The easternmost and fourth largest of the Canary Islands is virtually treeless and relies on desalination plants for some of its water. Yet many visitors consider Lanzarote the most attractive of all the islands for the vivid shapes and contrasting colours of its volcanic landscapes.
Despite low rainfall, carefully tended crops flourish in its black volcanic soil. Locals pride themselves on the way their island has been preserved from the worst effects of tourism; there are no garish billboards, overhead cables or high-rise buildings. Its present-day image owes much to the artist César Manrique. Touring the spectacular volcanic Timanfaya National Park is a favourite trip.
Best Lanzarote Hotels
LANZAROTE, ARRECIFE Lancelot
Av Mancomunidad 9, 35500, Rooms 112
This modern hotel stands on Arrecife’s Reducto beach, a tempting stretch of soft, pale sand with coral reefs lying just offshore. The hotel has all the standard services including a reception desk open 24 hours. The restaurant has sea views and is also close to other good restaurants in the town.
LANZAROTE, COSTA TEGUISE Gran Meliá Salinas
Av Islas Canarias, Urbanización Costa Teguise, 35509. Rooms 289
A vast atrium with central water gardens and ornamental plants is the focus of this modern luxury hotel in the northern area of Costa Teguise. It has two bars and five restaurants offering a wide choice of food and drink.
A swimming pool, three tennis courts, a gym, mini-golf and a newsagent are add-ons.
LANZAROTE, PLAYA BLANCA H10 Lanzarote Princess
C/ Maciot Urb Playa Blanca, 35570, Rooms 407
A resort hotel popular with families in the south of Lanzarote facing Fuerteventura. It is cool and light, with split-level areas ornamented with water gardens. Of the two swimming pools, one is heated. Tennis and golf are available and there are bikes for hire. They also have evening entertainments and a “miniclub” for children.
LANZAROTE, PUERTO DEL CARMEN Los Fariones
C/ Roque del Este 1, 35510, Rooms 248
This seven-story hotel has direct access to an attractive beach. All the rooms are spacious and have sea views. The hotel has a good range of facilities including a dive centre and two swimming pools. Outside is a large tropical garden. Two bars offer a range of snacks and live music most evenings.
Best Lanzarote Restaurants And Bars
LANZAROTE, ARRECIFE Castillo de San José
Castillo de San José, Ctra de Puerto Nao, 35340
Puerto Nao’s converted fortress was built in 1779 by King Carlos III and restored by the Lanzarote architect César Manrique. It now houses a contemporary art gallery and a restaurant. Enjoy international and regional specialities as you admire the art and views of the harbour. Ironically the castle has always been known locally as the “Hungry Fort”.
LANZAROTE, COSTA TEGUISE Mesón La Jordana
Centro Comercial de Lanzarote Bay, Av de los Geranios, 35509
A popular restaurant in one of Costa Teguise’s shopping centres, King Hussein of Jordan was once a customer here, where local fare is given a French touch. For starters there are Burgundy snails. Main course includes stewed partridge, braised duck and sole with almonds. Desserts include papaya sorbet and crêpe suzette. Closed Sun & Sep.
LANZAROTE, COSTA TEGUISE Neptuno
Av del Jabillo, Centro Comercial Neptuno, local 6, 35509
This airy restaurant in a shopping centre serves traditional Canary Islands cooking. The menu is strong on all types of meat but there are also some excellent fresh fish dishes such as atun adobado al horno (oven-cooked tuna fish) and salmón ahumado de Uga (smoked salmon). Wines and cheeses from the island. Closed Sun and 20 Jun-22 Jul.
LANZAROTE, YAIZA La Era
C/ El Barranco 3, 35340
La Era occupies one of the few old houses to survive the island’s volcanic eruptions of 1730-36. It was built in the 17th century and restored as a restaurant by César Manrique, who created murals for it. Enjoy a salad of octopus and Canary-style potatoes, stew and fish caught fresh at Playa Blanca and cooked to the customer’s orders. Closed Mon.