Hello everyone…here is another of our Saturday blogs…hope you enjoy reading it
How You Can Enjoy a Dramatically Different Side of Lanzarote by Car
Lanzarote is renowned for its incredible beaches, unique volcanic landscape, and amazing year-round warm, sunny climate.
For most people, especially tourists who come and stay for a week in the main resorts of the island, this is the image they are most familiar with.
For those looking for an antidote to the stresses of “normal life”, then a week spent relaxing by the pool, or lounging on the beach in Puerto Del Carmen, Playa Blanca or Costa Teguise is a perfect option.
If you have a longer holiday in Lanzarote booked or would love to explore more of the island though, a wonderful way to do this is by renting a car and going for an adventure!
In comparison to some of the other Canary Islands such as Tenerife, Lanzarote is relatively small, and you can drive from the most southern, to the northernmost point in under two hours.
Due to the low population, you can enjoy safe, quiet driving conditions along modern, well-maintained roads. Driving in Lanzarote is very different from the busy streets of most other tourist locations across Europe and on many of the roads, you will rarely see another car. Driving bliss!
Exploring the North of Lanzarote
For such a small island, you will be amazed by the contrasts you can find here. Most of the resorts are in the south of the island where the more tourist-friendly beaches are located, with convenient and regular public transport links.
By car though, you can easily explore the more secluded and contrasting north of the island, and you will no longer need to rely on waiting for buses or paying for expensive taxis to get around.
If you are concerned about the environmental effects of driving, then there is good news, as it now possible to rent electric cars in Lanzarote from companies such as Cicar.
With a rental car, you can take things at your own pace, decide where and when to stop for a look around and see areas of the island that many tourists don’t manage to experience.
When driving around Lanzarote, there are so many amazing photo opportunities you can discover along almost any stretch of road, such as lava fields, volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and stunning cliff views out to the ocean.
We would definitely recommend taking a drive north to see some unique parts of the island.
Don’t miss stopping off at the village of Haría to take some photos, and marvel at how different it is from the south of the island. If you are used to the beaches and dry volcanic landscape of the south, you will be amazed to see actual green grass covering many of the fields and hills surrounding Haría.
This is a side to Lanzarote that many people never get to see. In fact, it’s tempting to lie down in the grass just to be sure you aren’t imagining it! The fields may make you think of a savanna on an African plain, with the interspersed bushes and trees making it look even more amazing.
While rainfall in Lanzarote is very infrequent due to its low altitude and geographical location, on occasions there can be heavy downpours, especially in winter months.
These don’t last long but provide a lot of much needed water for the island’s plant life. If you explore Lanzarote after this heavy rainfall, you will find much of the island has changed dramatically from a barren landscape to a verdant green, especially in the north. The transformation is incredible, with the plants bursting into life!
Even when the grass isn’t so green, Haría already has one of the most visually stunning surroundings of the island, as it lies in what is known as the “Valley of 1,000 Palms” named because of the number of palm trees there. It has been said that back in the 17th and 18th centuries, to celebrate the birth of a child, villagers planted palm trees, either two for a boy or one for a girl.
The backdrop to this valley is the Risco de Famara, the island’s tallest mountain range which at its highest point stands at 671 metres tall. The striking white buildings of the village, the stunning volcanic cliff backdrop and the abundant palm trees all make Haría and this part of the island look truly spectacular. In fact, Haría feels unlike almost anywhere else in the world!
If you decide to take a wander around the village, you can find a number of excellent quality restaurants and cafes, as well as a more relaxed pace than the bustling resorts.
Mirador Del Río
From here, we recommend driving to check out the nearby Mirador Del Río viewing gallery, designed by the brilliant Lanzarote-born artist and architect César Manrique. This is in the far north-west of the island and offers incredible views across to the small neighbouring island of La Graciosa, making it well worth the small entrance fee.
Inside there is a restaurant/cafe where you can sit and enjoy the stunning vista through the huge specially designed viewing window. Despite the breeze and slight chill in the air, stepping outside onto the massive balcony is an incredible experience, as it looks straight down the cliff. Be warned though, this can induce a feeling of vertigo and is not for the faint-hearted!
The vista is breath-taking and one of the best views on the whole of Lanzarote and indeed the Canary Islands. Timing your visit right and staying for the sunset, is also especially recommended. This is without a doubt, one of the best locations on the island to witness the sun setting, helping to further enhance the already dramatic location.
If you are lucky, you may be able to see rays of light breaking through clouds, giving the impression of light shining down from heaven. Watching a sunset from such a stunning location, really is one of those distinctive moments that creates memories that will last for long time after your holiday has ended.
From here you can drive back via the outstanding old capital city of Teguise. Here you will find a variety of excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes. One excellent option is La Cantina restaurant. This is one of the most popular restaurants on the island with delicious food and a great atmosphere. It is has a number of superb vegan and vegetarian options such as the delicious aubergine bake!
If you decide to drive to Teguise earlier in the day and on a Sunday, you will be able to enjoy the huge outdoor market there. The streets are bustling with stalls which include crafts, handmade soaps, fruit and vegetables, food and more.
Teguise really comes alive on market day, with people from all over the island going, as well as many tourists!
Teguise is also excellent for shopping, even if you go there on non-market days. There are a wide variety of shops, many of which sell high-quality products handmade in Lanzarote.
While you will undoubtedly enjoy any holiday in Lanzarote, as you can tell it is well worth renting a car and exploring more of the island, as you can find some truly incredible sights.
You should definitely not miss a drive around the North of the island to stunning locations such as Haría, and Mirador del Rio for an incredible view that will truly take your breath away.
Thanks to Jayr Enriquez for the pictures