Some places in the world are special. Lanzarote has far more to offer than the sun loungers and sangria of other winter sun destinations. This small Spanish island off the coast of North Africa is the perfect destination for solo adventurers looking for something different. From the unique, lunar landscape of red and black lava fields to pretty whitewashed houses and golden sandy beaches, this UNESCO biosphere reserve island has everything from lively tourist resorts to tranquil sleepy villages. And after dark, you can also enjoy one of the most cosmic spectacles in the world with breath-taking views of the Milky Way.
Lanzarote has a balmy climate that is warm all year round. Visit in spring or autumn to enjoy milder temperatures and less chance of rainfall. But even in the height of summer, temperatures are moderated by the welcome breeze of the trade winds.
Here’s my solo guide to the best of Lanzarote’s natural and cultural landscape:
César Manrique Museum
The stamp of Lanzarote’s most famous artist can be seen across Lanzarote in the sculptures, architecture and living spaces that he inspired. The museum that has been created in his old home offers and intimate insights into the personal life of the artist and his extraordinary skill at interpreting nature through art.
Timanfaya National Park
Covering a quarter of the island, the UNESCO-listed Parque National de Timanfaya is a must see. This incredible Mars-like landscape was born from a volcano between 1730 and 1736. The extreme ruggedness of the terrain, variety of colours, and silhouette of volcanoes make Timanfaya a destination of extraordinary beauty and wonder.
The prettiest village in Lanzarote is a solo instagrammer’s dream. Think a pristinely-kept historic centre with a 17th Century church of Nuestro Señora de los Remedios, authentic Canarian architecture with charming narrow streets, scarlet geraniums cascading over green balconies at every turn, and picture-perfect cafes and tapas bars. #NoFilter
One of the last works of César Manrique, this botanical centre is a beautiful masterpiece in the middle of a sea of cactuses. Set in the bowl-like amphitheatre of a volcanic crater, the prickly plant is the star of the show with around ten thousand specimens of four hundred species from all over the world.
La Geria vineyards
It may appear to be an inhospitable landscape, but in fertile, covered with a mantle of volcanic fragments and protected from the wind by low stone walls, the golden malmsey grape trembles on the vine. From these lava field are born exquisite wines that you can taste while you toast this extraordinary landscape.
For a slice of island life, head to Arricefe, Lanzarote’s capital. Attractions include the urban beach at Playa de Reducto, and historic landmarks such as a 17th Century church and the 16th Century fortress complete with art museum. Don’t forget to check out the artisan market on Saturdays before strolling to a café bar near the pretty tidal lagoon at Charco San Gines.
Fuerteventura lies just a short ferry ride across the water from Playa Blanc. For less than 20 euros you can get a taste for this popular island destination. Do some sightseeing in the bustling town of Corralejo, enjoy delicious seafood overlooking the white sandy beaches, or book an excursion from the harbour to experience the wild beauty of Isla de Lobos, a designated Natural Park.
I stayed Star Prestige at the Iberostar Selection Lanzarote Park. Situated in a peaceful area of Playa Blanca, this crisp and stylish hotel has exceptional facilities, including a fabulous restaurant and health spa. The Star Prestige section offers extra special touches like access to an exclusive lounge, pool and VIP service. A free VIP check-in service is also available if you book via Jet2.
Iberostar Selection Lanzarote Park
Avda. Archipiélago, nº 7
+34 928 517048