As you’ve probably seen if you follow me on social media (Instagram | Twitter | Facebook) you’ve probably seen that I recently spent a week exploring the stunning island of Lanzarote. I only had a week, which meant I had to make the most of the time. So, after weeks of research and careful consideration, I came up with the following itinerary of things to do in Lanzarote for when you only have a few days in the island. Should we get started?
Things to do in Lanzarote if you only have a week to explore
Day 1: Landing and setting up
I landed in Lanzarote’s airport at around 5 PM on a Saturday, which, given the size of the island (60 KM -37 mi- from North to South and 25 KM -16 mi- from East to West), meant I’d still have a few hours to find my apartment and explore the city before sunset.
It is important to note that even though there’s affordable public transportation, the best way to move around is by car. I chose Cicar from all on offer because it was the only one I could find that didn´t require a credit card.
Day 2: Sunday Market in Teguise and/or Playas de Papagayo
If you happen to arrive on a Saturday (as I did), you can start your stay with a visit to the renowned Sunday Market in Teguise. It’s open from 9 AM to 2 PM and you can’t really miss it as the whole town becomes the market!
Once you’ve found all the artisan jewelry of your dreams and tried some of Lanzarote’s finest cheese, a dip in the Atlantic is exactly what you may need.
Playas Papagayo in the south-east corner of the island are located in the heart of a national park. The only way to reach them is through an unpaved way after paying a minimal fee (3 €). But the bumpy road will be worth every second once you reach these tranquil and secluded white sand beaches. Oh and observing the sea life through the crystal clear waters is one of the many not-to-be-missed things to do in Lanzarote, so don’t forget your snorkeling kit!
Well known among surfers, Famara beach is the place to be if you want to learn. This quaint surfer town is located in the northwestern coast of Lanzarote, at the western end of the sand desert El Jable. The constant trade winds that bathe Famara create a perfect environment for surfers, with quasi year-round perfect waves and milder temperatures. Thanks to that, every year international regulars of the water sport join the locals for a wonderful surf session. For that reason, it is no surprise to find dozens of surf schools and shops along the main street.
From the wide array of possibilities, I decided to join Surf School Lanzarote* for a one-day session which turned out to be an incredibly fun and entertaining day! (more about that soon!)
Day 4: Timanfaya National Park, Camel Rides and the South West of Lanzarote
There is no secret that Lanzarote (like all other islands in the Canarian archipielago) is a volcanic island. It originated as a result of the tectonic movement and since its birth there has been some major volcanic activity, as it shows when you look around. One of the many wonderful things Lanzarote has done, is create a series of culture hubs, places to visit that tell -or show- the visitor a bit more about the island’s history. They call them CACT centers and one of them is the Montaña de Fuego, or Timanfaya National Park. Unfortunately it is not really allowed to walk freely about the land of the volcanoes but it is open to visitors, and you can even eat some wonderfully volcano grilled food.
Alternatively, you can take a 15-20 min. camel (they are actually dromedaries but in Lanzarote they are known as camels) around the volcano grounds.
And if you’re specially motivated, the wild rocky cliffs of the south-western region of Lanzarote is a mini trip worth taking!
One of Lanzarote’s most renowned characters is the architect, artist and environmentalist Cesar Manrique. All throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s he fought for a better Lanzarote, for a communion of man and earth and for the thoughtful use of the resources available. He fought against the brainless speed of mass tourism infrastructure.
Up until his sudden death in the early 90s he worked closely with Lanzarote to create beautiful, useful, locations for people to visit. These locations are known as CACT centers, and as I mentioned before, he took natural resources and adapted them in a way that people could visit and enjoy there without destructing the original beauty of the place. As most of them are in the north of the island, it is perfect for a day trip around.
Day 6: Playa Blanca and Diving
Lanzarote is a wonderful destination for those who love the outdoors. With 213 Km -132 mi- of coastline, water sports are quite widespread in the island. Specially snorkeling and diving, given its crystal clear waters. Playa Blanca is the newest tourist hub in Lanzarote and home to most of the diving schools.
I went on my first ever ocean dive with the lovely people from Dive College Lanzarote. But more about that another day!
Day 7: La Geria, Visiting the Oldest Winery in the Canary Islands and a Wine Tasting Session
After all the excitement and sporty week, a slow-paced last day is exactly what I needed. During my planning time I learnt that Lanzarote is home to the oldest winery in the Canary islands and one of the oldest in Spain. Named “El Grifo” after the mythical creature, this winery has the capacity to produce up to 1 million liters of wine per year. Focusing mainly on whites, their produce has won numerous international awards. What’s so special about it? Well, if I told you I’d spoil your visit.
Located in La Geria, Bodegas El Grifo, has one of the best wine museums in the world and the visit includes a wine tasting! But please, don’t drink and drive. If you’re going to do the tasting, order yourself a cheese platter and take time afterwards to walk by the vineyard!
Once you’re done, drive a few minutes away from the winery, and you’ll find the Monumento al Campesino. Yet another of Manrique’s pieces and nice for an after lunch stroll.
Unfortunately, it’s already time to go back to the apartment, pack the bags, send those postcards and take one last walk by the beach. Enjoy one last sunset, or eat your favourite meal one last time. Oh how amazing this island is. I can’t wait to go back and explore more!
And with that and a bizcocho, in a week you explored all corners of Lanzarote, enjoyed good food and wine and kept yourself healthy by exercising. What else could you ask for? A healthy relaxing rejuvenating vacation in just 7 days!