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A week in Lanzarote for a Canary Islands winter sun holiday

Beach holiday in Lanzarote

The all-round plan for this holiday was to do as little as possible. Everyone in the family agreed, but admittedly, all had slightly different versions in our minds of what ‘doing nothing’ actually meant! We have never had a holiday like this. In the past it’s all been road trips and busy sight-seeing adventures and after an exhausting week exploring Rome and Venice earlier in the year, we thought we were due a relaxing time away for a change….

We picked Lanzarote out of all the Canary Islands because it was one of the warmest; not as windy as some (Chris hates the wind) and there isn’t much to do there! Chris really didn’t want us to go somewhere with things to do, otherwise I’d be trying to do them! And that’s probably true – as it was I dragged him out of our villa for a tiny bit of sight-seeing! So I’ll quickly tell you about where we stayed first of all. We went with Air bnb as it was so much more affordable than going down a High Street travel agent villa holiday route. I’ll link to the villa because I’d definitely recommend it if you’re thinking of having a holiday in Lanzarote. And one of the reasons we picked this one was that it had a heated swimming pool – which aren’t easy to find! It was in the village of Guime, only ten minutes from Arrecife airport, but the noise hardly bothered us as most of the planes landed and took off the other way, and you couldn’t hear them at all, so really that was nothing to worry about. The villa was much bigger than we were expecting, so it was really comfortable for the four of us for the week and I had no complaints at all.

Air bnb in Lanzarote

We did hire a car for the week, and I think unless you are staying at a resort with all amenities you need, and don’t intend to go exploring, then I think you do need one. We opted for a tiny convertible Fiat 500 – it was very cute but the kids had to have our one suitcase on their laps for the journey from the airport – lucky we were so close! So anyway, weRenting a convertible Fiat 500 in Lanzarote arrived on Saturday evening, and after Daniel showed us round and gave recommendations on where to visit etc, we dashed back out again to get some food. We were starving and wanted to get a few bits for breakfast the next morning. And it’s just as well we did because it turned out that all the supermarkets were closed on Sunday.
So on Sunday, we just had a relaxing day at the villa; swum in the pool and then popped out for a McDonalds in the evening! By the way, in Lanzarote they do a goats cheese and caramelised onion signature burger, and oh my god it was delicious; and I’m not usually that bothered by McDonalds, but seriously, I’d book another holiday there just to get another one! We brought it home and sat outside to eat while watching the sun set. There were some stunning sunsets there.

On Monday, after doing nothing all morning, we ventured out to the other side of the island. The weather had been a bit crappy that day, but a full rainbow showed itself as we drove through the white-washed towns and luckily the sun shone after that. It was fascinating looking out at the volcanic landscapes and seeing the little semi-circles of stones sheltering grape vines from the wind. We headed to El Golfo; past the main car park and right to the end (where there’s a playground if you have kids) and parked at the side of the road right by the beach. Although the tide was in and it wasn’t a beach when we were there – just huge waves crashing on black rocks. Definitely not a place for swimming. After a short walk along the footpath, we drove South to Los Hervidos. There’s a massive carpark and was fairly busy, so this is definitely one of Lanzarote’s main tourist attractions! You can walk round where the sea has made massive arches in the cliffs and look down at the waves crashing beneath you where there’s a big hole in the ground. It’s quite impressive actually, and definitely worth a quick visit. Photographers, expect to have to photoshop out a lot of people though!

Los Hervidos - Where to visit in Lanzarote
We continued a little further along the coast road until we reached Playa de Janulo to watch the sun set into the sea. It’s much calmer here, though I don’t think I’d risk swimming; and the first time we all saw proper black sand, which was weirdly exciting! Annoyingly a great big black cloud wouldn’t budge at the crucial moment, so we didn’t quite get the sun sinking into the sea photograph, but it was near enough!

Sunset at Playa de Janulo during a week in Lanzarote

On Tuesday we did nothing again. Well, I read a book called The Corset by Laura Purcell , which was quite a page turner and kept me entertained all day. On Wednesday we went to the Pirate Museum in Teguise. This is not somewhere that cropped up often in the tourist guides to Lanzarote, so I was really pleased that I had come across this place in my sight-seeing research. It was a really worthwhile visit actually, and at 3 euros each we weren’t expecting much, but that turned out to be a bargain. There was quite a lot of information (all in English) and I found it fascinating seeing a different perspective on history we’d learnt at school. By the way, this museum is in a castle on the top of a hill with amazing views. It’s worth going up there just for that! When I grow up perhaps I’ll choose to visit somewhere more cultural like the Casa Cesar Manrique, but for now, a pirate museum is perfect!
Back at the bottom of the hill there’s a little row of local businesses, including a very nice cafe where we each bought a cake and the friendly owner was very happy to show us all his Disney tattoos. Tourist tip: There are also very clean toilets to the right and back of this building. Useful to know, particularly as the ones in the pirate museum were out of order as they’d run out of water!

View from the Pirate Museum - places to visit in Lanzarote

Then we headed down South to where Daniel had recommended seeing an exploded volcano. There are loads of these in the National Park, but we didn’t want to do a coach tour where you can’t get out and take photos, so we opted for this instead. The volcano is called, El Cuervo and it’s a fifteen minute walk from the carpark (from which we were advised to take our valuables with us.) I’m glad we made the effort as it felt pretty cool standing in the middle of a volcano crater.  And the volcanic landscape in this area was like something on another planet. Even if it’s too hot to explore on foot during your visit to Lanzarote amongst all that black rock, it’s worth driving through because none of us had ever seen anything like it.

A week in Lanzarote - inside a volcano crater

Volcanic landscape of Lanzarote

Thursday was another nothing day. I had a swim, although it was cloudy and chilly. And spent some time taking photos round the garden every time the sun popped out!

Purple deadly nightshade in Lanzarote

Pink flower in Lanzarote

On Friday I made us all leave the air bnb again as I was feeling a bit restless and wanted to see more of the island. We went back up to Teguise as I had spotted a few cute-looking shops as we drove past to the pirate museum the other day. This town was exactly what I was looking for, and if we have another holiday in Lanzarote again, I would look to see if we could stay in Teguise. It was an old town with quiet streets of tiny little shops full of local crafts and some nice clothes (I bought a beautiful dress) and tourist trinkets too. Just my sort-of place and I’m glad we went back there to have a proper look around.

Teguise in Lanzarote - where to visit in the Canary Islands

Then it was a short drive to Costa Teguise, specifically Playa del Jabillo. We were very lucky and got a parking space there, but you might end up going round and round or parking further away if it’s a weekend or busier time of year. Parking, by the way, was free wherever we went – brilliant! There is a small but pretty beach here, so we went for a paddle, though a few people were braving the cold water and swimming across this sheltered bay.
This was quite a touristy bit, so there were several restaurants and tourist shops here if that’s what you’re looking for. We spent a small fortune eating out every night on our Italy holiday, so this time we ate at the villa or had a McDonalds every day, so I’m sorry, this isn’t the blog post for you if you’re looking for restaurant recommendations in Lanzarote!

Saturday was our last day, and yes, you guessed it, we spent it doing nothing! It was just as well we hadn’t planned our beach trip or Volcano walk that day as it was windy and rainy. We packed up in the evening and left on Sunday morning. So that’s that! That is our week in Lanzarote. I hope if you’re planning a winter sun holiday in the Canary Islands, this travel blog has been useful. In conclusion; for us the holiday was a success. I loved the freeing feeling of having nothing to do – no pressures even to see particular sights. I have to admit, the Canary Islands has never been on my list of places I particularly wanted to visit, but every two or three years or so, I can see us having another relaxing holiday, trying out each of the islands!

If you’d like to watch our holiday in Lanzarote, here’s my latest vlog:

 

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a week in lanzarote

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