Lanzarote Holidays – A fantastic year-round destination
Whichever of its nicknames you choose to use – ‘Island of a Hundred Volcanoes’, ‘Island of Fire’ or ‘The Hawaii of Europe’ – Lanzarote, the most easterly of the Canary Islands, ticks all the right boxes for many. It’s a holiday playground, a hotbed of super-dramatic scenery and home to a unique culture that is a pot-pourri of Spanish, Canarian and African roots.
There really is nowhere like Lanzarote, not even among its six other sister islands. The landscape is different, the climate is different and ultimately, any holiday to Lanzarote is different from any other holiday you’ve ever experienced before. So make the most and enjoy the beaches, but also explore this island and all it has to offer, no matter what kind of holiday experience you’re looking for.
For sunbed warriors and junior splash-meisters, the island has 99 beaches along 156 miles of coastline. Costa Teguise has the pick of the bunch for young children while in the south, Playa Blanca occupies a 9-kilometre-wide expanse of coastline carved with several sandy crescents.
Away from the sandcastles and surf, Lanzarote has undeniably the most eye-popping scenery in the Canary Islands. Shaped by earth, wind and fire, the interior combines moonscapes, mountains and meadows punctuated by sugar cube villages and studded with 100 volcanic cones. Timanfaya National Park is the star attraction, a foreboding reminder of Lanzarote’s explosive past and home to awe-inspiring displays of the intense heat bubbling just inches underfoot.
Also underground lies one of the planet’s longest network of volcanic tubes and grottoes through which you wander with multilingual guides at Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua. Many of these natural attractions have benefitted from the design and development skills of Lanzarote’s local hero, Cesar Manrique, a name you’ll keep coming across during island explorations.
Environmental protector, architect and designer, the late Manrique was the man responsible for ensuring that the landscape remains true to the island’s character. It’s thanks to him that you won’t find any garish house painting, any roadside billboards or any high-rise buildings in Lanzarote.
While Mother Nature may have provided the most thrilling attractions, the hand of man has added several squeal-inducers for children. As well as the Wild West theme park of Rancho Texas, there are camel rides and go-karting, submarine safaris and boat trips – plenty of activities to keep the kids happy during a seaside reprieve.
Having exhausted the children, when the sun slips over the horizon, it’s the adults and teenagers turn in the buzzing nightspots of the resorts. Puerto del Carmen is party central with a huge choice, from family bars to bop-till-breakfast clubs, as well as cabaret shows and live music venues.
Aside from the neon lights, if there’s one thing you can’t fail to notice in Lanzarote it’s the phenomenal palette of natural colours, especially in the evening, so before you go out make a date with the sunset and watch the landscape comes alive as the sky deepens from the sharpest of blues, through blazing oranges to the deepest of clarets.
The original inhabitants of Lanzarote actually named their island Tite-Roy-Gatra, or coloured mountain, in reference to the dusky red Timanfaya mountain. But the spectacular show of colours doesn’t end there. Between the whitewashed towns and villages, pockets of green pepper the dusty terrain.
Wine was, and still is to a certain extent, one of the island’s chief assets, particularly popular in the courts of European nobility and appearing in the works of Shakespeare as a ‘cup of Canary’. The harvest isn’t cultivated from your normal vineyard though. In La Geria, small crescent-shaped pockmarks dot the black ash, each one sheltering a solitary green vine.
The green theme continues further north in Haria, one of the most fertile areas of the island, where lies the ‘valley of a thousand palms’. Legend has it that the trees were replanted every time there was a birth in the village, two for every boy, and one for every girl.
At El Golfo a near-luminous green lagoon provides a vivid contrast to the surrounding black sand and neighbouring blue ocean. The lagoon was once graced by a scantily-clad Raquel Welch during the filming of One Million Years BC, a Technicolor accolade to the multiple hues of Lanzarote.
About the author
Joe Cawley is a travel writer and author of the award-winning More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman. His work has been published in most of the UK’s national newspapers plus many international travel magazines and specialist websites. He lives in the hills of Tenerife with his family and an assortment of wildlife. You can follow Joe on Twitter @theWorldofJoe or via his blog at www.joecawley.co.uk
When to go to Lanzarote
So when is the best time to head to Lanzarote and get an eyeful of colour? Anytime really. The Canary Islands enjoy year-round sunshine, especially the eastern islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Having said that, if you can avoid the summer months you’ll find equal sunshine but with a bit more elbow room. Late June or mid-September are idyllic, with the ocean thermostat set at ‘balmy’ and the swathes of sand uncluttered by towels and flip-flops. Winter too is a time when those in the know abandon the grey skies and cold of northern Europe for guaranteed sunshine and warmth.
The weather in Lanzarote
The weather in Lanzarote is sunny throughout the year, with temperatures averaging between 21-29°C. The hottest months are July, August and September, with temperatures in the mid to high twenties. Spring and Autumn temperatures hover around 23-25°C, and even in winter the mercury will rarely drop below 18-21°C.
During the winter, evening temperatures can get chilly (down to around 10°C), so it is advisable to pack a warm top, and the months of January – February may see the odd outburst of rain. Peak summer evening temperatures range between 12- 21 °C.
Getting the best deal
By taking holidays to Lanzarote between May-June or September-October, you can take advantage of off-season prices on both hotels and flights. Generally, booking early gives you a much better chance of getting the best deals. Bear in mind that the Easter period and July will be more expensive due to the school holidays. To save money, try shopping around for flights from Glasgow, Newcastle, Bournemouth and other regional airports.
You can find the best prices we have to offer on package holidays to Lanzarote by looking at the deals below or alternatively by visiting our late deals page. We also have some great deals to Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
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Airport and transport need to know
Lanzarote Arrecife (ACE) airport is small but busy, and has recently been developed with an additional second terminal. Terminal 1 is where most of the shops and restaurants are found.
The airport is located between Puerto del Carmen and Arrecife. You can fly to Lanzarote from London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, as well as numerous smaller airports such as Leeds/Bradford and Exeter.
Transfer from the airport to Arrecife takes around 28 minutes, to Costa Teguise around 34 minutes, to Playa Blanca around 56 minutes and to Puerto del Carmen around 31 minutes.
The taxi rank is located right outside the arrival hall at Terminal 1. Taxis run on a meter, and a maximum of 4 people can be taken per vehicle. Private car hire is highly affordable, starting from around €15 per day, with petrol much cheaper than in the UK. You must drive on the right-hand side of the road.
The bus service from the airport is limited. There are no shuttle buses to the main resorts, although a limited public bus service does run to Arrecife and back.
As you’re flying into Lanzarote, the desolate landscapes might appear uninspiring but rest assured, once you reach ground level you’ll quickly start to discover the island’s appeal and learn why this sun-kissed sub-tropical island has become a firm favourite on the holiday destination map.