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Lanzarote – Things to Do Beyond the Beach

Lanzarote is the easternmost of Spain’s autonomous Canary Islands and a popular sunshine holiday hotspot for many British and European tourists. It’s an ideal place to simply relax and most people are happy enough to spend the day soaking up Lanzarote’s beach life. However, if you are the adventurous type and you can only doze on a sun lounger for so long before getting bored, there are plenty of other aspects of this island to explore.

A trip to Lanzarote could include riding a camel through the national park, exploring a volcanic cave and learning how to surf. Here are some of the best activities in Lanzarote to enjoy beyond the beach:

Learn to Surf at Volcano Surf School

Surfing on Lanzarote - Photo by Frank Vincentz
Surfing on Lanzarote – Photo by Frank Vincentz

Lanzarote is known as one of the top surfing destinations in Europe and Volcano Surf School is the undisputed best place on the island to learn the art of riding the waves. The team at Volcano Surf promise to have even the clumsiest beginner standing up on the board and riding their first wave within a few hours.

You will be able to choose between one on one lessons or a small group. The instructors take video footage of the students, so that you can learn from your mistakes and quickly improve.

Go Camel Trekking in Timanfaya National Park

Camel Trekking in Lanzarote - photo by Frank Vincentz
Camel Trekking in Lanzarote – photo by Frank Vincentz

Lanzarote is home to Timanfaya National Park and the Montanas del Fuego or “Fire Mountains”. This mountain rage is actually a collection of over 100 volcanoes which rose up in the 1730s and devastated this area of the island. This otherworldly barren volcanic landscape is truly quite amazing, as the ground only a few metres below the surface can be more than 400 degrees Celsius and dry brush thrown into a hole in the ground will burst into flames immediately.

It is not possible just to wander around the volcanic landscape as access is strictly regulated to protect the delicate flora and fauna. However, the dry desert climate of Lanzarote makes it the ideal environment for camels and one of the best ways to explore is on a guided tour astride one of these beasts.

Go Exploring in the Green Caves

The Green Caves - photo by Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be
The Green Caves – photo by Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be

The Green Caves (Cueva de Los Verdes) are an enormous volcanic tunnel which was formed 4,000 years ago when the Montana La Corona blew its top. It is one of the longest volcanic tunnels on earth and there is a 2km pathway that allows you to walk through the interior of the caves and a great lighting system which shows off the walls of the cavern without taking away from their natural beauty. The only way to access the caves is via a guided tour, which costs €8 for adults and €4 for children.

The Green Caves have a fascinating history, as they were a safe place for the local people to hide during attacks from pirates and raiders throughout the years. The caves were also once inhabited by the aboriginal Guanches people.

Enjoy the View from the Miradors

Mirador Del Rio, Lanzarote - photo by Christian Freiherr von der Ropp
Mirador Del Rio, Lanzarote – photo by Christian Freiherr von der Ropp

Lanzarote offers several incredible lookout points which are known as “miradors” in Spanish, from the Spanish verb ‘mirar’ which means to look. You can rent a car and visit several of these stunning vantage points all in one day.

Las Nieves is a mirador on the top of the Risco de Famara mountain range and can be reached from the LZ10. It features a beautiful chapel known as the ‘Hermitage of the Clouds’. Another great mirador is El Balcon de Femes (The Balcony of Femes), in the peaceful village of Femes which gives breathtaking views of the Rubicon Plain and Playa Blanca.

Find Peace and Quiet on La Graciosa Island

La Graciosa Island - Photo by Marc Ryckaert
La Graciosa Island – Photo by Marc Ryckaert

Take the ferry from Orzola to the island of La Graciosa and you will feel like you have stepped back in time. The streets are unpaved, most motor vehicles are prohibited and there are only around 700 residents. Throughout history this island has been raided by pirates and it is thought to be the inspiration for the book “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The island has the basics including a post office, supermarket and a bank but that is pretty much it. It has a laid back and relaxed feeling which is more like Spain in the 1970s when tourism was only just taking off. You can take a ferry over for a day trip, or there are a few guest houses where you can stay overnight on the island as well.

For a small island, Lanzarote has a surprising large number of great attractions and activities to enjoy. If you have been to Lanzarote, what other beyond the beach adventures would you recommend?

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