The old capital of Lanzarote has a bustling Sunday market. The usual tourist gifts, cheap watches, handbags and t.shirts are mingled with speciality food & wines, African crafts, and local artisans goods. Dont miss the oriental emporium stuffed to bulging with artefacts from China.
There is typical Canarian dancing and singing in the town square at certain times. Canarian wrestling is held in the marquee. If you don't have a car, most of the resorts have a return coach trip, well worth 5-10 Euros.
It is a 10-15 minute car journey from Costa Teguise, many local buses from the resorts run a special bus service for the Sunday market and it is much cheaper than paying for an organised trip.
Teguise town has many small cafes and restaurants for every taste serving local tapas and more substantial meals, as well as a fast food area in the food market selling nuts, churros, sweets. burgers, German sausage, drinks etc
Playa Honda is the second most populated town on the island.
It contains Dieland, the islands's biggest shopping mall with multiplex cinema, bowling alley, food hall and childs play area. Many other shops, restaurants and bars on the streets around the mall.
A 5 min walk from the shopping mall towards the sea and there are spacious sandy beaches. The generously wide promenade that goes all the way to Arrecife in one direction and Puerto Del Carmen in the other is active with walkers, cyclists and people chilling out, yet its never ever crowded. There is a street market on the promenade every other saturday. There are a dozen restaurants and tapas bars to choose from overlooking the ocean. My personal favourite is Mercedes bar on Saturdays because they have a special BBQ but there are lots of things on the menu.
The Cesar Manrique Foundation is in the village of Tahiche, easily reached by the drop off tourist bus, car, local bus from Arrecife or taxi.
The Foundation was originally the artist's home, set on two levels with a lagoon. It is built into a series of lava bubbles within the volcanic lava fields. It is a showcase of his inspired work as well as paintings of other artists of his generation (Picasso, Miro). This is one of Spain's most popular tourist destinations and can get busy after 11pm.
The foundation promotes conservation and study of the work of César Manrique. It promotes artistic and cultural activities with regular exhibitions, and helps with the development of anything that respects the natural environment and the landscape.
Open Mon-Sat 10.00 -18.00 and Sun 10.00 - 15.00
Tip: Get there early to take the best photos, as it gets very busy all year round.
This town, overlooking Puerto Del Carmen has a history that dates to 1493. It was featured in a census carried out by Alonso Fajardo, the Governer of Gran Canaria (still the island’s main governing body), who decided that the town should be named after his two favourite aunts, Francisca and Hernan hence Tias Spanish for aunts.
It is bulging with small private shops, bars, restaurants, hairdressers, florist, gift shops, clothes shops, health food and banks. There are 4 supermarkets, an English supermarket (Macy's) and a large DIY store.
There is a recreation area with an outdoor arena and indoor theatre, and a saturday morning fruit and vegetable market. The old church (Iglesia) hosts regular art exhibitions.
The House and private library of writer José Saramago, the Nobel prize winner/writer in Lanzarote opens as Museum.Visits every 30 min. Minimum group: 10-15 people. Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. / Residents: 2€. Visitors: 8€
June is a good time to visit Tias, as it is fiesta time, with the festival of San Antonio from the 1st to the 13th and culminating in the island wide Festival of San Juan, where bonfires send out plumes of smoke across the island.
Many villas and apartments are for rent in Tias. It has a wonderful array of shops, bars and restaurants. A half hour walk, a 5 min taxi ride or local bus will get you to Puerto del Carmen.
Look close at the giant catcus outside the garden.
The garden in Guatiza is not as boring as you think. It was designed by the famous Cesar Manrique and contains over 10,000 cacti and 1,450 different species in a multi level fascinating setting with a windmill. There is also a restaurant, and shop.
The opuntia cacti in this area was once very wide spread and used commercially to raise the cochineal beetle, it used all over the world for its bright red dye and particularly to create Martini. Now there is only one small farm.
Open 10.00-17.45 daily
Mancha Blanca: Agricultural and organic produce, fresh fish and local cheeses. Every Sunday 9-2.
You will need a car to get here. If you can, find the local Sociadad where they produce amazing tapas and drinks for half the price you pay in tourist resorts.
Every Friday night 6-10pm.
Stalls selling hand made jewellery, bespoke clothes and bags, silk scarves, local artisans work in the square. It is surrounded by bars and restaurants and is a very popular meeting place in Costa Teguise.
Famara beach itself is spectacular and can be reached by car, bus and tour bus. It is very un-commercial, so take everything you need for the day. However Caleta de Famara, a short walk away is the village where you can get a whole range of cafe bars and restaurants and a supermarket.
It is a very popular surfing beach and many surf & body surfing shops offering lessons are also in the village. The beach is so huge, you can always find a cosy spot of your own, even on the busiest of days.
I loved the view from the top, you can walk up the cliffs but it does take some time, allow two hours and dont go walking if the mist surrounds the cliffs it could be very dangerous!
Gúime Sociadad (community centre) has a car boot sale every last Saturday of the month, 10-1pm. Mostly English stall holders.
For cheap second hand clothes, household items, books and bric a brac, furniture.
Cakes and pies. Bar and snacks.
Near the entrance to Timanfaya National Park is an area where visitors can experience a close encounter with a train; the four-legged humpbacked dromedary camels, all of which will be the more placid and tame females. For 6Euros (2010 prices) each you can share a camel and be taken up, around and down the dry, volcanic ash cone located near the car park. It's important to be evenly matched in weight with your partner on the other side of the hump. If not you'd experience a very lop-sided ride. Indeed the men will provide sand bag ballast to even up the load. It's also essential to remain seated. I am sure you would very quickly be reprimanded by the many camel attendants should you decide to do any bare-back stunts.
If you decide to save your money then you can while away the time looking in the small museum or having a drink in the small cafe dug into the lava from which the car park has been created. It's also a good opportunity to closely inspect the lava rock. In the walls you will see the small holes or vesicles which trapped the volcanic gases in the molten rock. You will also appreciate why it is prohibited to walk out onto the lava fields. It would be impossible to get very far. That stuff is so jagged and irregular you would easily injure yourself on it.
Our coach tour stopped at the camel ride for about 45 minutes. Most of the folk who took a ride seemed to enjoy the experience. Don't forget to have your photo taken.
Timanfaya was declared a National Park on August 9, 1974. It occupies an area of 51.07 km² in the south west of the island and the entire park is of volcanic origin. The most recent volcanic eruptions took place in the 18th century, between the years 1730 and 1736. Among its most well-known volcanoes are La Montaña de Fuego (Fire Mountain), la Caldera del Corazoncillo (Little Heart Cauldron) and Montaña Rajada (Cracked Mountain). There is still a great deal of volcanic activity, with hot points that can reach up to up to 100-120°C on the surface, and 600°C at a depth of 13 metres.
This is the most hgarduous of all the Ironman competitions in the world.
The competition takes place every year ( this was the 21st.) at Puerto del Carmen. the temperature this year was a balmy 38 degrees C. and the competitors have to Swim 3.8 km in the sea alongside PdC. Then cycle 180.2 km. around the island. and to finish do 42.2km which entails 3 circuits of PdC to Matagorda. The time this year due to the blistering heat was pretty slow at 7hrs 43minutes. although they do keep the finishing line manned until midnight so that the slower amatuer and "fun" runners can finish. If they arrive after midnight there is no medal.
There are plenty of viewing points and the bars along the route do a roaring trade during the day. Route 66 is almost adjacent to the finish and you can get a good view from there.
The best part about the competition is that it is free to watch and excepting the drink that yoy buy at the bars can be a very frugal day out.
The Castillo De San Jose, is in Arrecife close to the dockland area, once a Fort that was founded in the 18th Century and is now a Museum of contemporary and modern art. The building was restored and opened as a museum in 1975. It has three small rooms hosting works by local artist,both paintings and sculptures.
On the lower level, you will find a restaurant and the Museum shop.
There is plenty of parking spaces.
Opening times: Daily 11hr 19hr.
This is a new innovation in the capitol City of Arrecife.
The train runs from the corner of via Fred Olsen, close to the bus station by the beach. It trundles along to the Castillo San Gabriel. There it drops it stop if you want to get off and explore the market and shops also the Castillo. That is the only stop before it winds it's way along the main street for a short distance before returning to it's starting point.
The cost (2012) €4 ( a little expensive ).
If you're staying in Playa Blanca then a trip down to Marina Rubicon to the market might be worth a look. You can pretty much expect what you would normally find at a tourist market but we found a couple of decent bits to buy (lots of stuff with the famous Lanzarote lizard on!)
Check with your hotel to find out when the market is on.