Mysterious volcanoes, deep craters and spectacular lava landscapes on one side, miles of beaches, lush palm trees and trendy beach bars on the other – Lanzarote may be one of the smaller Canary Islands, but it is extremely diverse and diverse. We show you the most beautiful places in Lanzarote.
The capital of the island, Arrecife, is located in the eastern part of Lanzarote. Arrecife has been the capital of the island since the mid 19th century because the volcanic rocky cliffs ensured a good place for a port here. Trade and fishing once played an important role – and even today the port, the Marina Lanzarote and the fishing district of La Puntilla at the Laguna El Charco de San Ginés are important places in the city.
The historic core developed around the parish church of San Ginés in Plaza de Las Palmas. With the Castillo de San Gabriel and the Castillo San José there are two former castles from the 16th and 18th centuries respectively. Highlights include the Calle León y Castillo shopping street, the Piracy Museum, the Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, and the Parque Tématico.
When it comes to beaches, the south of Lanzarote is the best direction: here lies Playa Blanca and the main and largest tourist center in Lanzarote. There used to be only a small fishing village here, but over the decades the south has transformed into a holiday paradise.
There are numerous hotels and holiday apartments along the famous beaches of Playa Flamingo, Playa Dorada and the beach of the same name, Playa Blanca. The waterfront stretches for over seven kilometers and offers everything from cafes, restaurants and boutiques to surf schools and the Paracraft water sports center.
Timanfaya National Park
Lanzarote is a volcanic island characterized by a spectacular lava landscape. The wild beauty of the island is revealed in the Timanfaya National Park. The national park covers an area of 51 square kilometers. Here you will be amazed by the impressive volcanic cones, mighty craters and so-called mountains of fire. The geography of the national park dates back to three volcanic eruptions in 1720, 1736 and 1824.
Make sure you plan a full day and start at the Mancha Blanca Visitor Center. Here you get the best overview of the possibilities that the park offers. There are several guided tours and guided tours by bus, particularly recommended is the Tremesana route, two kilometers long, which can be taken on a guided tour.
In Lanzarote we come across the name César Manrique several times. The island’s most famous artist has made his mark everywhere with his work. He was a painter, architect, sculptor and environmentalist and had a decisive influence on the image of the volcanic island.
To the north you will find a beautiful example of his work: The “Jameos del Agua” are the first artistic and cultural site for tourists and consist of a volcanic tunnel, caves, caves and an underground salt lake. César Manrique has created an incredible place that seems to come from another world.
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Cueva de los Verdes
One of the most spectacular natural wonders of Lanzarote is located in the north of the island: the Cueva de los Verdes lava caves were formed between 3000 and 4500 years ago after an eruption of the Volcán de la Corona. In the past people used the caves to hide from pirates, but today it is possible to walk through the lava caves for their entire length of about two kilometers.
The 45-minute tour through the lava tube is an experience: you walk through a total of 16 cleverly lit cavities. The artist Jesús Sotomit, a friend of César Manrique, installed this lighting.
Mirador del Río
You have the most beautiful view on the island in the far north of Lanzarote. Here is the Mirador del Río viewpoint at about 470 meters above sea level on a cliff. Once again César Manrique put his fingers in the cake: he designed the Mirador del Río with its enormous glass plates and original sculptures.
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If you are at this vantage point, the view extends a lot over the natural reserve of the Chinijo archipelago and the neighboring island of La Graciosa. You need a ticket to visit, which you can buy online. Tip: There are combined tickets that combine visits to different places of interest, for example Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos del Agua and Mirador del Río.
The oldest city of the entire Canary archipelago is located in Lanzarote: Teguise was the capital of the island until the mid-19th century and is still a place full of history today. Nowhere else in Lanzarote can you discover so much history. The entire historic center is under the protection of monuments.
The Castillo de Santa Bárbara dominates the city. The castle was built to dominate a large part of the island up to the coasts. Today there is a piracy museum here. The heart of Teguise is the Plaza de la Constitución, surrounded by palm trees, colonial mansions and the Church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Tip: Every Sunday there is a market in Teguise, where local products and handicrafts are sold.
Cesar Manrique Foundation
If you want to follow in the footsteps of César Manrique, you should visit the town of Tahíche in the municipality of Teguise. A foundation was established in his honor: the Fundación César Manrique is located in his former home, where he lived from 1968 to 1988 after his return from New York.
The house is extremely exciting: it was built on five large volcanic bubbles resulting from the volcanic eruptions of 1730-1736 and consists of two floors. The entire complex was redesigned by César Manrique himself to adapt it to its new function as a museum.
If you want to immerse yourself in a green and thorny world of cacti, the best thing to do is to go to the small village of Guatiza, also in the municipality of Teguise. A botanical garden with around 4500 cacti of 450 different species will enchant you!
And since César Manrique had a hand in almost everything in Lanzarote, the cactus garden is also his work. It was the last big project before his death. In addition to the cacti, there is a small café and a craft shop on the site.
The Green Lake
How beautifully the colors of nature can complement each other can be seen in the southwest of the island, in the municipality of Yaiza. A lagoon with bright green water has formed in a volcanic crater. The green color of the lagoon is caused by algae.
Thus was born the name of the natural spectacle. “El Lago Verde” in German means “the green lake”. The coast is about 30 meters away, the volcanic crater is connected to the underground sea and is constantly supplied with fresh sea water.
The most beautiful cliffs in Lanzarote rise on the coast between the small fishing village of El Golfo and the salt production plant Salinas de Janubio. The impressive landscape of Los Hervideros was created by volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736.
When the hot lava met the cold sea, this unusually shaped rocky coast was formed. Los Hervideros is also famous for the high waves that crash against the volcanic rocks with enormous force at high tide. Clearly an exciting sight!
Off the northern coast of Lanzarote is the small island of La Graciosa, recognized as the seventh Canary Island since 2018. With an area of just 29 square kilometers, La Graciosa is the smallest of the Canary Islands and is managed by the municipality of Teguise in Lanzarote. You can reach the island in 25 minutes from the port of Órzola.
Since the island is so small, there are no paved roads or mass tourism: the capital is Caleta de Sebo, here are a handful of residences and holiday apartments. Two heavenly beaches await in La Graciosa: Playa La Francesa in the south is usually the first destination because many of the excursion boats dock here, while Playa de las Conchas in the north of the island is very quiet and lonely.