Lanzarote is an island which offers a strikingly diverse landscape from even other islands within the Canary Island’s archipelago. Volcanic eruptions that took place almost 200 years ago have carved volcanic caves and formed lakes of lava and craters which lie juxtaposed with beaches of brilliant golden sand and transparent, sparkling waters. The island itself is a haven for wildlife having been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993 and will also become a haven for sun-seeking Brits in search of a well-deserved late summer holiday. With the UK on track to have one of its wettest summers on record and the dreaded amber-plus list scrapped, many are looking overseas for a much-needed source of vitamin D and Lanzarote is quickly establishing itself as a top choice for holidaymakers.
Ángel Vázquez, Minister of Tourism Promotion for Lanzarote, commented: “It has now been the best part of a year and a half without British tourists who are of vital importance to Lanzarote and its economy, since the British market constitutes 50% of all our visitors. Everyone from within the tourism sector on the island has used this time to prepare for the return of international tourism, implementing safety measures and restrictions, and developing infrastructure to cope with the challenges faced by post-pandemic travel.
Lanzarote is a destination that is proving to be easily accessible from all around the UK. Major airlines such as Jet2, RyanAir, EasyJet, TUI Airways and WizzAir all offer consistent services from major cities in the UK to Lanzarote. During the summer season (July-August-September), there are 129 direct flights per week to the island, representing a 63% increase compared with summer 2020 when there were 79 flights a week.
As a destination, the local government is an international benchmark for a safe tourism model, since we have implemented all the necessary measures to generate confidence in our tourists. We hope that this concerted effort will encourage British tourists to visit Lanzarote, so that they can once again enjoy all the wonderful experiences that this special and unique island in the world has to offer”.
Rediscover your spirit of adventure
Many holidaymakers, having endured multiple lockdowns and restrictive measures on travel, are now looking to rekindle their spirit of adventure on an overseas holiday. The best way to discover Lanzarote’s rugged coastline and get active is by sea kayaking. Kayak Lanzarote (www.kayaklanzarote.com) offers tours discovering the clear waters of Papagayo beaches and the cliffs of the natural monument Los Ajaches. The kayaking trip tours corners, cliffs, caves and the pristine beaches of Lanzarote’s south coast with paddle in hand.
Lanzarote is also famed for its hiking routes. Research your own routes through coastal paths, fishing villages, natural parks or take a guided hike with One Two Trek (www.onetwotrek.com). One Two Trek’s La Corona Volcano and the Famara massif hike takes ramblers through colourful paths with unparalleled panoramic views. Highlights on the tour are the crater of La Corona Volcano and the cliffs of the Famara massif which are much greener than the south of the island and home to some of Lanzarote’s endemic species. One Two Trek do not charge a fixed price, instead they ask their customers to decide what they want to pay the team for their services which include transport, food, expert guide and more.
Kick back on the beach or at the natural pools
With one of the wettest summers on record in the UK, top of the priority list for many is spending a relaxing day at the beach catching rays and taking a dip to cool off. Lanzarote is blessed with a number of pristine beaches, the most famous of all being Papagayo which is a series of beaches separated by volcanic rocks and the perfect place to kick back for the day. Alternatively, sun seekers really looking to beat the crowds should head to Playa La Francesca on the islet of La Graciosa off the north coast of Lanzarote. The soft sand backed by volcanic rock and dunes is paradisical and the fact it is a south-facing beach means calm, swimmable waters.
For a change from the beach scenery, check out one of Lanzarote’s natural pools. Punta Mujeres on the north of the island is home to a natural pool in its centre however there are a series of smaller pools that run along the coast for around two kilometres. There’s a popular bar next to the main pool in Punta Mujeres serving refreshing drinks and delicious seafood, the perfect place to ground yourself for a day spent relaxing and indulging.
Wonder its white-walled villages
The white-walled villages of Lanzarote hold a particular Canarian charm. Yaiza on the south of the island is famed among locals for how neat and clean it is which only enhances the beauty of its white and blue houses. It maintains the tradition of its houses and streets by adding colour with flowers and decorative gardens. Alternatively, Teguise in the north of the island was one of the first towns founded on the island and was the capital until 1847. As such it preserves a large number of historical buildings such as the Castle of Santa Barbara and the Spinola Palace which, along with the many museums such as the Museo del Timple and Casa Perdono, are worth a visit to discover the island’s history. Finally, Haría is a must visit for stunning Canarian scenes. Located in the ‘valley of the thousand palm trees’, the village is an oasis in a sea of green lands, crops and Date Palm groves with La Corona volcano as its backdrop.
Wine in the sunshine
With its desert like climate and rainfall of just 150ml a year on average, Lanzarote’s wine production comes as a surprise to most given it is well outside of the geographic norm for winemaking. However, on an island with a population of just 150,000, there are nearly 2,000 registered viticulturists and 21 wineries making up the Denominación de Origen. Local tour company, Wine Tours Lanzarote (www.winetourslanzarote.com), has relaunched a series of COVID-safe tours designed to lift the lid on Lanzarote’s fascinating wine culture. The new private tours take small groups of no larger than eight around three beautiful vineyards with the opportunity to sample six local wines and authentic Lanzarote goats’ cheese. Visitors will gain an insight into cultivation methods at world-famous vineyards such as El Grifo, one the ten oldest wineries in Spain (1775), with the spectacular Timanfaya National Park as its backdrop.
Discover the legacy of César Manrique
Cesar Manrique was born in Arrecife and his artistic style has left an incredible impression, one that can be seen in every corner, especially in the north of the island. A good place to start on the César Manrique route is the Cactus Garden, which was the last intervention work carried out by Manrique in Lanzarote. The Cactus Garden has around 4,500 specimens of 450 different species and provides an oasis for singing birds and buzzing insects. From there, travellers should continue north towards the Jameos del Agua, another of Manrique’s creations. Manrique envisioned and transformed a volcanic tube into an art, culture and tourism centre as well as an auditorium and concert hall thanks to its favourable acoustics. The Jameos has a unique geographical formation comprised of a subterranean salt lake, restaurant, gardens, emerald-green pool, museum and auditorium. The final stop is Mirador del Rio which rewards visitors with stunning panoramas of La Graciosa and the Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park. Manrique’s presence can also be felt here with it previously being remnants of an old military base before being transformed into a spectacular viewpoint camouflaged into the rock face.