Things to do in Lanzarote

Known for its warm climate, sandy beaches and volcanic landscape, Lanzarote is the perfect holiday retreat. There’s more to this fascinating island than just sun, sea and sand – this inspiring list will tell you exactly what to do in Lanzarote. 

  1. Kick back on the island’s best beaches
  2. Explore Lanzarote’s unforgettable volcanic park
  3. Discover the busy market town of Teguise
  4. Take a trip through dramatic lava-formed caves
  5. Visit the former home of Lanzarote’s iconic artist and architect
  6. See Lanzarote’s epic cactus garden
  7. World-class waves

If you ever fancy a break from the beaches, why not explore the epic volcanic landscape, go for a tour of the fantastic cave systems or visit the home of Lanzarote’s world-famous artist. Let this list inspire you on your next Lanzarote holiday.

1. Kick back on the island’s best beaches

Just 3 miles from the airport, Puerto del Carmen is home to some of Lanzarote’s best beaches. As well as a pretty little fishing harbour, there are numerous fish restaurants with excellent views out to sea. You can still see fish being unloaded from small fishing smacks by the jetty, and these vessels have been joined by leisure craft and excursion boats offering trips around the coast and across to Fuerteventura.

While you’re there: The little rocky coves just east of the harbour, before the beaches begin, are perfect to learn how to dive.

2. Explore Lanzarote’s unforgettable volcanic park

This normally tops the list of most people’s things to do in Lanzarote… Passing under Manrique’s famous ‘fire devil’ sign, nothing will prepare you for the spectacular Timanfaya landscape beyond. Frequent bus tours take you around the park, or more adventurous travellers can ride camels around the outer volcanic slopes.

While you’re there: There are restaurants and even a little museum of volcanic rocks.

3. Discover the busy market town of Teguise

Once the capital of the island, Teguise is a picturesque little town, with cobbled streets and a number of well-restored colonial buildings with typical Canarian wooden balconies and pretty courtyards. On Sundays, the lively market covers the town, and shoppers can find aloe vera products, local cheeses, wine and jars of mojo sauce, as well as a few ceramics and woven goods.

While you’re there: The Convento de Santo Domingo founded by the Dominican Order in 1698, has now become an art centre, which holds regular exhibitions of contemporary work.

4. Take a trip through dramatic lava-formed caves

Over the years, these caverns served as a place of refuge for local people when pirates attacked. We recommend taking a 50-minute tour which is well worth it. The shapes of the cave walls and ceilings, formed by the solidified lava and enhanced by discreet lighting, are extraordinary. Your guide will lead you into an auditorium, where concerts are sometimes held, as the acoustics are excellent.

While you’re there: As the tour draws to an end, the guide will demand silence in order to introduce you to the rather ingenious ‘secret of the caves’.

5. Visit the former home of Lanzarote’s iconic artist and architect

The Fundación César Manrique was the artist’s home, which he remodelled as a museum and gallery when creating the foundation in 1982. The exhibition salons contain Manrique’s own paintings, ceramics and sketches, as well as works by Picasso, Tàpies and Miró. As you leave the building you pass through a small garden with a central pond and fountain, and a huge abstract mural that is one of Lanzarote’s iconic sights.

While you’re there: Nearby is the sleepy town of San Bartolomé. The church, theatre and town hall form two sides of an attractive square.

6. See Lanzarote’s epic cactus garden

The last project of César Manrique, the cactus garden is home to 450 species of cactus and succulents from all over the globe. Situated in a former quarry, the garden forms the shape of a large amphitheatre with a disused windmill at its highest point. It’s a peaceful and picturesque escape from some of the other more active pursuits on the island.

While you’re there: A certain cactus has been cultivated here, as it attracts a beetle whose larvae is a key ingredient in natural dye.

7. Ride world-class waves

One of the best things to do in Lanzarote is ride the waves. Known as the European Hawaii, Famara is one of the best surfing spots in the world. It’s a place for experts and amateurs alike and the little town has a host of great cafes, bars and restaurants. What’s more, its laid-back atmosphere makes it a welcome break from some of the busier beaches in other parts of the island. 

While you’re there: You’ll also find skate, bike and car rental in the village, allowing you to explore the town’s beautiful setting.

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