Lanzarote, the volcanic island
Of volcanic origin, there are about a hundred volcanoes, Lanzarote, which rises only 670 m above sea level in Peñas del Chache, is the most eastern island of the Canary Islands. Slightly offshore, the six-kilometre-long Atlantis Tunnel is the world’s longest underwater lava tunnel.
Located to the east of Lanzarote, Arrecife, which is the capital, has a 5 km long airport. Its harbour, called Los Mármoles has the largest fishing fleet in the Canary Islands, and from its quays it is possible to embark to Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura.
With a length of 60 kilometres and a width of 25 kilometres, it is easy to visit Lanzarote’s many protected natural areas. The highlight of these parks is Timanfaya, which covers more than 40% of the island’s surface. Natural spaces surrounded by 210 km of rocky coastline with 25 km of beach, which the volcanic lands have provided with varied colors and shapes.
Along more or less the east coast, a main road crosses the island from north to south. Among these lunar landscapes, the protected wine-growing area of La Geria, surrounded by conical volcanic earth excavations, shelters a vineyard with an appellation of origin protected by its low stone walls.
Playa Blanca in the south, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise on the east coast, are the most popular seaside resorts of Lanzarote. Several daily sea connections are provided from Playa Blanca with Corralejo, which is located directly opposite the island of Fuerteventura.
Preferred to Teguise as the capital of Lanzarote in the mid-19th century, Arrecife developed around San Ginés, its small fishermen’s quarter by the ocean. The commercial streets of the old town have kept their traditional ambience despite the development and urbanisation of tourism.
The Castillo de San Gabriel was built in the 15th century to defend it from pirate lusts. Originally built on the island of Fermina, it was destroyed by the pirates and then rebuilt at its present location by order of Philip II of Spain. Classified as a national monument, it has been converted into an astronomical observatory which can be visited from Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and until 2pm on Saturdays.
Tourist office. Calle Triana, 38. Tel: (+34)928 81 17 62.
Castillo San José. International Museum of Contemporary Art
Carretera de Naos. Arrecife.
An ancient fortress built at the end of the 18th century by order of Charles III on the peninsula of Cueva de Ines, the Castillo de San José was converted into a museum on the initiative of the local architect César Manrique.
The International Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 1975 to bring together and exhibit some of the greatest works of modern artistic expression from the 1950s to the 1970s. In addition to works by Tàpies, Michavila, Manrique, you can admire the creations of internationally renowned modern artists.
Open every day from July 1st to September 30th from 10am to 8pm. General admission; 4 €. Tel: (+34)928 81 23 21. Audio guide, shop, cafeteria, restaurant.
The ancient capital of Lanzarote, is surrounded by an astonishing volcanic environment with craters and lava flows solidified. Teguize, one of the first inhabited places in Lanzarote, with its ancient seigniorial houses and traditional architecture, reflects the history of Lanzarote in its old town.
César Manrique, an architect from Lanzarote, left his mark there with a foundation bearing his name and a garden dedicated to cactus. A renowned seaside resort, its beaches of Costa Teguize and Famara attract many tourists. Tourist Office of Teguize: Plaza de la Constitución. Villa de Teguize. Tel: (+34)928 84 53 98.
César Manrique Foundation Museum
Located in Manrique’s house, which stretches over a lava flow amidst exuberant vegetation, the museum is dedicated to his work and to promoting artistic activities that promote respect for the natural environment. The museum is open every day from 10am to 6pm. Admission: 8 €. Shop, cafeteria.
Situated in a former quarry for the extraction of volcanic ash used by prickly pear growers, the garden is rich in 1400 varieties of cactus. An old windmill formerly used to grind maize still works for educational purposes.
Access: Carretera General del Norte. Guatiza. Teguize. Tel: (+34)928 52 93 97.
Opening hours: every day from 10am to 5.45pm, from 9am from July to September. Admission: 5,50 €.
Yaiza, the southernmost municipality of Lanzarote, lies at the edge of the Timanfaya National Park in an environment of dark volcanic soils and craters that offer amazing landscapes such as the los Hervideros site with its shattered dark basaltic cliffs plunging into the blue of the ocean. Unique and unmistakable at the same time, the hydro volcano of the beach of El Golfo: el Charco de los Clicos, a green lake of salt water in a volcanic crater nestled in the heart of a black sand beach.
Among the monumental patrimony of Yaiza, the 17th century hermitage of los Remedios is the object of great veneration by the inhabitants.
At the south-western end of the island and Yaiza municipality, Playa Blanca is the island’s third most popular tourist destination. The seaside resort is organised around its small fishing and leisure port surrounded by lively and commercial streets. Next door are the beaches of Quemada and white sandy coves like Papagayo.
Playa Blanca Tourist Office: Calle Varadro, 3. Tel: (+34)928 51 90 18.
Timanfaya Natural Park
Impressive fields of solidified lava, lunar landscapes and camel rides are among the offers of these magical places. It is from the natural platform of Montaña Rajada that one has the best view on this sea of lava with tormented forms extending to the coast.
From the park, from a place known as Islote de Hilario, buses leave to discover the Ruta de los Volcanes, landscapes of lava and ashes covered with lichens. Access by Yaiza and the road LZ-67.
Mirador del Río. Haría
At 400m above sea level, the viewpoint of the River Rio offers a unique and spectacular panorama of Lanzarote and the ocean from the cliff of the Risco de Famara situated north of the island in the municipality of Haría.
Concealed under the rock is a construction by architect Manrique symbolizing the union with nature. Inside, you can admire sculptures or ceramics while having a splendid view of the ocean.
Visiting hours: every day from 10am to 5.45pm, until 6.45pm from July to September. Admission: 4,50 €. Audio guide, shop, cafeteria. Tel: (+34)92 885 65 48.
Cave of los Verdes. Haría
In the municipality of Haría, on the west coast, about ten kilometres south-west of the watchtower, the Cueva de los Verdes, which was formed during a volcanic eruption, offers 6 km of underground casings. With adequate lighting, a 2km course was built for visitors in 1964.
Opening hours: every day from 10am to 6pm, 7pm from July to September. Admission: 9 €.
Lanzarote – From 40 €
Lanzarote – From 45 €
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Lanzarote – From 106 €