The 5-Minute Guide To… Lanzarote
Sandy beaches, volcanic landscapes and quirky architecture. That’s Lanzarote in a nutshell. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re planning a holiday to this Canary Island…
We love to celebrate a birthday here at Thomson HQ. Any excuse for cake and we’re there. So this week, we’re toasting César Manrique. He was an artist, an architect, and a bit of a legend in his homeland of Lanzarote, and it would have been his 95th birthday tomorrow. His work is all over the island – you can hardly swing a cat without hitting one of his creations.
So, in honour of Lanzarote’s poster boy, we’ve put together a quick 5-minute guide to this year-round sunshine spot. Here goes…
Where is it?
Lanzarote is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, which sit in the Atlantic Ocean 80-odd miles off the Moroccan coast.
Who goes there?
Penelope Cruz and Jenson Button are both fans. And David Cameron spent his Easter break here (but he’s gone now, so don’t worry – there’s no risk of spotting him in a dodgy pair of swim shorts).
What’s the weather like?
Nice and warm – in fact, the island’s nickname is ‘the land of eternal spring’. In the summer, temperatures are pushing 30 degrees and there’s barely a drop of rain. Even in winter you can expect things to be in the high teens and early 20s, so you can swap your Uggs and bobble hat for a shorts-and-tee combo.
What can I do there?
Make Timanfaya National Park your first port of call. The moon-like landscape here is made up of around 100 volcanic craters known as the Fire Mountains – pour water into one of the boreholes and it’s vapourised in seconds. Manrique designed the restaurant here, and the chefs do away with bog-standard ovens and cook meals using the volcanic heat instead.
Put Jameos del Agua – another César creation – on your to-see list, as well. It’s a series of caves that hide a 600-seater concert hall, tropical gardens, a chic bar and restaurant, and a swimming pool.
On the beach side of things, you’ve got the towns of Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. Both are home to a handful of golden sandy beaches, plus loads of bars and restaurants. The south coast has a couple of white-sand spots – head for Playa Blanca or Papagayo.
Where can I stay?
You’ll get a real feel for Manrique’s work at the Hotel Melia Salinas (pictured below) – the gardens and pool were designed by the man himself. Or there’s the H10 Timanfaya Palace, which lines up sea-view pools, a trio of restaurants and bedrooms with pillow menus and fluffy bathrobes. If you’ve got the family in tow, a villa’s a good option. We like Villa Cency, which has its own pool and is only 10 minutes’ walk from the beach.
Where can I find out more?
Take a look here. You’ll find loads of info on the island and what you can do there. There’s a rundown of all the different resorts, too, so you can see which one you fancy.