We did a fabulous bus trip across the island, down to the southernmost tip.
The views we encountered on our way were amazing.
It's a really good way to see the island.We passed through tiny villages, in the middle of nowhere--the sun beating down on the startling white paintwork of the houses.Every now and again someone would be standing in the barren 'moonscape', no visible habitation for miles, waiting for our bus., and someone would get off and make their way into goodness knows where!
The landscape we travelled through, the bus ride took about 2 hours, consisted of volcanic craters,craggy hills,and the odd beautiful little village miles from anywhere.Goodness knows what the inhabitants survived on.Some houses had small plots laid out and looked as if something was being grown, but we didn't find out what it was.
It must be a very bleak existence for these people.Perhaps many of them travel into the larger towns and work in the tourist business?
We found this delightful beach, at the end of our bus trip to the southernmost tip of the island.
Will add the name when I remember it!
I love getting away from it all and this place certainly fulfilled that desire.We left all the throngs of people, fighting for a place on the main beach of Puerto del carmen, had a wonderful bus trip, then found this!
Also called Castillo de San Jose.
Ceser Manrique waved a magic wand over the castle and it is now an exhibition area for modern art (Picasso, Miro etc) and an upmarket restaurant/coffee bar
The building dates from 1776 when the King of Spain ordered it to be built even though island was suffering volcanic eruptions and much of the island was starving.
Gallery Open daily 11.00-21.00
Free entrance to explore the castle and view artworks
Restaraunt open 13.00-15.45 & 20.00-23.30
La Geria is the winegrowing region on Lanzarote. The grape vines are planted into small dents in the ground and protected against the wind by small round stone walls.
The wine-growers use a lava granule for the irrigation of the plants. The poros stones store the moisture during the night and give it to the roots of the grape vines. This unique method allows to grow wine in this arid region without carrying water to the vineyards.
Another effect is the picturesque landscape that arises from this agricultural method and the contrast of the green plants against the black soil. When I visited the plants were still small however.
On the road through the area you'll find several wineries where you can taste the wine and buy it.
La Geria is located between the villages Mozaga and Yaiza.
There are three ways to discover Timanfaya: by bus, on camel and by foot. The first and second are well known but not many tourists know that it is possible to walk in Timanfaya. Yes, it is possible!
Mancha Blanсa Visitor and Interpretative Center organizes walking tours in Timanfaya Volcano Park. Three times a week in two small groups of 8 people each. Access to the park is only allowed with guide from the center. The tour starts and ends in the Center. And it is completely free. Surely, one has to book it way in advance. I recommend to call at least two months in advance by phone +34 928 840 839 (from 9 to 17 of local time) and book you a wonderful trip.
The path is very easy but sun can be strong - take plenty of water and a hat.
http://reddeparquesnacionales.mma.es/parques/timanfaya/pdf/timan_folleto.pdf - on the map the path is marked by green line and named Ruta Tremisana.
Another path - along ocean - is available in any time but it is very long and not so interesting since volcanos are quite away.
If you missed the opportunity to book the trip in advance, you can buy a tour from Canary Trekking Lanzarote http://www.canarytrekking.com/ruta1.asp?lang=ing - it is not in Timanfaya but near it and I was told that it is also good and the guide use to work in the Visitor Center before.
The town of Teguise was the former capital of Lanzarote before Arrecife. This town isn't located at the coast so you'll find no tourist resort there. In its streets you find the typical atmosphere of a indigenous town.
Every sunday there is a market in the streets of Teguise. Unless you are interested in shopping you should visit Teguise on another day to get the original atmosphere of this normally calm town.
Teguise is located in the center of the island, about 15 km north of Arrecife
This five hour walk along the cliffs and to Famara beach is mentioned in some walking books.
When doing the walk in December 2004 I found much of the cliff face had broken away in the previous months rains storms. The walk is now treacherous and not recommended. There are no warning signs anywhere, and you risk falling straight into the sea if you attempt it and lost your footing.
In 2005 two local people were airlifted off the cliff, one was dead on arrival at the hospital.
Haria is a small town in the northern part of Lanzarote. It is not so touristy as it is not at the coast and doesn't offer great attractions.
But if you pass it (maybe on your way to the nearby Mirador del Rio) make a stop. Walk through the streets of this town and have a drink in one of the bars.
The area around the town is known for the lots of palmtrees and therefore called "valley of the thousand palms". I haven't counted the trees but it's an impressive number.
Haria is located in the northermost part of the island - halfway between Teguise and the viewpoint Mirador del Rio.
I found this crater usin the Google Maps (flying and/or satllite pictures): big hole in the lava ground north of Timanafaya. The trekking trip was planned.
First part of expedition led off the ground road between lava rocks: beige ribbon between black stones. How they did it in this inhospitable landscape?
After driving several km by the very dusty road I stopped the car and started walking uphill. The path was not too difficult. From the top I saw the big hole about 500-750 meters wide. The view was magnificent. The difference between crater's top and bottom is over 300 meteres, so this also good - coast and the mountains - point of view. How it looked like during the explosion - I was thinking? Wow!!
Unfortunately after 30 minutes rainy clouds covered the earth and the storm forced me to go back.
Going to Caldera you have to find the road from the town of Tinajo towards western coast. Drive about 4-5 km (road is not bed, first part asphalted) and turn left towards the house called Casas de Islote - you will see it on the horizon just before Caldera slopes. Park car near the house and go about 0,5 km by the ground road to the small crossroads from where pathway is climbing to the top of Caldera.
Good luck and amazing views :)
On September 15th up to 45,000 visitors make the pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin of Los Dolores in Yaiza in the wine growing area.
Volcanic explosions on the edge of Timanfaya in 1824 signalled a dangerous level of lava flowing to the village of Yaiza and Mancha Blanca. Many villagers fled, but some remained and the frightened villagers carried an image of the virgin along the streets. The mass of molten lava heading their way is said to have turned suddenly towards the ocean instead of wrecking the village.
Today, most Lanzaroteans dressed in traditional costume, make a pilgrimage on foot from their village and towns.
During the 3 days of the fiesta, the pilgrims enter the Ermita (church) de los Dolores, for the service, then a folklore festival with representatives from all the Canary Islands, lucha canaria (wrestling) competitions and other traditional island sports. Market, tapas bars and eating and drinking of local wines & cheeses, and over a hundred Canarian stalls with contemporary art & furniture pieces.
This is one of the most pleasent beaches I visted. About 2 km before Orzola, near the road LZ1, lava rocks created blu lagoon, with crystal water and white sand.
Water is not too deep and the temaperature is usually a bit higher than in the other island bays, so this playa is very comfortable for babies. The colour of water is really wonderfull - small blu waves and reflections of the Sun create unforgetable impression. Enjoy it!! You will not be dissapointed!
And... ending this descrpition: Charco de la Novia means more or less "The pond of fiancée". Maybe someone know why?:)
Why piece of pleasure? Because La Caleta is situated between big field of black lava stones. This part o f island is called Malpais de la Corona and "malpais" means badland - kilometres of rugged volcanic rocks. And between it this small piece of sand :)
"Pleasure" also because La Caleta is totally uncrowded place. There is nothing unusual when you are lonely here.
"Pleasure" because this good place for snorkeling - underwater rocks creates good territory for many colourful fishes. Residents say that one can meet even octopus here.
You can find this beach between Jameos del Agua and town of Orzola (road LZ1).
I have spend one day hiking on the neighboring island and had a very good time. Spend an hour on the Playa de las Conchas - it is a great place for those who like strong waves, yellow sand and clear water. Swimming suit was unnecessary on this fest of life.
While hiking from Playa de las Conchas to Pedro Barba - there is a nice path from the beach on the foot of volcano with little steps which can only be used by hikers. But then, crossing desert, follow the truck road and don't trust guides which promise shortcuts - I had tried one and it ended in a half of an hour in a middle of nowhere! A part of hiking from Pedro Barba to Caleto de Sebo was great with a small path on the edge of steep (not for bikers), small quiet sand beach... Sleepy villages - if one day I would need to hide from the world, I would come here for a week.
From Orzola to Graciosa you can take a ferry. There is two companies - Lineas Romero, which has a lot of adds and Biosphera Express, which is not so well advertised. First run in round hour, second in half hours. The prices are the same (11 euro for one way, 20 euros for both ways) but the tickets are not compatible. I used both and liked Biosphera Express better - they were making something like a little tour on our way back and giving passengers candies and water.
Shakespeare referred to Canary wines over 30 times in his plays.
The grapes grown in this hot desert climate are malvaisia, and grown with the ingenuity of the local winegrowers.
Every vine is planted in a pit and surrounded by a semi circular volcanic wall. When the cool night air hits the warm stones, the resulting moisture trickles down to feed the young plant.
From San Bartolome turn right at the roundabout taking the Yaiza turnoff. The vineyards cover many miles.
El Grifo is the oldest winery and they have won many international prizes for their dry white and semi sweet wines. You can taste & buy some of the wines. El Grifo also has a wine museum.
For every boy in the village of Haria, 2 palm trees are planted, and 1 for every girl.
The valley in the north of Lanzarote is great for hiking or a visit by car. The village square is a leafy siesta spot and most of the town gather there to cool off in the heat of the day.
Market every saturday 9-1
Order 'hara' (large beer ) or a caña (small beer) from Los Hermanos Restaurante under the shady trees.