Lanzarote canary: Lanzarote | island, Canary Islands, Spain
What to do in Lanzarote, Canary Islands
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Puerto del Carmen is the most popular resort in Lanzarote and it has an ideal location, in the center of the island, very close to the airport. The town is divided in two: the old town and harbor and the new town. This makes Puerto del Carmen a place with lots of opportunities for activities during the day, lots of restaurants and also plenty of bars and club open all night long.
If you’re planning a trip to Lanzarote and you want to go out and explore (which you definitely should do), then read our list of the best things to do on the island.
Teguise is considered the oldest town in the Canary Islands, dating back to the XVIIIth century. La Villa de Teguise as it is locally known, used to be the capital of Lanzarote for over 450 years, up until 1852 when Arrecife became the new capital city.
Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote and you can easily spend at least half a day walking around the city. There are plenty of things to do in Arrecife, from going to local markets to visiting an art museum situated in an old stone fortress.
Mirador de Haria is a newly renovated tourist and environmental space in Lanzarote, in the municipality of Haria, in the north of the island.
What better way to explore the beauty of Lanzarote’s coast, than by walking along the ocean, soaking up the sun and enjoying the amazing landscape? If you’re staying in Puerto del Carmen, one of the island’s most popular resorts, we highly recommend the walk to Puerto Calero, which can be completed in under one hour one way.
Lanzarote is a very popular beach destination for sun-seekers, especially during the winter months. But if you decide to go beyond the pretty beaches and the streets of the resorts, you will discover a charming island, with lots of small villages, where you can try the local food and see the Canarian architecture.
El Golfo is a lake of an unusual green color on the island of Lanzarote, formed in the crater of an old volcano and it owes its color to a type of algae that grows there.
Los Hervideros is one of Lanzarote’s most visited natural attractions, located on the west coast of the municipality of Yaiza. We really loved our visit to Los Hervideros because you can see the true force of nature: strong waves crashing into the volcanic coastline, creating an impressive splash of water that attracts visitors and photographers to this site.
If you’re looking for the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote, then you needn’t look further than Playas de Papagayo. Although located far away from any resort on the island, this collection of beaches are the pride and joy of Lanzarote and they are definitely worth a visit while you’re on holiday here.
Playa Blanca is the southernmost resort in Lanzarote and it has grown quite a bit in the last few years, from the sleepy fishing village it once was. If you’re planning to spend your holiday in Playa Blanca, you may be wondering what there is to do in the resort and what can you expect in terms of hotels, beaches, restaurants and entertainment.
Haria is a small but beautiful village in the north of Lanzarote, with a population barely over 1000 people. If you’re coming to the island, we absolutely recommend coming here for a visit to one of Lanzarote’s most authentic villages.
Timanfaya National Park is one of Lanzarote’s top attractions, with more than 1 million visitors annually, which makes the second most visited National Park in the Canary Islands, after Teide National Park.
Lanzarote is a small island compared to Tenerife or even Fuerteventura, which is located in the close vicinity and is the second largest island in the Canaries. Given its relatively small size and flat surface, Lanzarote is the ideal place to drive for visitors who rent a car abroad for the first time.
Costa Teguise was purposely built as a tourist resort under the guidance of Cesar Manrique, the famous artist and architect who had a major influence in Lanzarote’s development as a tourist destination.
Planning a family holiday in Lanzarote and you’re wondering if it’s the right destination? Lanzarote is a great destination for people of all ages, because you have the beautiful beaches, the spectacular views, good food, cultural activities and the island is small enough that it’s easy to drive around and explore.
Most of the towns and resorts in Lanzarote have a weekly market going on, so if you want to do some shopping while on holiday, you can spend a few hours browsing through the stalls.
Lanzarote is mainly a destination for sun and beach lovers, but the island has so much to offer beyond the beautiful beaches and great weather.
Lanzarote has a lot to offer in terms of amazing beaches and you don’t have to go far to find a nice place where you could spend your day laying in the sun.
Most people come to Lanzarote for the beautiful weather, even in winter, when it’s still possible to sunbathe and swim in the ocean.
The best way to discover a new place is to just walk and interact with its people, its culture and its nature and that’s exactly what you should do if you want to get to know more about the island of Lanzarote.
Teguise is the old capital of Lanzarote and a place full of history so a walk through the historic center is like going back in time hundreds of years ago.
Jameos del Agua is a MUST SEE when visiting Lanzarote and it’s probably the place that shows best the vision that Cesar Manrique had for the entire island. The white pool is what ties everything together and creates a contrast in the space. We can’t say for sure, but it’s said that only the King of Spain has the right to swim in the pool inside Jameos del Agua.
The name Cueva de los Verdes translates to English as the Green Caves, and the place itself is a lava tube that is now open for the public as a tourist attraction in the north of Lanzarote. You can enter the cave with a guided tour, which takes 1 hour.
An underwater museum was inaugurated to the public on the 10th of January 2017 off the shore in Lanzarote, revealing scenes that depict the problems that our society faces today.
Mirador del Rio offers one of the best views in Lanzarote, in a building that is completely integrated in the surrounding natural space, a feature that is typical for all the works of César Manrique.
Good news for residents or people interested to visit the beautiful island of Lanzarote! The world’s longest seafront promenade will open in Lanzarote, surpassing the one in La Coruña. The promenade in La Coruña measures 13 km and holds the present record of thge longest promenade in the world, with the promenade in Atlantic City (New Jersey, USA) being 2nd place, at 9,25 km.
Los Volcanes Natural Park is a space of volcanic origin, with an area of around 10,158.4 hectares, which spreads over the municipalities of Tinajo, Tías, and Yaiza.
Although one of the smaller Canary Islands, Lanzarote offers plenty of great things to do and see around the island and when it comes to sunsets, some of the ones you can watch here are simply unforgettable.
Lanzarote, as the rest of the Canary Islands, is a year round destination, so anytime you’ll decide to come over, it will most likely be sunny and warm.
In order to celebrate Dia de Canarias (30th May 2017), the Council of Tias invites tourists and residents also, to explore more of the coastline and discover the natural beauty of Lanzarote.
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Pacific Horticulture | Lanzarote: Agriculture as Art
To understand the fashion of any life, one must know the land it is lived in and the procession of the year.
Mary Austin, The Land of Little Rain
Just sixty miles off the coast of the Sahara, Lanzarote is a dry little island, with six to eight inches of rain in a good year and less during a drought. Yet this easternmost of the Canary Islands has become famous for its grapes, figs, almonds, onions, and row crops, all grown without artificial irrigation. This makes Lanzarote farming worthy of scrutiny by gardeners in dry climates of the West and Southwest.
The pleasant surprise is that, in solving a crippling horticultural problem, Lanzarote islanders have invented an arresting landscape unlike any other in the world. Geology was destiny for this desert isle, as for all the Canary Islands. Lanzarote’s most recent volcanic activity took place in just the last century, when a series of eruptions destroyed farms and transformed a large part of the island into a scorched moonscape. During a six-year period in the 1800s thirty-two fresh craters were formed and nine villages were buried under lava and ash, resulting in a topography both forbidding and forbidden.
Today much of this region is inaccessible to visitors. In the interests of science many square miles of sharp, clinker-like extrusions, scattered with lava bombs, have been set aside for study. As tiny organisms have begun to colonize the desolate slag fields, restoring life to areas far more barren than California’s Death Valley, the public is permitted only restricted views — limited to small areas within Timanfaya National Park. As at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this otherworldly preserve is both a center for public education and a station for scholarly observation.
Lanzarote’s volcanic disasters created serious problems for island farmers. Residents lost a hundred square miles of cropland to the nineteenth-century lava flows. Many acres were strewn with a blanket of black mineral ash called picón. In a land that receives less rain than San Diego in a dry year, this accident of nature was a catastrophic loss of usable farmland.
Yet with native ingenuity, islanders have turned their horticultural hardship into a triumph of geo-technology. According to local lore, this change of fortune hinged on the chance discovery that a wilting plant placed near a wall made of porous lava blocks seemed to revive. The sponge-like rock had absorbed moisture from the air and drawn it to the soil below. From this observation farmers developed a new kind of agriculture in the arable parts of the island.
The harsh volcanic environment of Lanzarote demands a frugal, disciplined style of farming and creates a haunting, surrealistic landscape. Author’s photographs
As it has evolved today, Lanzarote horticulture embraces three features: protecting plants from sun, shielding them from wind, and mulching them with picón. Large plants such as figs, almonds, and grapes are grown at the center of wide, shallow basins scooped out of the sandy soil. Tucked into these artificial hollows, plants get extra shade during the morning and evening hours. As additional protection against the ceaseless trade winds, low, crescent-shaped walls are built of lava blocks around the windward side of these depressions. For row crops such as tomatoes, beans, squash, corn, peas, and melons, this system is modified only slightly. Such plants are placed in straight, shallow furrows in flat, wind-sheltered fields. In both cases the surrounding areas are then mulched with a layer of picón.
In geological terms picón is called ash, or tephra. Light and inorganic, it is shot through with tiny, interconnecting air chambers. Unlike pumice, which is filled with locked-in air cells, picón readily absorbs and transports moisture. This is thirsty rock. When moist maritime air condenses on the surface of picón, it is absorbed and then drawn by capillary action and gravity to the ground below. Picón is nature’s own drip irrigation system.
But picón is more than a simple hydrophilic mulch. It not only reduces the loss of soil moisture through evaporation and helps put water into the ground; it also amplifies warmth. Because the lava walls and picón chunks are charcoal-colored, they absorb heat during the day and retain it long after the sun has set. For plants that require cumulative heat for fruit development, this warmth is an added bonus.
All of the crops grown on Lanzarote have proved their toughness through centuries of cultivation in the dry, sunny climes of the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, some island products have earned their rightful place in history. Canary wine was mentioned by Shakespeare, and once was highly prized in England. Today Lanzarote still exports its sherry-like Malvasia to Europe, along with onions, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Agriculture as Art
Picón has changed the economy of Lanzarote. Yet the horticultural genius of this island comprises more than its rocky mulch. The landscape that emerged from Lanzarote-style farming is stunning. From its blackened fields verdant green leaves push out of rows and hollows, creating a crater-pocked pattern on the land that not even a modernist designer would have thought to concoct. Form follows function in a landscape of rhythm, texture, and color that is as practical as it is striking.
The mesmerizing effect of the island’s unusual appearance might have been passed by as a quaint provincial novelty if not for the return of one of Lanzarote’s native sons. César Manrique, trained as a painter in Madrid and New York, came back to his birthplace twenty-five years ago with an artist’s eye for compelling landforms and an activist’s sense of environmental responsibility. He saw strength and beauty in the lean elements of his own land and set out, almost singlehandedly at first, to retain and extend the distinctive features of the island.
Acting as architect, sculptor, regional planner, and educator, Manrique has helped define and preserve that much vaunted spirit of place that characterizes certain parts of the planet. With penetrating and pragmatic vision, he has encouraged villagers to emphasize landscape features that belong to their island alone: the crisp contrasts between black fields and white houses, with sparing accents of green-painted trim that echo the color of the vineyards. Against this backdrop, minimalist touches of brilliant flower colors heighten the drama of island vistas. Against dark hills one long, straight white wall overhung with a single cerise bougainvillea may provide the only evidence of human habitation for miles in any direction. The impact of one spot of glowing color upon the austere terrain is breathtaking. Manrique and the villagers have turned the vernacular into the spectacular through their collaborative interpretation of the Lanzarote landscape.
Small bursts of color make a streetside garden seem like an oasis in the austere landscape of Lanzarote
The water-frugal farm strategies of this Canary Island have yielded far more than cash crops. They have produced a regional identity that is true to its own place. The Lanzarote aesthetic is found in the ordinary materials of the island. It is without pretensions; it is what it seems to be.
Few people are privileged to shape the aesthetic destiny of an entire region, as César Manrique has done. His flair for the dramatic has helped distill for the visitor that genius loci that might otherwise have been obliterated in the jet-set surge of tourist popularity that has overtaken the Canary Islands over the last decade. In fact, the lavascape look of the farmlands has become one of Lanzarote’s most attractive features, along with a soft, even climate, superb windsurfing, and idyllic beaches.
Although halfway around the world, and very different from the urban sprawl California has become, the Lanzarote landscape is important also to gardeners of the Cadillac desert because it strips horticulture to its bare-bones survival-level core. It peels away the mismatched garden images — those billows of verdure and masses of color — that Californians have imported from wetter, cooler climates and have come to consider essential to modern good taste. Dense, naturalistic groupings of plants are as out of place in Lanzarote as they sometimes are in western gardens. Every plant is precious, and each is treated with individual attention — set apart, to be admired for its own best qualities, like a solitaire jewel in a simple mounting.
If it is true that we are educated by what we see, then perhaps through the Lanzarote aesthetic we can begin to see our own environment afresh, with eyes informed by the mandates and natural resources of our own time and place. As Moshe Safdi suggests in Beyond Habitat, “Economy and survival are two key words in nature… Beauty as we understand it, and as we admire it in nature, is never arbitrary.”
Beauty… economy… survival. These words describe Lanzarote — that dry little island that may have some lessons for an island called California.
Lanzarote Island Nature Canaries Stock Photo ©PantherMediaSeller 336500066
Lanzarote Island Nature Canaries Stock Photo ©PantherMediaSeller 336500066
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