Things to do in Lanzarote

Lanzarote's chief attractions are its resort towns, which offer crystalline waters and fine beaches, plus some of the most reliably balmy weather in the world. Although the flattest of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is also of volcanic origin and so has a dramatic landscape, punctuated with many caves and lagoons.

Those travelling with kids in Lanzerote should visit the Aquapark on the outskirts of Costa Teguise for fun water slides and rides, or enjoy the Submarine Safari near Puerto Calero, which takes passengers on an underwater expedition for an hour, allowing everybody to observe the wonderful marine life. Closer to Arrecife there is a fun go-karting facility with really good tracks and cars for kids and adults to race around in.

Guinate Tropical Park, at the northern tip of the island near the village of Maguez, has incredible bird life and water features, and Rancho Texas, a wild west theme park doubling up as an excellent zoo, near Puerto del Carmen, is one of the most exciting kids' attractions on the island.

Lanzarote is small and easy to navigate; most of the major resorts and attractions are within ten miles (16km) of each other. Efficient bus services (known as guagua) travel around and between the main resorts and operate until quite late. Taxis are also easily available and fairly good value. Those going off the beaten track may wish to hire a car for a day or two; car rental companies have offices in all the main resorts.

Arrecife Museum of Contemporary Art photo

Arrecife Museum of Contemporary Art

A collection of modern artworks sit on permanent display in the Castle of San Jose, a fortress in built in 1779 to defend against pirate attacks in Arrecife. The castle was in mili…

Arrecife Museum of Contemporary Art

A collection of modern artworks sit on permanent display in the Castle of San Jose, a fortress in built in 1779 to defend against pirate attacks in Arrecife. The castle was in military use till 1890 and then stood vacant till 1974, when it was converted into a modern art gallery and restaurant by architect and artist Cesar Manrique. The Museo International de Arte Contemporaneo is small but fascinating. The main attraction is actually the building itself and the contrast between the old fortress and modern art. Some of the artists featured are Bacon, Picasso, Miro, Botero, Damaso, and Luis Feito.

Timanfaya National Park photo

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park, in the southwestern part of the island of Lanzarote, is unique because it is the only national park in the world to have been developed by local residents.…

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park, in the southwestern part of the island of Lanzarote, is unique because it is the only national park in the world to have been developed by local residents. Also unique is what the park offers, including a volcanic field filled with a variety of geological and geothermic phenomena. In fact, the reserve is almost entirely made up of volcanic soil, and volcanic activity continues beneath the surface, although there is only one active volcano. Attractions include some geysers by the restaurant. Although the landscape is strange and stark, 180 different plant species do survive in the park. The whole of Lanzarote is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and Timanfaya is one of the core protected areas.

La Cueva de los Verdes photo

La Cueva de los Verdes

In the northern part of Lanzarote, close to the Monte de la Corona volcano, is a spectacular system of underground grottos known as La Cueva de los Verdes. This is one of the large…

La Cueva de los Verdes

In the northern part of Lanzarote, close to the Monte de la Corona volcano, is a spectacular system of underground grottos known as La Cueva de los Verdes. This is one of the largest volcanic galleries in the world, at just over four miles (6km) long, formed approximately five thousand years ago in a prehistoric eruption when a massive stream of lava boiled down to the sea, hardening around the spaces inflated by gases. Where the tunnel enters the sea there is an underwater section called the Tunnel of Atlantis. More than a mile (2km) of these grottos is accessible to visitors, and lighting effects have been added to accentuate the contours and colours of the weird shapes resulting from the lava flows.

The Cactus Garden photo

The Cactus Garden

Situated between Guatiza and Mala is an unusual sightseeing attraction that combines art with nature. Artist Cesar Manrique created a work of art in the form of a cactus plantation…

The Cactus Garden

Situated between Guatiza and Mala is an unusual sightseeing attraction that combines art with nature. Artist Cesar Manrique created a work of art in the form of a cactus plantation in an old quarry. The Cactus Garden was Manrique's final piece of work in Lanzarote. More than 7,000 cactuses from well over 1,000 different species from all over the world are represented in the garden, with many coming from Madagascar, Mexico, Chile, Morocco, the US, and the Canary Islands. The plants come in all shapes and sizes and have been arranged beautifully in a landscaped garden with many water features. The site also features a restored windmill, which visitors can climb.