Journey to discover the natural beauty of the island of Lanzarote

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

Author and references

The island of Lanzarote, in the Canary archipelago,? a perfect combination for those who prefer beach life but at the same time do not want to preclude interesting visits to the many natural beauties that this small area offers. We found a good compromise by visiting the main attractions in the morning and stopping at a different beach each afternoon.
The island itself? not ? in fact very large, and runs easily in a week / ten days at most. Its always temperate climate makes it an ideal destination at any time of the year: in fact, although it is part of the Spanish territory, it is affected by the influences of the pi? neighboring Africa both in terms of landscape and lifestyle.

1 day

To reach our destination, we booked with Ryanair a comfortable direct flight Bologna - Lanzarote lasting four and a half hours. Honestly leaving the flight in August? cost enough, if you have the chance? to be able to choose another period, prices drop significantly. We landed at the airport of Arrecife, the capital of the island, and here we immediately went to collect the car we already had. previously hired via the Internet, to reach Puerto del Carmen, another important location? tourist where we were staying for the whole week.
Our accommodation was a nice all-white residence, a color that characterizes many of the small agglomerations of houses or villages on the island. Forget the high multi-storey buildings we are used to in our cities, here everything? on a human scale and we try to damage the natural environment as little as possible.
To refuel we first took a tour in the shops near our residence, then by car we reached the center of Puerto del Carmen, much more? lively in terms of tourism and nightlife. Here you can find a nice shopping center, numerous souvenir shops and comfortably access the wide free beach, while in the evening the walk comes alive thanks to the numerous clubs and ethnic restaurants always besieged by tourists who like to stay up late. We have tried a couple of really good ones to taste the specialties? Spanish dishes like paella and tapas, and in the evening a walk along the promenade was practically a must! Not for nothing this town yes? awarded the name of "Rimini" of Lanzarote ...
Unfortunately, how often does it happen on the first day of vacation? flew between the trip and the accommodation in the apartments, from tomorrow for? you get right into the heart of the beautiful island of Lanzarote!

2 day

After recovering from the fatigue of the journey, on the second day of our holiday in Lanzarote we got up early to go immediately to explore the many natural beauties of the island.
The first stop we did? was an inland area of ​​the island dedicated to the production of wine, called La Geria. Here you will see whole expanses of small circular stone walls, inside which the Malvasia and Moscato vines grow. protected from the trade wind that blows here continuously.
The plants are immersed in funnels of lava ash up to 2 meters deep and this condition of the soil is so. particular is s? that an excellent wine is produced, much loved by the inhabitants of the island.
Continuing with our itinerary, we reached the second stage of the day, El Golfo, a crater that yes? formed directly on the coast. The most characteristic? impressive of this place? that, inside the basin, yes? formed a bright green lagoon, which owes its particular reflection to the presence of a stone typical of the place, the olivine, of an olive green color. The color show? sensational why? the lagoon? separated from the ocean by a strip of black sand.
Access to the gulf? only allowed on foot, so you leave your car in a free parking lot at the beginning of the route. The downhill ? rather problematic, as the feet sink into a mixture of sand and pebbles and not c '? nothing to hold on to but the rock face. However, the spectacle enjoyed from above repays your efforts, and what about the ascent? less tiring than the descent.
From the beach, the path continues along the coast, just above the ocean waves that crash violently on the rocks. I recommend that you bring a jacket with you for this tour, as there is always a lot of wind around here!
The third stage of our day is also one of the unmissable natural beauties of the island: Los Hervideros, high cliffs of lava rock constantly hit by gigantic waves. Over time, the flow of water has carved into the rocks a maze of tunnels and passages, which tourists can walk through while admiring the cobalt blue of the sea even more. close.
Close to Los Hervideros? It is also possible to visit, only from above, the Janubio salt flats, an expanse of colored panels.
After what? many natural beauties, we decided to devote ourselves to a bit? of sea life, starting to explore the beaches of the island. After a short passage to the Playa Blanca, which overlooks a comfortable walk with various hotels, clubs and shops where? You can also find sunbeds and umbrellas, we head towards the pi? unspoiled and famous Playa Papagayo, undoubtedly the most beautiful beach. known and visited of Lanzarote, located in Punta Papagayo in the extreme? south of the island. Playa Papagayo? considered a Nature Reserve, therefore it can only be accessed through a controlled barrier by paying a parking ticket. After leaving the car, the way to reach the beach on foot? still quite long but relatively easy even if between rocks and shrubs. Here you will find fine white sand and a crystalline and calm sea: its position inside an inlet, in fact, protects it from the wind that often blows on the island. The beach ? free and you will not find any kind of comfort.
And we have come so? at the end of the first full day in Lanzarote ... but we have just started exploring its wonders!

3 day

The natural beauties of the island of Lanzarote cannot be exhausted in a single day, so? the also the third morning of our vacation we got up early to go and discover the most? possible.
The first stop on our itinerary? was the Jardin De Cactus, the last work of the famous architect of the island C? sar Manrique, completed in 1991.
The cacti setting? very scenic, as these are arranged inside a huge amphitheater of volcanic rock, which can be walked on at concentric levels by climbing the steps.
Here are preserved 9700 cactus plants of all shapes and sizes, among which we can identify more? of a thousand different species from all over the world.
After having walked the steps along which the cacti are arranged, can you? go up another flight of stairs to the old mill overlooking the amphitheater, from which you have a complete view of the garden from above.
And we always talk about colors in the next stage of our itinerary, but this time the protagonist changes and the blue becomes undisputed: here we are at the Jameos del Agua, with the beautiful sculpture of a shrimp that indicates the entrance.
The Jameos del Agua are a series of cavities. and caves that were formed following the eruption of the Corona volcano. This ? the habitat of a species of blind and albino shrimp unique in the world (hence the shrimp at the entrance), what are we for? we weren't lucky enough to see.
Also thanks to the inspiration of the architect C? Sar Manrique, a part of these caves? been modeled and made accessible to visitors, who can so? plunge into its cavities? embellished with terraces, gardens, restaurants and bars. From a first part dedicated to catering with tables and sofas positioned in the suggestive context of the rock, you enter the real cave, characterized by crystal clear water in which? It is also possible to throw a coin and make a wish and cross it thanks to a small path carved into the lava.
From the cave you reach another truly spectacular part of the Jameos, that is a pool of very blue water surrounded by palm trees and exotic plants.
Near the Jameos del Agua and always formed by the eruption of the Corona volcano,? it is also possible to admire the Cueva de los Verdes, an underground volcanic cave to which you can? access only with guided tours, which descend for about 2 kilometers into the bowels of the earth.
Continuing to explore the beaches we passed by Playa de Arrecife, certainly the least characteristic of those visited, as it is located in the capital and behind it you can not admire beautiful natural landscapes but hotels and apartment blocks ... however? very large and spacious, also here with fine white sand. We arrived a little late and there was also a lot of wind, so? we found it practically deserted. I believe for? that with less windy days the number of bathers increases a lot ...

4 day

The Timanfaya National Park? surely the park more? extended and the pi? visited of Lanzarote, and for this reason we dedicated a whole day of our holiday on the island to him.
Most of the park, declared National in 1974, consists of an immense sea of ​​lava that extends to the ocean, and what? formed in 1730, when as many as 30 volcanoes erupted simultaneously, engulfing villages and cultivated fields over more than 50 square kilometers. The show that will present itself? here in your eyes it will be at the same time of unique beauty and desolation.
Given the amount of tourists that come to the park from all over the island, I recommend that you get here quite early, or at least in the morning. To welcome you you will find the beautiful statuette "El Diablo", symbol of the park built by the architect C? Sar Manrique.
Before entering the park itself, you can try a slightly different experience, or take a ride on the back of a dromedary, on which two of you get on, settling on the seats on the sides of the hump, and the cost? 12 Euros for a tour of about half an hour.
After our particular walk, we noticed that the queue of the cars had actually lengthened considerably, so if you can resist these beautiful animals I suggest you visit the park first and then stop here on your return, we had to stay in queue for more? one hour. The car must then be left in the parking lot of the observatory, as the visit of the craters is compulsorily done on coaches with a guided tour.
Since it was almost lunchtime, we decided to go around the park in the early afternoon and stop in the restaurant inside the observatory, which has a particularity? very interesting: here, in fact, the heat coming from the underground is channeled into a large barbecue, on which the chefs try their hand at cooking steaks, chicken and tasty skewers ... in short, a 100% natural cooking method!
That the volcano still retains a source of heat in depth? is illustrated very clearly by the guides in the observatory square: first they pour water into some metal pipes causing a very high jet of steam, then they put the dry grass in contact with the rock and this catches fire within a few seconds. You can also admire this show from the windows of the restaurant, sometimes the jets are so? impetuous who risk washing the windows!
After seeing these demonstrations, we took our seats on one of the coaches for the guided tour. The landscape that you? presented to our eyes? really surreal state: craters, expanses of lava rocks, no building or living form as far as the eye can? arrive.
After the tour to the Timanfaya National Park, which took up most of our day, we decide to rest in the remaining time available at Playa Puerto del Carmen, where we managed to return more? once during the holiday as it is very comfortable from our accommodation. Here we meet several bathers until? the sun does not set when most of them pour into the numerous bars and restaurants that are located on the seafront, while the elongated shape of the beach allows for beautiful walks with your feet in the water. For parking you will have to wedge yourself in the narrow streets of Puerto del Carmen, with a little luck you will be able to find a place not too far away.

5 day

If you want to know a little about the history of Lanzarote and its customs concerning above all the agricultural world, the right place for you? the Casa Museo del Campesino.
In front of the museum entrance, and near the large parking lot where you can leave your car for free, stands the Monument to the Campesinos, built by the architect C? Sar Manrique in honor of the hard-working farmers of the island, also known as the monument to fertility ?.
The entrance to the Casa Museo del Campesino? free and free, and apart from some artifacts or agricultural tools exhibited, hasn't we been excited more? from time to time.
Our itinerary continues with one of the most? famous on the island, the Mirador del Rio, a panoramic point also built by the architect C? sar Manrique on a rocky wall overlooking the sea.
The view from here? really breathtaking and moreover? the only point from which? It is possible to admire the small island of La Graciosa, right in front of the pi? north of Lanzarote. This islet? mainly desert and its barren ground contrasts sharply with the blue of the sea that surrounds it.
If the days are clear and not very windy, you can enjoy the show directly from the balconies overlooking the sea, otherwise if the climate is not? of the best can you? stay sheltered in the restaurant area, admiring the indoor panorama through the windows.
At the Mirador del Rio we combined a tour of the Wind Park and the San Gabriel Castle, which now houses the Archaeological Museum, but which we limited ourselves to visiting only from the outside.
The beach chosen for the afternoon? Playa de Famara, in the north-east of the island; you leave the cars for free on the edge of the beach and cross the fine sand dunes to get to the sea, while on the horizon and behind you? surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the mountains. Here too you can take long walks on the water's edge but be careful when swimming ... the sea currents make this place a paradise for surfers, so you will often find high waves and breakers: ideal if you want to have fun, not recommended for those who wants to take a quiet bath.

6 day

The architect C? Sar Manrique? surely the personality? artistic pi? influential of Lanzarote, which he contributed to modify and enrich thanks to his flair and his imagination. Going around the island, can't you? not to come across his works, whether they are simple statues or monumental complexes that blend well with the conformation of the territory itself. However, the place where you can? find the greatest concentration of his art? in Teguise, within the C? sar Manrique Foundation. In reality? the Foundation is located right inside one of the architect's houses, which in 1992 was opened to the public and transformed into a fully-fledged Museum of Modern Art.
The Foundation?, Like most of the buildings on the island, totally painted white on the outside, and as soon as you pass the ticket office you notice the variety? of the vegetation that decorates the driveways. The entrance ticket costs 8 Euros.
The structure of the house-museum? however very particular, in what? built on a lava flow and includes five large volcanic bubbles. It was surprising to see how Manrique managed to integrate his architectural elements in a totally harmonious way in an already natural context. existing, creating truly original design works.
In the first part of the route you stay outdoors: here the architect Manrique has created a real relaxation corner, including a swimming pool, an oven and a barbecue. Through steps carved into the rock, you reach the inside of the bubbles, each of which? characterized by furniture and decorations of a certain color, to make them different from each other. Every detail ? a real work of art and overall a very suggestive environment is created, which I had never seen anywhere else.
Released from the Foundation,? then it is possible to admire near the parking lot and in a roundabout just more? forward, two other works by the artist, built with moving elements, which exploit the constant force of the wind to rotate on themselves. Another structure of this type? also present in the garden inside the museum, and others are scattered along the streets of the island.
In the afternoon we went to the discovery of two different beaches: Playa Las Cucharas, on the Costa Teguise, where stretches of fine sand alternate with other stretches with small pebbles and particularly suitable for surfers due to the strong wind, and Playa de Matagorda, all 'about halfway? road between Puerto del Carmen and Arrecife airport, a beautiful stretch of sand completely free, but well served on the seafront by bars and shops.

7 day

The last day foresees a rather reduced program, since in the afternoon the plane that would take us back to Bologna was waiting for us. As a first stop we moved to Arrecife to visit the Castle of San Jos?, An ancient military fortress that now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, also set up on the initiative of the architect Manrique. Honestly, the Museum did not impress me, but on the other hand, I am not a great fan of contemporary art.
Finally, a quick stop on Playa de Los Pocillos, a kilometer-long beach just outside Puerto del Carmen, with fine sand and plenty of space between one bather and another. Leave the car on the seafront and camp on the immense free beach, along which you can take long walks and peaceful baths in the usually calm water.
And so what? ends the story of my week of vacation on the island of Lanzarote ... a week literally flown!

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