Lanzarote takes you to another time and another world. The lava-scarred moonscapes, black-sand beaches and windswept winelands of La Geria are just some of the attractions that entice you away from the poolside. And if its natural charms weren’t enough of a draw, the legacy of local architectural legend Cesar Manrique can be spotted all over the island.
Top six things to do in Lanzarote
1. Explore Timanfaya National Park
If you only visit one place in Lanzarote, then make sure it’s Timanfaya National Park. The scenery here is straight out of a sci-fi movie – you’ll feel like one minute you’re on the moon, the next on Mars. The Fire Mountain, with its steaming geysers, is a star attraction. Most tours follow the Lunar Route, which winds its way past dormant volcanoes. Guided walking tours and camel rides are also available throughout the park.
2. Discover the Jameos del Agua Caves
Located in northern Lanzarote, Jameos del Agua is a lava cave complex that was transformed into an architectural wonder by iconic local artist and architect, Cesar Manrique. The underground system, made up of tunnels and collapsed caves, boasts a visitor centre, complete with a restaurant, bar and a showstopping concert hall. Look out for the unique species of white blind crab that make their homes in the underground lake.
3. Visit Playa de Papagayo
Another must-visit in Lanzarote is Papagayo beach. Located in Los Ajaches Natural Park, it’s the island’s most picturesque stretch of sand. It’s a crescent of golden sand, washed by translucent waters and sheltered from the wind by two volcanic headlands. A short stroll away is the Mirador de Papagayo viewpoint, from which you can see the Isle of Lobos and Fuerteventura over the horizon. You can visit the beach by car, or on a boat trip.
4. Enjoy a vineyard tour
Lanzarote’s wine region, La Geria, is home to some unusual vineyards. Grapes are grown in thousands of pits shielded by semi-circular stone walls built around a single vine. This protects them from the wind and keeps the humidity consistent. This cultivation technique, with a backdrop of black ashy soil, makes these vineyards quite a sight to see. Join an organised tour to learn about Lanzarote’s wine production, the history of the wineries and – of course – to taste some wine, too.
5. Catch the ferry to La Graciosa
La Graciosa is the smallest inhabited Canary Island, and it’s just a 25-minute ferry ride away from Lanzarote’s north coast. With fewer than 700 residents, it’s the perfect place to relax and get away from it all. It’s like a land that time forgot – there aren’t any cars or proper roads, but it’s still easy to visit. There are regular crossings and boat tours around the island each day. Stroll around the sleepy village of Caleta del Sebo and head to Playa del Salado to chill on crowd-free golden sands with a volcano on the horizon.
6. Try your hand at some water activities
The island’s clear waters and year-round warm weather make Lanzarote a great place for water activities. There’s a great range of water sports available – snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, kayaking, kite surfing, wind surfing and jet skiing are among the most popular. If you’d prefer something less strenuous, go on a sailing trip or take the family on a wild whale and dolphin watching cruise to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat.