Choose from 18 Fun Things to Do in Lanzarote
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Far removed from the golden sands and azure waters of Lanzarote’s principal beach resorts, the coastal landscape of El Golfo harbors one of the island’s most unique geological areas. A rare example of an ancient hydro-volcano, a combination of volcanic eruptions and sea erosions have imprinted the shore with a half-moon shaped crater lake, Lago Verde (Green Lake), separated from the sea by a stretch of black sand.
Looking down over the beach from the surrounding cliff tops is the best way to view the site, an otherworldly landscape famous for its startling contrasts of colors and shapes. The lime-green waters of the crater lake (the result of the Ruppia Maritima algae that lives in the waters) appear almost luminous against the black sand beach, itself a peculiar blend of black volcanic sand and green Olivine stones, and the small bay is framed by a rugged chain of eroded volcanic rocks.
The coastal village and crater lake of El Golfo lie along the southwest coast of Lanzarote, close to the Timanfaya National Park and can be reached by car or by hiking the 10km coastal walk from Playa de la Madera. Admission to the beach and lagoon is free.
Address: El Golfo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
From $ 29
A vast range of black and red peaks dominating the landscape of the Timanfaya National Park, the evocatively named Fire Mountains (Montañas de Fuego) serve as a lasting reminder of Lanzarote's explosive past. Although the last eruption was recorded in 1824, it was a series of eruptions in the 18th century that was most memorable "“ the blasts covered a large portion of Lanzarote with hot ash and lava and created much of the island's unearthly topography, including natural wonders like the El Golfo crater lake and the Los Hervideros cliffs.
Today, the mountains are classed as dormant, but an anomalous magma chamber still remains under the surface, leaving a geothermic area riddled with steaming vents and fire pits. Due to the intense heat and geothermal activity, hiking around the Fire Mountains is prohibited and the best way to take in the views is on a guided coach tour around the scenic Route of the Volcanoes.
The Fire Mountains (Montañas del Fuego) are located in the Timanfaya National Park and can only be visited by guided walks or coach tours (leaving from the park entrance). Admission to the Timanfaya National Park is €8, including the coach tour around the park.
Address: Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Hours: The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with the last entry at 5 p.m.)
Admission: Admission to Timanfaya National Park €8
From $ 29
Cactus gets its due respect at this wildly prickly Lanzarote garden, which was inaugurated in 1990. The Jardín de Cactus is the final brainchild of beloved island native César Manrique, the painter, sculptor and architect whose work famously balanced both art and nature. The cactarium, which occupies a former quarry, is home to 7,200 cactus plants and 1,100 different species, all originating from far-off places such as the Americas and Africa.
While there, you can wander the various levels of the amphitheater-shaped garden by traversing its many paths, all lined by peculiar rock formations, various water features and of course, the thorny plants themselves. Spy the giant Don Quijote-style windmill that tops the garden, then take a garden-break by visiting the artisanal goods-filled shop, or by grabbing a bite to eat at the restaurant and terrace.
The best way to get to the Cactus Gardens is by car. Located in the northeastern Lanzarote town of Gautiza and surrounded more or less by agricultural land, the gardens are identifiable from the main road thanks to a giant eight-meter-tall cactus. To take advantage of optimal lighting and to encounter fewer crowds, plan to make your visit during the afternoon.
Address: Carretera General del Norte, s/n Guatiza, Lanzarote, Spain
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Admission: Adults: 5,50 Euros; Children 7-12: 2,75 Euros
From $ 73
Did you know that Canarians founded San Antonio, Texas? Indeed, they did,and the majority of them were from the island of Lanzarote. This park, situated in Puerto del Carmen, pays homage to that history, but not with a museum, and instead via some Wild West fun and entertainment made possible by its zoo, water attractions, and, of course, cowboy-style good times.
But first, those animals: the park is home to a range of creatures, including sea lions, bison, pumas, armadillos, snakes, turtles, and a flock of exotic birds - among other critters. You can learn more about many of these animals during one of the various shows, which feature birds or sea lions, or during close-encounter experiences. Then, of course, there’s the water park element, including a splash pool and water games. Finally, for those looking to get in touch with their Country Western-meets-Canarian side, there’s a twice-weekly, celebration-filled cowboy show during which you can dine on BBQ, down unending drinks, and get involved in some old-fashioned country line dancing.
If you plan to take advantage of the park’s water attractions, be sure to bring swim gear. Note that there are different hours for different shows, so you may want to plan your visit accordingly.
Address: Alcalde Cabrera Torres, s/n, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote 35510, Spain
Hours: Every day from 9:30 a.m.-5.30 p.m.
Admission: General: €22; children 2-14: €17
From $ 35
A 1.8-mile-long stretch of golden sand fringed by soaring sea cliffs, the picturesque setting of Famara Beach (Playa de Famara) has earned it a legion of fans, among them renowned local artist César Manrique and Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. The dramatic surroundings make the beach extremely popular among locals, and there are ample opportunities for exploring, like walking in the sand dunes, hiking across the cliff tops of El Risco (Lanzarote’s highest peak) or tucking into fresh seafood in the traditional fishing village of Caleta de Famara.
Benefiting from consistent winds and world-class reef breaks, the beach is also a hot spot for water sports, with popular activities including surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding, as well as hang-gliding from the coastal cliffs.
Famara Beach is located on Lanzarote’s northwest coast and is easily reached by car via the LZ-401 and LZ-402 roads. Famara is a family beach, but it is also known for its strong currents and riptides, so take care when swimming.
Address: Famara Beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
From $ 52
An extraordinary collage of rocks, caves and lava tubes looming over Lanzarote’s west coast, the coastal cliffs of Los Hervideros rank among the island’s most unusual geological attractions. Formed during the 18th-century eruptions of the Timanfaya volcanoes, the dramatic coastline is now adorned with sharp rock columns, oddly shaped archways and natural rock sculptures, created as the hot lava met with the icy waves.
While the unique landscape makes for some remarkable photo opportunities, the real highlight of visiting Los Hervideros is watching the waves crash against the coast. Looking out from the cliff top, visitors can witness the all-natural spectacle as the waves explode against the rocks and the water funnels through the spillways, sending spurts of sea water roaring into the air – a fitting example of how the cliffs got their name - Los Hervideros is Spanish for "boiling waters."
Hervideros is located between El Golfo and Salinas de Janubio on Lanzarote’s southwest coast. There is no admission charge.
Address: Los Hervideros, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
From $ 29
Part natural wonder, part lavish beach resort, Jameos del Agua is one of the Canary Islands’ most distinctive attractions, built within a series of lava caves on Lanzarote’s northeastern coast. The masterwork of local artist and architect César Manrique, the underground complex makes innovative use of the natural volcanic landscape, formed by the eruption of the La Corona volcano some 4,000 years ago, and boasts a bar, restaurant, nightclub and swimming pool.
Built in 1968, Manrique’s creative vision centers around a series of collapsed lava tubes, or ‘Jameos’, where pressure build-up had caused the roofs to fall in, making an atmospheric location for an open-top swimming pool. Additional highlights include a series of underground galleries devoted to the island’s volcanic history, a concert hall that makes use of the natural cave acoustics, and an underground lake, famous for its endemic population of blind Albino Crab (a species found only on Lanzarote).
Jameos del Agua is located on the northeastern coast of Lanzarote. The caves are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., while the restaurant and nightclub are open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission costs €8 for adults, €4 for children. It is free for children under 7.
Address: Jameos del Agua, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., while the restaurant and nightclub are open Tuesday Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Admission: Adults €8, Children €4, Children under 7 free
From $ 34
Salt has played an important role in Lanzarote since the late 19th century, accounting for a large percentage of the island’s industrial income and even making its mark on local culture – during the traditional Corpus Christi festival, brightly-dyed salts are used to decorate the street with large colorful artworks. Today, the salt industry has fallen into decline, but a number of the island’s traditional salt pans remain in use – manmade flats where the sea water is channeled and left to crystalize, allowing the sea salt to be harvested.
The Janubio Salt Pans are the island’s most famous, created in the early 20th century by Victor Fernandez and consisting of over 440,000 square meters of pans, making it the biggest salt refinery in the Canary Islands. Today, the area is a protected National Heritage site and produces up to 10,000 tons of salt each year, harvested by hand during the summer months. The historic site has also become a tourist attraction, and the gigantic patchwork of salt pans makes for a unique view, set against a backdrop of the black sand Janubio beach and attracting an array of native birds.
The Janubio Salt Pans are located on the southwest coast of Lanzarote, close to the village of Yaiza.
Address: Janubio Salt Pans, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
From $ 29
Squeeze in some sightseeing while you shop by heading inland to the
Teguise Market. It's located in the center of Lanzarote and in a sweet village called La Villa de Teguise. The whitewashed, emblematically Canarian pueblo used to be Lanzarote's capital and the heart of island life, and these days is considered one of the best-preserved towns in the archipelago.
Every Sunday, it's also the center for island market shopping, with loads of stalls cropping up to sell everything from bargain wares to more treasured
goods, including crafts and artisanal food. Apart from shopping, you can get a dose of culture here as well by checking out the market's traditional song and dance. Or, if you're keen to escape the crowds, consider visiting other town sights such as the 15th-century Nuestra SeÃƒÂ±ora de Guadalupe Church, and Santa Barbara Castle, which now houses a Pirate Museum.
To avoid any parking hassle, you may wish to arrive here by bus: Organized tours are available (which also may visit other stops such as the Cesar Manrique Foundation, which is just 10 minutes away), as well as the intercity bus 11, which, note, has limited hours and only runs on Sundays.
Address: La Villa de Teguise, Lanzarote 35530, Spain
Hours: Sundays 9am-2pm
From $ 9
Art and architecture meet nature at the César Manrique Foundation. Situated in Manrique’s former home, the foundation melds into a landscape of lava rock and provides a visually stunning glimpse into the Lanzarote native’s craft.
Manrique, an artist and architect, left an indelible mark on the island, and not just through his creations—he even impacted the Lanzarote skyline. Indeed, thanks to his efforts, he helped to ensure that growing tourism didn’t result in growing skyscrapers. It’s a mission that continues to this day via the foundation, which aims to not only preserve Manrique’s work, but to also advance the environmental and artistic causes he valued.
The house itself sits on the aftermath of an 18th-century volcanic eruption that vastly changed the Lanzarote terrain. But it isn’t just built on the frozen-in-time lava, but among it, with the bottom living space occupying five volcanic bubbles. The whitewashed exterior, by contrast, is inspired by traditional island architecture. From a funky room with volcanic rock pouring through a window to a garden bordered by a rainbow-colored mural, every detail of the former home is a visual delight. While there, visitors can peruse all of the house’s unique corners, and also check out the various exhibitions and make stops at the café and shop.
The foundation is open daily from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is located just a 10-minute drive away from the coastal city of Arrecife. To beat the crowds, plan to come early.
Address: Calle Taro de Tahiche s/n, Lanzarote, Spain
Hours: Daily from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m.
From $ 17
One of a string of sandy beaches and bays lining Lanzarote’s southern coast, Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo) lies within the Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches Natural Park and is largely regarded as one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. A horseshoe-shaped bay cocooned between sea cliffs and blessed with swaths of pale gold sand, Papagayo is a top choice for swimming, snorkeling and water sports.
A visit to Papagayo Beach is easily combined with exploring the five neighboring beaches - Playa de Afe, Playa de Mujeres, Playa Pozo, Playa de Afe,] and Playa de la Cera – often collectively referred to as the ‘Papagayo beaches’. The beaches are linked by a coastal walk, which runs all the way from Punta Papagayo to Playa Blanca, and are famous for their fine sands, warm, clear waters and abundance of exotic fish.
Papagayo Beach is located on Lanzarote’s southern coast, just east of the resort town of Playa Blanca and can be reached by bike or car via a dirt track off the Playa Blanca - Femes road, or by boat from Playa Blanca. There is a surcharge of €3 for the use of the beach road and the beach has only basic amenities, so bring your own umbrellas, deck chairs and supplies. Also, be aware that many of the southern beaches are popular among nudists.
Address: Paagayo Beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Admission: There is a surcharge of €3 for the use of the beach road.
From $ 51
If white-sand beaches are your thing, look no further than Playa Blanca (White Beach) on the island of Lanzarote. This former fishing village offers several small sandy coves and white beaches on Punta del Papagayo, as well as harbor-front restaurants, a buzzing nightlife scene, and a twice-weekly arts and crafts market at Marina Rubicón.
White-sand beaches are Playa Blanca’s main draw, and you can visit them on a day trip from neighboring Fuerteventura, along with other island attractions such as Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains), Ruta de los Volcanes (Route of the Volcanoes), and the vineyard Bodega La Geria.
Playa Blanca also serves as a base to explore the surrounding region, with day trips departing for the rolling sand dunes and volcanic landscapes of Fuerteventura just a short boat ride away. Timanfaya National Park, Salinas de Janubio (Janubio salt flats), and El Golfo Lagoon all lie within a few minutes of Playa Blanca.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Playa Blanca is a must-visit for beach lovers and families.
- Don’t forget to bring a towel, swimsuit, and sun protection.
- A day tour from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote that includes Playa Blanca can last upwards of eight hours.
How to Get There
The nearest airport to Playa Blanca is the Lanzarote Airport in Arrecife, about a 30-minute drive away. It’s also possible to arrive by ferry from nearby Fuerteventura.
When to Get There
The best times to visit Playa Blanca are spring and autumn, when the weather is cool enough for outdoor activities and exploring island attractions yet still warm enough for a day at the beach. Visit on a Wednesday or Saturday morning to shop at the arts and crafts market.
Best Beaches in Playa Blanca
Visitors to Playa Blanca have no shortage of beautiful beaches to choose from. Dorado Beach and Flamingo Beach are the most convenient to the main resort area, but the crown jewels are the white-sand coves of Papagayo, best visited by bike or car.
Address: Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain, Spain
From $ 44
You can smell the salty air as the edges of white waves crash into the black sands of Playa del Janubio. Beside the beautiful beach, historic salt ponds sit that have been used to collect and extract salt from the seawater for centuries. Water evaporates in the shallow lagoons, leaving the salt behind. In the days before refrigeration, salt was even more prized for its food preservation qualities. Remnants of the old salt production and trade here, including a small windmill, remind of the area’s past.
Today the beach, formed by the breakdown of black volcanic rock, is still a lovely place to stroll by the sea. Depending on the season you may see a variety of local birds as well. Currents are often quite strong on the beach, and the powerful waves are beautiful to watch from the shore.
The black sand beach is approximately a 30 minute drive from Arrecife on the island of Lanzarote. It is accessible only by a dirt road. Swimming is not recommended.
Address: Playa del Janubio, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Spain
From $ 29
The design of Lanzarote’s Aqualava water park pays tribute to the island’s volcanic landscape with its geothermal-heated pools. The saltwater wave pool (the only on the island) gives the feel of the beach, while the smaller kids' areas are perfectly themed for play. There's a winding lazy river, as well as five waterslides.
Aqualava water park is one of the island’s most popular spots to cool down on those hot island afternoons, especially during the summer. The cost of admission includes access to all the park’s attractions, inner tubes, umbrellas, and sunbeds, as well as facilities for showering and changing. Choose between a basic entrance ticket, or upgrade for convenient round-trip transportation from your Lanzarote hotel.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Aqualava Waterpark Relaxia is a must-visit for families traveling with kids.
- Don’t forget to bring a towel and a change of clothes.
- The water park offers wheelchair-accessible facilities, as well as showers, lockers, and free Wi-Fi.
- Leave your jewelry and accessories at home; they’re not permitted on the park’s slides.
How to Get There
Aqualava Waterpark is located in Playa Blanca on the south of Lanzarote. The park provides free transfer from Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise on select days of the week. You can also catch a public bus from Puerto del Carmen (161 or 61), Arrecife (60), Costa Teguise (01 and 03), or from within Playa Blanca (30).
When to Get There
The water park is open throughout the year, but the cooling water features are perhaps most refreshing during the summer months, when highs reach about 85°F (29°C). Check the weather forecast before your visit, as the park closes during bad weather.
Things to Do in Playa Blanca
If you’re in Playa Blanca to enjoy the water park, stick around to check out some of the town’s other attractions. You’ll find a range of restaurants, shops, and bars along the Playa Blanca boardwalk, while the port area is home to a new shopping center. Dorada and Flamingo beaches both lie within walking distance, and the stunning white coves of Papagayo are a short car ride away.
Address: C/ Gran Canaria, 26, 35580 Playa Blanca, Yaiza, Lanzarote, Spain
Hours: Daily from 10 am - 6 pm
From $ 24
Spanning 20 square miles (51 square km) of southern Lanzarote, Timanfaya National Park is a unique and eerie landscape of dormant volcanos and lava fields. Visitors flock to the park from nearby beach towns to explore the otherworldly terrain that looks more like the moon than the Canary Islands.
When to Get There
Visitors pay a small fee to enter the park, and it includes a guided coach tour — but lines can get long during busy season. You can avoid the wait and get round-trip transport from elsewhere in Lanzarote by booking a half-day or full-day tour in advance. Many of these tours take you through the park on a coach bus and make stops where you can get out to walk or hike the volcanic landscape, while others also include options to ride a 4x4 or take a camel ride through the lava fields. To see what kinds of flavors the volcanic earth can produce, pick a tour that celebrates the area as a wine region and includes wine tastings too.
- While much of your tour may be by coach, dress comfortably for the outdoors, as the terrain is somewhat rugged.
- The El Diablo Restaurant is located at the top of the Islote de Hilario, the tallest of the Fire Mountains (Montañas de Fuego). It's a great place to grab a bite to eat with a panoramic view of the park.
- Public restrooms are available at Timanfaya.
How to Get to Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya is accessible by car but visitors can't explore the park independently, so be prepared to join a tour even if you drive there yourself. Otherwise, a variety of guided tours are available with transport from popular resort areas on Lanzarote, such as Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca, or even from the neighboring island of Fuerteventura via ferry from Corralejo.
When to Get There
The park is open all year round, and the weather is almost always pleasant — ranging from 63°F (17°C) to 77°F (25°C). The summer months are the busiest, followed closely by winter when travelers from mainland Europe escape cold temperatures to vacation on the islands. If visiting during these peak seasons, head to the park early or late in the day to avoid the biggest crowds. The view at sunset is particularly special.
Geothermal Experiments You Can See in Action
Although the volcanoes lie dormant, the area remains a strong source of geothermal energy thanks to a boiling chamber of magma 2.5 miles (4 km) below the surface. This means there are certain areas in the park where you can toss a bundle of branches into a pit and see it burst into flames, or pour water on the ground and watch it turn into steam.
Address: Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Hours: Daily from 9am to 6pm (with the last entry at 5pm)
Admission: Admission €8
From $ 23
Back in the 1400s, Villa de Teguise sat at the heart of Lanzarote life, serving as the island’s capital until the 19th century. Its location was especially advantageous: Mount Guanapay, upon which the town was built, made for an ideal lookout point, providing views of nearly all sides of the island’s coasts, and therefore protecting it from pirates.
While La Villa (as it is known by locals) is no longer the capital, it remains one of the best-preserved old villages in the Canaries. A wander through its whitewashed building-lined streets provides a glimpse into the past, via sights such as the 15th-century Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Church and Santa Barbara Castle. The tower-turned-fortress now houses a Pirate Museum, which offers up history as well as phenomenal views.
These days, however, Villa de Teguise is undoubtedly most famous for its flea market, which is held each Sunday morning. At the weekly event, the stalls completely take over town, selling items ranging from crafts and art to food.
Many buses make the journey to Villa de Teguise just for the Sunday market, which takes place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can also get to the town easily by car, as its central island location makes it very accessible. While in the area, pay a visit to the César Manrique Foundation, only a short drive away.
Address: Villa de Teguise, Lanzarote, Spain
From $ 17
Lanzarote’s rugged volcanic terrain might not seem like the ideal climate for wine growing, but the Canary Islands are renowned for their traditional cultivation of Malvasia grapes, producing the famous sweet Malmsey wine, among others. The La Geria district of Lanzarote has long been celebrated for producing the islands’ best wines, and touring the wineries (bodegas) has become a popular pastime among visitors, affording the chance to taste a range of local white, red and rosé varieties.
Aside from the wine tasting, it’s the vineyards’ moonlike landscape that is La Geria’s biggest attraction. Unlike the tiered vineyards more typically associated with grape growing, here each vine is planted in a "zoco" - an individual three-foot-deep pit, protected from the elements by a semi-circular stone wall. The atypical design makes the most of the fertile volcanic soil, while drawing and maintaining moisture in the pit, but it also makes for a striking landscape – the pock-holed surface dotted with vines and stone arches appears almost extraterrestrial and learning the secrets of the protected agricultural area offers a fascinating insight into Lanzarote’s unique topography.
La Geria is located in the center of the island, about five minutes by car from Uga and Yaiza, and is home to a number of vineyards. The easiest and most popular way to visit is by guided tour, but it’s also possible to pre-arrange a private wine tasting or tour at some of the bodegas.
Address: La Geria District, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
From $ 29
Get a taste of Lanzarote in more ways than one at LagOmar, where its museum, restaurant, bar and cottages are all wrapped into one magical lava-rock landscape. Once a private home, the structure was built into a volcanic quarry, lending to an oasis-like setting filled with caves, spectacular island views and unique gardens and architecture.
The private property was conceived by local artist and architect César Manrique, designed by José Soto and later completed by other architects. Perhaps more famous than LagOmar’s creators is the story of its once owner, actor Omar Sharif, who came to the island to film a movie, fell in love with the property and purchased it. But alas, rumor has it that he owned it for only one day before losing it in a bet over a bridge game.
Whatever the history, today’s property can be visited and enjoyed in a variety of ways. Go there to check out its museum, where you can learn more about LagOmar and also view revolving art exhibitions. Or just come for dinner and drinks; by night, the property becomes awash in magical lighting that takes its caves, cocktails and Mediterranean meals to an altogether otherworldly level. Then, you can stick around even longer if you wish, as the Lanzarote getaway also offers two-person cottages.
LagOmar is centrally located at Lanzarote and just a 15-minute drive away from the coastal city of Arrecife. The museum is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: C/Los Loros, 2, Lanzarote, Spain
Hours: The museum is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Pricing varies by attraction
From $ 44