Lanzarote, one of the stunning Canary Islands, offers a delightful blend of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and mouthwatering gastronomy. From its awe-inspiring volcanic landscapes and picturesque beaches to its rich history and vibrant cuisine, this island is a true paradise for travelers. In this article, we will delve into the essential places to see, delightful local dishes to savor, recommended accommodations, and exciting activities to make the most of your Lanzarote adventure. In this article Brief History of Lanzarote Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands, boasts a rich and diverse history that dates back to its formation from volcanic activity over 15 million years ago. The island's first known inhabitants were the Guanches, believed to have arrived there around 1000 BC. These early settlers lived in a primitive society, mainly as farmers and shepherds. The island's modern history began with the arrival of the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello in the early 14th century, after whom the island is named. Lanzarote came under Spanish control in the early 15th century, following expeditions led by European conquerors, notably Jean de Béthencourt. The 16th and 17th centuries were turbulent times for Lanzarote, marked by frequent pirate attacks, including raids by notorious figures such as Barbarossa and Sir Francis Drake. Despite these challenges, the island's population and economy slowly grew, primarily driven by agriculture. However, Lanzarote's landscape was dramatically altered by a series of volcanic eruptions in the 1730s, creating the unique terrain seen today, particularly in the Timanfaya National Park. This natural disaster had a significant impact on agriculture and living conditions on the island. In the 20th century, Lanzarote underwent a transformation, largely due to the influence of artist and environmentalist César Manrique. Manrique's vision for sustainable development and his unique architectural style helped shape Lanzarote into a destination renowned for its harmony between nature and art.https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/cactus-garden-in-lanzarote-by-cesar-manrique.jpeg Essential Places to See Lanzarote boasts numerous breathtaking sights that showcase its unique beauty. Here are some must-visit destinations: Timanfaya National Park At the heart of the island lies the Timanfaya National Park. Imagine stepping onto another planet – that's Timanfaya National Park for you. This place is all about dramatic volcanic landscapes that make you feel like you're on Mars! With its red and black soil, craters, and volcanic rock formations, it's like nature's own science fiction movie set. You can take a guided tour, see geothermal experiments (like geysers shooting up from the ground!), and even eat food cooked over volcanic heat. It's a wild, unique experience you won't forget.https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/timanfaya-national-park.jpeghttps://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/show-at-timanfaya.png Jameos del Agua Designed by the island's hero, César Manrique, Los Jameos del Agua is a stunning example of how art and nature can come together. It's a part of a long volcanic tunnel where Manrique created a beautiful, surreal space. There's a stunning, crystal-clear underground lake, home to tiny, rare albino crabs. The space is all about light, water, and natural beauty, with a cool auditorium, gardens, and even a swimming pool. It's like stepping into a tranquil, otherworldly oasis. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/jameos-del-agua-by-cesar-manrique.jpeghttps://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/jameos-del-agua-by-cesar-manrique-lanzarote.jpeg Jardín de Cactus Now, imagine a garden full of spiky surprises – that's the Jardín de Cactus. Also designed by César Manrique, this garden is home to more than 10,000 cacti from all around the world. Set in an old quarry, the garden is a playful and artistic display of these prickly plants. The contrast of the green cacti against the volcanic backdrop is visually stunning, and there's a cool windmill, too. It's a peaceful, quirky spot perfect for a leisurely stroll. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/jardin-de-cactus-lanzarote.jpeghttps://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/cactus-garden-in-lanzarote-by-cesar-manrique.jpeg Omar Sharif's house Picture this: a house that looks like it's straight out of a storybook, nestled in the rugged, volcanic landscape of Lanzarote. This isn't your typical home; it's a unique blend of nature and architecture, something César Manrique was famous for. The house, often called Lagomar, looks like it was carved right out of the island's volcanic rock, blending seamlessly with its surroundings. It's like walking into a magical, secret world. The house is full of quirky, interesting nooks and crannies, with rooms that flow into each other and the outside spaces. Imagine lots of natural light, cool, cave-like rooms, and a feeling of being part of the landscape, not just on it. One of the coolest things about Omar Sharif's house is the way it plays with water and greenery. There are pools and ponds that look like they've been there forever, surrounded by lush plants, which is a stark but beautiful contrast to the island's arid environment. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/omar-sahrifs-house-lanzarote.jpeg Cueva de los Verdes Cueva de los Verdes is a fascinating journey deep into one of the longest volcanic tunnels in the world. Formed by flowing lava, these caves are a natural wonder with a twist. The guided tour takes you through illuminated paths, showing off the cave's unique formations, colors, and secrets. And keep an ear out for the legend of the Green Caves – it adds a bit of mystery to the whole experience! https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/entrance-to-cueva-de-los-verdes.jpeghttps://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/cueva-de-los-verdes.jpeg Los Hervideros Los Hervideros is like nature's own drama theater. It's a rugged coastline where the ocean meets volcanic cliffs, creating a spectacular show. When the waves crash against the rocks and flow into the caves, it looks like the water is boiling – hence the name 'Los Hervideros' or 'The Boiling Waters.' Walking along the pathways, you can watch this powerful display, feel the ocean spray, and listen to the roar of the waves. It's a raw, exhilarating experience that showcases the power of nature. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/los-hervideros-lanzarote-by-cesar-manrique.jpeghttps://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/los-hervideros-lanzarote.jpeg Playa Papagayo Playa Papagayo is like a little slice of paradise tucked away on Lanzarote's southern tip. This beach is famous for its crystal-clear waters and fine, golden sand – it's like stepping into a postcard! Surrounded by cliffs that create a sheltered cove, it's perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or just chilling out with a good book. The water here is calm and inviting, making it a great spot for snorkeling. But, here's the thing – its beauty isn't exactly a secret. The beach tends to get pretty crowded, almost every day -we took the picture at 10 am, it became crowded afterwards- It's a bustling, lively spot where the waters are inviting and the sunset views are unforgettable. So, if a vibrant beach vibe is your thing, Playa Papagayo is definitely the place to be. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/playa-papagayo-lanzarote.jpeg Mirador del Río Perched high up on a cliff about 500 meters above sea level, Mirador del Río offers one of the most jaw-dropping views in Lanzarote. Designed by, you guessed it, César Manrique, this viewpoint blends art and nature seamlessly. From here, you can see across the sea to the neighboring island of La Graciosa, and the view is simply spectacular. The Mirador itself is pretty cool, too – it's built into the rock and has these huge windows for panoramic views. It's like an eagle's nest, offering a peaceful and awe-inspiring perspective on the island's natural beauty. Note: I rented a road bike to get there from Costa Teguise, 100% recommended if you like cycling. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/miarador-del-rio-lanzarote-and-la-graciosa.jpeg Charco Verde Charco Verde, also known as Charco de los Clicos, is a unique and slightly mysterious spot on Lanzarote's west coast. It's a green lagoon, nestled in a volcanic crater, right next to the sea. The green color of the water comes from algae, and it creates a striking contrast against the dark volcanic rocks and the blue ocean. It's like nature's own color palette! You can't swim here, but the view is more than enough – it's surreal and beautiful. There's a viewpoint from where you can take it all in, and the nearby beach with its black sand adds to the otherworldly feel of the place. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/charco-verde-lanzarote.jpeg Must-try delights of Lanzarote Food in Lanzarote offers a delightful blend of traditional Spanish dishes with a unique island twist. Parrillada de Pescado at La Casa de la Playa When in Lanzarote, you've got to try Parrillada de Pescado, especially at La Casa de la Playa in Haría. This place is full of locals. Picture a platter brimming with the freshest fish and seafood, all grilled to perfection. The flavors are as authentic as it gets, and the seaside ambiance adds just the right touch to your dining experience. It's like a seafood feast that your taste buds will thank you for!https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/parrillada-de-pescado-lanzarote.jpeg Queso de Cabra (Goat Cheese) The Queso de Cabra, or goat cheese, in Lanzarote is deliciously creamy and full of flavor. It ranges from fresh and soft to aged and intense. Drizzled with some local honey or palm syrup, it's the perfect end to a Lanzarote culinary adventure.https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/goat-chees-from-lanzarote.jpeg Pulpo (Octopus) Octopus, or 'Pulpo', is a real treat in Lanzarote. Cooked in various styles, it's a dish that showcases the island's love for seafood. Whether it's grilled, marinated, or served in a stew, the pulpo here is tender, flavorful, and oh-so-delicious. Each restaurant has its own way of preparing it, so it's like a new experience every time you try it.https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/delicious-octopus-in-lanzarote.jpeg Lapas in Salsa Verde or with Mojo Picón Lapas, or limpets, are a true taste of the sea. In Lanzarote, they're often cooked in salsa verde or served with that zesty mojo picón sauce. The combination of the fresh, slightly chewy lapas with these flavorful sauces is just divine. It's a simple dish, but it packs a punch in terms of flavor. https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/eating-lapas-in-lanzarote-rotated.jpeg Mojo Picón Sauce Speaking of mojo picón, this sauce is a must-try. Made with garlic, chili peppers, olive oil, and various spices, it's the heart and soul of many Lanzarote dishes. It's a little spicy, a lot tasty, and goes well with just about everything – especially those papas arrugadas! Papas Arrugás Simple, yet irresistibly delicious, Papas Arrugás are a staple in the Canary Islands. These 'wrinkly potatoes' are boiled in saltwater and served with a dab of mojo picón sauce. They're like little, salty flavor bombs that make for the perfect side dish or a tasty snack to enjoy any time of the day. You'll find them pretty much everywhere, and trust me, they're addictive! Wines from Lanzarote Lanzarote's wines are something special. The volcanic soil gives them a unique flavor profile that you won't find anywhere else. From crisp, refreshing whites to rich, flavorful reds, there's a wine for every palate. Sipping on a glass while taking in the island views is an experience in itself. Where to Stay? Lanzarote's diverse range of accommodations caters to every traveler's needs. From the sun-drenched beaches of Playa Blanca to the vibrant streets of Puerto del Carmen and the landscapes of Tinajo, this volcanic island is a treasure trove of experiences. We've curated a list of some of the offers to stay across Lanzarote including opulent 5-star resorts, 4-star hotels, and cozy apartments, each offering its own unique slice of island life. Whether you're here for the stunning beaches. Luxury (5-Star Hotels) Hotel Volcán Lanzarote, Playa Blanca: An elegant resort offering stunning sea views, exquisite dining options, and a world-class spa. Perfect for those seeking luxury and relaxation. Dreams Lanzarote Playa Dorada Resort & Spa, Playa Blanca:A boutique hotel with a personal touch, offering luxurious suites with panoramic ocean views. Ideal for romantic getaways. Arrecife Gran Hotel & Spa, Arrecife: Located in the island’s capital, this hotel offers sophistication with its rooftop restaurant and spa, providing breathtaking views of the city and coastline. Mid-Range (4-Star Hotels) Hotel Lava Beach, Puerto del Carmen: A modern and stylish hotel with direct beach access, excellent amenities, and a tranquil atmosphere. H10 Rubicón Palace, Playa Blanca: Set in a picturesque location, this hotel offers multiple pools, entertainment options, and a selection of bars and restaurants. Barceló Lanzarote Active Resort, Costa Teguise: An all-inclusive resort perfect for families, offering a variety of sports and leisure facilities, along with a relaxing spa. Budget-Friendly (Apartments) Apartamentos Fariones, Puerto del Carmen: Centrally located apartments offering comfort and convenience, close to the beach and local attractions. Apartamentos Zalabar , Yaíza: A charming and affordable option for those looking to explore the island’s natural beauty, offering stunning views and a peaceful environment. La Casa del Medianero, Mácher: Simple, yet cozy, offering a laid-back atmosphere and good value for money. Top things to do in Lanzarote From exploring unique volcanic landscapes to delving into the deep blue sea, and embracing the local art and culinary scene, Lanzarote offers a plethora of experiences. Here's a curated list of the best things to do in Lanzarote Cycling to Timanfaya National Park For an active adventure, rent a bike and pedal your way to Timanfaya National Park. The ride through Lanzarote's unique volcanic landscape is breathtaking. Once at the park, you'll be greeted by otherworldly vistas of craters, lava fields, and volcanic mountains. It's a great way to experience the island's raw natural beauty up close. We rented a couple of e-bikes. There are also guided bike tours and buggy excursions https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/renting-a-bike-lanzarote-parque-de-los-volcanes.jpeg Boat Trip to La Graciosa or Fuerteventura Take to the seas with a boat trip to the nearby islands of La Graciosa or Fuerteventura. La Graciosa, with its serene beaches and quaint village charm, offers a peaceful retreat. Fuerteventura, on the other hand, is known for its stunning beaches and impressive sand dunes. Both provide a delightful contrast to Lanzarote and are perfect for a day trip. You can buy your tickets online https://www.spainfoodsherpas.com/sfs/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/taking-a-boat-to-fuerteventura.jpeg Submarine Adventure For a truly unique experience, embark on a submarine adventure to explore Lanzarote's rich underwater life. This unforgettable journey takes you into the depths of the Atlantic, where you'll encounter a variety of marine life and perhaps even sunken shipwrecks. It's an exciting way to witness the island's aquatic wonders without getting wet. Tickets online Wine Tasting Lanzarote is also famous for its unique wine-growing regions. The vineyards here are set in volcanic ash, creating a striking landscape. A wine tasting tour offers an insight into the island's wine-making process and the chance to sample some of the local volcanic wines. A great place to go for a Wine Tasting is the Wine Museum at the Bodega El grifo. For 45€ you get to try 5 different wines with some local cheeses. The surroundings are spectacular Visiting César Manrique's Artworks No trip to Lanzarote would be complete without experiencing the work of local artist and architect César Manrique. His creations, like the Jameos del Agua, Mirador del Río, and the Cactus Garden, beautifully blend art with the natural environment, offering a unique cultural experience.