• Charlotte Brenner

    It’s hard to believe that Lanzarote is part of Spain. It’s a good 1,000 miles from capital Madrid, while it’s just 60 miles from the west African coast. As a result, its weather and terrain have far more in common with Morocco than Madrid. Throw in a Martian-like volcanic landscape and this Canary Island becomes a particularly interesting holiday destination, all just four and half hours flying time from Dublin.

    Lanzarote – it’s ACE

    You know things are going to go well when you see that your flight to Lanzarote is destined for ACE – the international code for the airport at Arrecife, the capital of the island. From there, it’s a short transfer to the more popular resorts on the island such as Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise or a slightly longer trip down the south coast to Playa Blanca.

    From the coast to karting

    Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

    Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

    For some traditional holiday fun, the beaches in Lanzarote offer everything you need. While there are some “black” beaches on the island, a result of the island’s volcanic past and worth a visit for something different, the majority are sandy. For a beach close to the action and with all amenities, hit Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen. For something a little more secluded, a trip to Papagayo is a great day out. You’ll need to plan for the day as there are limited facilities in the area but the reward is some stunning natural coastline and crystal-clear water.

    For a different kind of water-based fun, try the Aquapark in Costa Teguise  or for something a little more adrenaline-pumping, take the kids to the Go-Karting at San Bartolome, which was recently voted the top attraction in Lanzarote. The company will even pick you up from your hotel if you book in advance!

    Lanzarote lava

    Cooking up lunch at El Diablo, Timanfaya

    Cooking up lunch at El Diablo, Timanfaya

    One of the highlights of a holiday to Lanzarote has to be a trip to the Timanfaya National Park. Here you’ll find the Montañas del Fuego, the Mountains of Fire, and some visibly exciting volcanic action. From the geysers that spray water high into the air due to an underground temperature of up to 600 degrees Celsius, to the huge cast iron grill that is placed on top of nothing more than a large hole in the ground to cook delicious local delicacies in El Diablo restaurant. A bus tour at the park will take you on a tour of the Martian landscape, complete with dramatized commentary featuring the experiences of those who lived on the island when the volcano last erupted.

    From volcanoes to villages

    “The valley of 1,000 palms” – Haria, Lanzarote

    “The valley of 1,000 palms” – Haria, Lanzarote

    If that’s all a bit too dramatic for you, why not hire a car and visit some of the beautiful villages that are scattered across the island? In stark contrast to the volcanic landscape elsewhere on the island, the village of Haria is a sea of green. Known as “the valley of 1,000 palms”, tradition was that a palm tree was planted to mark every birth in the area (two if the child was a boy). Alternatively, for a taste of the Lanzarote of old and its fishing heritage, the fishing village of Arrieta is perfect. Quiet and beautiful, fishermen still unload their catch first thing in the morning at the picturesque quay.

    Situated where it is, the weather in Lanzarote is good all-year round so whether it’s a summer holiday you’re looking for or some winter sun, it might be just the place for you.

    Falcon Holidays offers year-round flights and holidays to Lanzarote from Belfast and Dublin. We also fly to the island from Cork, Shannon and Derry from May to October.

    Images by LisArt, Terry Wha, runatyrwyn and maik_sv used under creative commons licence