The Canary Islands, located 200 Km from North Africa, offers a diverse range of attractions and Lanzarote is a definite highlight, attracting many Spanish and international visitors throughout the year, and you’ll get a lot more from the island if you take the time to explore beyond the confines of your beach-side resort.
An island of contrasts
On this island you can haggle with the locals at the traditional (and frankly huge) Sunday Market in the sleepy town of Teguise before exploring the lunar landscape and Fire Mountains of the volcanic Timanfaya National Park; this park covers one quarter of the island.
Or sit in the sunshine and watch the international surfers hit the waves along the dramatic Tinajo coastline, which is believed to be the best surfing area in Europe, or explore the underground labyrinth of lava tube, green caves (Cueva de los Verdes), which are around 3,000 years old.
Manrique’s artistic vision
The local artist, César Manrique, was instrumental in creating the island’s seven Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism, and he combined art, nature and his own designs within these beauty spots. Visitors can buy vouchers to explore all of the centres including the volcanic spiral staircase leading down to a natural lake hidden within a cave, known as the Jameos del Agua.
The Mirador del Río is another of Manrique’s creations and sits at 474 meters above sea level in the north of the island; the panoramic views across the ocean from this installation are spectacular. If you’re looking to explore some of the best art, including works by Manrique, then visit the International Museum of Modern Art, which is located in the San Jose military fortress.
Visit the capital
It might be hard to tear yourself away from the beaches of Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca, but a trip to the capital city, Arrecife, can’t be missed. In this lively port town, home to around a third of the island’s population, you’ll be able to learn about Lanzarote’s history via the San Jose Castle and the historic quarter.
Arrecife is also a modern city with plenty of restaurants, beautiful parks and some excellent night life. If you’re visiting during February then you’ll also be joined by thousands of other visitors for the annual Carnival – one of the largest on the island featuring decorated floats, tapas fairs, fireworks and plenty of local wine.
Millions of people take flights to Lanzarote each year for the sunshine and beautiful beaches but this is an island that can bring a new sightseeing attraction every day. Explore a little and learn more about the people, the culture and the arts that makes this island a truly unique destination.
Disclaimer: ***This post was written in collaboration with Thomson.***