The Lunar Landscape of Lanzarote

It is said that Lanzarote is the most volcanic-looking of the Canary Islands. Its lunar landscape, covered in craters, canyons and valleys of solidified lava, is one of its main attractions, but not the only one.

Lanzarote is one of the oldest of the Canaries, the result of volcanic activity that started 22 million years ago. The passing millennia have moulded its landscapes and structure, giving it truly spectacular countryside, a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve.

The constant warm, spring weather means you can enjoy the beauty and contrasts of its coast at any time of year. There are beaches with black or golden sand, in the towns or in protected nature areas. There are also places of great ecological value to be discovered, such as Timanfaya National Park, where you can see a huge variety of volcanic formations, and the Chinijo Archipelago Nature Reserve, a refuge for many species of marine birds.

The impressive fields of solidified lava that make up this island convert Timanfaya into the land of the volcanoes. Different volcanic eruptions and magma activity throughout its history, make this land what it is today. From the nature viewpoint of Montaña Rajada you can admire a vast sea of lava that reaches the coastline. Particularly impressive are: the undulations, strident forms created by the lava. Since then its inhabitants have learned to live alongside this unusual and pretty landscape, and have even dry farmed melons, onions, tomatoes and also vines in La Geria.

If you would like to find out more about the special relationship that exists between local people and their unique volcanic surroundings, visit the island’s Art, Culture and Tourism Centres. They were created to protect the island’s heritage. Each one is different, and together they offer an essential, overall panorama of local culture.

If you also like sport, then here you will find a host of possibilities. You can play golf amidst lava and cactus, go diving on the island’s beautiful sea bed, go deep sea fishing and surfing too – the waves here are considered some of the best in Europe.

You can get to Lanzarote by air and sea, via the capital, Arrecife. The best way to get around inland is to hire a car – the longest distance between any two points is only 71 kilometres. Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, is a quiet, beautiful port city situated on the eastern coast of the island. Sharing prominence in its urban layout are the streets of the historic centre, filled with shops, and popular neighbourhoods such as San Ginés. Not forgetting the many museums and historic buildings which permit Arrecife to enjoy an active cultural life. And in the seafront area, it provides attractive beaches and excellent nautical facilities along with the opportunity to play golf while taking in the striking views of the Atlantic.

Teguise, former capital of the island of Lanzarote, sits in an incredible volcanic landscape formed by old craters and rivers of solidified lava. A good part of the island’s history is reflected in the old town, a collection of whitewashed houses which gathers together beautiful examples of popular and noble architecture. Profoundly influenced by the mark left by the Lanzarote architect Cesar Manrique, Teguise preserves two of his principal creations: the Cactus Garden and the foundation which bears his name, which was also the artist’s former residence. All this is complemented by the beautiful beaches of Famara and Costa Teguise, this last one converted into one of the chief tourist centres on the island.

Rudi van der Zalm is the founder of one of Europe’s most popular online car hire services to help travellers find cheap car hire in Lanzarote . Visit for cheap car hire in Lanzarote and other Canary Islands.

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