Lanzarote is renowned for its incredible beaches, amazing warm, sunny climate, and unique volcanic landscape. This is the image of the island that most people are familiar with, especially for the majority of tourists who come and stay for a week or two in the main tourist resorts. You can easily spend a week relaxing by the pool, or lounging on the beach in Puerto Del Carmen, Playa Blanca or Costa Teguise, and for many this is the perfect antidote to the stresses of “normal life.” If you are staying for a bit longer or are looking for more adventure though, a perfect way to do this is by renting a car!
The island is relatively small, and you can drive from the far North to far South in under two hours. For such a small island though, you would be amazed by the contrasts you can find here. The majority of the resorts are in the South of the island where you will find the more tourist friendly beaches. Here you will find convenient and regular public transport links. We were lucky enough to be able to be given a car from Autos Cabrera car rental company for the weekend though, so decided to explore the more remote north.
As we drove north from Costa Teguise, the transformation of the island was incredible! This is a side to Lanzarote that many people will never see. Due to heavy rainfall about a month ago, much of the island, but especially the north, has changed dramatically from a barren landscape to a verdant green. Although the unique volcanic landscape of the island is amazing, it does look even more beautiful when it comes to life.
We stopped at Haria to take some photos, and marvel at the change! There is now actual green grass covering many of the fields and hills. We literally had to lie down in the grass just to be sure we weren’t imagining it! There are bushes and trees interspersed making it look even more amazing. Around this area there are hundreds of palm trees too which really help you to remember that despite the grass this is definitely not the UK!
We had decided that it was a good idea to check out the Mirador Del Río viewing gallery, designed by the brilliant artist and architect César Manrique. This is located in the far north‐ west of the island and offers incredible views across to the small neighbouring island of La Graciosa. It is well worth the entrance fee (Under 4€ for tourists or 1€ for residents!). Inside there is a restaurant/cafe where you can sit and enjoy the view through a huge window. We decided to step outside onto the massive balcony which looks straight down the cliff. Be warned though, this can induce slight vertigo!
The vista is breathtaking and one of the best views on Lanzarote. We had arrived at a good time as well as it was about half an hour from sunset, and wow, what a sunset! This was one of the best we had seen and from such an amazing place. Rays of light shone through the clouds giving the impression of light shining down from heaven. There was a large group of people there, and like us they were all mesmerised. Of course everyone was taking photos and videos as well, to show friends and family back home. It is moments like that, that really make us feel blessed to be here in Lanzarote!
After this incredible light show ended we drove back via the old capital city of Teguise to catch the end of the Saborea Lanzarote food tasting festival. This was a massive weekend long festival that happens every year on the island. Restaurants, cafes and independent food stores and market stall owners each have a stall and sell tapas and drinks for 1 euro each (or 2 euro for the more elaborate items). This is a perfect way to sample the delicious food that exists here on the island and its hugely popular with residents and tourists alike. Thousands of people attend this event every year which is excellently organised and much loved.
We sampled some of the tapas including sweet potato fries, mexican wraps, and gofio desert. We decided these would be a good starter before heading to La Cantina restaurant, also in Teguise. This is one of the most popular restaurants on the island with delicious food and a great atmosphere. Almost all the tables were full but we were lucky enough to get a table just as we arrived. The aubergine bake was excellent!
La Cantina have also been kind enough to sponsor the Lanzarote International Marathon so it was good to see posters and flyers for this within the restaurant. To top it all off, after we had eaten there was live music and a DJ set in the restaurant’s “Secret Garden”. Everyone was having a great time dancing the night away. This was a fantastic end to a brilliant day!
Once again a big thanks to Autos Cabrera for letting us use one of their comfortable, and easy to drive cars. The route that we took is one we would 100% recommend, especially the Mirador Del Río tourist attraction. You can rent a car from Autos Cabrera within Sands Beach Resort hotel in Costa Teguise. You can view their range of cars here on their website: autosacabrera.com
This article was written by Travel Writer and Photographer Simon Turkas who is living in Lanzarote.