Lanzarote is one of the seven Canary Islands. A volcanic island that you have to visit because of its fascinating nature and environment. And how impressed I was! On Lanzarote you drive for miles through black lava fields, past craters, barren gray mountains and in some places you imagine yourself in a surreal moonscape. During your visit you will become acquainted with the works of landscape artist Cesar Manrique, taste local wines, walk along rock formations, visit beautiful beaches and settle down on lovely terraces. In this Lanzarote travel blog you’ll find 20 tips and things to do on Lanzarote including Timanfaya, the north and the south of the island. Are you ready to discover Lanzarote?
- Things to do in Timanfaya National Park, on Lanzarote | travel blog
- Travel blog with tips for things to do on Lanzarote in the south
- Travel blog with tips for things to do on Lanzarote in the north
- Meet César Manrique | cultural things to do on Lanzarote
- Visit the villages of Tequise and Haría
- Discover the wine region of Lanzarote | culinary things to do on Lanzarote
- How to discover Lanzarote and its many things to do
- Entrance tickets Lanzarote | extra travel tips
- Tips for hotels on Lanzarote
- Best travel time Lanzarote
- More about Lanzarote
Things to do in Timanfaya National Park, on Lanzarote | travel blog
The highlight of Lanzarote is of course the Timanfaya National Park. This fascinating landscape is simply not to be missed. The kilometers long plain with black lava seas and the mountains that consist of a combination of gray, brown and yellow really make you believe you are on another planet. There are several ways to explore the area. In this Lanzarote travel blog I list them all.
Hiking and climbing volcanoes on Lanzarote
You can’t hike in the Timanfaya National Park itself (this is prohibited) but of course you can in the surrounding area. A nice walk is the trip around Volcán el Cuervo. From the parking lot Aparcamiento Montaña Colorada, you walk between one and two hours around the former volcano. You can also hike to the top, where you look out over the entire area that reaches down to the sea. Make sure to wear good shoes, because you easily sink into the sand and slip.
A longer hike is this one to Caldera Blanca, which means white crater. ‘La Caldereta’ and the ‘Caldera Blanca’ are remnants of ancient volcanic cones, formed in earlier eruptions. It is a nice trip of 3 hours, which starts at Aparcamiento ruta Caldera Blanca. Again, it is important to go well prepared, with the right shoes, water and snacks for the road. Both hikes are free, doable and, in my opinion, among one of the best things to do on Lanzarote.
Ruta de los Volcanes – Montañas de Fuego | Famous things to do on Lanzarote
This route is spectacular and is probably one of the most famous things to do on Lanzarote. Unfortunately you can not do this trip on your own. You can only do this by public bus for which you pay around 12 euros. During a 45-minute tour you cover a distance of about 14 kilometers. You drive past numerous craters, solidified lava rivers and slopes of ash. And although the landscape is pretty much the same, it is in one word, impressive. After the bus tour there is a demonstration, where fire is made underground with heat from the volcano, including volcanic activity through geysers is shown.
Everywhere I read that the bus ride would be accompanied by beautiful music but don’t expect too much from it. There is an audio file with explanations in three languages and occasional music. Keep in mind that this bus ride is crowded. It is the only way to discover this part of the area but in high season I can imagine that it is a waste of time to wait in line. There are other ways to explore Timanfaya then.
The volcanic eruptions of 1730 on Lanzarote lasted for six years. This natural event covered a third of the island and left countless lava fields behind. Mountains and craters arose and exploded again. In the 19th century new eruptions took place and new volcanoes were formed. All this created a bizarre landscape, which you can safely visit today.
Take pictures with the dromedaries
Although I am not always a fan of this kind of rides, visiting the dromedaries is definitely fun. They are special animals and because they are in the Timanfaya area, chances are you will drive past them by car. You can take a ride and explore part of the national park that way. Or just take some nice pictures.
Additional Lanzarote travel tips: Try to spot the dromedary caravan. Every day at the beginning and end of the day, the animals move to and from Timanfaya National Park. The procession around Uga and Yaiza on the highway is a surreal sight.
Drive around by car
Personally, I found it the most fun to drive around by car on Lanzarote. You drive for miles through black solidified magma and gray mountains. Along the way you can stop for beautiful pictures and take your time to take in the impressive surroundings. A good basic route is from Mancha Blanca to Yaiza. On the way you can turn at a few points and explore the area further.
You can also make a stop at the Timanfaya visitor center. Here you find explanations about the area and at the back of the building you have an insane view of the solidified lava mass.
Travel blog with tips for things to do on Lanzarote in the south
Between the village of El Golfo and Salinas you will find los Hervideros (which means cooking pots). It is a rock formation with holes, cut out of the sea. The water splashes up on all sides and it is a fascinating sight. You can park the car in the parking lot and take a short walk from here. There are several corridors and platforms where you can see this natural wonder up close.
Playa del Papagayo
Playa del Papagayo is without doubt the most beautiful beach in Lanzarote and therefore one of the things on Lanzarote you can’t miss. Before you reach the beaches, you drive through a fantastic lunar landscape with countless colors of brown, red and black. Once you reach the coast, you have an impressive view. You find yourself at the top of a cliff overlooking the beautiful blue sea, rock formations and beaches.
You can relax on the beach, but it is particularly worthwhile to make very nice walks over the cliffs to the adjacent beaches. Papagayo is located on the top of the island in the south east. From Mirador de la Punta del Papagayo it is even possible to see the sea on both sides.
Extra Lanzarote travel tips: Don’t forget to have a drink in one of the bars. These are located at the top of the cliff and offer super views of the surrounding area.
Explore Lanzarote from the water with a catamaran tour
Would you like to experience Lanzarote from the water? At Lanzalux you can book a catamaran trip. I highly recommend the Papagayo catamaran, which also allows you to sail quite a bit when the weather is good. From Marina Rubicon in Playa Blanca you sail to the beautiful beaches of Papagayo, where you can enjoy the sun, sea and beach. Along the way you even have the chance to see dolphins and flying fish.
Unfortunately I was not able to make this trip myself due to too much wind. But seeing this fantastic yacht and the beautiful Papagayo Beach, make me want to come back here and experience it. You can opt for a group excursion, but you may want to spend a little more and go for a unique private tour with snacks and drinks. More information can be found on the Lanzalux website
Laguna de los Clicos
Laguna de los Clicos is a green lagoon on the sea, near the village of El Golfo. The color green, created by a type of algae, is enchanting. Especially when the sun is shining! From the parking lot it is a mini walk to the viewpoint where you have to be for a photo.
Lunch in el Golfo
Looking for a nice lunch spot, near Charco de los Clicos? In El Golfo you can have a delicious lunch at Bogavante. You sit by the water and enjoy fresh fish dishes.
Salinas de Janubio and beach
It is nice to make a stop at the salt pans of Lanzarote, Las Salinas de Janubio. The view is the best from the restaurant Mirador las Salinas. Here you have a good overview and the colors come into their own.
It is also worth visiting the black sand beach, at the bottom of Las Salinas. It is a special beach and if you are patient you can find the green olivine pebbles (A mineral derived from magma and washed back into the sea by snails). Find a nice spot, start digging and chances are you will find this local semi-precious stone. You can also buy jewelry from it on Lanzarote.
Travel blog with tips for things to do on Lanzarote in the north
Jameos de Agua
A place that is difficult to describe because it is without a doubt one of the most famous things to do on Lanzarote. Jameos de Agua is part of the Atlántida cave system and is a kind of crack in a lava layer, consisting of caves and tunnels. Artist César Manrique turned it into a beautiful landscape artwork, with stairs, numerous plants and a pool surrounded by palm trees. Very nice to walk through and let it sink in.
Special is the saltwater lake in the cave, with very small albino crabs that have lost their eyes due to the darkness. I did expect them to be much bigger but it’s still interesting. It is also possible to dine in Jameos de Agua. Because of the good acoustics, concerts take place there regularly. A reason for me to come back again. Keep in mind that Jameos de Agua is one of the top things to do on Lanzarote so it is (unfortunately) always busy. Nevertheless, a place not to be missed.
Cueva de los Verdes
Cueva de los Verdes is also an experience. You enter a 7.5 km long lava tunnel, created by a volcanic eruption more than 5000 years ago. Corridors, formations and cavities were formed. Today you can visit part of the cave, spread over two floors, where you marvel at the solidified lava formations. Nice is it that in the cave they work with light effects and music. Something that makes your visit extra special.
Unfortunately it is only possible to visit the cave with a group, accompanied by a guide. This is unfortunate but fortunately the groups are small. Moreover, tourism is regulated in this way. The trip is really worthwhile but you must set aside time for it. The tour takes at least 45 minutes and there is often a queue. Also check out the programming, also here you can often attend fantastic concerts.
Lanzarote travel tips: This is one of the best things to do on Lanzarote on a rainy day.
Jardín de Cactus, top things to do on Lanzarote
This place was high on my list to visit from the beginning and is one of the top things to do on Lanzarote, as far as I’m concerned. In this former quarry surrounded by lava rocks, you will find more than 1500 different cacti. Artist César Manrique collected them from all over the world and had them planted here. You really look your eyes out. The different shapes and sizes create a surrealistic image, with countless species that you’ve probably never seen before. This place is not to be missed!
Visit the viewpoints
If the weather is nice you can visit el Mirador del Río, a viewpoint designed by César Manrique. On a clear day you have a perfect view of the islands Graciosa and Alegranza. If you only want the view and do not want to pay an entrance fee, you can also stop at a viewpoint Mirador de Guinate.
Looking for a place to stay in Lanzarote? Here you can find an overview of hotels on Lanzarote. Want to read more about my stay in La Isla y El Mar? Have a look in my Lanzarote travel blog with a review about La Isla y El Mar.
Meet César Manrique | cultural things to do on Lanzarote
César Manrique is one of Lanzarote’s most famous artists. As a landscape architect, he was responsible for beautiful Lanzarote sights as Cueva de los Verdes, Jamelos de Agua, El Jardin de Cactus, el Mirador del Río. Everywhere on the island you will come across his name.
Would you like to know more about the life of this landscape artist? Then it is worth visiting one of his houses. In Tahíche you will find the César Manrique Foundation, the volcano house, where he lived for 20 years. Manrique designed the building himself and used the lava from the volcanic eruption in 1730 as a natural backdrop. The combination of black lava and contemporary architecture make for special pictures. The Palm grove House in the village of Haría is one of his other houses. Here you can take a look at the various rooms and studio where César Manrique spent his last years. It is interesting to learn more about how important this artist was and still is for Lanzarote.
Visit the villages of Tequise and Haría
Teguise is the former capital of the island and one of the oldest towns. You can walk through the streets of the historic center, see the church, eat and drink on terraces like La Bodeguita del Medio and enjoy the nice atmosphere. You can also visit the Fort Santa Barbara, at the top of the mountain, if you want to know more about the history. Or just want to take in the fantastic views. Boutique Hotel Palacio de Ico is highly recommended if you want to spend the night in Teguise.
La Haría is beautifully situated in a valley with palm trees and is a village that is less visited than Teguise. You will find nice streets with white houses and a number of bars. Also here is the former home and studio of César Manrique, one of the cultural things to do on Lanzarote.
Extra Lanzarote travel tips: On Sundays, Teguise is dominated by a large market. Haría is the place for markets and socializing on Saturdays but less crowded than Teguise.
Discover the wine region of Lanzarote | culinary things to do on Lanzarote
I was surprised to learn that Lanzarote is known for its fine wines. Volcanic wines! So as a wine lover, I couldn’t resist visiting the area. And it is really special. There are numerous plains consisting of pitch black volcanic soil with small circles in pits, which are made of piled up stones. In each circle there is one green plant/vine, filled with lava stones that can hold moisture.
Unfortunately, I visited the island in winter and the plants were not in bloom then. But still it is worthwhile to visit this area. Moreover, around the village of La Geria and Tinajo, there are many wineries, including Bodegas Rubicón, Bodega La Geria and el Chupadero. Here you can attend a tour and, of course, do a wine-tasting.
How to discover Lanzarote and its many things to do
Would you like to discover the many things to do on Lanzarote? Then it’s best to rent a car and tour the island. The roads are good and the distances short. From north to south it takes less than two hours. Moreover, in many places you can park your car along the road and take a picture of the special views. Depending on your time and interests you can take for example one day for the south, one day for the north, and one day for Timanfaya and the wine region.
Because you are in many places in rugged nature, you will not always find a restaurant, gas station or store nearby. It is important to include lunch time in your day schedule and buy some water and snacks before you start your island tour.
Entrance tickets Lanzarote | extra travel tips
On Lanzarote you can do a surprising amount of things on your own, without having to pay an entrance fee. But of course you have to pay admission for most César Manrique landscape artworks such as Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos de Agua, Mirador del Rio, Jardín de Cactus and the Timanfaya National Park. Are you planning to visit several Lanzarote sights during your stay? Then it is convenient to buy a combination ticket where you visit 4 or 6 places at a reduced rate. The ticket is valid for 14 days from the first stamping and you can visit each sight once. More information can be found at Cact Lanzarote.
Tips for hotels on Lanzarote
There are numerous hotels in Lanzarote. I myself chose a central location on the island and stayed at La Isla y el Mar. La Isla y el Mar is a lovely boutique hotel in Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote and one of the better hotel tips I can give you. The rooms are modern and spacious, there is great attention to service and detail and the food is more than delicious. In addition, the grounds are beautifully landscaped with volcanic stones everywhere, numerous cacti and beautiful flowers. To relax you can take a seat by the pool or on one of the sunbeds on the sun deck. It is a hotel where you can experience the small-scale boutique atmosphere in a perfect way.
Want to read more about my stay in La Isla y El Mar? Have a look in my Lanzarote travel blog with a review about La Isla y El Mar and many travel tips.
From La Isla y el Mar you can be in the north and south of the island within an hour. Meaning you have plenty of time to discover the numerous things to do on Lanzarote from here. Are you looking for a more rustic place to stay? Then take a look at Buenavista Lanzarote.
Check out the availability and current rates for La Isla y el Mar here. Looking for more hotel options? Here you can find an overview of hotels op Lanzarote. Want to read more about my stay in La Isla y El Mar? Have a look in my Lanzarote travel blog with a review about La Isla y El Mar.
Best travel time Lanzarote
The warmest period with the least rainfall on Lanzarote is from May to September. However, this is also the busiest period. In the spring and autumn the temperatures are cooler and it is less crowded. I myself visited Lanzarote in late January, a wonderful period because of the tranquility that prevails on the island and the nice sunshine. Especially in the afternoon! Maybe too cold to take a dip in the sea and lie on the beach (at least for me, being a shivery person). But perfect for an afternoon by the pool (around 20 degrees) and to discover the many things to do on Lanzarote and attractions. So actually Lanzarote is a good place to visit all year round. Of course, depending on your wishes.
More about Lanzarote
Did you like reading this Lanzarote travel blog with travel tips and things to do on Lanzarote? Curious about other European destinations and Passport the World tips, be sure to check out my Europe archive. Looking for a nice place to stay in Lanzarote? Have a look in my Lanzarote travel blog with a review about La Isla y El Mar.