Let’s face it, the travel world has become extremely snobby. As admission to the hipster clique is judged on the obscurity of a person’s musical preferences, so too the travel clique have come to ratify membership based on the remoteness and obscurity of a person’s travel destinations.
Safe to say, Lanzarote has never fared well among the up and coming traveller set. Until now.
More commonly associated with an older, resort-seeking type, Lanzarote is now making a comeback among the younger generations. Like a pair of your Mum’s boyfriend jeans, once mocked now a heavily prized, vintage asset to your wardrobe, Lanzarote is making a comeback with a younger, more adventurous group of travellers, determined to prove that the ‘mainstream’ is now the new vogue.
I visited Lanzarote once as a child and have many happy memories of this small, sun-drenched island. Now as a late twenty-something, Lanzarote is back on the radar thanks to a re-invigoration of the island’s reputation from the world’s travelling and trendy.
A rugged, burnt and volcanic isle, Lanzarote offers an out-of-this-world landscape available on a short-haul flight and without the astronaut training. A Spanish island located just 78 miles from the coast of Africa, the island’s name in its native tongue was Tyterogaka or Tytheroygaka, which has been thought to mean “one that is all ochre” in reference to the island’s predominant colour. For the up and coming travelling set, the highly saturated, contrasting colours of this burnt red and blue island make Lanzarote a stunning backdrop for some good old-fashioned adventure and exploration.
Here are my 3 top Lanzarote travel destinations:
Explore Timanfaya NP
Located in the south-west of the island, Timanfaya National Park is a vast expanse of scorched, volcanic soil. 19.72 sq miles of it to be precise.
Thanks to Lanzarote’s arid conditions, the volcanic landscape has almost entirely been preserved as it was formed in the last eruption in 1824. Burnt, black soil is broken up by colourful swathes of rusty reds and mineral-enriched purples, a haven for walkers, photographers and explorers alike.
Named after its one remaining active volcano: Timanfaya, the serene surface of the national park rests upon a geologist’s haven of volcanic activity. A mere 13 metres below the surface, temperatures range from 100 to 600 °C and several ‘tourist tricks’ are used to demonstrate the power of this immense heat. Local guides throw dry bush to the ground for it to burst in to flames and water down a bore hole erupts in to the air, mimicking a geyser. Away from the ‘tricks’ and coach tours, guided walks are available with 48 hours advance booking on this UNESCO protected site, where only a few proscribed pathways are in place to preserve this martian-like landscape.
Forget Hawaii, Australia who?! Lanzarote is now emerging as one of the latest, world surfing destinations. Referred to as the Hawaii of Europe, Lanzarote offers up powerful swells throughout the year with offshore reefs creating exciting, meaty surf for all experience levels. La Santa is a hotspot among the pros while Famara has been a favourite among the Scandis and bohos for years and is a great place for learners and intermediates to sink their teeth in to some beach breaks.
“Lanzarote is one of those surfing destinations that started off as a whisper but is now creating a big buzz on the surfing scene. I always look for new and exciting surfing destinations and the reputation of smaller crowds with big reef breaks means that I’m getting excited about the surfing future for Lanzarote.”
Jess – Traveller / Surfer – Cornwall
Surf & SUP schools can be found along with equipment hire at most popular surf destinations but for those looking to bring their own gear, look forward to the savings travelling short hall with your board will save you.
Explore the Chinijo Archipelago
A protected national park and marine reserve, the Chinijo Archipelago consists of a cluster of islands located just off of the north-eastern coast of Lanzarote. With a population of just 700, the archipelago feels worlds apart from its more popular, coastal neighbours and offers 35 sq miles of unspoilt, arid beauty, quenched only by the sea that wraps around these rocky isles.
Mirador del Río offers the perfect vantage point to take in the sights of this remote destination. Situated on an escarpment called Batería del Río at approximately 475 meters high, Mirador del Río consists of a contemporary building with two exquisite, glass-fronted, panoramic viewpoints, built in to the lava by local artist, César Manrique.
Forget unlimited cocktails, Lanzarote is giving the term all-inclusive holiday a new meaning. From an exquisite and restless volcanic interior, to an adventurous, azure blue coastline, those exploring the wilderness of Lanzarote can expect to have an all-inclusive experience of sun, surf and scorched soil.
Pssst, let’s not protract the snobbery. Lanzarote is small enough that you can substitute the ‘authentic’ hostel and use a hotel as a base for your adventures. If you crave adventure with a side of comfort, these kind of hotels provide optional tours. You could even forget the cliché backpack and take a suitcase…with wheels!
Live, love & laugh…in Lanzarote!