Lanzarote Spain – A UNESCO Eco-tourism haven
Lanzarote Spain, is one of the most spectacular and off the beaten path destinations in Europe. Discover it with this Lanzarote travel guide.
Things to do in Lanzarote Spain
Let’s be honest, Lanzarote is one of the most spectacular destinations in Europe. Its landscape, shaped by the old volcano eruptions gave form to some of the most dramatic landscape I’ve ever seen.
But where is Lanzarote? you might be asking….
The Island of Lanzarote, is one of the 12 islands that form the Canarian Achipelago, in the Athlantic Ocean. Part of this island is covered by the National park of Timanfava, one of the most important touristic attractions. Because it’s located only 125km’s off the coast of Africa, it offers a perfect warm climate all year around.
Lanzarote is aBiosphere reserve and a UNESCO site. The Canarian network of protected areas, declared 13 protected spaces in Lanzarote alone, this is about 40% of the islands territory.
When I visited Lanzarote, I didn’t even know what I would find. I thought I would be just another Spanish destination, since all my family vacations were centered around Spain. But I was wrong…. this one was so different from everything I’ve ever experienced before.
Because of its volcanic formation, this Island is radically different from all her sister canary Islands. And no wonder it is the perfect destination for nature and Eco-friendly tourism lovers. You’ll notice that tourism didn’t take over the Island and thanks to very strict protection laws, tourism and nature have managed to achieve a perfect balance.
Eco-friendly things to do in Lanzarote Spain
Visit the Timafaya national park
I took an organized tour to the Timafaya National Park I have to confess I’m not a big fan of organized tours, I like to explore places on my own and my own pace, but this park has so much to see, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t miss on anything.
We took a bus that made a specific route and during the whole time I couldn’t get over the fact that this landscape reminded me of the moon. Not that I have been on the moon before, but the rocky formations, the dramatic shapes of the lava created such a surreal landscape it almost feels mystical and surreal.
This park takes over 1/4 of the island’s territory and most of it is actually restricted. This is the area with the highest geological interess and probably the most unforgettable part of your trip.
We checked out a restaurant that cooks its food with the heat coming from the volcano. You’ll have the chance to watch the fire being lit from the heat out the ground and geysers appearing as water was poured down holes into the earth. A truly unique experience.
Visit the famous vineyards of Lanzarote
One of the highlights of this trip was to visit the vinyards of Lanzarote, which grow in the ashes of the old lava, in a sub-desert climate, a unique feature of the Lanzarote wine. The ashes retain the humidity of the soil, making it possible for the vines to grow in spite all odds.
The immense dark soil contrasts with the only green you’ll ever see in the island, the Vineyards.
Kite surfing in Lanzarote
Adrenaline lovers, Lanzarote has a lot of offer!
Thanks to the warm climate, kite surfing is available all year round. Easier than surfing, trying a couple Kite surfing classes might be exactly what you needed to pump your adrenaline a bit. I didn’t try to kite surf yet, but I enjoy seating on the beach and watch the amazing tricks and flips these guys do.
There are a few schools available, visit a couple and chose the one you liked the most. These guys have experience teacher all levels.
Go Surfing in Lanzarote
Yes! Lanzarote also offers great surf for the wave lovers.
Some people claim that the Canaries are the European Hawaii and a surf paradise all year round, although the best time is usually during the winter – from November to March – when waves reach 1.5 – 4.5 meters.
I wasn’t a surfer “wanna be” when I visited Lanzarote, but if I ever go back, I won’t miss my chance. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner and clumsy like me or a great skilled surfer, Lanzarote won’t let you down!
Go scuba diving in Lanzarote
Another water sport for the nature lovers. There are a few diving schools in Lanzarote and you can either take a PADI course and get certified or you can take a few trips to explore the underwater world, if you already have your open water level.
Lanzarote and the Chinijo Archipelago to its North are the place to go for the Eleonora’s Falcon, and Barbary Falcon, as well as recent colonisers such as Cattle Egret and Little Egret. It is also the island to dream of rediscovering the extinct Black Oystercatcher.
Take a bike tour of Lanzarote
Can’t get more Eco than this, right?
Renting a bike, might be a very relaxing way to see the Island. If you’re more on the lazy side, like me, take a tour on an electric bike. The guide will take you to places, you’ve never thought of visiting or that are not accessible by car.
Visit the Cactus garden
Cactus – my favorite plants. The cactus garden has a great collection of cactus and succulents, from all shapes and sizes. Since the island doesn’t really offer a lot of green spaces, due to its characteristics, the cactus garden is a lot of fun.
Visit the house of Jose Saramago
Jose Saramago was a Portuguese writer who adopted this island as his home, till the day he died. He won the Literature Nobel prize and was one of the biggest activists for the protection of the Eco-system in this Island. Although not Spanish by birth, the locals loved him and his house can now be visited by you.
Saramago was still alive when I visited the Island, but now it’s open for visitors. This is considered the n#1 attraction in Lanzarote by tripadvisor, so you get the point…. it’s well worth the visit and even if you’re not familiar with his work, you might leave this trip wanting to discover his books.
Check out the coastal villages
One of the facts our guide pointed out, was that Lanzarote is considered the cleanest place in Europe.
In fact, Lanzarote looked very clean and the white washed houses and pavements only added to that feeling. I really believe the locals have a huge ecological conscience here and fortunately are proud enough of their island to keep it as natural as possible.
The immaculate white of the traditional Lanzarote islands, contrasts with the black terrain of the ground and the background of volcanoes and craters. It’s a truly spectacular site.
Just relax at any Lanzarote beach
One of my favorite activities when traveling near the beach…. Just relax and do nothing. Listen to the waves and forget about the world out there. The dark sand beaches of Lanzarote are unique and definitely one of my favorite places to spend my time.
Did you know there are camels in Lanzarote? Yes, camels are part of the animals who live in this spectacular island. If the dramatic moon like scenery wasn’t enough… you can throw some camels to the mix, and there you go…. ! This is Lanzarote at its best!
Just watch out, they might have bad humor! One of them tried to chew my hair while another one spit at my mother.
Vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Lanzarote
Like for most of Spain, vegan and vegetarian foods are not the easiest to find. Spain is a heavy meat and fish eating country, vegetarianism is still a new concept many people are unfamiliar with.
Lanzarote had one vegetarian only restaurant which is now closed, but there are veg-friendly places you can visit. For detailed info on restaurants, check out the Happy Cow directory.
Lanzarote is one of those rare European areas that has a warm climate all year round. The winters are warm and sunny and the summers are pleasant. So, if you would like to escape the European cold, but still have an European destination, head for Lanzarote.
Hotels in Lanzarote
RED STAR SURF & YOGA CAMP LANZAROTE
Featuring a rooftop sun terrace with a sea view, as well as a surf store, Red Star Surf & Yoga Camp Lanzarote hostel is located just 100 metres from the Famara and San Juan Beaches.
The hostel offers shared dormitories and private rooms. Each room includes a locker and has access to a shared bathroom with a shower.
Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. There is a shared kitchen and common lounge with a TV.
There are various restaurants and bars within a 5-minute walk of the property. Timanfaya National Park is 18 km away. For the best rates and reservations click Booking.com
Middle range Budget
The Eco yurt construction has a low impact on the environment as it is not a permanent structure and is made simply of wood and fabric.
Its electric is supplied from natural resources and runs “Off the National Grid” and gives guests the opportunity to experience firsthand, living with solar panels and wind turbines and using the latest renewable energy systems. It has been installed the most up to date energy systems on offer, and they work very efficiently.
LANZAROTE YACHT HOTEL
Moored in Marina Rubicon, in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote Yacht Hotel is an air-conditioned boat with a sun terrace. Rented as a whole boat, it features a well-equipped kitchenette and an outside dining area.
Guests can relax in the living area with a sofa, TV, stereo system and dining area. The kitchenette includes a fridge, microwave, hob and kitchenware. The boat has 2 cabins with a double bed, a cabin with 2 single beds and 2 bathrooms with hot water. Bed linen and towels are provided.
You can find bars, restaurants and supermarkets around the marina, as well as a swimming pool and diving centre. There are several white-sand beaches and charming coves within a 10-minute drive of Lanzarote Yacht Hotel. Book it: Booking.com (US)
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