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The volcanic island shaped by an artist

Lanzarote in short

Lanzarote, that little piece of Spain in the middle of the Atlantic, is less well known than Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, the other three main islands of the Canary archipelago. And yet, from our point of view, it's the most interesting island in the Canaries. Leaving aside the three smaller islands of Hierro, La Gomera and Palma, it is the most unspoilt of the archipelago's four main islands, thanks in no small part to its local artist, César Manrique (1919-1992), a genius who managed to bring out the extraordinary landscapes of Lanzarote.

He even succeeded in imposing on his native island thatno building should exceed two storeys, with the added bonus of the typical white of the island's dwellings. This local architecture is respected by all the hotels on Lanzarote, a far cry from the pyramid-shaped monsters found on Tenerife and Gran Canaria!

César Manrique's Cactus Garden.

- © Marques / Shutterstock

Located at the eastern end of the Canary archipelago, Lanzarote is only ahundred kilometres from Africa, and it shows! Dromedaries can be seen here, and the climate is very arid. The volcanic landscapes, covered in craters that look as if they've stepped straight off the planet Mars, offer a real change of scenery, magnified by the cultural heritage of César Manrique, painter, sculptor and architect, who managed to preserve his island.

And that's not all: César Manrique developed various natural sites to make it a unique place. Jameos del Agua, a cave created by the artist, houses two concert halls, a restaurant and a surprising seawater pool. The Mirador del Rio, built by Manrique, offers impressive views of the island of La Graciosa. Fans of botany will marvel at the Cactus Garden, the latest work by César Manrique, home to more than 10,000 cacti representing 1,450 different species, and the Aloe Vera plantation, famous for its many healing properties.

The green lagoon on Lanzarote.

- © Sybille Reuter / Shutterstock

Lanzarote's main attraction is the Timanfaya National Park, founded on a site devastated by a succession of volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736. Here you can walk among hundreds of cones, known as the Mountains of Fire, rising up from the ashes. An extraterrestrial landscape that was used as a backdrop for the filming of Journey to the Centre of the Earth! From the El Diablo restaurant, where you can sample roast chicken directly on a volcanic fault, you can enjoy a panoramic view. You'll see that the volcano is still active!

Other not-to-be-missed sights include the Green Lagoon, a spectacular crater whose water is denser and saltier than that of the Dead Sea, and the Cueva de Los Verdes, a natural cave that extends seven kilometres into the bowels of the Earth beneath the sea - some even claim it leads to Atlantis.

Volcanic landscapes and vineyards of La Geria on Lanzarote.

- © alexilena / Shutterstock

Lanzarote was declared a natural biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993. In 2015, the island was awarded Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification. Covering an area of some 800 square kilometres, it is home to 142,000 inhabitants, 90% of whom work in tourism. On the roads, you won't come across any advertising hoardings, which are banned all over the island. Another great move by César Manrique!

Add to all this the omnipresent sunshine, year-round spring temperatures, black sandy beaches and Spanish cuisine based on fish and seafood, accompanied by a mineral wine made from vines grown in the volcanic soil of La Geria... and you've got the Canary Islands' best deal!

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How to get there?

Lanzarote is served by several low-cost airlines such as Vueling, Ryanair, easyJet, Transavia and Volotea from major French airports. The island is around 2,600 kilometres from Paris, a flight time of around 4 hours 20 minutes. There are also sea and air shuttles to Lanzarote from the other Canary Islands.


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Where to stay?

Although it is less touristy than its neighbours, Lanzarote is an island that attracts many tourists every year, so there is no shortage of accommodation to cater for them all! Although the cost of living is fairly low in the archipelago, hotel prices can be quite high, especially during the school holidays.

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Practical information

Documents and visa:

As Spain is part of the Schengen area, all you need to travel to Lanzarote is a passport valid for three months beyond the date on which you plan to leave the country.


The Spanish unit of currency is the euro. Most ATMs accept international cards and credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Contact your bank to find out your withdrawal and payment arrangements.


Service is included in most establishments, but it is advisable to leave a tip in hotels, restaurants, bars and taxis if you like the service. In general, it represents 10% of the price.


A tourist pass, the CACT, allows you to visit 3, 4 or 6 tourist sites on Lanzarote to choose from the Timanfaya National Park, the Cueva de los Verdes, the Mirador del Río, the Cactus Garden, Jameos del Agua and the MIAC at San José Castle. The 3-centre voucher costs €23.5, the 4-centre voucher €29 and the 6-centre voucher €35. Passes are half-price for children under 13 and free for children aged 6 and under. They are valid for 6 months from the date of purchase and 14 days from the date of access to the first centre.

Best period :

The weather is fine all year round in Lanzarote! The temperature averages 21°C in winter and 28°C in summer, and it almost never rains, making it a consistently pleasant destination to visit! Even so, if you're coming for the sole purpose of enjoying the beaches, you'll be better off between June and November.

Getting around Lanzarote:

Although there are a few buses on the island of Lanzarote, it's still quite complicated to get around by public transport. The easiest way to get around Lanzarote is to hire a car (use a car [hire comparison] tool to find the best prices). The van or camper van is also a popular means of transport for tourists in Lanzarote.

Language :

The official language is Castilian Spanish, which is also used in administration. Most locals speak English and, in the main tourist spots, it's not uncommon to find signs for tourists in French.


The standard is 220V and the plugs are European type, so you will need an adaptor.


As in all tourist areas, it is advisable to be vigilant and not to display money or valuables. So don't leave anything in the car, especially in the many car parks set aside for panoramic views. The emergency number is 112.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Although Spain is famous for its tapas, they are not so common on Lanzarote. Instead, enjoy fresh fish, often accompanied by potatoes in 'Canary sauce'.

by Editorial Team

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