There's a 10-metre strip of sand between the ocean and the runway, so landing is quite spectacular. Seconds before we had noticed that Lanzarote is red and bare. Quite bare. Did we like it at first sight? Not really. However, temperatures in the last week of December were fine. That made up for a lot. When we returned, we fell in love with the island. Well, at least I did.
So what made me change my mind? After a second visit when we'd rented the house below in Temisa Valley for nearly three weeks, the island entered my personal top-3. Lanzarote has everything, beaches, culture, landscapes, spectacular views, an extremely kind and proud population, and impressive volcans. Yes, and wind. It's closest to the Sahara, so every now and then you have to cope with the calima that brings sand and heat.
--- 18 Dec 2017, Tabayesco (E) 👁 finca chafariz ---
So this is where I start my tour. Meet Temisa valley, with Arrieta and its numerous excellent fish restaurants at a five minutes' drive. Together with Haría's valley it is considered one of the most beautiful ones. Hidden behind the steep rocks in the very north, it is green as this is where the rain falls. If it falls.
--- 27 Dec 2017, Temisa (E) ---
In the very north, a former military outpost on a 500-metre high cliff - to prevent pirates from invading the north western coast - has been transformed into the Mirador, a spectacular observation platform by the famous architect César Manrique. Quite close is a cul-de-sac that's equally windy and also offers a stunning view on the islet of La Graciosa.
--- 16 Dec 2019, nr Órzola (E) 👁 more césar manrique ---
A lovey place to visit with the Saturday market, lots of local culture, some good restaurants and a social market where the baker - try the chocolate pastry -, the butcher and a fresh food plaza are located.
--- 29 Dec 2018, Haría (E) ---
Between the green north and the start of the National Park in the south, you will find Teguise, former capital. As such it was furnished with a nicely sized church and some government buildings around a huge square. Teguise is a gem. It was built inland centuries ago to protect the capital from pirates and invaders.
--- 27 Dec 2018, Teguise (E) ---
Teguise's centre has been fully restored. Lots of quaint little boutiques and good restaurants can be found in this quarter.
--- 27 Dec 2017, Teguise (E) ---
When it was no longer necessary to protect the government from pirates, the capital was moved to Arrecife in the east. It has a harbour which makes it the main entry point for goods, nowadays together with the airfield of course. It's not the quaintest places on the island, but it's fine for shopping. Two highlights: on the Gran Hotel's topfloor (17th) you can have breakfast or lunch with a majestic view ...
--- 3 Jan Oct 2019, Arrecife (E) ---
César Manrique was responsible for a number of creations and measures that allowed Lanzarote, in spite of tourism, to remain an unspoilt island. One of these ideas was to create Charco de San Ginés in Arrecife, a lagoon surrounded by terrace restaurants near the heart of the city.
--- 18 Dec 2017, Arrecife (E) 👁 more césar manrique ---
--- 3 Jan 2021, Arrecife (E) ---
Switching to the western coast takes around half an hour by car. Satellites are being tracked in this contraption. It's situated between a ravine and the cliffs of Famara, and the road that leads to it has a record number of potholes. The view to the left, see below, is stunning.
--- 10 Dec 2019, nr Barranco de Chafarìs ---
The pictures in this site are XXLs, so a video would have slowed down this page even more. But suppose I'd slotted a vid in instead of the image below, you could have heard the thundering wind up here. I had to sit down to keep my balance.
--- 10 Dec 2019, nr Cliffs of Famara ---
Always windy, it is a spot where the Sahara desert drops its sand now and then. A two-man team clears the road once every week. The place breathes a rasta lifestyle and is populated by a mix of wakeboarders, kitesurfers, naturists and people who stroll to and fro along the 3-mile shore. A full English breakfast is 8 euros, juice and coffee included.
--- 10 Dec 2019, Famara ---
Wherever you are on the island, the landscape is different. Its shades vary from monochrome to a warm palet. This is the view at Mala from the east coast.
--- 8 Jan 2021, Mala (E) ---
One of the advantages of the wind playing around with the sand, the shape and surface of the dunes change nearly every day and footsteps are automatically erased. I could fill a page with them. May be I will one time.
--- 10 Dec 2019, Famara 👁 more sand patterns ---
In the very south you will find a series of beaches that is named after one of them: Papagayo. Golden sand, shielded from the wind, never busy, great chiringuito with a splendid view. Either walk for 45 minutes or pay 3 euros for admission to Pothole Avenue and allow your kidneys to leave your body on an extremely bumpy and dusty track.
--- 19 Dec 2019, nr Playa Blanca (E) ---
Uga is a lovely village that is situated between the wine region La Geria and Timanfaya National Park.
--- 1 Jan 2021, Uga (E) ---
Undoubtedly, this is Lanzarote's highlight and perhaps of the Canary archipelago. Between 1730 and 1736, a quarter of the island was added as a result of continuous volcano eruptions. Now it is UNESCO biosphere. The absence of vegetation, the extreme roughness of the forms and the variety of the existing colours (red, brown, beige, black and orange), next to the silhouette of the volcanoes, all these features give the park an extraordinary beauty.
--- 28 Dec 2017, Yaiza (E) 👁 more timanfaya ---
As it is a protected area, you are not allowed to walk, ride or drive through this landscape except with a bus you are not allowed to get out of. Beforehand it didn't appeal to us at all, too touristy, but looking back it was one of the highlights of this holiday. You can only understand the massive scale of this landscape when you're smack in the middle of it.
--- 28 Dec 2017, Yaiza (E) 👁 more timanfaya ---
Aka El Golfo, this is a lake of unusual green colour. It was formed in a crater of one of the many volcanoes the west side of which is now completely eroded by wind and powerful waves. A type of algae is responsible for the colour in the water.
--- 28 Dec 2019, El Golfo (E) ---
Lanzarote has seen a lot of rain in November and January, which is quite unusual. The upside is that the fields are covered with little yellow flowers.
--- 09 Jan 2021, Venegueta (E) 👁 lanzarote ---
Beautiful, isn't it? Well, to tell you the truth, it's an ICM of silk scarves outside a shop in Puerto Calero that I angled at 90 degrees. I tried to get a real sunset, but it's a half hour's drive from where I am right now, to get to the beach. I did it twice and came back with nothing. So, Mr. Lazybones made this one, to celebrate my birthday ☺.
--- 28 Dec 2020, Puerto Calero (E) 👁 icm ---