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…
Lanzarote is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, which sit in the Atlantic Ocean 80-odd miles off the Moroccan coast.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Author: Laura Weeden
Published: April 23, 2014
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