So we decided to have a little winter sun – we deserved it ! After a frustrating time looking at all the holiday sites we booked a package holiday with Jet2. The hotel we chose was the Flora which is near the old harbour in Puerto del Carmen. With hindsight we think it was a good move being in town as we could easily walk to shops, bike hire, diving shops & bars. Anyway a little about Lanzarote….
The island of Lanzarote lies just 125 kilometres off Africa’s Saharan Coast and is the most easterly of the Canary Islands (Spain). The island is 60km long and 20 km wide, making it the fourth largest island in the Archipelago.
One of the first things that visitors notice is that nearly all of the buildings are white – this is largely thanks to the work of local artist, César Manrique, who worked tirelessly to protect the island’s traditional architectural style and avoid over-development.
Lanzarote has a Subtropical Desert climate with average daytime temperatures ranging from about 21°C in January to 29°C in August. The island receives, on average, just 18 days of rain per year, making it a very popular destination for sun-seekers.
Volcanic in original, large areas of the island are dominated by volcanic scenery; the spectacular Montañas del Fuego were created during the eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736 when over 100 volcanoes erupted and devastating a large part of the South-west of the island. Even today, temperatures just below the surface reach over 400°C. Many of Lanzarote’s most popular tourist attractions are also volcanic in origin, including El Golfo (a flooded and partially eroded volcanic crater) and Jameos del Agua (part of one the World’s longest volcanic caves).
Unusually for a volcanic island, many of Lanzarote’s beaches are of golden sand (Playa Blanca, Papagayo, Famara) and even white sand (Caleton Blanco). As you night expect, much of the outdoor activities are based around the sea, with great surfing at Famara, windsurfing at Costa Teguise and several great scuba diving locations around the island.
We found Lanza an island of contrasts. On the coast you have lots of tourist development – the sort I don’t like; Irish bars, restaurants selling an all day “full English” and sports bars. Call me a travel snob but the point of going to a different country is to see and experience its culture ! It doesn’t take much effort to get away from the fat tattoo’d lager soaked tourists. Out of the towns the landscape changes quickly to a “lunar landscape” of volcanic activity which is brilliant to explore. Away from the coast the towns & villages are have a local feel with no “Full English” in sight.
The bottom line – we had a great time in Lanzarote and would go back as we feel there is more to discover. Links to each days blog below…