Our Travels: Lanzarote

Amazing travel writing isn’t about researching far-flung corners of the globe from the comfort of your own home – it’s about getting out there and experiencing all that a destination has to offer. In rain or shine, the intrepid writers and editors at World Words are always on the lookout for new adventures on their doorstep and beyond. Whether it’s relaxing with a book on the shores of the tropical Gili Islands, seeing the ultra-bright lights of bustling Bangkok, or taking a once-in-a-lifetime safari to Samburu Reserve, we definitely know how to make the most of our days off.

Taking advantage of easing travel restrictions in Europe, our writer Anita recently jetted off to Lanzarote. It’s one of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off Africa’s northwestern coast. She was in search of sunshine, pristine stretches of sand and unique volcanic landscapes – and that’s just what she got. Scroll down to read all about it…

The unique basalt landscape of Timanfaya National Park, as seen on TV shows like Doctor Who.

Why I went to Lanzarote
Having lived in Gran Canaria, another of the Canary Islands, for the best part of 2021, I decided it was time to give my itchy feet a workout. And what better place to explore in the region than the ever-popular island of Lanzarote. Around a 45-minute flight from Gran Canaria – and easily accessible from mainland Europe – Lanzarote is home to surreal lava fields, charming seaside towns and fascinating flora and fauna. I couldn’t wait to start exploring it.

My highlight of the trip
Even before stepping foot on Lanzarote, I knew that the basalt landscape of Timanfaya National Park would be a showstopper. Used as the setting for films and TV shows like Doctor Who and One Million Years B.C., the park stands as testament to the whopping volcanic eruptions that took place on the island between 1730 and 1736.

Driving through the park’s barren interiors was incredible, but the undoubted highlight was a demonstration of geothermal energy, where one of the park’s guides poured water into a crevice – producing a geyser of steam.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t resist stopping at the park’s one and only restaurant. Located near to the visitor centre, the venue serves fish and steak grilled with heat from underground lava. It’s a unique dining experience.

What else I love about Lanzarote
While Lanzarote’s beaches are nothing short of spectacular, I decided to take the road less travelled and seek out the island’s lesser-known attractions. First on my list was Haría, a hilltop village replete with whitewashed villas and soaring palm trees. The exotic enclave is home to the César Manrique House Museum where the famed Lanzaroteño artist lived and worked until his death.

Next on the agenda was a tour of Salinas de Janubio on Lanzarote’s southwestern coast. With a backdrop of distant volcanoes, the salt pans and cones are quite a sight. It also offers an interesting insight into Lanzarote’s history – the island’s thriving salt industry came to an abrupt halt following the invention of freezers in the 1940s.

The salt pans of Salinas de Janubio were once at the heart of Lanzarote’s booming salt industry.

Why you should go
There’s little doubt that a visit to Lanzarote is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although my holiday was too short to take in all that the island has to offer, what I did see certainly piqued my imagination. From coastal idylls and surreal landscapes to fascinating cultural attractions, Lanzarote packs a powerful punch for such a small island.

How you can visit
Located around three miles from Lanzarote’s capital Arrecife, the César Manrique-Lanzarote Airport services both national and international flights. Hiring a car is one of the best ways to explore the island’s numerous nooks and crannies. Lanzarote also has a decent public transport system, although it’s limited to the main towns and won’t get you to Timanfaya National Park – although you can get into the park by booking an organised coach tour.

Eager to find out more about Spanish destinations like Lanzarote and the Canaries? Our project page has all sorts of information and inspiration. And for all the latest travel updates, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

– Article and images by Anita Surewicz.

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