Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain: How to get there, where to stay and what to do

Volcanic in origin and birthed from lava, the unique, intriguing island of Lanzarote boasts spectacular volcanic landscape scenery, year-round sunshine and a multitude of geological wonders.

Take a tour of Timanfaya National Park to feel the heat of the dormant Fire Mountain volcano. See surreal landscapes and admire lava fields, volcanic slopes and craters formed over 300 years ago from the lava of 100 volcanoes.

Declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, its martian-like surface has provided a spectacular setting for movie shoots while also providing a perfect training location for NASA’s Apollo 17 crew. Unearth fascinating history and facts surrounding the island’s volcanic activity at the visitor centre.

Shop until you drop in modern Arrecife, the island’s vibrant capital, which boasts a white sandy beach, lively nightlife and metropolitan vibe. Named after the volcanic reefs that protect its coast, the city has a laid-back feel and is known for its elegant designer boutiques and high-end retail shops. Visit La Recova Market for island handicrafts or enjoy a stroll, skating or bike riding along El Charco de San Gines, a picturesque riverfront.

Head to Marina Rubicon in the salubrious setting of Playa Blanca – a hotspot for water sports such as diving and sailing, and also boasting the first underwater museum in the Atlantic Ocean. Take a stroll past the yachts parked in the marina and browse around designer boutiques before stopping off for tapas in one of the upmarket harbourside restaurants. Visit the market on a Wednesday and Saturday for locally produced goods, or take a leisurely stroll around the wooden walkways over the bridge and waterways.

Explore the underground lava caves of Jameos del Agua and the world’s longest volcanic submarine lava tube formed over 4,000 years ago. A must-see when visiting Lanzarote, it’s also an art, culture and tourist attraction created by local architect and artist César Manrique. Listen to a live music performance or watch a film in the world’s only auditorium built in a cave.

The interior lagoon is also home to tiny rare blind crabs which are unique to the island. Take a dip in the crystal-clear turquoise pool of ‘Jameo Grande’ or enjoy a truly unique, magical dining experience – a three-course meal and concert set in a beautifully-lit cave.

Adult: €9.50, children aged 7–12: €4.75 (reduced entry from 3pm and 7pm).

Uncover the myths and legends behind Cueva de los Verdes, known as the Cave of the Greens, which was used as a hide-out from pirate invasions in the 16th and 17th centuries. Explore the intricate tunnel system and grotto – a volcanic subterranean world set over three levels with spectacular features highlighted by amazing acoustics and ambient lighting.

Adult: €9.50, children aged 7–12: €4.75 (reduced entry from 3pm and 7pm).

Dive down deep under the Atlantic Sea on a Submarine Safari without so much as getting your hair wet. Discover shipwrecks, barracuda, angel sharks and other enchanting marine life from 80-feet under, from the comfort of a 44-seater submersible. Tickets: Adults: €55; Children: €34.

Lanzarote is easy to explore using the island’s excellent public transport system. Buses offer a cheap, efficient way to travel between resorts, while trips by local operators provide a generally more expensive, convenient option. Alternatively you can hire a bike from one of the many bicycle rental shops, or for the more adventurous, ferry companies will take you to nearby Graciosa Island and to the neighbouring islands of Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

Buzzing with nightlife, Puerto del Carmen offers a bustling bar and club scene while sophisticated Arrecife is popular for stylish clubs and harbourside bars. For a totally different dining experience altogether visit El Diablo Restaurant to dine on the peak of a volcano in Timanfaya National Park where barbecued cuisine is cooked up using the geothermal heat from a dormant volcano. Alternatively, push the boat out and head to chic Bond-style eatery Mirador del Rio, an artist-designed restaurant carved into the peak of a 474-metre-high cliff with panoramic vistas.

Luxury: With white-washed buildings set around a lagoon-style pool, iconic five-star hotel H10 Rubicon Palace is idyllically located on the seafront. This all-inclusive accommodation offers fantastic facilities, with both indoor and outdoor pools, three children’s pools, chill-out terrace with sea views and sports including mini golf and beach volley ball. Calle Janubio, 1, 35580 Playa Blanca, Las Palmas, Spain. Phone: +34 928 51 70 37. From £82.

Mid-range: Overlooking a beautiful sandy beach and surrounded by tropical gardens, near crystal-clear waters, Hipotels La Geria offers stunning four-star accommodation. Facilities include a poolside bar, tennis courts and swimming pool, together with a children’s pool and playground, while activities include archery, table tennis and billiards. Calle Jupiter 5, 35510 Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain. 00 34 928 51 04 41. From £65.

Budget: Positioned in a peaceful area of Puerto del Carmen, within easy reach of the beach, self-catering Tisalaya Apartments are popular with both couples and families. Guests rate the clean, comfortable rooms with their own private terrace while facilities include a large swimming pool, separate children’s pool, solarium, games room and gym. Calle Montana Tisalaya 1, 35510 Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Spain. +34 928 51 43 73. From £44.

Currency: Euro – € (£1 = €1.1145

The Flight: Manchester International to Lanzarote, 3 hrs 54 mins, from £42 return.

Time Zone: GMT.

Best Time to Visit: Lanzarote has a dry sub-tropical climate with trade winds, and is warm all year round. A popular winter time destination, daytime temperatures range from 18 to 22 degrees from December to March reaching highs of 28°C in summer.

Visas/Injections/Precautions: None required.

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