By Sue Almond – founder of the Lanzarote Creative Writing Group.

For those who like to really ‘get away from it all’ it is possible to rent properties on the island of Lanzarote in the countryside and small towns and villages inland, often still with a view of the sea.. These ‘casas rusticas’ combine the charm of the islands rural areas, proximity to the life of the local people, and the local bars and restaurants, with modern, well maintained and equipped interiors and often a private pool.

Eating where the locals eat means authentic Canarian food at ‘Lanzarote prices.’ Most small towns and villages have a full menu and also a varied tapas menu in every bar and the prices are extremely reasonable. For those who are not adventurous with food you can usually find a ‘bocadillo’ a sandwich made with local crusty bread, or a sandwich, which on Lanzarote means a toasted sandwich. But tapas portions are small and very inexpensive in the local bars so you can taste and try a selection without committing yourself to a large portion.

Another tip when eating out in Lanzarote: do not be afraid to ask for a half portion, or one portion between two people. It is perfectly acceptable and if you tell them you are sharing they will usually bring two plates. Portions are usually generous and no one minds if you have a starter as a main course.

The resorts and places of interest are never far away by car and there are numerous car hire companies competing for your custom but if you want to enjoy the countryside and the flora and fauna of Lanzarote there are delightful walks all over the island. In the National Park of Timanfaya you can only walk in certain areas and it is necessary to book a place on a guided walk. But from the Mirador de Haria, for example, there is a charming walk which ends in the lovely town of Haria, the Town of a Thousand Palm Trees.

There is a delightful, quite short walk from Orzola, in the North, to Caleton Blanco Beach and another very interesting and quite spectacular walk begins in the ancient town of Femes in the Ajaches, part of the oldest massif on Lanzarote, where the mountains are between 5 million and 20 million years old. This takes you around a high mountain path where, at the right time of year you will come across a riot of wild crocuses.

So when you think of Lanzarote as a holiday destination why not consider something a little different to the usual resort holiday and look at the options available in the countryside. There is more to see and do than you might think.

Sue Almond
January 2012