Lanzarote: a Short Holiday Guide

Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands off the north coast of Africa. Its mild and dry climate make it an ideal year-round destination with temperatures ranging from 21°C in the winter to 29°C in the summer and the yearly rainfall averaging a mere 5.5 inches.

As with all the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a volcanic island and this makes for some extremely interesting scenery. Lanzarote’s volcanic activity has provided many of the islands tourist attractions. Timanfaya national park was created when over 100 volcanoes destroyed an area of more than fifty square kilometres. Demonstrations of how hot the area is just a few metres below the surface (between 400°C and 600°C!) are available at the park; dry grasses are thrown into a deep hole in the ground and immediately catch fire and water poured into a bore hole erupts as steam within seconds. Camel rides and coach tours are available across the unique landscape which has been described as appearing ‘lunar’ or ‘Martian’, so much so in fact that it was used as a setting for the movie ‘The Planet of the Apes’.

Another of Lanzarote’s volcanic attractions The ‘Cueva de los Verdes’ (Or, ‘The Green Caves’) are part of the Atlantida underground cave system formed approximately three thousand years ago and once provided sanctuary for residents from pirates that inhabited the island. The caves are artificially lit for the public to view and are part of the longest volcanic tunnel in the world, stretching roughly four and a half miles.

In spite of being a volcanic island, Lanzarote has some beautiful sandy beaches such as Playa Grande and Papagayo. For those on Lanzarote holidays looking to enjoy some water sports, Playa Chica next to the old town of Puerto Del Carmen is host to a great variety of activities including diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing and paragliding. On the west side of the island, Famara and La Santa beaches both provide excellent conditions for surfing and body boarding with Famara in particular being world famous for its surf.

For those Lanzarote holidays makers looking to shop, there are a few excellent shopping districts in Arrecife, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Honda. There is also a large market in Teguise every Sunday morning where you will find many stalls selling jewellery, paintings, wood carvings, local wines and the expected counterfeit watches and handbags. Along with the rest of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote has a duty free tax status. This means that cigarettes, perfumes and alcohol are available much cheaper than in the rest of the EU.

While not as lively as some of its neighboring islands, Lanzarote still has an active nightlife. Puerto Del Carmen is the busiest area at night with lots of bars and clubs and live music while Teguise and Playa Blanca also have several bars, clubs and restaurants.

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Harry Lawrance is an experienced writer based in the UK

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