Lanzarote is one of the most visited members of the Canary Islands, situated off the coast of west Africa. Famed for its year-round sun, sandy beaches, and spectacular volcanic landscapes, Lanzarote makes an alluring holiday destination for everyone from couples to families.
If you’re up for an adventure, there are plenty to be had here, with lava fields, lofty mountains, and craggy coastlines to explore. When it comes to romance, Lanzarote has a trick or two up her sleeve thanks to underground restaurants, dreamy viewpoints, and swaying palm groves. Families, meanwhile, love checking out the beaches, where there are enough activities to keep everyone amused.
Whatever your reasons for visiting Lanzarote, here are some of the top experiences we think you shouldn’t miss.
Take photos from the Mirador del Rio
The stunning Mirador del Rio is one of the most spectacular viewpoints on the island. Located up in the north of Lanzarote on the Risco de Famara, this architect-designed landmark boasts scenic vistas along the coastline and out towards La Graciosa Island and the Chinijo Islands National Park. Sitting at over 400 meters above the sea, the Mirador del Rio effortlessly blends art with nature.
Created by architect César Manrique, the building itself fits sympathetically into its rocky surroundings, appearing almost camouflaged. Unassuming from the outside, the mirador is all about appreciating the dramatic views from the interior. There’s even a café with enormous glass windows so you can soak up the panoramas whilst tucking into your coffee and pastries.
Venture underground at the Jameos del Agua
This enchanting natural cave pool in the north of the island was created by the eruption of Monte Corona, one of the most famous volcanoes in Lanzarote. The eruption was 21,000 years ago so don’t worry about safety today!
The unusual complex at Jameos del Agua runs above and below ground, and once again was designed by César Manrique. He used the lava tunnel that the eruption left behind as inspiration for an ethereal volcanic world that visitors could explore.
There’s a subterranean concert hall in one of the caverns, as well as an atmospheric restaurant and a shimmering salt lake which is home to some rather unique blind crabs. Outside, a pool and tropical foliage sit prettily against the volcanic rock, creating an otherworldly paradise. You can’t actually swim in the water, which just makes those photos all the more beautiful.
Stay in a private villa
One of the best ways to experience a holiday in Lanzarote is to book a private villa. You’ll have your own space, facilities for cooking if you don’t want to eat out every night, and often an exclusive pool and terrace with views to die for.
Playa Blanca is a popular area, with great access to some of the island’s top sights as well as gorgeous scenery right on the doorstep. There are lots of modern villas in Lanzarote to choose from, so make sure you do your homework and find one that meets all your requirements. If you’re travelling with family, many villas offer multiple bedrooms so you can all have some privacy when you need it. Parking spaces are often provided too, which is great news if you have a rental car for your explorations.
Staying in a villa is a fantastic option for people who don’t want to be confined by the rules and schedules of hotels. Villas are your key to an independent holiday just the way you want it. It’s a place where you can create your own magic, with a little help from nature, and make memories to last a lifetime. Imagine sitting down to dinner as the sun sets over the horizon, watching the ocean sparkle down below, after a fun afternoon splashing about in the pool without another tourist in sight. Bliss!
Chill out at Playa Blanca
Of course, you can’t visit Lanzarote and not factor in a bit of beach time. Playa Blanca is a good option, down in the south of the island. There is lots going on here, with restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues lining the shore, but this former fishing village still packs a punch when it comes to charm.
The three beaches here are quieter than their sister resorts along the coast, which makes Playa Blanca perfect for family holidays. When you’ve had your fill of sun bathing and building sand castles, you can take a boat trip from the Marina Rubicon and see the island from a new angle.
Adventurous souls can dive into the sea and visit the Museo Atlántico, which is the very first underwater museum in Europe. Here you can swim over stunning statues, and meet the marine life that has taken up residence here.
Feel the power of nature at Los Hervideros
“Los Hervideros” translates as “boiling pots”, which is precisely what you’ll see as you gaze down to the churning waves at the base of the cliffs here. Located just along the coast from El Golfo, the dramatic lava cliffs meet the turquoise sea in spectacular fashion at Los Hervideros. Waves crash against the rock with the full force of the ocean behind them, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. This is the place to come if you want to feel the awesome power of nature.
For an even more impressive experience, time your visit to coincide with high tide and see the sea at its most energetic. There are several footpaths winding along the clifftops giving you great views of the ocean down below. Stop at one of the man-made balconies for enviable holiday snaps!
Learn about salt at the Salinas de Janubio
For something a bit different, head over to the colourful salt pans at Salinas de Janubio, which are just a few miles north of Playa Blanca. The natural troughs were formed by a 1790 volcanic eruption, with the resulting lava creating a large lagoon by the side of the sea. Locals have used this unique pool to produce salt since 1895, which is evaporated from the water that is collected there.
You can visit the salt pans on a guided tour and learn about the centuries-old tradition that was once one of the island’s most important exports. Discover how the salt is collected, hear about the fascinating history, and buy some of the produce afterwards to take back home.
The colors of the different pools make the Salinas de Janubio one of the most photogenic sites in all of Lanzarote, so don’t forget your camera!
Have you visited Lanzarote? Share your favourite experiences with us in the comments.