Lanzarote is the fourth-largest island of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago located 100km off the coast of Africa. Its volcanic landscape is often described as 'lunar' in appearance. It’s believed to have been created some 60 million years ago by a volcanic eruption that originated in the sea.
Most of this beautiful topography has remained undisturbed thanks to island native César Manrique (1919-1992), an artist and environmentalist who was dedicated to the protection and preservation of the island he loved so much.
Bus transportation is an economical way to get around, though the schedules can be somewhat unreliable. There are several cab companies that service the island, but hiring a car is highly recommended as the best way to see all the sights during your weekend in Lanzarote. The official language is Spanish, with a Latin American dialect, but most of the resorts do speak English. Remember to exchange some currency for city breaks in Lanzarote, as the Canary Islands are on the Euro.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Lanzarote?
Lanzarote is a year-round holiday destination. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to Lanzarote or a week-long stay, you’re assured warm weather and likely blue skies. July and August are considered peak season. The island will be busy, and you’ll enjoy hot temperatures with highs of 28°C and lows around 21°C.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds of peak season, but still want to get some sunshine, then March to May is the time to visit. September and October are also considered favourable months, as the temperatures are still balmy but the crowds have thinned out. The off-peak season is also a great time to look into package holidays to Lanzarote.
Booking your flight and hotel to Lanzarote in winter offers a nice escape from the chilly weather of the UK. The weather remains fairly warm, with average temperatures of 17°C, though the ocean might be a bit cool for a dip! Though there is no specific rainy season to avoid, February and March typically receive the most rainfall. Despite the chance of rain, these months are a festive time to book package holidays to Lanzarote, as it’s the island’s Carnival season. Visitors can enjoy parades and festivities alongside the locals, with each resort having their own theme.
What Is There To Do on Lanzarote?
The island is known for its world-class water sports. Surfing enthusiasts refer to the island as the 'Hawaii of Europe'. It’s also known for its snorkelling, sailing, jet skiing, and windsurfing opportunities. Kayaking is a great way to discover some of the area’s hidden beaches during your more outdoors-oriented activities on a city break to Lanzarote.
The island is also, of course, a beach-goer's paradise, with countless golden strands, and even a few black sandy beaches to enjoy. Playas de Papagayo is home to Lanzarote’s most famous beaches, with miles of unspoiled shoreline and breathtaking views. It’s tempting to dip into the crystal clear waters, just keep in mind that the ocean here can be a bit rough, as Lanzarote is located at the northernmost point of the Canary Islands.
City breaks in Lanzarote offer several opportunities for club goers. The hottest nightlife is in the resorts towns of Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. The crowds are young and vibrant and the parties end in the wee hours of the morning. Here’s a tip: 'discotecas' refer to clubs, while the term 'nightclub', on Lanzarote, is typically used for strip clubs. You probably don’t want to mix up the two.
The best shopping can be found in the main resort areas of Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca, and the island’s capital of Arrecife. You’ll find several shopping centres in these areas, as well as a host of quaint shops and boutiques.
Places to Visit on Lanzarote
Timanfaya National Park: A top local attraction, this park offers a unique way to check out the island's unusual volcanic landscape. Visitors tour the park from motor coaches, as walking about the park on your own is not permitted. Camel rides are available at an additional cost.
Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park: This Western-style theme park offers something for the entire family, with its own water park, and a variety of animals and exotics pets.
César Manrique Foundation: Located in Manrique's former home, visitors can view his art, learn about his political views, and hear of his gallant efforts to preserve the island and maintain the integrity of Lanzarote.
Dining and Gastronomy on Lanzarote
Lanzarote's dishes exhibit influences from Spanish, African, and Latin American cuisine. Lomo Alto in Puerto del Carmen is popular for both seafood and grilled meat, while El Diablo, in Timanfaya National Park, uses volcanic heat for cooking! All around the island, holidaymakers can be assured bountiful seafood, as fishing is the biggest industry in Lanzarote. Local gastronomy also includes a variety of meats, but due to the volcanic landscape, expect it to be imported from South America. However, the volcanic soil does give way to some amazing vineyards. Malvasias is a popular local wine, with a strong flavour comparable to a sherry.
What Are The Best Souvenirs from Lanzarote?
During your weekend in Lanzarote, be sure to stop by one of the many weekly markets held in towns all around the island. Here you'll find great souvenirs, including handmade pottery and embroidered textiles, handicrafts which have a long history on the island. You can also pick up some of the aforementioned local wines.