Tips from a Travel Writer: Lanzarote
Posted on June 20, 2013 by Fiona Hilliard
Travel writer Julie McNamee provides priceless advice for those travelling to the sun-blessed island of Lanzarote.
“Lanza-grotty”. Is the phrase putting you off going to this wonderful island? Don’t let it – it’s not true and I’m not sure it ever was. The word was made famous by Michael Palin who had never been to the island when he said it.
Lanzarote is a volcanic island where evidence of its fiery past is everywhere you look – the last eruptions were quite recent and that’s why it’s a now a landscape from another world. Timanfaya with its arty devil motif and its beautiful volcanic mountains lined up side by side, awaiting the next explosions along the fault line that lines beneath them.
It’s also home to the innovative, imaginative public art of Manrique: a man dedicated to preserving and improving the landscape on his home island. It’s thanks to him that the island’s building are cute and low-rise, without the tall, ugly buildings that plague other Canary islands.
Looking for Irish and English bars? Yes – you can find them on Lanzarote, as you can find the all day breakfasts and cocktails in goldfish bowls, but these areas are concentrated in just a few resorts. You’ve also got the rest of the island to choose from.
Stay in Playa Blanca, a respectable resort, or rent a villa or apartment inland and you’ll not come across these areas if you don’t want to. The rural hotel Finca de las Salinas in an 18th century building on the edge of the vineyards on the island is a good choice. There’s also a good choice of country accommodation in Responsible Travel
Of course, Lanzarote has the great year-long weather common to all the Canary islands. Expect lowest night-time temperatures of 12Oc and highs in summer of 30Oc. It also has the sea, and sand that’s not all black: there are perfectly white beaches like Playa Papagayo, the most beautiful on the island.
For peace, quiet and seclusion, there are the extensive beaches of La Graciosa, a small island off the north coast – ferries run from Órzola and there are also ferry taxis – all the information on the towns and beaches you’ll visit and how to get there and around is on Lanzarote 37.net
Bird-spotting is a popular activity on the island: bustards and sea eagles make their home on the island and purple herons and red-footed falcons have been seen. Even bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales and killer whales have been spotted in the marine reserve that is the Chinijo archipelago (uninhabited islets in the archipelago can be seen from La Graciosa but unfortunately can’t normally be visited).
So, lay your assumptions of Lanzarote aside and visit this beautiful island to wallow in the nature, the geology, the culture and the peace of this most impressive Isla de Canaria.
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