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Lanzarote is the fourth largest of the Canary Islands and is located closest to the coast of West Africa.
It is probably best known for its awe inspiring volcanic terrain, which was created by enormous eruptions during the 1730´s and again in the 1820´s. Which resulted in about one quarter of Lanzarote´s total land surface being covered in thick carpet of black lava. Today this region, the Timanfaya National Park, is the islands most popular tourist attraction, as tourist flock here to view the lunar landscapes and burnt out volcanic peaks.
Fortunately all of these volcanoes are now dormant and Lanzarote also boasts a wide array of other natural wonders. Such as the verdant Valley of 1000 Palms, located in the north of the island, which is the perfect antidote to the dry and arid south. Here locals have been planting a Canarian palm tree for every newborn child in the village of Haria, which nestles on the Valley floor. Creating a massive oasis of giant palms which is one of Lanzarote´s many ‘must-sees’.
Elsewhere the influence of the famous local artist César Manrique is inescapable. Not least as he designed and developed all of the most popular attractions on the island, such as the Mirador del Rio, the Cactus Garden and the Jameos del Agua. As well as discerning the optimum route for tourists to follow through the Timanfaya National Park. Beach lovers will also adore Lanzarote as there are around 100 superb stretches of sand for them to explore. Some of which, such as Famara on the rugged North West coast and Papagayo close to Playa Blanca in the south are right up there with the very best beaches in the Canaries. The availability of budget flights to the island has made Lanzarote increasingly popular with independent tourists, as well as package holidaymakers. And as a result demand for self catering Lanzarote villas and apartments has grown enormously over the last ten years.
Towns & Villages
To truly experience this unique island we strongly recommend you visit the main tourist attractions.
Lanzarote Holiday Accommodation
Playa Blanca is a peaceful resort situated on the southern tip of Lanzarote, approximately 15 minute ferry trip to Fuerteventura. It enjoys the best weather on the island and stunning views across to the neighbouring islands of Fuerteventura and Los Lobos separated from Lanzarote by the straits of Bocaina.
Playa Blanca was originally a small fishing village and from the attractive harbour you can see the local fishermen landing their catch. From here you can also take a 35 minute ferry crossing to Fuerteventura.
A pretty seafront walk will take you the length of Playa Blanca stretching from the Pechiguera Point in the west to Los Colorades beach in the east. In fact, Playa Blanca boasts 5 golden sandy beaches and all are well away from the road so are ideal for families and children. Nearby, are also the famous idyllic beaches of Papagayo. Building is prohibited here to keep it unspoilt, but the beaches can be reached by car (although a bit bumpy) and also by sea taxi from the harbour.
Femes is beautiful example of how life on Lanzarote existed generations ago. With a cap on building, and predominantly locally owned, the village has a tranquil sense of calm and warmth, and ideal for those seeking total peace and quiet. Snuggled in between the houses there are several superb restaurants and tapas bars, plus a local supermarket. Femes is handily located between Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen, and offers easy access to El Golfo and the Papagayo beaches. The views from Femes to Furteventura in the distant are stunning. Femes is also an ideal base to enjoy hiking around the spectacular mountains & exploring the rugged coastline.
Las Breñas is located in the foothills of the ‘Los Ajaches’ mountain range, with a privileged ocean view, Playa Janubio and the whole of the volcanic South West coast of Lanzarote.
The local villagers are simple, rural people whose livelihoods depend mainly on livestock and fishing. While recent construction has seen the village population grow in numbers and include foreign home owners it maintains its typical atmosphere.
Clean streets and surrounded by traditional architecture and new construction.
In the center you can visit the Church of San Luis Gonzaga and its square in honor of D. Victor Fernandez Gopar, Poet olla Breñas (remodeled in 1987). From here you can view the sea in the distance & enjoy beautiful sunsets over the salt pans of Janubio.
Yaiza is stunning. Twice voted Spain’s prettiest village, it has maintained its original charm and warmth, and with its traditional architecture is a superb example of a typical Canarian village. The friendly people, the pace of life and its unique location to the Timanfaya National Park make it an extremely popular destination for those seeking more cultural surroundings and away from the bustle of the tourist resorts. Yaiza is located between Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen and is approximately 20 minutes by car to the airport, and 5 minutes to the nearest beach at El Golfo. The village offers 2 supermarkets, hairdresser, bank, chemist, doctor’s, garage, church and several excellent restaurants. The Timanfaya National Park is on
the doorstep, and the famous vineyards of El Grifo and Stratus are just a short drive away.
Mirador del Rio
Meaning ‘River View’ this a lookout point located in the north of the island on top of a cliff, 479m above sea level. Created by Cesar Manrique, the views of the neighbouring island (belonging to Lanzarote) La Graciosa and the Canary island of Montana Clara is breathtaking. The artist excavated an opening in the top of the mountains to house a restaurant with a domed ceiling.
Cueva de los Verdes
Formed again by the eruption of the volcano Las Coronas these caves are one of the longest volcanic galleries in the world stretching 6km long. During the 17th century these caves acted as a refuge to the local Canarian people from pirates and slave hunters. Spectacular lighting adds to the effects of the caves and they also boast an optical illusion.
Jameos del Agua
Designed by Cesar Manrique in 1968 Jameos del Agua is an underground lava bubble converted into an auditorium and theatre. It was created by the eruption of the big volcano in the north called La Corona approximately 3000 years ago. The word Jameos means a lava bubble, which occurs when the ceiling of a lava tunnel collapses, or when gases accumulate and explode literally leaving a bubble underground. Visitors enter through a winding staircase made out of the surrounding rock and enter into Jameo Grande, a roofless volcanic bubble 100m long and 30m wide. This then leads to a garden and swimming pool. A dance floor and bar has been created out of the surrounding volcanic rock. At the end of Jameos Grande is the concert cave with its wonderful acoustics seating 600 people.
Cesar Manrique Foundation
Originally the studio and house of Cesar Manrique it was inaugurated in 1992 as a private, non-profit, self financed cultural foundation engaging in the promotion of artistic, environmental and cultural activities as well as the private works of Cesar Manrique. Highly recommended.
Jardin del Cactus
Created by Cesar Manrique this area was originally an old quarry. Cesar Manrique strived to show how beauty could be created using natural resources and the gardens show the indigenous flora of the island.
Museum of Contemporary Art
This is situated in the Castle of San Jose in Puerto Naos, Arrecife. It was originally fortress built between 1776 and 1779 by King Carlos III. It not only contains pieces of modern art but also works from Cesar Manrique who was one of the honorary directors.
Museum of Emigrants
Standing on Guanapay hill overlooking the old capital of Teguise the Castle of Santa Barbara started as a watchtower guarding the island on both coastlines. It was originally built Bayesian de Herrera in the 16th century but was fully converted to a fortress in 1588 by the Italian engineer Leonardo Torriani. Up until 1960 the castle had had a long period of deterioration but then a group of people headed by "Friends of Castles" started restoring it to its former glory. It has since had a further restoration in 1977 by the Fine Arts association. Nowadays it isused as a museum for the history of the Canarian Emigrants many of whom went to South America and includes passports, family letters and postcards along with scale models and texts.
Timanfaya National Park
This area was devastated by volcanic eruptions over a period of 6 years 1730-1736.Here visitors can appreciate not only the awe inspiring scenery of \"Devil\'s land\" caused by the geological phenomena but also a land coming back to life with its 180 different plant species. Cars park by the side of the \"Devil\"restaurant where visitors can go in and see how food can be cooked over the heat of the volcano and can watch the geothermic experiments.
A coach ride of about 45mins is included in the entrance fee where visitors are taken around the volcano route and can listen to the story behind this unusual island.
On the west coast of Lanzarote on the coastline of the Timanfaya National park is El Golfo, also known as the Green Lagoon. It is actually a volcanic crater, which has been filled by underground seawater. Algae have inhabited the water causing the green colour, which against the black volcanic sands is an unusual sight. Today the crater is half its original size and has been declared a protected area. In the surrounding area you will also find the naturally occurring semi precious stone called Olivina, a green stone and you will find it lying on the beach and rocks.