Sitting in the Atlantic Ocean just 125km off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote is the 4th largest island in the Canaries. One of the earliest islands to be settled, Lanzarote’s volcanic past has moulded and shaped both the islands topography and history, giving the island a unique and irresistible charm.
For holiday goers, Lanzarote is a real gem. Sun, sea and sand awaits those lucky enough to visit, however, the vibrant culture, tranquil parks and indigenous architecture all serve to make Lanzarote stand out as one of the best holiday destination in the Canaries.
So, to help you plan your perfect holiday in Lanzarote, we’ve put together our list of the best things to do in Lanzarote. Enjoy!
Timanfaya National Park
Without doubt one of the best days out in Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park is a vast black landscape of volcanic activity. At the centre stands the peak of Islote de Hilario volcano. At the summit there is a lovely restaurant designed by Lanzorete’s own César Manrique where fresh meat and fish is cooked over a grill using the natural heat from the volcano! There are numerous bus tours around the park which allow you to see the stunning rock formations that strut out of the landscape. There are also camel safaris available that set out from the village of Yaiza.
Chinijo Archipelago Marine Reserve
Until recently, the Chinijo Archipelago Marine Reserve was the largest in the world covering a massive 70 hectares! The reserve, which is the largest in Europe, surrounds the idyllic island of La Graciosa and is home to over 300 different marine species. It is also one of the most diverse areas on the planet for macroalgae species. Among the star species that can be found here are the rare Mediterranean monk seal and hundreds of bird species. For those who don’t fancy swimming, the tiny island of La Graciosa boasts numerous beaches, beautiful scenery and stunning mountain bike trails.
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The Native Architecture
Lanzarote’s old-world charm and rustic feel generally stems from the total lack of high rise apartment blocks. Lanzarote-born artist César Manrique can be heavily created for this as he campaigned all his life to ensure that the new hotels and buildings matched that of the native architecture. If you fancy finding out more about the exuberant artist, then head down to his foundation on the east side of the island where many of his numerous works can be seen on display.
As odd as it may sound (and it certainly does sound odd) Lanzarote is in fact home to Europe’s first underwater museum! Museo Atlantico lies off the coast of Las Coloradas Bay and is the brain child of British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor who uses the seabed as his canvas to attract plant specie and marine life. Whist not completed yet, certain parts are open already, including the Rubicon in which the artist has made real life sculptures based upon Lanzarote residents. The museum can either be dived or visited by submarine.
Cueva de los Verdes
Formed over 3,000 years ago, the cave of Cueva de los Verdes can be found in the Haria part of the island and is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Lanzarote. Formed from lava erupting through the surface, the tunnels have now been illuminated for visitors to walk through and there is even space for a concert hall! Often called the ‘Green Caves’, the tunnels were once used by pirates to smuggle in produce for the town.
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The Museum of International Contemporary Art
For history lovers, Lanzarote certainly won’t let you down. One of the oldest islands in the Canaries, Lanzarote is home to some fabulous historical buildings and sites. However, none can surpass the The Museum of International Contemporary Art in Arrecife. The museum itself is a stunning 18th century castle known as the Castillo de San José which stands over the bay, giving excellent coastal views in both directions. The museum tells the fascinating story of how locals have dealt with the ever-changing volcanic landscape over the last few hundred years.
We hope you have enjoyed our list of the best things to do in Lanzarote! Without doubt our favourite island in the Canaries and a definite must see!