Get to know Lanzarote better
First-time visitors to Lanzarote often ask us what they must visit during their holiday. The problem is there is so much to see and do on this small island that they’ll need several visits to say they truly know Lanzarote.
However, we have put our heads together and come up with eight places you must visit and experience during your Lanzarote trip.
Lanzarote must visit places:
1 Timanfaya National Park
Located in the southwest of the island, the 51 square kilometre Timanfaya National Park is unlike anything you have seen before. This amazing volcanic landscape was created during the eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736, and again in 1824. Over 100 volcanoes spewed lava and ash over once-fertile land, stretching over 25 per cent of the island and destroying the livelihoods of thousands of locals.
The landscape you see today is very much how it was over 300 years ago when the eruptions took place. Although there is now only one active volcano, Timanfaya, after which the park is named, volcanic activity continues today.
The main Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains) Centre at Islote de Hilario offers visitors the chance to experience geothermic demonstrations proving the ever-present power beneath our feet. Temperatures of up to 610°C have been recorded at a depth of 13 metres, and up to 277°C at just 10cm!
Visitors can witness the intense heat as straw auto-ignites after being dropped into a shallow pit, steam gushes out of the ground moments after being pored into a hole as cold water, and the gravel under your feet is hot enough to burn your hand! The heat coming off just nine layers of volcanic rocks is used to cook steaks and fish for tourists to enjoy.
Although you are not allowed to roam freely, you can view the park from one of the coaches that navigate around the ‘Ruta de los Volcanes’ – a narrow road, closed to normal traffic that snakes through the most spectacular areas of the National Park. And the welcome centre is a great place to find out the volcanic history of the island and is good place to start.
2 Mirador del Rio
The most famous architect from the Canary Islands, César Manrique, designed a must visit for visitors to the island, the Mirdaor del Río viewpoint and restaurant.
Mirador simply means lookout and this vantage point, at the end of the Risco de Famara range, has been used for this purpose of hundreds of years. Manrique created a stunning architectural achievement that was lauded at one time as one of the most important buildings in the world.
Located in the north of Lanzarote at the top of an imposing cliff, visitors look northwards across the strait and on towards three small islands of the Chinijo archipelago. The biggest of the islets is La Graciosa, which is also worth a visit, perhaps on another visit to Lanzarote.
The building, which stands over 475 metres above sea level, was designed to integrate perfectly with its volcanic surroundings. The interior, which was quarried out of the cliff top, has an organic feel with curved shapes and surprises and excellent use of light.
There are information panels for visitors, telescopes and areas to relax outside. The café serves lunch, snacks and drinks that can be enjoyed by the enormous picture windows overlooking the cliff.
Timanfaya National Park
3 Papagayo Beaches
Lanzarote is not short on great beaches. There are over 100 to enjoy, but the best can be found on the south of the island in the Los Ajaches Natural Park. Here visitors can enjoy stunning beaches that are a must-see for visitors.
Known as the Playas de Papagayo, these coves of white sand and still, crystal-clear turquoise waters are perfect for worry-free family swimming, snorkeling, diving and sunbathing.
Famous throughout Spain, the Papagayo Beaches have an intimacy and seclusion that make them a great escape from the busier beaches in the tourist areas. With views across to the sand dunes of Fuerteventura, the beaches are a tranquil paradise protected by their status as a natural park.
Although not easy to get to (please ask advice from your resort or hotel), there are three main beaches to explore and are a must visit if you prefer sitting by the beach rather than the pool.
Playa de las Mujeres is more than 400 metres long and very wide so you have space to spread out. Playa de la Cera, a little further on with free parking, is a great way to access the Playa de las Ahogaderas and Playa de las Coloradas.
Finally, there is Papagayo Beach itself that many believe is the most beautiful and popular in the area and the most crowded on sunny days. Sheltered by steep cliffs, which protect visitors from the wind and with some shaded areas there are some amazing views from the cliffs on the left-hand side over all the Papagayo beaches.
The only chiringuito (beach-side seafood restaurant) in the park is situated right next to this beach and you can enjoy a lovely meal or some tasty refreshments here. Prices are higher in comparison to the rest of Lanzarote, but the view from the restaurant is worth every penny.
4 Aqua Lava Waterpark
Located in Playa Blanca, in the south of Lanzarote, the AquaLava Waterpark pays tribute to the volcanic past and scenery of the island.
Perfect for guests with younger children, rather than thrill-seeking teens, the park offers a “beach” with a salt-water wave pool, slides and ramps in child-friendly Corsario Bay, and the loops and slides of Timan Fire. You can also take time sailing along the lazy magma river on single or double floats.
The park has a great restaurant, Timi Kitchen, which has a varied buffet and the Timi Shop for drinks and ice creams.
5 Cactus Garden
Lanzarote’s famous Cactus Garden (Jardín de Cactus) in Guatiza was developed under the guidance of César Manrique and showcases over 10,000 different plants. And if you love plants and gardens, this is a must visit destination.
Recognised as one of the best collections of cacti in the world, the plants are displayed in an amphitheatre of steep terraces created from an old quarry.
The plant selection, design and layout was the work of an eminent botanist, Estanislao Gonzales Ferrer and the collection of both cacti and succulents have been drawn together from Peru, Mexico, Chile, United States, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Morocco as well as the Canary Islands
However, the influence of César Manrique can be seen throughout the garden from the cactus shaped door handles to the toilets. Sadly, the garden was his last project in Lanzarote before his untimely death in 1992.
The gardens are very sheltered from the wind as they’re set down in a hole in ground, which protects the many varied species of cactus. There are lots of different paths winding around the garden, each taking you on to another level or area to explore, the lava rock and picón provide the perfect backdrop to show off the cactus.
In the centre of the garden is a series of water features with bridges to link the pathways, you can glimpse flashes of orange as goldfish swim by and admire the beautiful water lilies.
6 Jameos del Agua
The Jameos del Agua are part of a 6km lava tube formed about 4,000 years ago when the Montaña La Corona erupted. Molten lava continued to flow as the surface hardened, which in turn led to the formation of the tubes, which run down under the Atlantic.
The word jameo refers to the large openings in the tube created when parts of the roof collapsed due to a pressure build up caused by the volcanic gases. It is these open-air caves which César Manrique used as the centrepiece for this must-see cultural attraction which fuses art with nature.
You enter the Jameos down a stone-staircase into the first cave known as ‘Jameo Chico’, which has been turned into an unusual bar/restaurant, with views over a small lake. This natural lake has extremely clear water – regulated by the Atlantic Ocean – and is home to a species of blind albino crabs known as ‘Jameitos’, only found on Lanzarote. These crabs have been adopted as the symbol of the Jameos del Agua.
Crossing the lake, by a narrow footpath, you enter the ‘Jameo Grande’ walking out of the dark tunnel into a huge open-air cave lined with tropical plants and the most fantastic swimming-pool. Unfortunately, swimming is forbidden.
From here there is access to the auditorium, which has been constructed in part of the volcanic tube running down to the ocean. This is used for classical concerts and evening events. On Tuesday and Sunday evenings you can enjoy an a la carte meal and traditional folk dancing and music
Climbing out of the caves, you reach the Casa de los Volcanes (House of the Volcanoes), which is an avant-garde building home to fantastic information about Lanzarote and volcanoes around the world.
The Cactus Garden
7 Bodega El Grifo
The Bodega El Grifo is the oldest winery in the Canaries and among the ten oldest in Spain. For over 240 years, they have made some of the best malvasia wines available – from grapevines that date back to the 19th century.
Located in the protected area of La Geria, in San Bartolome, an area covered with volcanic ash after the eruptions between 1730 and 1736. The grapes grow and ripen on the mountainside in a way that is unique to Lanzarote and which makes the most of the volcanic soil and sunshine. The extreme conditions give the wines of El Grifo a marked character and personality.
Harvest is carried out manually resulting in approximately half a million bottles yearly.
As well as the winery itself, there is a great wine museum, which houses the press, bodega, cask workshop and equipment from the 19th and 20th century.
Self guided visits start at just €5 person including a tasting or upgrade to €16 for two people and enjoy tasting six of the bodegas wines and local cheese.
If you would prefer a guided visit, then you can choose a guided tour of the museum, vineyards and old cellar with a wine tasting. Alternatively, you can choose a tour of the museum, current cellar and vineyard. This also includes a wine tasting.
You can also join the thousands of visitors each year at the El Grifo wine bar, relaxing on the terrace enjoying the wines, local produce and tapas.
8 El Golfo
Our final must visit is to the tiny seaside village of El Golfo not only for the delicious fresh fish lunches, but also to view the famous Charco de Los Clicos or green lagoon.
Over the years, the volcano on the shoreline to the left of El Golfo villages was eroded by the wind and sea to reveal an incredible emerald green lagoon.
The lagoon is roped -off as this landscape is one of the protected areas of Lanzarote. Although you might want to touch the water, it’s probably best that you don’t as the intense green colour of the Lago Verde is due to the concentration of Ruppia-Maritima algae present in the water.
You can view the Charco de Los Clicos from overhead where there is a viewing balcony. Or, you can access the lower level and beach via the car park on the opposite side of the corona. As you walk along the beach, you’ll see tiny green olivine gemstones. Tempting as they may be, please leave them on the beach.
- Jameos del Aqua must visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- El Golfo must visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- Aqualava Waterpark Must visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- Cactus Garden must visit in Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- Bodego El Grifo must visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- Cactus garden must visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- The Mirador del Rio North tour excursion Club Las Calas
- Timanfaya National Park South Tour Excursion Club Las Calas
- Jameos del Agua
- AquaLava Waterpark must visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
- Timanfaya National Park
- El Diablo Timanfaya National Park
- Papagayo Beacahes
- AquaLava Waterpark Must Visit Lanzarote Club Las Calas
Enjoy all this at Club Las Calas
If this list of must visit places has tempted you to visit Lanzarote, then why not come and stay with us at Club Las Calas? With modern one- and two-bedroom self-catering apartments, four swimming pools, leisure centre and two bars and restaurants, we are located in the popular resort area of Puerto del Carmen, just a few minutes walk from Playa Grande beach.
Club Las Calas is perfectly located to enjoy all the eight places we recommend you visit on the island, but you can enjoy comfortable accommodation, rest and relaxation by our swimming pools and superb service during your holiday.
Posted on September 24, 2018.
We've listed here the top 10 bars and live entertainment in Puerto del Carmen as recommended by members of the Love Puerto del Carmen Facebook group and includes cocktail bars, Irish pubs and American-style diners.
To enjoy all that Puerto del Carmen and Lanzarote have to offer, book your holiday apartment at Club Las Calas today for great holiday accommodation, superb facilities, daily entertainment and a great location.