Lanzarote is located on the northeastern edge of the Canary archipelago. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that here on an area of 795 square meters. km there are about 300 volcanoes, whose eruptions in the 18-19 centuries formed a bizarre landscape. The island is under the protection of UNESCO and has the status of a biosphere reserve. The main city of the island is Arrecife. It is located on the east coast. Translated from Spanish, the name of the city means “reef”, because the city bay is bordered by a reef. Arrecife is a small city. It became the capital of the island only 150 years ago, so there are few attractions here. The castles of San Gabriel are located near the city embankment, to which the Punte de las Bolas bridge leads, and San Jose (17th century), which now houses an art gallery. Also very popular is the city beach of Playa Reducto and the resort of Playa Honda, located just to the west of the airport, where, in addition to beaches, tourists are attracted by the largest shopping center on the island.
According to bittranslators.com, the city of Arrecife is the birthplace of one of the most famous artists of the Canary Islands. – Cesar Manrique. The famous architect, sculptor and painter was born here in 1919. The unique works of Cesar Manrique can be seen throughout the island of Lanzarote. Cesar Manrique believed that it was necessary to preserve the volcanic appearance of the island, there should not be skyscrapers, only natural materials (volcanic rocks) should be used in architecture, and all buildings should be inscribed in the natural landscape. In the vicinity of Arrecife in the city of Taiche (Tahiche) is the House Museum of Cesar Manrique. It was built in 1982 on a lava field, and the rooms of the lower floor of the house are equipped directly in the voids of volcanic basalt. The house-museum contains a small art gallery, where, in addition to the works of Cesar Manrique, you can see paintings by Picasso. The building is surrounded by a picturesque garden with a swimming pool.
Also in the vicinity of Arrecife, it is worth visiting the cities of San Bartolome with the Tanit ethnographic museum, which presents the life of the island for the last 200 years; Mozaga with the Al Campesino monument, erected in 1968 by Cesar Manrique in gratitude to the island’s farmers for their work, and the museum of the main wine producer on the island of El Grifo (the museum is an old bar that tells about the history of wine production); Tiagua with El Patio Agricultural Museum – a copy of a mid-19th century farm; and the first capital of the island – Teguise (Teguise) with its late 18th century Spinola Palace (now Government House) and Santa Barbara Castle built on a high hill in the 16th century (now home to the Emigrant Museum).
The coast of Costa Teguise, located northeast of Arrecife, is one of the best places on the island for surfing and windsurfing. Costa Teguise has 4 yellow sand beaches and the only Water Park on the island.
To the north near the city of Gatis (Guatiza) on an area of 5 thousand square meters. m in the crater of an extinct volcano lies the Cactus Garden – the latest project of Cesar Manrique. Here are about 1.5 thousand species of cacti, both growing in the Canary Islands, and from America and Madagascar. Nearby are the picturesque coastal villages of Charco del Palo and Arrieta, with quiet beaches.
At the northeastern tip of the island of Lanzarote, the lifeless volcanic fields of Malpais de la Corona are located with two caves, which, thanks to the efforts of Cesar Manrique, turned into bizarre underground galleries. Caves of Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes are part of the 8-kilometer cave complex Tunnel de la Atlantida, formed several millennia ago, extending into the Atlantic Ocean. The tunnel was formed as a result of the eruption of the Monte Corona volcano, when the upper layers of lava flows flowing from the slopes of the volcano to the coast gradually cooled down, forming a kind of arch. This is the longest lava cave in the world. Today, a 6-kilometer section of the caves is located on land, and a 2-kilometer section goes under water. Music is constantly played in both caves, and from September to April, jazz and blues music concerts are given in auditoriums equipped inside. In the cave of Jameos del Agua there is a small lake where a rare species of blind white crab lives, found only at great depths in the sea.
A little north, from the city of Orsola (Orzola), boats depart through the two-kilometer strait to the island of La Graciosa (La Graciosa), protected by the National Park Chiniyo. The area of the island is 27 sq. km. There are legends that pirates lived here in the past, it is the island of La Graciosa that is described by Robert Stevenson in his famous book Treasure Island. In the southern part of the island stretched sandy beaches where you can relax. You can see the island of La Graciosa without going to it. A beautiful view of the island (one of the most fascinating on the island of Lanzarote) opens from the Mirador del Rio observation deck designed by Cesar Manrique. The observation deck is equipped on a volcanic rock at an altitude of 479 m. There is also a cafe with a glass wall, giving a panoramic view of the surroundings. To the south, it is worth visiting the city of Guinate, where the Tropical Park is located with 1000 species of tropical birds, including parrots.
On the north coast of Lanzarote, the main tourist area is the fishing village of Caleta de Famara. Here is the longest beach of the island, 5 km long, surrounded by rocks. However, for tourists who just want to sunbathe and swim, it is unlikely to suit. On the local coast, high waves constantly arise and gusty winds blow, which attracts surfers and kitesurfers here.
The southwestern part of the island of Lanzarote, occupied by the peaks of extinct volcanoes, craters and vast lava fields, is protected by the Timanfaya National Park (Timanfaya national park). The modern landscape of the park was formed as a result of the eruptions of hundreds of volcanoes that occurred between 1730 and 1736. It was one of the worst natural disasters recorded in the history of mankind. For 6 years, lava flows covered an area of 200 square meters. km, on which about 50 villages were located. Walking tours are arranged in the park (there are two hiking trails), excursions by bus (in the northern part of the park, where in some areas the surface temperature of the earth reaches +100 degrees, and at a depth of 10 m – +600 degrees!) And on camels (in the southern parts of the park where you can see the most incredible volcanic formations). The strength of the heat of the local “Fire Mountains” (Montanas de Fuego), as the locals call them, can be understood when the guide pours a bucket of water into a small earth fault, and the water bursts out in a few moments in the form of a column of steam; or, in the restaurant “El Diablo”, all dishes of which are prepared on a natural brazier – a grate installed above a depression in the ground. In the vicinity of the Timanfaya National Park is the famous “wine valley” La Geria. Here, in the middle of the lava fields, vineyards are scattered on small pieces of land. Tourists are invited to visit wine cellars and taste local wine.
Interesting natural attractions are located on the west coast of Lanzarote. Near the city of El Golfo (El Golfo) is the so-called “Green Lagoon” (Charco de los Clicos). A small lake of light green color was formed on the coast as a result of erosion by the sea of one of the volcanic craters. The color of the water in the lake is due to the presence of many algae. The bright green water contrasts sharply with the black volcanic rock that surrounds the local coast, which gives these places a special flavor. To the south is the coast of Los Hervideros, which means “boiling cauldron” in Spanish. The effect of water seething is created when the waves hit the volcanic rocks and, penetrating the rock faults, splash out. Nearby, on the shore of a small lagoon, isolated from the sea after the volcanic eruptions of the 18th century, you can see the salt fields of Salinas de Janubio. It is the largest salt mining site in the Canary Islands.
A few kilometers to the south is the resort town of Playa Blanca. (Playa Blanca). Families with children mainly rest here, because this is a quiet place where there are no crowds of tourists and noisy nightclubs. Playa Blanca is also notable for the fact that a ferry runs from here and boats leave for the island of Fuerteventura. The resort is framed from the north by the reserved mountains of Los Ayaches and the extinct volcano Montana Roja. In addition to beaches and nature, Playa Blanca is interesting for the 18th century Castillo de las Coloradas fort, from the observation tower of which in the old days a sound signal was signaled about the approach of pirates, and a wide promenade with restaurants, bars and shops. To the east of the city stretches one of the best beaches of the island – Papagayo.
25 km northeast is the main tourist center of the island of Lanzarote – the resort of Puerto del Carmen (Puerto del Carmen). The resort area with beaches of dark volcanic sand stretches for 6 km along the coast. Along the beaches is the Avenida de la Playas promenade, where you will find the best shops and restaurants. Avenida de la Playas is the recognized center of Lanzarote’s nightlife, with numerous bars, nightclubs and the island’s only casino. In Puerto del Carmen, it is worth visiting the extensive theme park Rancho Texas, which is a zoo with a variety of species of animals and birds. Every year, every week that falls on September 8, the resort hosts a celebration dedicated to the patron saint of these places. In addition, a colorful carnival starts here in February. At the western outskirts of Puerto del Carmen, the village of Puerto Calero is interesting (Puerto Calero), which offers a variety of water excursions, including a small submarine. Also in Puerto Calero there is the Museum of Dolphins and Whales.