Things To Do In Lanzarote

Even though the Canary Islands have been on my travel bucket list for a long time, I could have never imagined that Lanzarote would blow my mind as much as it did when I finally got to visit it.
This stunning volcanic island is located 125 kilometres off the northeast coast of Africa and 1000 kilometres from the Iberian Peninsula. It is a must-visit for everyone who loves beautiful landscapes, architecture, outdoor activities and great food. Oh, and wine. So much delicious wine.

My boyfriend and I visited Lanzarote at the beginning of June last year. We rented a cute little apartment in Caleta de Famara, a small coastal village located on the north shore of the island. Known for its surfing spots, a laid back atmosphere and being away from tourist crowds, this village sounded like the perfect place for us.

Famara beach with majestic cliffs at its end. A chilled out surfing paradise.

Lanzarote is not a big island (you can drive from one part to the other in roughly 1.5 hours), but I would definitely recommend renting a car if you’re heading that way. Renting one is not expensive at all and you will have so much more freedom as you won’t have to rely on public transportation.

Beautiful landscapes and majestic views are awaiting you on each corner of the island.

Now let’s cut to the chase. Below are my top 10 things to see (and do) if you decide to visit Lanzarote (which you totally should, by the way):

  1. Jardín de Cactus
  2. Mirador del Río
  3. Jameos del Agua
  4. Cueva de los Verdes
  5. Timanfaya National Park
  6. Strolling around Arrecife
  7. (Kite) surfing at Famara
  8. Hiking to Playa de Papagayo
  9. Paragliding at Famara beach
  10. Trying local food and wine

  1. Jardín de Cactus

When you first arrive to Lanzarote, you’ll soon realize that a lot of sights, buildings and cultural places are there thanks to César Manrique (1919-1992), a Spanish architect and activist who was born on the island and still remains a beloved local to this day.
Jardín de Cactus (The Cactus Garden) is one of his creations and as a relatively big cactus fan this garden was something I was definitely looking forward to the most. It is home to 4500 examples of 450 species of cactus – pretty awesome, eh?

The Cactus Garden – probably one of the most photogenic places of Lanzarote.
There are 4500 examples of 450 species of cactus in this garden.
I could spend days in Jardín de Cactus without getting bored.

2. Mirador del Río

This artistic viewpoint is another creation by César Manrique. With its 475 meters high viewpoint it offers stunning views towards the archaic island of La Graciosa. Make sure to check out the inside too as the cafe and the souvenir shop are integrated into a lava rock which is pretty cool and unique.

View over La Graciosa island from Mirador del Río.
If you’re lucky you can have the viewpoint all to yourself. :)

3. Jameos del Agua

This art, culture and tourism center is another creation of (yes, you guessed it), amazing César Manrique. It is a series of lava caves, consisting of a subterranean salt lake, restaurant, gardens, emerald-green pool, museum and even auditorium. We unfortunately didn’t catch a concert but be sure to check the schedule when you want to visit it as I’m sure hearing a concert in a freaking lava cave must be a one-of-a-kind experience.

Jameos del Agua – another masterpiece of César Manrique.
Amazing art, culture and tourism center. We even saw a couple getting engaged here!

4. Cueva de los Verdes

Located super close to Jameos del Agua, this lava tube cave is famous for its extraordinary landscape and beauty. Aaaand it has a concert hall as well! (I think I really have to go back to Lanzarote to catch one of the concerts in a cave, what do you think?).

Cueva de los Verdes in all its glory.

5. Timanfaya National Park

Probably one of the most impressive places to see on the island, this national park consists entirely out of volcanic soil. It is named after the island’s only active volcano, Timanfaya volcano,  and it covers a quarter of the island! It was created over six years of continuous volcanic eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736, with a smaller episode in 1824.

Camel riding in Timanfaya national park.
Charco Verde in El Golfo – a half-moon green lagoon covered with minerals and micro-organisms.

6. Strolling around Arrecife

This cute little city got its name after the rock reef (‘arrecife‘ means ‘reef’ in Spanish) which covers the beach located in the city. That’s why it’s the perfect place to take a little stroll, get an ice cream or sit down for a brunch in one of the typical cafes near the beach.

Castillo de San Gabriel in Arrecife.
You can see typical white and blue boats all over Arrecife.

7. (Kite) surfing at Famara

If you’re into (kite) surfing, then Lanzarote is definitely a place for you! As I already mentioned, we stayed at Caleta de Famara since it offers the best surfing spots on the island. Even though the spot is more suitable for kite surfers, we (wave surfers) also got a chance to catch a few good ones. There are numerous surf shops and schools in the village where you can rent the boards and book your first surfing lesson.

(Kite) surfing at Famara beach.
There is a good range of surf shops in the village where you can book your first surfing lesson.

8. Hike to Playa de Papagayo

One of the first pictures you will see when you search for Lanzarote in Google will probably be the one of Papagayo beach. Even though the beach is very popular among tourists it is definitely still a must visit due to its unique look. You can of course drive by car to the beach but we decided to hike there instead. We started from Playa Blanca and even though it was very hot that day the hike was still relatively easy – it took us about 3 hours and the views we’ve seen on the way were absolutely mesmerizing.

If you have time take a hike from Playa Blanca to Playa de Papagayo. The views along the way are not going to disappoint you.
Volcanic landscapes, emerald green water and sandy beaches.
Playa de Papagayo – a white sandy beach with clear and calm water. Definitely one of the most popular beaches on the island.

9. Paragliding at Famara beach

My boyfriend and I always like to include some sports and outdoor activities when we travel. Short story: since we both have birthdays in June we unexpectedly surprised each other with booking a paragliding tandem flight for the other person while in Lanzarote! It was of course super funny when we figured it all out! Nevertheless, we have never tried paragliding before and let me tell you, it was amazing! We booked it via Famaraiso and our instructor Robert was super awesome and made us feel very safe and comfortable. Definitely recommended if you’re a bit of an adrenaline freak.

Views over Famara beach while paragliding.
We booked our tandem flights with Famaraiso – be sure to check them out!

10. Try the local food and wine

Last but not least – food and wine. It’s no secret that Spanish food is as delicious as delicious can be but the Canary Islands are hiding something even more special for you. I would suggest you skip all the best rated places on TripAdvisor and just walk in the random bar/restaurant you see. Order some seafood, paella and Papas arrugadas (their traditional boiled potato dish) and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Make sure you order some wine next to it as well – Lanzarote is famous for its delicious wine (you can see vines growing out of the volcanic soil throughout the whole island). My favourite was without a doubt volcanic malvasia. I would do anything to have a glass of it right now!

Tortilla de patatas, paella, papas arrugadas, squid, tomato mozzarela bread and some delicious white dry volcanic Malvasia.
Unique volcanic vineyards of Lanzarote.

Now I want to hear from you! Have you been to Lanzarote? If yes, what did you like the most? Lanzarote definitely stole both of our hearts and we’ll for sure be back again. We would like to visit another Canary Island soon, which one would you recommend and why? :)

Beautiful viewpoints can be found all over Lanzarote.

Other useful information:

  • Lanzarote is the northernmost and easternmost Spanish island of the autonomous Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean;
  • It’s the fourth-largest of the Canary Islands, covering 845.94 square kilometers and third most populated one (after Tenerife and Gran Canaria) with 149,183 inhabitants;
  • Capital city: Arrecife;
  • Language: Spanish (most of the local will speak basic English though);
  • Time zone: Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) throughout the year, except from April to October, when it changes to GMT+1;
  • When to visit: as it can get very warm in the summer the best time to visit the island is Spring or Autumn;
  • They drive on the right side;
  • Tap water is not drinkable;
  • They use Type C electrical plug;
  • Check more info on their official tourism website.

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8 Comments

  1. Love the article and the photos <3 Lanzarote is definitely going on the list! Did you also see road cyclists there, would is be a good spot for that?

    • Thank you Miha! :) Yeees definitely, we saw plenty of road cyclists! My boyfriend was constantly saying that he should have brought his bike with him :)

  2. I’m convinced! Now I have to go! Love the photos and all the essential info too. I never would have thought about the tap water. I can’t wait to follow your travels!

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