Canary Islands - Lanzarote Explained

Canary Islands - Lanzarote Explained

lanzaroteScattered in the Atlantic off the North African coast, the Canary Islands offer unique holiday experiences. With a winning mixture of year-round sun, spectacular beaches, dramatic landscapes and lively nightlife, holidays to the Canary Islands keep travellers coming back for more year after year.

Each of the Canary Islands (and their satellite isles) are very different in feel. Some people love one island, but hate another. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and your island experiences may be totally different to the encounters of another. While some of them are real beach destinations, like Fuerteventura, others combine culture and Tenerife, like Gran Canaria and nature. Whereas La Palma is very beautiful with a tropical feeling.

Most notably, the islands form a formidable volcanic archipelago. Their landscapes include four of the highest peaks within Spanish territory and some mightily bizarre yet inspiring scenery: from black sand beaches with soaring cliffs to rugged, red, Mars-like panoramas. The breadth of these landscapes evokes regions from every corner of the planet, and even, sometimes, from others. Each of these seven islands is a completely different world, and adventure, in itself.

The Canaries are split into 2 different communities: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

This region of petrified lava make up the National Park of Timanfaya and its Mountains of Fire, where visions of a lifeless, prehistoric (or even apocalyptic) earth, with enormous craters of an incandescent red color, can be seen on a bus or even camel tour. Its unique atmosphere has made it a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the most impressive natural parks in all of Spain.

The following islands are part of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:

North of Fuerteventura and the closest of the islands to Africa, Lanzarote offers art and architecture, sunshine galore, a lunar-like landscape and activities for those who want to work up a sweat including mountain biking and surfing.

Getting there: Flights to Lanzarote from most major cities in Europe, as well as from the other islands, arrive at the Lanzarote Airport 5 km away from the capital, Arrecife. Ferries arrive at Playa Blanaca from Fuerteventura, La Palma, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria. Some of these ferries are legs of an overnight ferry from Cadiz , Spain.

Lanzarote is relatively small and a hiring a car will enable you to drive from one end of the island to the other easily. Be sure to visit Timanfaya National Park with moon-like l, steaming geysers, scape and Timanfaya Volcano; the Fundación César the past home of the isl and Manrique's famous artist and architect; and Los Jameos del Aguas, a huge collapsed lava tube with an underground lake and a spectacular blue pool that can be used as a concert venue.

Fuerteventura is also notable for its dry climate, giant white sand dunes, and camels ready to give tourists a lift simply a stone's throw from the beach. One is reminded of the island's close proximity to Africa, particularly when visiting the Dunes National Park, where the tranquility of snaking dunes likens to a mini-Sahara.

On the eastern coast, you'll find steep cliffs and coves which are ideal for snorkeling or scuba-diving, due to the subterranean trove of caves and rock formations. In the southern part, a region of virgin beaches called Jandía makes up one of the most crucial wild areas on the island. Almost all the beaches here are nude beaches and offer an experience of untouched nature away from the bustle of tourism, where hardly any roads can access. You can also take a short ferry-ride over to the Island of Lobos, a protected natural reserve where a great variety of bird and plant species can be spotted.

Getting there: Flights come into Fuerteventura Airport, 5 km outside of Puerto del Rosario, from the other islands and from most major European cities. Ferries arrive at Corralejo from Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) is the busiest of the Canary Islands and dozens of airlines serve the island.

El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands and its western end was once considered the end of the world. Visit to truly get away from it all. La Gomera is slightly bigger and the perfect destination if you like exploring the great outdoors on foot or by bike. Alternatively, pack your beach bag and surf board and head to the black sands along the coast to sunbathe without having to fight for a spot.

Whichever Canary Island takes your fancy and whether you are looking for an all-inclusive getaway or a self-catering bargain, find the best prices by using TravelSupermarket's search tool.

Like Gran Canaria, Tenerife, the largest island of the Canaries, boasts a sizable variety of mountain, forest, and beach landscapes with an ever-warm climate. Most notably, it contains the majestic Mount Teide , a massive volcano which, at 3,718 meters, is the highest peak in all of Spain and the third largest volcano in the world.

Numerous other airlines serve Tenerife South though, the choice is wide.

These mountain ranges separate the island into two climate zones, with the north being greener and more humid and the south being hot and dry. If you're a wine connossieur, you would love a drive up north to Taraconte, famous for their red wines, where fertile vineyards contrast with coastline cliffs. There are also a number of beautiful old colonial cities to visit, including Garachico to the west, which has black sand beaches and naturally-formed pools, and La Laguna to the north, a historic city considered to be the cultural capital of the Canaries. La Orotava is another old city which is adorned with colonial mansions and beautiful gardens, located in the sea of banana plantations that make up the Orotova Valley.

Lanzarote Airport (ACE) is the third busiest airports of the islands, follwed by Fuerteventura Airport

Getting there: Tenerife has two airports, Los Rodeos airport in the north and the Reina Sofia airport in the south. Most international flights come through the Reina Sofia airport, whereas inter-island flights arrive at Los Rodeos. Ferries arrive at the town of Santa Cruz from Gran Canaria, La Palma, and Fuerteventura.

Naviera Armas runs weekly services between Portimao in mainland Portugal to Madeira and on to Tenerife, with connections to other Canary Isl, s, Lanzarote and like Gran Canaria.

In these mountainous terrains, the ancient tradition of lenguaje silbado" is still used among inhabitants, a method of communication using whistling techniques to send messages between mountains. Continuing traditions like this is just one of the reasons Gomera attracts tourists searching for a more genuine experience off the beaten track.

From desert camel rides to surfing on Lanzarote - where will your island adventure take you? Here are some ideas for what to do on your holiday...

Families: For a day out with a difference, why not treat the family to a camel ride across the sand dunes of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria? From your elevated position, you'll be able to take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

La Palma is also know as la isla bonita," or pretty island," because of its lush greenery, blue skies, and coasts formed by volcanic lava. The island was declared a Biosphere Reserve due to its treasure trove of ecological sites. Here you will find natural springs such as Nacientes de Marcos, volcanoes, gullies, and laurel woods like Bosque de El Canal.

Trasmediterránea and Fred Olsen , are the primary operators between the Canary Islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera.

Canarian cuisine is a mix between Spanish, African cultures and Latin. Most of Canarian cuisine is a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish, generally light meals, more simple to digest in a warm climate. Meat is generally consumed as a part of stews or as steaks.

The local fish is fairly good. You will find a wide variety of international recipes of fish and seafood, too. Two popular fish dishes from Tenerife are Caldereta, a meal with tomatoes, goat meat and potatoes and the Sancocho Canario, a salted fish, usually white, in a mojo" sauce.

This is the smallest island of the Canaries, as well as the least populated and least traveled, making it a perfect spot for those wishing to get away from it all and experience nature to its fullest. Its clean beaches and mountain scenery offer a relaxing, non-package tourist vacation.

A plateau and mountainous area make up the central part of the island, where rises up as the highest peak. From here, you can admire the views of the gulf, forests, volcanic craters, and of the whole island. The coast also offers a fascinating and unfamiliar sight with its cliffs jutting out from under the water, as if they were little crag islands. El Golfo is where the largest amount of cliffs can be found along with the some of the highest viewpoints of the area.

Gofio - Grain flour used especially at breakfast or to accompany potaje, a local stew.

Arepas - tortas made from fine corn flour filled with minced meats, cheese, or lovely mango.

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