Destination of the Week: Lanzarote
Science-fiction landscapes meet dreamy beach vistas in Lanzarote. The fourth-largest Canary Island is a UNESCO listed biosphere reserve; its natural beauty derived from a volcanic interior, a rainbow of earthy colours and shimmering seas. To top it off, Lanzarote rates as one of the most popular holiday destinations for UK tourists, with waterparks, resorts, whitewashed villas, adventure activities, restaurants and a night-scene that kicks off after midnight and rocks on until the sun comes up.
What to do
Make the most of more than 300 days of sunshine on one of Lanzarote’s beaches, the most popular options including Puerto del Carmen, Teguise and Playa Blanca. Windsurfers, surfers and water-sports enthusiasts are never far from adventure and divers can experience diverse rock formations, wrecks and grottos teeming with marine life.
To create your very own Sci-Fi scene, visit Timanfaya National Park for surreal exploration of volcanoes and lava fields. The village of El Golfo is home to the Green Lagoon, its striking colour highlighted by a backdrop of red cliffs. Check out Lanzarote’s thriving wine scene with a vineyard tour or a visit to the El Grifo Wine Museum and discover the Jameos del Aqua for a fascinating look at architect, Cesar Manrique’s, inspirational work.
Visit the whitewashed town of Haria, known as the Valley of the Thousand Palms, Playa Quemada for a relaxing, seaside village vibe and the capital, Arrecife, for castles, shopping and a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene.
Where to stay
With resorts aplenty to suit all tastes and budgets, accommodation is easy to find in Lanzarote, so it’s all about choosing the best destination for you. Arrecife is a great base to explore the island and Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen are the most popular resort towns.
Arrecife Gran Hotel and Spa (£££)
Right next to El Reducto Beach, the Arrecife Gran Hotel and Spa is the tallest building on the island, so panoramic views are a given. There’s a spa, a 17th floor restaurant, a swimming pool and a rooftop bar. The rooms feature wooden floors, air-conditioning and minibars.
Aparthotel Costa Mar (££)
The family-friendly Aparthotel Costa Mar is located close to Pocillo’s beach in Puerto del Carmen, with one or two bedroom fully equipped apartments, boasting sea views. The hotel runs entertainment programs for adults and kids, has an outdoor pool, table tennis, darts, a restaurant and a bar.
Kalufa Surf Camp Hostel (£)
If you want to make the most of the surf or perhaps learn how to ride the waves, Kalufa Surf Camp Hostel, in El Cuchillo de Tinajo Lanzarote, is the place for you. The hostel offers dormitory style accommodation, as well as private rooms. You can enjoy a swimming pool, a lounge area, free Wi Fi, a shared kitchen, exercise equipment and a friendly vibe.
Where to eat
When you eat seafood in Lanzarote, your sea bream arrives fresh on the plate as the local catch of the day. The superb climate means there’s an abundance of locally grown fruit and vegetables and, of course, you’re never far from tapas and wine.
Lilium Restaurant (£££)
For views of the Arrecife Marina while you dine, Lilium is a top-notch pick. The elegant restaurant serves a decadent menu, including Grilled Scallops with Banana, Coconut Caviar and Lime, Creamy Zucchini Rice, Cheese and Truffle and Grilled Squid with Rosemary Salt and Olive Mojo Sauce.
La Cantina (££)
Supporting farmers by sourcing locally produced food, La Cantina serves tapas, burgers, salads and desserts in the heart of historic Teguise. There’s also a handy kid’s menu (with mac and cheese and chicken wings) and an extensive selection of local wines.
Bar Andalucía (£)
After a long day of sightseeing, sometimes all you want is a little bite to eat with a refreshing glass of wine to wash it down with. When you’re in Arrecife, pop into Bar Andalucia for tapas at great prices, a charming atmosphere and a quick sun-downer.
Featured image source: (c) istock/thinkstock