Shimmering, palm-fringed beaches, ancient valleys, caves and secluded bays, rugged volcanic landscapes and a year-round temperate climate, this tiny island packs a punch when it comes to beautiful beaches, interesting sights, and an array of adventures and activities to enjoy. The fourth largest island in the chain, Lanzarote is home to a smaller population than expected, adding to its irresistible charm. Known ‘the Island of Eternal Spring,’ the island is dotted with quaint towns, eclectic artist communities, and sprawling seaside resorts that attract visitors from around the globe to soak up this idyllic island paradise.
Where is Lanzarote ?
Situated off the coast of West Africa and forming part of the Canary Islands archipelago, Lanzarote is a small Spanish islet with over 200 km (130 miles) of coastline and a variety of diverse and dramatic landscapes, ranging the rocky Famara mountain range in the north to the El Jable Desert in the south. The island is famous for its extraordinary geology and striking volcanic landscapes, which emerged about 15 million years ago, and features over 300 dormant volcanic cones and surreal, crinkly black lava fields. Miles of lava are interspersed with the odd windmill, small farming hamlets or world-famous horseshoe-shape windbreaks protecting the island’s nature-defying vineyards. These incredible natural landscapes are starkly juxtaposed with lush, palm-filled valleys, powder-white sandy beaches and gin-clear waters that attract pleasure-seekers and adventurers alike.
The island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and boasts an array of spectacular and intriguing terrains – the northern part of the island features a string of hidden coves and tiny inlets with calm, clear water for snorkeling while the east coast exudes a quaint fishing village charm with a small harbour and lovely whitewashed villas. The northern mountain ranges and towering cliffs of Famara are ideal for hang-gliding while the rugged coast boasts excellent conditions for anything that involves a wave. The crystal clear waters around the island are a paradise for snorkelers and scuba-divers and present an array of marine life second to none where exploring the colourful reefs is the order of the day.
Lanzarote is also home to ‘The Tunnel of Atlantis,’ a 5,000-foot (1,500 metre) long volcanic tunnel formed by the sudden eruption of the Monte Corona volcano over 20,000 years ago. Forming part of the Cueva de Los Verdes lava tube, the tunnel is the largest underwater volcanic tunnel in the world and can be explored with special permits.
When you’ve had enough of the sun and sand, head inland to explore the crunchy moonscape surface of the island’s surreal volcanic lava-scapes at the Volcano Park at Timanfaya; venture into the network of underground tunnels and the Green Cave of The Cueva de Los Verdes; or soak up some breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding islands from the lofty heights of the Mirador del Rio at the northern tip of the island.