Lanzarote, lying 100km off the coast of Africa is a very popular holiday destination. With year round sunshine and temperatures on average no lower than 20ºC, it's no wonder thousands of Brits flock to the island every year.
As you'd expect from an island in the Canaries, there are beautiful diverse landscapes, clear blue waters and plenty of activities to enjoy. Snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and parasailing are just a few of the coastal activities, with some great sights to see further inland.
Places like the Timanfaya National Park with it's breath taking volcanoes and craters is something definitely worth seeing, and you could enjoy the view from a helicopter tour of the island if that sounds appealing to you. If you're interested in seeing what's below the water without getting wet, you could also take a submarine safari in one of only five commercial submarines in the world!
All of this, and we're just scratching the surface. There is so much more to see and do in Lanzarote. If it's a cheap Lanzarote holiday that you're looking for however, you'll be best off looking to go in early May or late October and avoid the busy summer season. You won't be missing out on too much by leaving out the summer, as the year round sunshine and heat will still give you a greatly enjoyable experience.
Lying 100 km off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands. Believed by some to be the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis, with a warm dry climate and 213km of coastline, Lanzarote offers a unique blend of year round holiday choices, perfect for as both a summer and a winter destination.
Why Go To Lanzarote?
From dramatic rocky landscapes to white sandy beaches, family friendly Lanzarote truly offers something for everyone. Its diverse landscape and Atlantic location provide a choice of safe shallow beaches or dramatic swells, perfect for a wide range of watersports including snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and parasailing. The lunar landscape of the Timanfaya National Park is a breathtaking encounter with volcanoes and craters, and the spectacular cave of Los Verdes should not be missed. The more adventurous can take a helicopter flight around the island, or a submarine safari in one of only 5 commercial submarines worldwide. For a more relaxing break, take in a spot of shopping at some of the stylish shops and boutiques or haggle for traditional craft items at one of the many colourful traditional markets.
Who Is Lanzarote Popular With?
Lanzarote has something for everyone. Resorts are family friendly with safe beaches and plenty of activities to keep the kids happy. Lanzarote is also popular with couples who can take advantage of great shopping and nightlife. Many of the resorts in Lanzarote have developed from old fishing villages and retain much of their traditional character despite the development of tourism. Even in Puerto del Carmen, the busiest of the resorts, the bustling centre is matched by the more relaxed Old Town area.
When To Go To Lanzarote?
Lanzarote offers year round sunshine and is popular as both a summer and a winter destination. Temperatures typically range from 25-30C during the summer and 20-25C during the winter months. The trade winds can make the island quite breezy, but provide great conditions for watersports all year round. During the summer months Lanzarote enjoys approximately 10-11 hours of sunshine per day, and about 7-8 hours during the winter months.
Lanzarote - The Place
Lanzarote is an island of outstanding natural beauty, offering a diverse and dramatic landscape from volcanoes and craters to sandy beaches and crystal clear water. The coastline is largely rocky but the main resorts along the eastern coast of the island have taken full advantage of the fabulous sandy beaches that can be found there.
Lanzarote is Spanish, however the locals regard themselves as Canarian first and Spanish second. It is an island rich in history and tradition with a wealth of museums, archaeological sites and art galleries. The influence of the artist and designer Cesar Manrique encouraged the sympathetic development of tourism on Lanzarote in the 1970s and 1980s and as a result there is no high rise building or billboard advertising on the island. All buildings are white with green, brown or blue paintwork, signifying the earth, vegetation and the sea. The villages and towns retain much of their traditional heritage and architecture with wooden balconies, courtyards and cobbled streets. Fiestas take place in villages and towns throughout the year and visitors are welcome to join in and enjoy the colourful costume parades and street carnivals.
Lanzarote does not have a wild party scene like Tenerife or Ibiza, however there is still plenty of nightlife to suit most tastes. Puerto del Carmen has the busiest nightlife with pubs, restaurants and nightclubs arranged around a central ‘strip’, open until the early hours. The smaller resorts tend to be more low key, with a wide range of bars and restaurants dispersed throughout the local area. There are a good number of sports and family bars, and many hotels provide entertainment programs with early evening kids clubs, live music and dancing.
Lanzarote enjoys a special duty free tax status which makes shopping for perfumes, alcohol and cigarettes much cheaper than the rest of the EU. The main resorts have their own shopping areas with plenty of designer shops and boutiques. For smart new shopping complexes, head for the Biosfera Centre At Puerto del Carmen or the Marina Rubicon near Playa Blanca. For more traditional goods, there is a large market in Teguise every Sunday morning, selling handmade table cloths, African wood carvings, lacework and the local green olivine jewellery. Most of the towns and villages have their own market days where it is quite acceptable to haggle over prices.
Many bars and restaurants serve traditional Tapas, and indeed much of the traditional cuisine is similar to that of southern Spain, generally mild in flavour with plenty of tuna, mussels and calamari on the menu. As well as traditional restaurants, all of the resorts offer a wide variety of cuisine from around the world including English, Italian, Chinese and Indian. The tap water in Lanzarote is treated sea water and is not suitable for drinking, however bottled water can be bought very cheaply from any supermarket.
Local Lanzarote Customs
The local people are extremely friendly and welcome visitors to their country. The local language is Spanish but many, particularly in the resorts do speak English. Lanzarote is a Catholic country and visitors are therefore expected to show respect when visiting churches by covering legs and shoulders. Most shops and supermarkets open 8am to 9pm but will close for siesta 1pm to 4pm. Most restaurants and bar bills include tax but not service, and it is customary to leave a tip of 5-10%.