Lanzarote is in the Canary Islands, part of Spain.
Map of Lanzarote showing key towns and sites of interest.
Lanzarote is in the same time zone as the UK & Ireland. It also puts the clocks backwards and forwards for British Summer Time(BST) in March and October at the same time as the UK & Ireland - hence there is never a time difference between the UK, Ireland and the island.
- Puerto Calero - Located on the south coast of Lanzarote, Puerto Calero always seems to be bathed in warm sunshine. It is a beautifully designed private marina, with good restaurants, good places to walk, catamaran sailing with Catlanza. You can get there by car, lots of parking, by local bus, or you can walk from Puerto del Carmen.
- Costa Teguise
- Famara - A little surfing town located in the north of the island.
- Puerto del Carmen
- Playa Blanca
- Montaña Clara - A small rock next to Lanzarote
- Alegranza - Located in the most northern part of the Canary Islands, Alegranza is another one of the smaller scaled islands. Its name comes from the Spanish word for 'Joy'. The terrain is mostly flat, home to only one small volcano. The island is part of a conservation act with (Chinijo Archipelago) Natural Park, so it has no active or documented inhabitants. The historic lighthouse of (Punta Delgada) can be found on the eastern part of the island. Built in 1865, it was declared a historical monument in December 2002.
- La Graciosa - Derived from the Spanish word for 'full of grace', this volcanic island was formed by the Canary hot spot.The entire island is composed of volcanic rock and sand. It is also a part of the Islands conservation groups Parque Natural del Archipiélago Chinijo, Reserve of the Biosphere, and "Marine Reserve of La Graciosa". Having only a population of approximately 700, there are only two inhabited areas on the Island. those areas are Caleta del Sebo and summer-friendly Casas de Pedro Barba. The island has a school, lyceum, post office, supermarkets, a bank, port, beaches, and — except bar-restaurants — a square where bicycles can be hired (plaza). The main industry of the island is tourism and fishing. The climate of the island is one of the most commonly reported pull factors for travellers. Streets and roads on La Graciosa are unpaved sand. The Gracioseros can often be seen early each morning sweeping the streets smooth of the previous night's footprints. Motor vehicles are strictly prohibited and limited to a handful of licensed vehicles for special purposes. Since the roads are bad, and cars have to be shipped to Lanzarote for repair, about 70% of the motor vehicles on the island are old Land Rovers which often can be repaired by a local serviceman. There are no natural water sources on the island. Desalinated water has to be piped directly from Lanzarote since 2001.
Entrance to the Timinfaya national park, with volcanic landscape behind.
Not all that much is known about the Island's early history, because most archaeological evidence has either been buried under lava or carried off by raiders. The Phoenecians were there, followed by the Romans. The Arabs then settled the island, the French explored it, and the Spanish conquered it.
The island thrived for a while by producing cochineal, an expensive, crimson dye taken from the carapace of a scale insect that lives on cactus. Cochineal is used for dyeing fabric, decorating china, in cosmetics, and as a food colouring.
The eruptions in 1730-1736 covered a quarter of the island's surface, destroying its most fertile farmland and eleven villages. Still, visitors marvel at how stone walls and semi-surrounds are used to capture moisture to grow crops elsewhere on this decidedly desert island.
The coherence and beauty of the island's cultural and tourist centres is largely the legacy of the local artist César Manrique (1919-1992). He also played a key role in having the island declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993.
Lanzarote islanders speak Spanish (Castilian) with a distinct Canary Island accent and some vocabulary not found on the Spanish mainland.
Lanzarote's principal economic activity is tourism, and a large proportion of tourists are from the U.K. and Germany, so most people working with tourists can speak at least some basic English.
Most restaurants offer menus in Spanish, English, and German. Although, do remember that this is a Spanish speaking island and try not to get too flustered if the local people cannot understand you.
The island's only airport is just to the west of Arrecife, with the airport designator code ACE. In addition to the charter flights that serve Lanzarote from Northern Europe, there are scheduled flights operated to some of the other Canary Islands, to the Spanish mainland and to a few international locations, most notably London (Gatwick).
Some of the airlines serving Lanzarote (ACE) are: Iberia, Air Europa, EasyJet, British Airways, Lauda Air, Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Jet2. A local company, Binter Canarias, with mostly flights between the Canary Islands.
Bus and taxi are good value on the island. Car hire is relatively cheap and is the best option for discovering the remote wilderness regions. It only takes about 50 minutes to cross the entire island from North to South by car, and about 25 minutes across.
Lanzarote tends to be a bit windy, and often a bit more in July, making motor scooters or bicycles a little difficult and risky.
Buses usually leave about twice per hour daily for most of the day, except for Sundays when there is a reduced schedule. Check ARRECIFEBUS for bus schedules (bus line 23). As in 2006, bus fare from the airport to Arrecife is about 1€ and from Arrecife to Puerto del Carmen about 1.5€. A Taxi ride from the Airport to Puerto del Carmen can range from 12€ to 24€. And around 30 Euros to the resort of Playa Blanca at the south of the island.
- ATMs. ATMs at the airport charge about 8 euros to get cash, wait until you get into the resorts where it will be 1.50 euros
- Timanfaya National Park is a volcanic landscape that has barely changed since its eruption in the 1730s and covers a quarter of the island's surface. For many, the highlight of their visit to Lanzarote.
- Montañas del Fuego (Mountains of Fire) are located within the park, +34 928 84 00 57. Every day, 9AM-5:45PM (last tour at 5PM). Restaurant +34 928 17 31 05, every day, 12PM-3PM. Entrance is by bus or car leading to the Islote de Hilario, where a sloped car park leads up to a shop, bar and restaurant which were designed by César Manrique. The admission fee includes a bus tour around the interior of the park with a narrated history in Spanish, English and German. The restaurant has a panoramic view of the park, and the meat is roasted over the underground heat of the islote, which reaches hundreds of degrees at a depth of only a few metres. €8.
- Timanfaya National Park Visitors' Centre, located just outside the northern limit of the park, on the road to Mancha Blanca and Tinajo. The permanent display and audio-visual presentations explain the origins of the island, the recent volcanic activity that formed the park, and the flora and fauna of what appears at first glance to be a dead landscape. Admission free.
- Jameos del Agua, located in the Malpais de La Corona in the north of the island. Every day, 10AM-6:30PM, and Tu,F,Sa 7PM-2AM. Restaurant Tu,F,Sa 7:30PM-11:30PM. Neat dress (no shorts or t-shirts) and no flash or lit photography after 7PM. A jameo is a volcanic formation formed when the ceiling of an underground lava tunnel collapses, exposing a section of the tunnel to the sky. A bar, restaurant, swimming pool, and concert hall were all built within one such formation near the coast under the guidance of César Manrique, and opened to the public in 1966. €8.
- Cueva de los Verdes ("Green's Cave") is located a few hundred metres inland from the Jameos del Agua, and is part of the same tunnel. +34 928 84 84 84. Every day, 10AM-6PM, last entry 5PM. A guided tour takes you through a succession of caverns and tunnels formed by an underground river of lava. The melted rock and mineral formations are well lit, and the demonstration of their acoustical qualities is truly surprising. €8.
- Mirador del Rio is a lookout located at the northermost tip of the island. It has a comfortable bar and lounge offering a magnificent panoramic view of the small islands to the north of Lanzarote.
- "'Jardín de Cactus"' ("Cactus Garden"), Guatiza. Amazing cacti garden with over 450 species of cactus which add up to 4500 cacti in total. Located in an old quarry and surrounded by chumbera plantations, where a parasite insect is collected, cochinilla, from which they extract a dye. Manrique's latest work. +34 928 52 93 97. Every day, 10AM-6PM, last entry 5:45PM. Entry fee approx €5, does not include drinks as some guides suggest
- Fundación César Manrique, Taro de Tahiche. +34 928 84 31 38 / 84 30 70. Every day, 10AM-7PM. €7.50.Visit César Manrique's superb house, built inside 5 volcanic bubbles.
- Casa Monumento al Campesino ("House of Monument to the Peasant"), San Bartolomé. +34 928 52 01 36. Every day, 10AM-6PM. Restaurant 12PM-4:30PM, 6PM-1AM.
- Agricola Museum, Echedey, 18 35558,Tiagua, Tel / Fax: +34 928.529.134, . Open M-F 10AM-5:30PM and Sa 10AM-2:30PM. This is a great place to see what life used to be like on Lanzarote for the farmers and settlers. There are lots of exhibits covering everything from tools and implements to a typical household layout on this large and interesting site. Two flour mills, a winery, animals and a working farm are all on offer for visitors to see. Often missed by tourist buses this site is easy to find an well preserved.
- Lanzarote's Beaches: Lanzarote has a number of beautiful beaches and a rugged, fabulous coastline to explore.
Drive from Yaiza along the LZ-704 to El Golfo on the west coast, where there are a couple of black sand beaches and a long row of restaurants along the shore. From there head south along the coast road LZ-703, stopping at the lookout, the Charco Los Clicos, and Los Hervideros. Continue past the salt pans at the Laguna De Jaunubio then return to Yaiza along the LZ-2.
The beaches. There are also water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, parasailing and canoeing. There is also a water park (with bus service from Puerto del Carmen), a Zoo Park (Guinate Park), an aquarium-type park and a wild-west themed animal park (Rancho Texas). You can also take submarine trips from Ports in Puerto del Carmen and Puerto Calero. One of the island's most enjoyable things to do is relax, lie at the beautiful beaches during the day and enjoy a nice meal in the evening. There is an array of shops ranging from digital hardware shops to bazaars but be wary, you can get a good bargain if you can haggle a little with the shopkeepers. Don't worry, these guys are well used to people asking for a better deal than what they are offering.
Try Scuba Diving from Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca or Puerto del Carmen. Lanzarote offers some of the best diving in the EU. Sport Fishing  is also a popular activity, with several boats departing from the different harbours on a daily basis.
International Charter Group -  - Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest acht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Santander. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
Caleta de Famara is a famous surfing destination. It is a small village located on the north-east of the island, right in a bay. There are three small groceries shops, a couple of bars and a good dozen of surf-shops, renting equipment surfers, kite-surfers as well as providing lessons for those keen to learn. Local bus L20 goes to Famara from Arrecife on weekdays, and a bus from Costa Teguise on weekends.
The local cuisine is typical of the Canary Islands:
- Mojo means sauce. The most common varieties are:
- mojo picón (hot, spicy) made from red chillis,
- mojo verde (green) made either from green pepper or coriander (cilantro),
- mojo hervido (boiled) made from spices and lemon.
- Papas arrugadas ("wrinkly potatoes") are cooked unpeeled in salt water then baked dry. Customarily served with a mojo sauce.
- Gofio is a flour substitute milled from a variety of cereals like wheat, corn (maize), barley, etc., or a mixture of them. It is sometimes served by local restaurants in entreé dishes as a small patty of moist dough, and also forms the basis for local pastries and pie bases.
Restaurants noted for local cuisine:
- La Era, Yaiza.
- Casa Monumento al Campesino, San Bartolomé.
- Restaurante Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo, Castillo de San José, Arrecife (on the coast just to the north of Arrecife, inside a Castle turned museum).
- Casa Emiliano, Femes
However, it is worth noting that in many of the resorts there are very few true Canarian restaurants. Most of those present tend to focus on English food (English fried breakfast, Roasts etc). If you are going on a package holiday it would be a huge saving to pay the extra for all-inclusive, especially if you're not likely to travel far from the resort. Although it would be a pity not to discover the beautiful island you are visiting, as it is one of a kind.
There are many non-traditional places to eat out in the main resort towns, serving a wide range of food such as Greek, Chinese, Indian, and Mexican.
The 'old town' area of Puerto del Carmen is home to Blooming Cactus Vegetarian Restaurant, but those with vegan or vegetarian dietary requirements will find limited choice outside of this eatery.
Lanzarote has a broad selection of hotels and other forms of holiday accommodation. Most hotels are clustered in and around the major resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise.
- Hotel Los Fariones, C/. Roque del Este 1, Puerto del Carmen, ☎ +34 928 510 175, . The Hotel Fariones is a beachfront hotel set in luxurious gardens with native plant species with direct access to the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. edit
- Coronas Playa, Avda del Mar 26, Costa Teguise, ☎ +34 928 82 66 40, . The Hotel Coronas Playa is situated in a prime seafront location, the nearby beach Playa Bastian and the local shops and bars are only a short distance away. edit
- Apartments Celeste, Avda. Islas Canarias, 21-23-25, Costa Teguise, ☎ +34 928 591 720, . The Hotel Celeste features 85 fully equipped apartments with one and two bedrooms. Located in the heart of Costa Teguise, Lanzarote’s premier holiday resort, the complex is divided into three blocks, each with its own swimming pool and sunbathing area. edit
- Gran Melia Salinas, Avda. Islas Canarias s/n, Costa Teguise, ☎ +34 928 590 040, . Situated in the north of the Lanazarote Island, Gran Meliá Salinas is in close proximity to the architecturally historical capital of Teguise, as well as Arrecife airport, Jameos del Agua, and Cueva de los Verdes. edit
- Sun Park Living - Active 50+ Holiday Resort, Calle Janubio 3, Playa Blanca, ☎ +34 620172318, . Sun Park Living is Europe's favourite long stay holiday resort for the active over 50s. Affordable, flexible & friendly and enjoying a terrific community spirit, the resort is renown for being the heart and 'hub' of the expat community. edit
- Castillo Schlaraffenland, Camino del Meson 45 (La Assomada), ☎ +34 928511159, . The apartments of Castillo Schlaraffenland that are built in César Manrique style are situated in the middle of the island, just 250m above Puerto Calero. All three apartments have been built into volcano rocks and have a stunning view over the Atlantic coast and Fuerteventura island. edit
The tap water is treated sea water, brackish, and not recommended for drinking. Try to drink bottled water, which is affordable.
There are many bars in the tourist areas, in particular Irish bars in Puerto del Carmen.
Alcohol is very cheap in supermarkets. A 1 l bottle of San Miguel is around 1€, and a can of beer as little as €0.50. However, in bars and clubs, the same beer would cost around €3.50. There is no duty on alcohol purchased in Lanzarote (other than VAT at 5%) so restaurants tend to make a lot of their money from the selling of alcohol at a significant - but to foreign vistors seemingly imperceptible - markup. Again, if a package exists which is all-inclusive, it might be a good idea to pay the little bit extra in the long run.
Supermarkets vary greatly in price the most expensive are Netto (about 25% more expensive), then Hiperdino supermarkets, these are the larger ones and tend to have good local produce at reasonable prices, lastly there are SPAR stores.
Watch out for the cost of fresh fruit and veg as this has to be transported refrigerated by ship from afar and can be expensive, a fresh pineapple can cost 8 euros.
Some prices (supermarkets):
Can of coke: €0.60,
Can of beer: €0.50,
Litre of wine: €0.63,
Orange juice: €0.80
Some prices (Restaurants):
Coke (200ml): €2,
Litre of wine €8,
Orange juice (fresh): €3.20
While a generally safe country, as always beware of pickpockets and keep hold of any personal belongings. Be wary of handbag-snatchers on mopeds. Also, check reviews of any hotels or apartments you stay in, as there have been incidents of thieves sneaking into rooms with a copy of the door key and cleaning out valuables, sometimes while the occupants are present and asleep.
There are local police stations in all major cities and somewhat frequent police patrols around the streets. Emergency service phone number is the European standard "112".