5 Things to Do in Lanzarote
1. Timanfaya National Park
This introduces the traveller to the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote, created from more than 100 volcanoes erupting. The area is like a Martian landscape, dotted with rare plant species. It is best to take the coach trip to the park (this is included in the admission price of 8 euros). In addition, a free guided walk can be provided free of charge. The temperature just a few metres below the ground is very hot; dry brush thrown into a hole in the ground catches fire and water poured into a borehole turns into steam! For adventurous types a camel ride across the volcanic landscape can be very enjoyable and children can also join in on this. The experience is both enjoyable and educational and brings visitors to within a close range of an active volcano. There is a decent restaurant near the volcano’s summit, with good food and a chance to have your meal cooked by volcanic heat.
2. Famara Beach
This beautiful unspoilt beach is just right for surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers. The crystal clear waters and fine white sand provide a contrast with the backdrop of cliffs(70 million years old) and the ever-present wind cools and refreshes during the summer months. The village at the southern end of the beach (Caleta de Famara) has excellent seafood restaurants and there are bars nearby where snacks and cold drinks can be enjoyed alongside the water’s edge. The beach is located near the old Majorcan capital of Teguise and apartments can be rented near to the beach.
3. Montana Roja
For families with young children, this extinct volcano can provide an interesting walk and the experience of seeing inside a crater. It takes about 45 minutes to walk up to the summit and a further hour to walk around the crater. It is possible to pick up rocks and lava in the crater, along with seashells that have come up from the sea bed during the eruption! It is a free and enjoyable activity and the easy walk up the volcano’s side, helped by signs on rocks to guide you along your way, is suitable for the whole family.
4. Jardin de Cactus
Cesar Manrique founded this garden on the site of a disused quarry and mill in Guatiza. Greeted by a cactus sculpture, the visitor then walks through spikey cactus gates made of forged metal. The gardens are set down away from the wind, in a hole in the ground, following the shape of the original quarry. Various paths wind through the garden, taking the visitor to different levels. Lave rock provides a natural background to the plants; in the centre, there are water features and bridges linking the pathways. Goldfish and water lilies bring a contrast to the grey and green colours of the 7,200 cactus plants in the garden.
5. Fundacion Cesar Manrique
Born in Lanzarote, Manrique was instrumental in safeguarding the natural heritage of the island. This led to Lanzarote becoming a Biosphere Reserve, by UNESCO, in 1993. He balanced the architectural values of local traditions with modern concepts. A visit to his house is a unique experience and is an example of art and nature in harmony. It is a beautiful house carved into volcanic rocks, with five natural volcanic bubbles making up the rooms, connected by tunnels. Sculptures and artwork by Manrique are on display and the trip is good for those interested in art, architecture and ecology. For 38 euros, an all-day tour, including a buffet lunch, can be enjoyed by all the family; people may come away with a changed outlook on the way they live and connect to their surroundings.