostly lacking bicycle ways.
So, the best way to travel on the island is probably with a rental car—see Canary Islands#By rental car for more information. The streets are good and the island is small, so you can see the main sights in two to three days.
A bus ride always costs between €1.40 and €3.60 (Jan 2023). If you plan to travel mainly by bus, get a prepaid card at Arrecife bus terminal which offers a slight discount and saves you the hassle of paying with coins every time. Let Google Maps or Moovit find the right bus line for you.
There is also a hop-on, hop-off bus service called Vision Bus which stops at all major attractions and the island's three resorts.
All taxis and drivers have a license and are generally friendly and honest. There are fixed prices for an overland trip, otherwise taximeters are used. There are four tariffs: tariff 1 applies to trips in cities, tariff 2 for round trips, tariff 3 for landings (which do not have fixed prices) and tariff 4, which applies to holidays. In all larger places there are taxis and parking, otherwise taxis can be stopped by handsignal when the green lamp of the roof light is on.
With many tourists around in their rental car, it can be quite easy to catch a ride in remote places. But also locals are happy to take people for the short ride. Inside of towns or cities you will be less lucky, but if you walk somewhere where there is obviously just one direction to go, you won't have many problems finding a ride.
Lanzarote has many interesting sights and trails within its volcanic environment. For reliable maps and comprehensive trails, a good deal of sights and tourist attractions, GPS navigation and general map information, consult OpenStreetMap, which is also used by this travel guide, and by many mobile Apps like OsmAnd or Mapy.cz. Or just download the according GPX or KML files through Waymarked Trails for such trails on OpenStreetMap. (Note, you just need to change the OpenStreetMap relation ID to download the GPX or KML files through the same link.) If you are in an area with less information mapped, feel free to add and update what is there so subsequent travellers have an easier time!
Centers of Art, Culture and Tourism
Sites managed by the island administration, designed by César Manrique (and with the participation of other local artists such as Jesus Soto). They are the entry points for the knowledge and discovery of the island. They can be visited separately but it is preferable to go bulk: 3 centers for €21, 4 centers for €28, or the best 6 centers for €32 (the entrance to the San Bartolomé is free).
- 1 Timanfaya National Park. A volcanic landscape created between 1730 and 1736 from the eruptions of over 100 volcanoes. It has barely changed since then and covers a quarter of the island's surface. The scenery here is stunning and unusual with an array of colours from the various minerals. Restaurant El Diablo offers excellent views of the national park which can be enjoyed while sampling typical Canarian food (all cooked by geothermal heat from the volcano). It is also possible to take a camel ride near the entrance to the national park, this costing €6 a person. For many, the highlight of their visit to Lanzarote.
- Montañas del Fuego (Mountains of Fire) (within the park), ☏ . Daily 09:00-17:45 (last tour at 17:00). Restaurant +34 928 17 31 05, daily 12:00-15:00. Entrance is by bus or car leading to the Islote de Hilario, where a sloped car park leads up to a shop, bar and restaurant which were designed by César Manrique. The admission fee includes a bus tour around the interior of the park with a narrated history in Spanish, English and German. The restaurant has a panoramic view of the park, and the meat is roasted over the underground heat of the islote, which reaches hundreds of degrees at a depth of only a few metres. Read the reviews before deciding to go, it is not for everyone. €10.
- Timanfaya National Park Visitors' Centre (just outside the northern limit of the park, on the road to Mancha Blanca and Tinajo.). The permanent display and audio-visual presentations explain the origins of the island, the recent volcanic activity that formed the park, and the flora and fauna of what appears at first glance to be a dead landscape. Admission free.
- 2 Mirador del Rio, Calle Rambla Medular, 15, 35520 Haria. A lookout at the northernmost tip of the island. It has a comfortable bar and lounge offering a magnificent panoramic view of the small islands to the north of Lanzarote. €5.
- 3 Jameos del Agua (in the Malpais de La Corona, north of the island.). Daily 10:00-18:30, and Tu F Sa 19:00-02:00. Restaurant Tu F Sa 19:30-23:30. Neat dress (no shorts or t-shirts) and no flash or lit photography after 19:00. A jameo is a volcanic formation formed when the ceiling of an underground lava tunnel collapses, exposing a section of the tunnel to the sky. A bar, restaurant, swimming pool, and concert hall were all built within one such formation, near the coast, under the guidance of César Manrique, and opened to the public in 1966. €11.
- 4 Jardín de Cactus (Cactus Garden), Guatiza, ☏ . Every day, 10:00-18:00, last entry 17:45. Famous but overrun. You might be better off looking out for beautiful gardens even some with various cactuses around the island. €6.50.
- 5 San José Castle International Museum of Contemporary Art, ☏ .
- 6 Casa Monumento al Campesino (House of Monument to the Peasant), San Bartolomé, ☏ . Daily 10:00-18:00. Restaurant 12:00-16:30, 18:00-01:00.
- [dead link] Agricola Museum, Echedey, 18 35558,Tiagua., ☏ , fax: . Open M-F 10:00-17:30 and Sa 10:00-14:30. This is a great place to see what life used to be like on Lanzarote for the farmers and settlers. There are lots of exhibits covering everything from tools and implements to a typical household layout on this large and interesting site. Two flour mills, a winery, animals and a working farm are all on offer for visitors to see. Often missed by tourist buses this site is easy to find and well preserved.
Caves and lava tubes
- 7 Cueva de los Verdes (Green's Cave) (a few hundred metres inland from the Jameos del Agua; part of the same tunnel), ☏ . Every day, 10:00-18:00, last entry 17:00. A 45 min guided tour takes you through a succession of caverns and tunnels formed by an underground river of lava. The melted rock and mineral formations are well lit, and the demonstration of their acoustical qualities is truly surprising. €10+.
- 8 Jameo la Puerta Falsa (just NW of Cueva de los Verdes). If you are bored of the commercialisation of the caves further southeast, head here for some own cave digging. This one apparently is connected to Cueva de los Verdes. It is free to enter and one of the several caves with lava tubes that you can explore. Easily up to 1 km of lava tubes. As the name suggest, there seems to be a wrong door here—whatever this means. Extensive, but bring a flashlight and water, don't go alone, and tell someone beforehand that you are going.
There are further caves around, only of which Jameo Cumplido seems to be easily reachable on a path. But it cannot be entered through the top, maybe the next one can be.
- 9 Jameo de la Gente (NW of Jameo la Puerta Falsa). Both directions lead off with lava tubes. It is unclear though how far they reach. It seems to connect to the southeastern ones.
- 10 Las Cuevas De Maquez (NW of the Cueva de los Verdes). Entrance to a system of corridors of lava tubes about 300 m long. Many holes in the ground, of which only two seem to be connected. Branches inside, very worth seeing, easily accessible. Bring a flashlight and don't go alone! Also, check out the link, which has a good depiction of the cave and its structure.
- 11 Cueva de Los Siete Lagos. Most probably the highlight if your are into cave exploring. You will need a wet suit and head lamp if you want to explore the first 3 lakes at the bottom after the 30 min hike to sea level—the 3rd lake is only accessible during low tide. Take precautions! It will not be detailed here further for obvious reasons, but you will get a good deal of helpful information from friendly locals and hostels.
- 12 Jameo de Prendes (A little further up towards Mt. Corona.). A lava tube heads off southeast from here.
- 13 Unnamed cave entrance. There are one or two more caves around this one, they are basically 3 sinkholes. Nothing special but with some climbing opportunities inside, where climbers have found some challenging routes. You will most likely meet them there, in case you want to join a party of them.
- 14 Cueva de Las Palomas / Los Naturistas. This is an easy lava tube, but still exciting. A large cave about 500 m in length, so no squeezing required. Quite exciting when standing in the middle in the pitch black dark and not knowing whether you will reach the other end ... but you will, no worries. The exit is 1 here. Bring a flashlight, don't go alone and tell someone where you are going. Keep along the southeastern wall of the tube. There are some caves wandering off west at the west entrance, but they are leading to a dead end.
- 15 Pico Partido lava tube. A few caves and 2-3 tunnels, the lowest of which is the most impressive—two lava tubes above each other. Even though just being 50 m in length or so nicely portraits how the lava must have been flown. For exploring you might have to crawl or climb a little. But already the form of the sight is rewarding itself and well worth the hike from the highway. It is also particular in form and some people say it resembles the female reproductive organ. Either way, it provides for some particular pictures not found with the other caves and tunnels on the island. Also, the mountain gives a nice hike and pretty impressive views of the surrounding area.
- 16 Sima de Tinguatón (Sima del Diablo). About 5 holes in the ground that lead to an underground lava cave system, that might be able to be explored if you have ropes with you and experience in this field. But just dropping a stone into one of them, gives you a feel for how deep they reach.
- 17 Cueva de Ortíz (Cueva de fiesta) (Near Montaña Cardona and Ortíz.). Just a cave, not deep. Maybe good for overnight stay, if there is no one else. But it seems some locals come here to hang around, make BBQ and drink beer. Right next to it is a small and shallow lava tube of 50 m. Not that spectacular but worth a visit if you hike around there anyway—see #Hiking below.
- 18 Gateras de Sory. A large lava field with numerous tiny Gateras formed by the lave and lava underneath leaving low–hanging cavities, many of which have collapsed, which you can see everywhere. There is one larger intact Gatera (about 50 m deep), which gives you a good impression of the rest and the area. See Openstreetmap for all the entrances.
- 19 Caldera Blanca Caves.
- 20 Playa del Paso Caves (Just behind the beach on the level above.). Several smaller caves to explore just near El Golfo.
- 21 Fundación César Manrique, Taro de Tahiche., ☏ , . Daily 10:00-19:00. Visit César Manrique's superb house, built inside 5 volcanic bubbles, and now also a gallery of his personal art collection €8.
- 22 House of Cesar Manrique in Haria.
- 23 Lagomar (house of Omar Sharif). €6.
- Sculptures scattered on the island (Juguetes del viento in Arrieta, Energia of the piramide, Fobos and El triunfador in Tahiche, Monumento al Campesino in San Bartolomé, etc.)
- 24 El Golfo. A small laid-back town with Laguna Verde and a surrealistic landscape just south.
- 25 Los Hervideros. The site consists of a lava flow dating from 13th century eruptions reaching the ocean. In this chaotic universe of petrified lava, the ocean crashes into a small bay at the bottom of which are two vaulted caves separated by a natural pillar. A few small paths cross the place and a staircase gives access to a balcony offering a striking view of the raging elements.
- 26 Salines de Janubio. Famous salt flats first created in 1895. The waters from the natural lagoon are evaporated to yield the salt. The waters of the lagoon were originally pumped in using wind power, but now electric pumps are used. Up to 2,000-15,000 tons of salt per year can be extracted from the salt flats. A number of migratory birds visit the salt flats.
- 27 La Gería. A large vineyard spreading across black lava fields with numerous small ponds and walls created to protect the wine.
- 28 Risco de Famara. An impressive mountain range in the north of the island with Famara at its feet.
- 29 Stratified City (Ciudad Estratificada). A surrealistic looking rock formation washed and blown out.
- 30 Tahiche Volcanic Garden, Tahiche. An open side of a volcano, which is great for viewing what a volcano looks like underneath. It would be great if there was more explanation here, but maybe reading about volcanos beforehand will help to understand the different rocks. Otherwise it is just a nice picture. Also, there is a volcanic cave 70 m southeast with a path leading 50 m inside.
- 31 Inverse Pyramids. A former open pit used to produce rocks for houses. It is cut deep into the ground and allows for some interesting perspectives and photos.
- 32 Papagayo beach. A popular Instagram beach overrun by young people trying to take the perfect shot. Just around east there are more quiet beaches and some are nude. Entrance with a car is €2-3 per person.
- Beach Mujeres – The biggest beach, easily accessible on foot from Playa Blanca.
- Beach Pozo
- Beach Cera and Cerita
- Beach Caleta del Congrio
- Beach Puerto Muelas
- Scuba diving – From Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca or Puerto del Carmen, some of the best diving in Europe. Water temperatures are fairly constant, ranging from around 18-24 throughout the year, which allows for year-round scuba diving. Wearing a wetsuit is still advised.
- Snorkeling – There are a few interesting spots around the island, try in front of Playa Pila de la Barrilla (aka Playa Chica) in Puerto del Carmen.
- Surfing – There are many surf schools in Lanzarote and most will transport you to this beach for the lesson. Mostly in Famara (surfing, wind surfing, kite boarding), where you have a long stretch of sand and continues waves. Depending on the weather, you might want to head to La Santa, where you also can find a good break. But since it is a rocky beach, it is probably only interesting for intermediate or advanced surfers. Furthermore, there is also an interesting break in Arrieta on the other side of the island. Otherwise, you will want to head to Fuerteventura, where there is much more choice of any.
- Cycling – Lanzarote being a flat island (about 600 m as the highest elevation), it is ideal for cycling. Almost all asphalted roads can be reached, the main axis between Arrecife and Tías, the LZ-2, can be used, since edge strips are present. Lanzarote is also suitable for the use of mountain bikes—keep in mind that it is not permissible to go off the slopes, roads and paths, as it disturbs growth of lichens.
- There is a water park (with bus service from Puerto del Carmen), a Zoo Park (Guinate Park), an aquarium-type park and a wild-west themed animal park (Rancho Texas). You can also take submarine trips from Ports in Puerto del Carmen and Puerto Calero.
Swimming and natural pools
There are many natural pools around the island called "Charco" or "Charcones":
- 1 Los Charcones (Before reaching Playa Blanca, you have to get west off the highway.). A few natural pools, Instagram-worthy, and other sights including blowholes.
- 2 Charco del Palo. A nice sea pool, mostly nudist "though". Just south of it you will find the "Affenfelsen" where the locals (many of which are foreigners) "let it hang" in the sun.
- 3 Caletón Blanco. Mostly a very beautiful beach, but also great for swimming in the large lagoon in front of it.
- 4 Cueva del Agua (Caldera De Agua). A natural swimming pool with a tunnel (both below and above water) into the open sea. Not recommended with heavy sea. There is a rope to climb out and jump in again. If you bring goggles you could potentially dive through the opening towards the sea.
One of the island's most enjoyable things to do is relax, lie at the beautiful beaches during the day and enjoy a nice meal in the evening.
- 5 [dead link] Costa Teguise.
- 6 Puerto del Carmen.
- 7 Playa Blanca.
- 8 Playa de Famara.
- 9 Playa del Risco (a 1-hr walk from the west of the Ye village, almost 400 m altitude difference — take good shoes). A picturesque secluded beach - mostly because it's quite remote.
- 10 Playa de La Cantería.
Nude (sun) bathing is generally allowed everywhere. However, you might want to stick to official nude beaches or remote spots, or all eyes will be on you—try Charco Del Palo or Playa Caleta del Congrio.
The island is not a great paradise for hiking compared to La Gomera or Tenerife. There is too little vegetation and the landscape is too bare. Nevertheless, it is very worthwhile to hike here. There are guided hikes, for example in the national park Timanfaya (the guides provide a lot of information about the lava landscape). It is also possible to walk freely—there exist many trails around the volcanoes or along the beaches. Strong and durable shoes are recommended, as the sharp-edged lava cuts through sneakers or sandals easily. It is also necessary to carry a lot of water, since there are very few water sources. Often the summer is too hot for extended hikes. The most suitable are early spring and spring itself, as the plants sprout.
OpenStreetMap provides the best maps for hiking on Lanzarote–see #On foot and navigation.
Some great hiking spots and volcanos, in the order of popularity:
- 11 Camino Risco Famara. Starting in Famara and going the whole way up to beautiful and remote Playa del Risco, a proper and longish hike. You can however enter or leave the trail at several points along the way from the street up the cliff, e.g. from La Corona.
Download the trail coordinates: GPX, KML.
- 12 La Corona (Monte Corona). A nice and picturesque 2–3-hr hike near Ye north of Haría into the crater of a volcano. Note that there are some interesting lava caves nearby, just check your map. The weather can be quite volatile here and especially cold, so bring a sweeter and/or jacket.
- 13 Caldera Blanca. A great and massive volcano with impressive views, especially near sunset, which can be circled on its ridge. Convenient parking is only 4-5 km away, depending on where you start from.
- 14 Ruta de Pico Partido (There is a parking for a few cars near the beginning of the trail. But along the same road you will find also others.). A hike of 3–4 hr circling the beautiful 15 Pico Partido. There are several additional sights along the way, like lava caves, an altar, and great viewpoints, just consult your map for all these points.
Download the trail coordinates: GPX, KML.
- 16 La Gería. Some nice and freely accessible trails can be found in between the vineyards and make for some interesting, almost Instagram-worthy pictures.
- 17 Mirador del Rio – And the cliffs up further north passing by the transceiver station, with great views of La Graciosa and Orzola. Ignore the "Do not cross" sign, this is BS. The area behind the "official" mirador is public ground, they just want the tourists to pay €5 for entering the bunker restaurant and viewpoint. But the same or even better view is offered just north around the car park, where anyone is allowed to enter.
- 18 Montaña del Cuervo, 19 Montaña Colorada, and 20 Montaña Cardona are part of the 21 Los Volcanes Natural Park. They can be reached and visited easily with a car, but also invite for a full day of strolling around the various trails around them. Don't miss the volcanic "bombs" just southeast of Colorada. Start from Cuervo and hike out via Cardona to Mancha Blanca or Tiagua, or head east to the interesting 500-m lava tunnel Cueva de Las Palomas - Los Naturistas
- Ruta de Tremesana. This is a great one-day hike around 22 Montaña Tremesana starting from Yaiza, touching the National Park Timanfaya and heading out to El Golfo through surreal volcanic landscape and by several lava caves and beaches. Around May–June you will get the chance to pass by many ripe fig trees and get the chance to enjoy these delicious fruits. Take enough water and sun protection, the weather is merciless here.
Download the trail coordinates: GPX, KML.
- Ruta del Litoral. A picturesque hike along the coast from El Golfo towards the last parking of the road behind Caldera Blanca. From there you can try to hitchhike out, or you continue your hike further to and onto Caldera Blanca and then out from there.
Download the trail coordinates: GPX, KML.
- 23 Casa del Agua – A hidden secret, many locals know about. Walk along the beach northwards from Famara. At the last large gravel parking lot along the coast, the trail goes upwards a little, from where it is another 1.3 km. There is another casa behind this one after another 500 m, in case you want to explore further. There is also some interesting caves and tunnels here—the last ones still properly in shape. Watch out, there might be some hippies with a (shy) dog in the back room—do not disturb.
- 24 Mirador Rincon de Haria together with 25 Mirador de El Risco de Famara and a little further south to the edge of the cliff offer for a great hike from Haría (13 km) and impressive views onto Famara down El Risco.
- 26 Water reservoir – A great view from the mountains. Hike further up to "La Cathedral" caves.
The local cuisine is typical of the Canary Islands:
- Mojo means sauce. The most common varieties are:
- mojo picón (hot, spicy) made from red chillis,
- mojo verde (green) made either from green pepper or coriander (cilantro),
- mojo hervido (boiled) made from spices and lemon.
- Papas arrugadas ("wrinkly potatoes") are cooked unpeeled in salt water then baked dry. Customarily served with a mojo sauce.
- Gofio is a flour substitute milled from a variety of cereals like wheat, corn (maize), and barley, or a mixture of them. It is sometimes served by local restaurants in entreé dishes as a small patty of moist dough, and also forms the basis for local pastries and pie bases.
Restaurants noted for local cuisine:
- La Era, Yaiza.
- Casa Monumento al Campesino, San Bartolomé.
- Palenke, Punta Mujeres – An authentic and inexpensive grill and fish restaurant, they also have pizza and pasta.
- Restaurante Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo, Castillo de San José, Arrecife (on the coast just to the north of Arrecife, inside a Castle turned museum).
However, in many of the resorts there are very few true Canarian restaurants. Most of them tend to focus on English food (English fried breakfast, roasts, etc.) If you are going on a package holiday it would be a huge saving to pay the extra for all-inclusive, especially if you're not likely to travel far from the resort.
There are many non-traditional places to eat out in the main resort towns, serving a wide range of food such as Greek, Chinese, Indian, and Mexican.
The 'old town' area of Puerto del Carmen is home to Blooming Cactus Vegetarian Restaurant, but those with vegan or vegetarian dietary requirements will find limited choice outside of this eatery.
- The tap water is treated sea water, brackish, and not recommended for drinking. Try to drink bottled water, which is affordable.
- There are many bars in the tourist areas, in particular Irish bars in Puerto del Carmen.
- Alcohol is very cheap in supermarkets. A 1 L bottle of San Miguel is around €1, and a can of beer as little as €0.50. However, in bars and clubs, the same beer would cost around €3.50. There is no duty on alcohol purchased in Lanzarote (other than VAT at 5%), so restaurants tend to make a lot of their money from the selling of alcohol at a significant, but to foreign visitors seemingly imperceptible markup. Again, if a package exists which is all-inclusive, it might be a good idea to pay the little bit extra in the long run.
See Canary Islands#Money for more information on cash, ATMs and credit cards.
- Supermarkets vary greatly in price - the most expensive are Netto and Spar (about 25% more expensive). HiperDino supermarkets are larger and tend to have good local produce at reasonable prices. Around Arrecife and in Puerto del Carmen you will find three LIDL with very reasonable prices.
- Prices are now very reasonable and comparable to the rest of Western Europe. Watch out for the cost of fresh fruit and veg as some have to be transported refrigerated by ship from afar and can be expensive, a fresh pineapple can cost €8.
- Fruits from the Canary Islands include papaya, bananas and avocado, occasionally apples and cucumbers and the like, too.
- Aloe Vera is praised all over the island. While you can find the small plants (30-50 cm in height) all over the island, the products on sale from Aloe Vera are often not worth their name (or price). If you look onto the ingredients list, many will contain Aloe Vera at fifth position (i.e. less than 20%), or so. The rest is often a mix of things you will not want to pay such a high price for or even put onto your skin. You might just be better off cutting one leaf yourself and squish the juice out of it to apply to your skin. Note, the much larger agave (about 1 m) is often mistaken for Aloe Vera, and you will see many perforated leaves of these along trails.
- In case you are looking for a used surfboard, neoprene, car or anythings else in this direction, check out Wallapop, which is quite popular in the Canary Islands. However, people seem to be slow answering here. So, you might be better off with Facebook Market.
Many produce markets pop up for a day or so around the island, they are fun to visit, even though sometimes a little touristic:
- 1 Teguise. Su 09:00-14:00. Very touristy, a lot of handicraft. Good for having a lunch in one of the restaurants around the market, enjoying some of the delicious tapas while watching the world go by.
- 2 Haría. Su 10:00-14:30. A lot of handicraft, but also local produces. If you only have time for one market, visit this one over the one in Teguise.
- 3 Mancha Blanca. Not very big. Mostly agricultural produces and bakery.
There are also markets in San Bartalomeo, Arrecife, etc.—check out this summary website.
There are also plenty of private apartments and AirBnB offers for short-term accommodation, so check Google Maps and respective services.
Hostels are sparse. There is one in Arrecife and the rest is spotted around Famara mostly catering to surfers. But surf schools will also have space for regular guests, just contact them directly to find places.
Wild camping is not allowed at beaches or national parks. However, this rule does not apply to camper vans or cars, and you can stay anywhere without issues, even at the most remote and beautiful places.
Along with a few commercial campsites, there are free communal campsites called acampadas.
While a generally safe country, as always beware of pickpockets and keep hold of any personal belongings. There are local police stations in all major cities and somewhat frequent police patrols around the streets. Emergency service phone number is the European standard 112. Always take a printout of all the Important Numbers and keep with you all the time.
Beware of Weather Envelopes: It is useful to take a rain cover despite the cloudless sky. A hat is greatly recommended to protect against sunstroke. Use sunscreen when coming from less sunny regions and observe the signals of your body to prevent sunburn.
It is not permitted to go off the slopes, roads and paths, as that disturbs growth of lichens.
- Fuerteventura – By ferry from the southern harbour at Playa Blanca in ½ hr.
- La Graciosa – A pleasant island (with barely any sealed roads) that can be reached easily by a (irregular) ferry from Orzola.