Tierra de fuego, tierra de artistas: Lanzarote
Lanzarote, island of beauty
I won’t struggle for reasons to make you visit this Canary Island. For one thing Lanzarote houses volcanoes which don’t always sit dormant. Furthermore, it is home to Manrique, a unique artist who was friends with Andy Warhol. What catches the visitor’s eye when he sets one foot on Lanzarote, is a tremendous contrast. In fact, immaculate white houses stand out against black volcanic soil. In addition, you may note that there are few tourist complexes and nature is well preserved. Lastly you will be surprised to spot some vineyards protected by low stone walls.
Caldera blanca and El Golfo
Contrary to Tenerife, Lanzarote has loads of small craters that were formed by the 1730 eruption. On the western coast, unmissable is the Montana Colorada, a red cone whose rim can be hiked. Still more impressive is the Caldera Blanca which overlooks a 1km wide basin filled with lava.
Heading southwards, you will find yourself in presence of a white gem: El Golfo. The small coastal village built on lava is located on the chain of volcanoes. Seize the opportunity to take a dip in the emerald green lagoon of Charco de los Clicos which is situated nearby.
Los Hervidores and Papagayo beach
Further South, Los Hervidores will make for fantastic pictures. The bizarre-shaped underwater caves were caused by lava flows into the ocean. Stop off at the Salinas of Janubio. These red salt marshes cover 45 acres where salt is collected thanks evaporation. Nowadays pumps are used instead of windmills!
Now you have reached the southern tip of Lanzarote and the jaw-dropping beaches of Papagayo. Not only do they boast white sand or crystal-clear water, but they also have few currents for being surrounded by cliffs. From here you can catch a glimpse of the small island of Fuerteventura.
At Téguise on the east coast, go for a tapas crawl. Besides if you are an art-lover you will fully enjoy the streets lined-up with art galleries of the former capital of Lanzarote. It is alluring because houses are perfectly maintained, and one top activity consists of visiting the Santa Barbara pirates’ museum.
The north of the island
The northern part of Lanzarote is a home to the famous land art artist Manrique. To start with, head to the Jardin de cactus. Over 450 varieties are gathered in this park bordered by fig trees. The colors contrast with each other: azure blue sky, soft green of the cactus, hot pink of its fruit…
Then make your way to the Caves of Jameos del Agua. What Manrique created inside tunnels resulting from eruptions ranges from a vertical wall, an open-air pool or a concert hall to a tank fish. Don’t forget to book a table at the restaurant and observe the unique species of white crabs.
In order to take in the landscaping, climb on top of 475-meter-high cliffs. The Mirador del Rio looks over the tiny island of Graciosa. If you are a nature lover, head to Playa de la Canteria where some stone- walls will protect you from wind or to the Caleton Blanco, a pristine beach with turquoise blue waters.
Last of all, you won’t miss the Valley of 1000 the palm trees in other words Haria. This unspoiled village that lies in a verdant area has also houses dotted with bougainvillea. It has always attracted artists thus it’s not surprising that Manrique chose to retire here and his house-museum is a must-do thing!