Lying on the easternmost edge of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a geological wonder – with 300 volcanic cones calling the island home. But don’t be thinking that its otherworldly stature means you have to compromise on fun; Lanzarote is home to tonnes of beautiful beaches, tempting restaurants and cultural hotspots.
It’s easy to see why Lanzarote is such a popular holiday destination in Europe, with the island often regarded as the most aesthetically pleasing of all of the Canaries. However, this popularity doesn’t mean that there are no hidden gems to be found. Lanzarote is home to a number of beautiful secret finds that are sure to give you a true sense of what this island has to offer.
Head to Haría to find The Bosquecillo, a gorgeous outdoor area that’s perfect for giving you a whole new perspective of the island. Now, in terms of your typical forest you may be a tad underwhelmed, but this wooded area is the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful weather with your friends and family. With a children’s play area, built-in BBQs and tons of picnic tables, it’s a great spot to enjoy some al fresco fun on your holiday to Lanzarote. Plus, the views from the top down the valley towards Famara are breathtaking. Brave one of the uphill walking routes if you fancy earning your lunch – you can rest when you reach the summit!
Castillo de San Jose
Built on the orders of the Spanish King Carlos III, Castillo de San Jose is a spectacular semi circular fortress that rises imposingly above Arrecife on the easterly edge of the island. Initially construction started back in 1776 with a goal to defend the island against pirate attacks, in fact the main benefit was providing islanders with much needed employment during a time of hardship and famine. With semicircular walls facing the sea, the castle is now home to a contemporary art museum, with many beautiful display spaces located throughout the structure – another testament to the legend of César Manrique within Lanzarote. Perfect for a calm, cultural wander, enjoy the views from the panoramic windows overlooking the harbour.
Fancy an escape to an untouched island during your break in Lanzarote? Look no further than La Graciosa, a tiny island paradise located off the northern coast of Lanzarote. This unspoilt spot is easy to reach thanks to a short ferry ride, and once you arrive you’ll be struck by the chilled out vibe and incredible, postcard-perfect beaches. With no tarmaced roads and only 600-700 people calling the island home, it’s a truly unique escape from the hustle and bustle seen in Lanzarote. If you’re feeling energetic check out one of the hiking routes, or just park yourself in one of the renowned fish restaurants near the water and watch the world go by.
Want to get up close and personal with some of Lanzarote’s infamous volcanoes? For a truly unique wander then head north to the town of Tias, away from the tourist hotspot of Timanfaya National Park (which is also worth a visit!). The volcanic crater at El Cuervo is a magnificent example of the rugged beauty in Lanzarote, and is widely recognised as one of the most dramatic looking volcanoes around. A crack in the outer wall allows you access right into the centre of this incredible volcano – a spot which many say has a humbling, and even sometimes unsettling, aura about it.
When it comes to unspoilt beauty in Lanzarote you may have already heard of Los Charcones, a place with a mythical, magical reputation amongst visitors to the island. These natural swimming pools are located in the south, not far from the popular resort of Playa Blanca.
It’s only accessible via a dirt track, and the journey can be a bit tricky – but it’s well worth the effort. The pools, boasting all different shapes and sizes, are the perfect place to enjoy a dip with a difference, and there’s something special about plunging into the natural pools dotted amongst the rugged, volcanic landscape. Plus, they’re safer than being in the open sea, with the current and other factors to contend with.
El Golfo plays host to the Green Lagoon, which is on the west coast of Lanzarote, and presents one of the more unusual sites on the island. The lagoon is formed by seawater that has become trapped, with the mix of algae turning it a striking, vibrant green colour – quite a contrast to the volcanic black landscape jutting up around its borders. Head to the nearby village of El Golfo along the coast to make the most of some of the world’s best fish restaurants – perfect for a post-exploring bite to eat.
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