Lanzarote is quickly gaining traction as the newest eco holiday frontier. With UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, this lesser-known Canary Island offers stretches of national park, rugged coastlines, hidden beaches, and dramatic volcanic rock caverns and formations. From smouldering Fire Mountain to the cool Cueva de Los Verdes caves, disconnect from your bustling day-to-day life and connect with nature at its most powerful. Monarch’s Online Marketing Manager Rob Foulkes reveals the top hits of this island’s incredible landscape.
Fire Mountain is a natural volcano which is still smouldering today. You can take a bus (or camel if you dare!) around the volcano – it looks like lava has only just stopped flowing and you can watch straw set alight when it’s put into holes in the ground. The on-site restaurant El Diablo is great – it serves traditional Canarian cuisine that’s cooked using geothermal heat with a grill placed over a hole in the ground. Plus, it’s not too busy and the food is nice and cheap!
Mirador del Rio
At the north eastern point of the island is Mirador de Rio, a beautiful spot with great views out across the Atlantic Ocean. When you enter the Mirador it looks fairly normal but walk through the café and visitor centre and suddenly you’ll be at the top of a 1000ft cliff! The view is magnificent and the updraft carries birds that take off from the building high into the air.
Cueva de Los Verde
Otherwise known as the Green Caves, named after the family who once owned them, the Cueva Los Verde is a spectacular place to visit. Originally formed by an underground river of lava around 3,000 years ago, the Cueva de Los Verdes extend for over 6km above sea level and another 1.5km below the sea. You can take a guided tour through the melted grottos and tunnels – make sure you ask your guide to show you the incredible acoustics of the caverns. Tours run every day until 6pm.
Jameos del Agua
Jameos del Agua are another set of caves on the island. A jameo is a collapsed underground volcanic tunnel that has now been turned into an auditorium, a swimming pool, gardens and a restaurant by the local artist César Manrique. You’ll find them just a few hundred metres down from Cueva de Los Verde, but they’re definitely a lot more popular with tourists. A neat dress code applies (no shorts or T-shirts) and flash photography is prohibited after 7pm.
The Cactus Gardens
This beautiful lava stone amphitheatre is home to over 10,000 cactus plants. Also designed by César Manrique, the gardens are a perfect example of art combined with nature – in fact, the amphitheatre’s circular shape is said to symbolise the island’s distinctive volcanic craters. It’s right in the centre of the island in the region of Guatiza, and is a great place for peaceful contemplation.
With so much beauty on offer, don’t you think it’s time to see the best of Lanzarote for yourself?