Planning a perfect weekend in Lanzarote
How exciting! You’ve managed to escape to Lanzarote for a long weekend!
And whilst a weekend is never going to be long enough to discover the many charms of this mythical island, the warm sunshine, sea breeze and amazing natural scenery will do you the world of good.
As you’re probably trying to squeeze everything into a cabin bag, here are some things you shouldn’t leave home without:
- Comfortable, casual clothes (life is laid back in Lanzarote).
- A windbreaker or light fleece. Temperature can drop depending on the time of day or part of the island you visit.
- A good pair of walking shoes
- A portable phone or camera battery as a backup. Trust us, you’ll need it for all the photos you’ll take.
- All your five senses to fully appreciate this magical place!
Lanzarote’s Art, Culture and Tourism Centres offer some of the most incredible experiences any visitor to Lanzarote could wish for. You won’t be able to see them all, but by buying a discounted three centre voucher you’ll get the most out of your time and save money while you’re at it.
Hiring a car is the best way to see Lanzarote at a leisurely pace.
Spectacular volcanic landscapes
Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993, Lanzarote is an island of contrasts, a feast for your eyes. There is nothing quite like breath-taking scenery to put life into perspective.
Timanfaya National Park is a must for anyone’s list of things to do in Lanzarote. Also known as the Fire Mountains, this unique volcanic backdrop was created during eruptions that lasted six years from 1730 to 1736.
Discover over 50 sq. km of rugged volcanoes, swirling lava formations and hundreds of species of delicate flora and fauna. We provide a guided tour aimed that everyone can enjoy while also protecting the environment.
See impressive geysers where water vapour shoots up out of the ground: surface temperatures reach up to 300° C in some areas. Taste roast chicken cooked over an open volcanic furnace at the restaurant built by Lanzarote artist César Manrique, while contemplating the most magnificent views you’ll have ever seen.
Jewels of the north
A drive around the north of Lanzarote is a great day out where see some of the island’s amazing natural wonders.
Volcán de la Corona is the island’s tallest volcano. Its eruption over 21,000 years ago sent lava flowing towards the ocean, creating a 7 km long volcanic tube (the Tunnel of Atlantis).
Two of Lanzarote’s most magical caves can be found in this tunnel. Jameos del Agua is a magnificent volcanic cave with an underground lake, home to a globally unique species of blind white crabs. César Manrique adapted Jameos del Agua for visitors, achieving a perfect balance between man, art and nature. With minimal intervention, he created an iconic outdoor pool, a natural auditorium and restaurant. This magical oasis is also beautiful at night under the stars, an experience you can enjoy through Jameos Nights.
Cueva de los Verdes invites you to explore 1.5 km of magnificent natural caves. It was used as a hideout by islanders and pirates alike, still holding secrets and mysteries to this day. If you’re visiting during the winter, you may be lucky enough to coincide with one of the classical music concerts held in its natural auditorium. Check our events calendar here.
The Cactus Garden was a disused quarry that Manrique converted into a haven of tranquillity with over 4500 cacti. Experience the charm of its authentic windmill or brunch on a cactus burger or cocktail.
There’s no doubt that Mirador del Rio will go on into your list of top five most breath-taking views.
This beautifully designed viewpoint was built into Famara cliffs in a way that it’s virtually impossible to see from afar. It overlooks El Rio – the straits that separate Lanzarote and La Graciosa (recently declared the eighth Canary Island), the rest of the Chinijo Archipelago and the infinite Atlantic Ocean.
This is a memory that will stay with you forever!
Food and wine
Taste the flavours of Lanzarote. Be sure to order papas arrugadas and mojo (Canarian potatoes with green and red sauces), grilled prawns or fresh fish, chickpea stew or goat’s meat, and not forgetting the delicious local goat’s cheese.
You’ll also find a wide range of restaurants and cuisines on the island, with options from around the world and something for vegans too.
Visit La Geria, Lanzarote’s incredible winemaking region. Once the island’s most fertile agricultural area, it was covered in volcanic ash in the 18th century. The islanders suffered years of famine but were forced to adapt and discovered that the soil was perfect for viticulture. What you see today is an extraordinary black volcanic landscape dotted with a patchwork of dotted with zocos – semi-circular lava walls that protect bright green vines from the wind.
Traditional wineries line this route where you can savour the unique Malvasia wine, learn how it’s made and sample a few tapas along the way. The oldest winery, El Grifo, was established in 1775.
Lanzarote’s traditions, culture and gastronomy – all in one place.
Casa-Museo del Campesino is a one-stop-shop for everything traditionally Lanzarote, perfect when time is short. The centre was built by César Manrique in 1968 as a tribute to local farmers and the hardships they faced over the centuries.
Explore the typical white and green Lanzarote houses in this real-life museum; taste local wine and tapas; you’ll find a range of sustainable gifts to take home like local goat’s cheese and jam, ecological fruit and vegetables, soaps and mojos.
You can also go one step further and make them yourself! Take part in experiential workshops and make your own pottery, rosettes, weaving, hats or cochineal dyeing.
Stunning beaches and outdoor activities
You couldn’t possibly visit Lanzarote without going to the beach! Immerse yourself in its crystal-clear waters, feel the sand between your toes and warm those bones in the sun.
There are too many to mention, although the most famous is the probably the horseshoe cove of Papagayo, in Playa Blanca. Sheltered with calm turquoise waters, it is perfect for bathing and snorkelling. This beach lies conveniently within about 20 minutes of Timanfaya National Park, and you can also arrange kayak or stand up paddle tours or even book a boat trip.
Caletón Blanco lies in the north of the island, its glistening white sand and idyllic blue shallows pools beckon you from the road as you drive by. This is the ideal spot to cool off and unwind if you’re visiting Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los Verdes or Mirador del Rio.
Famara beach sits on the island’s wild Atlantic coast and is a paradise for surfers and kite surfers. Adrenaline lovers will find a range of surf schools in the village for classes or equipment hire, and a selection of bars and restaurants to satisfy the hunger to follow.
If you want to take it easy, then simply stroll along Famara’s 3 km of golden sands with its majestic cliffs as a backdrop. Feel the salty air in your lungs, the sea breeze through your hair and the sun on your skin.
Lanzarote is also a hiker’s paradise. You also have the bonus of not worrying about the weather forecast to get outdoors!
Hike among volcanoes like Volcán de la Corona, El Cuervo or Caldera Blanca (Lanzarote’s largest crater). Discover the La Geria wine region on foot and do a little tasting along the way. Or on the eastern coast, follow the coastal path from Puerto del Carmen to Playa Quemada and admire fantastic views of Fuerteventura.
Arrecife, capital of Lanzarote
Arrecife is a coastal city and its promenade is perfect for a leisurely oceanside stroll. Pick up some local cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables at the Saturday market in Plaza de la Iglesia. Take in its street café culture and enjoy a coffee or a beer, or better still head to the traditional fishing quarter of El Charco de San Ginés. This natural sheltered harbour dotted with tiny sailing boats is lined with bars and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Castillo de San José is Arrecife’s 18th-century fortress which was converted into the International Contemporary Art Museum. Its bar-restaurant has panoramic views over Arrecife bay and is a lovely spot for a sunset drink. You can even stay for dinner on Saturdays and enjoy fine cuisine at Museum Nights.
While you’re in Arrecife, drop into the Archaeological Museum to learn about the island’s ancient inhabitants; Casa Amarilla hosts regular exhibitions related to local history and culture; Bar El Almacén is the traditional hub of the capital’s bohemian culture with regular exhibitions, short films and artistic events.
Teguise, Lanzarote’s old capital
Set in the heart of Lanzarote with cobblestone streets steeped in history and colonial architecture. Stroll around its streets lined with white-washed buildings, museums, palaces, churches and convents. Teguise is a wonderful cluster of art, eateries, handicrafts and museums, and is particularly vibrant on Sundays when it hosts the island’s largest market.
This guide will hopefully help you decide what you’d like to see while in Lanzarote for a weekend. A little forward planning can help you find the right balance between relaxation and having some of the best experiences Lanzarote has to offer.
Enjoy your trip!