Lanzarote Is magic
Lanzarote is a spectacular place, almost magical with its volcanic landscapes that look like other planets, its quiet white sand clear watered beaches, small coves and palm oasis. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for its protection and conservation of nature and the environment, it has natural areas of great beauty and interest, such as the Timanfaya National Park, the Natural Park of the Volcanoes or the Guinate Tropical Park.
An interesting option is to go visit the Graciosa, from which you can take excursions to the islands that belong to the Marine Reserve and their wonderful underwater world. You can also tour the island by bicycle and cross paths that will lead us to the most extraordinary places.
With 21 degrees Celsius on average and 4,800 hours of sunlight every 365 days! That is why Lanzarote has pleasant temperatures for most of the year that invite you to enjoy the sea and practice numerous water sports like surfing and windsurfing. You will also find out about its hospitable people -formerly called conejeros due to the large number of rabbits that were in the island- and their ingrained habits.
César Manrique, international artist, has taken advantage of the charms of the island to make them artworks. His work has been recognized as it should in Lanzarote, and he has the César Manrique Foundation which is in Taro de Tahiche. It is the former home of the artist – he designed it himself – were we can see, as well as representative works of César Manrique’s path, his private collection that brings together authors of the importance of Pablo Picasso, Miró, Chillida or Klee.
Do not forget your food! If you visit Lanzarote you have to try, apart from its delicious cheeses and wines, some of the traditional dishes like Sancocho – with fish, wrinkled potatoes, fish fritters or the bienmesabe-traditional dessert made with almonds, biscuits, egg, sugar and lemon-.
Download here the map of Lanzarote and start planning your trip to this magical island.
A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.
Picture By Pedro cabamore info
Lanzarote in Body and Soul
“Everyone tells me I ought to get some exercise, that it’s good for my health. But, I have never heard anyone telling a sportsperson they ought to do some reading.” This statement by Saramago prompted me to emphasise here the importance of striking a balance between tourist or sporting hyperactivity while travelling, and living out the experiences of others. Yes, friends, this is the advice of a hyperactive person – it does no harm to occasionally plan rest periods into one’s journeys, or to deploy a few good phrases as a mantra for competing. Indeed, Mr Saramago, you were dead right – you can also travel through reading, when your mind can find some rest, while in sport, not everything is physical. But, why Saramago in a post about Lanzarote? I found out – and high time it was too, for someone who has travelled to the island so often – that the Nobel prize-winning writer had spent his final years on Lanzarote. There, in the village of Tías, you will come across “A Casa” as he liked to call his home. Lanzarote was Saramago’s other homeland. “A whole lifetime to get here”, he announced, when he settled on this southerly island. The landscape of Lanzarote, the volcanoes, its warm nights, the peacefulness and the island’s inhabitants led him to write many of his articles, novels and diaries at his home in the Tías municipality. As the illustrious writer asserted, “This is not my land, this land of mine”, a phrase shown on the sculpture as a homage to him in front of “A casa” and “La Biblioteca”, as his house museum is known. Each and every object in “A Casa” has a special meaning – an olive tree to recall the country of his birth, or the clocks all set to 4 o’clock, as it was at that time he met his widow, Pilar. They all go to make this museum a happy, special place.
We cannot summarise all his work here, but we can choose three phrases that come in handy as motivating mantras at training sessions and competitions:
- There is something inside us with no name, and that is what we really are.
- There is something positive in defeat – it is never lasting. Triumph, however, has something negative – it is never lasting.
- We always end up arriving where someone is waiting for us.
After this short introduction about Saramago and his ties to the island, I must report that I flew to Lanzarote in March to compete in the tri122 de Costa Teguise. This is a triathlon I had advised you to consider, together with the Challenge Fuerteventura (April), as possible warm-up races for the Ironman Lanzarote, which is held in May each year, starting and finishing in Puerto del Carmen. The tri122 event went off well, without incident, although it was windy. The swim took place off the Playa de las Cucharas (where we went windsurfing the next day); the bike course had been altered from previous years, while the foot race was along the esplanade. My advice for this race would be very similar to the pointers I gave you in the Ironman Lanzarote post, so I won’t go into any detail there. For accommodation, I decided to stay at the Barceló, which is right on the Costa Teguise. I was pleasantly surprised to learn first-hand that they would soon have a better, specific programme for sportspeople in their facilities, given that, unlike the opposite side of the island, which we visited on the previous trip, here you can do open-water swimming, something we triathletes appreciate. In short, if you’re looking for wind and waves, the area of Famara is great and, to swim, windsurf and enjoy the beach, Costa Teguise would be the best option.
On a gastronomic note, this time I would choose two proposals:
- Before the race, a good choice for stocking up on carbohydrates is Portobello. Listen up – this is a markedly family setup based on homemade Italian food. Noteworthy is the fact that the owner was kind and helpful.
- The second proposal, for after the race, is La Bohemia. I believe it’s the best place in the Costa Teguise area. Their meat and roast are delicious and the service is excellent and friendly. Don’t worry, if you don’t eat meat, there are many other dishes to choose from on the menu.
As for the visits listed in the previous posting, we overlooked some of the island’s “great hits”, which I can reveal here – Playa de Jablillos, Playa Mujeres, Playa de Papagallo and Lago Verde. They are all splendid options for strolling and switching off, and even for reading! Also, if you like diving, there are facilities to discover scuba diving on the same beach where we went windsurfing.
You might ask: if I’m interested in sport in Lanzarote, are there any other interesting competitions on the island? Well, yes – there is the 70.3 Lanzarote on 19 September, and the 4 stage Mountain Bike and La Santa Duathlon in January. After these recommendations in two different Lanzarote posts, we’ll soon be hopping to another island, as I’m starting to get curious about hiking trails. Both Trans Gran Canaria, which takes place from 4 to 6 March 2016, and Transvulcania en la Palma, in May, are important enough on the international running calendar to be considering them when planning for next season.
Text by Raúl Casañas
Images by Ginés Díaz, Jules/Lanzarote InformacionTabayesco, Idoia Núñez
72 hours to get a taste of Lanzarote
By Isabel Loscertales from gastronomistas
Feeling a bit blue because summer is almost over? In just three hours you can get to Lanzarote from Barcelona: it's close, it's accessible, and you'll be able to enjoy the good weather again over a long weekend. But the good weather should not be the main reason to visit the island, as you'll find that the unique beauty of its volcanic landscape, the art byCésar Manrique and the island's cuisine are even more fascinating than its climate. As it's quite a small island (about 60 km long and 20 km wide), all you need is a few days to go on a short break and get a good taste of what it has to offer. We would like to suggest an ideal plan for three days:
DAY 1: CENTRE OF LANZAROTE
There are many places to stay on the island, like the popular area of Costa Teguise, which is full of hotels. Barceló Lanzarote Resort (Avenida del Mar, 5. Tel. 928 591 329. www.barcelo.com) is an affordable hotel and perfect for family holidays. It's being refurbished and has large and comfortable rooms, three pools for adults and two for children, many activities for children, sports facilities (climbing wall, miniature golf, tennis courts, etc.), a wellness centre, buffet breakfast, and "Mediterráneo", a restaurant that offers, amongst other delights, homemade pasta and a carefully selected range of wines.
Once you've settling in and are feeling relaxed, it's a good idea to explore the area of La Geria, where you can find the curious landscape covered with typical Lanzarote vineyards. Because of the volcanic soil and strong winds, the vines are planted in pits sheltered by circular stone walls. This dry cultivation method is called "enarenado". The view of these vast vineyards surrounded by perfectly built walls, with the bare mountains in the background, is unique in the world, and is well worth seeing. And even better if you enjoy it with a glass of wine in your hand. White wine is the island's speciality – specifically Volcanic Malvasía, the island's top variety. Once you try it you won't want to drink anything else. If you would like to find out more, you can visit a winery, like El Grifo (Teguise-Uga, LZ-30, km. 11. San Bartolomé. Tel. 928 524 036. www.elgrifo.com). Then, you can visit the "Campesino" monument and the César Manrique Foundation, which are close by.
The capital of the island, Arrecife, covers the centre of the island and the south coast. The most charming area, which is quite fashionable at the moment and has a great atmosphere, is Charco de San Ginés. After going for a walk you can have dinner at a restaurant that opened recently: Naia. It's very trendy and has a beautiful view of the lake. The half-Basque half-Canarian chef, Mikel Otaegui, offers modern Mediterranean cuisine with a twist, like foie gras micuit as crème brûlée, or creamy rice with small cuttlefish. Avenida César Manrique, 33. Tel. 928 805 797. www.restaurantenaialanzarote.com).
DAY 2: SOUTH OF LANZAROTE
The beautiful Timanfaya National Park is a place not to be missed. At the entrance you find an activity specially for tourists: a camel ride, which you might fancy... or not. The best thing to is to take the bus inside the park and enjoy the amazing lunar landscape: a desert area full of volcanoes, traces of lava, and a display of red, ochre and orange hues against the blue sea. You can almost get an idea of what life on another planet would be like. After the bus trip you can stop at the curious El Diablo restaurant, designed by César Manrique (the ever-present artist whose work is to be found all over the island), which overlooks the park. You have to see the enormous grill where they cook the meat – they use geothermal heat straight from the ground, at 600ºC!
Near the park you can find the coastal village of El Golfo, where you can taste typical cuisine of the sea. One of the places you can try is Bogavante restaurant (Avenida Marítima, 39. El Golfo. Tel. 928 173 505), which has a terrace that is not far from the sea. Here you must taste typical Lanzarote fish and seafood. With an intense flavour granted by the Atlantic Ocean, sea bream, comber, red mullet, limpets, squid, grouper, etc. are cooked in simple ways, grilled, with mandatory wrinkled potatoes and mojo picón sauce (either the more citrus green mojo, or the slightly hot red mojo). Other typical products in Lanzarote are cheese, also served fried with fig jam, and scalded "gofio" (which is toasted cornmeal mixed with water and salt; sometimes it replaces bread, and other times it's used to make desserts). And speaking of dessert, you must try "bienmesabe", a very sweet cake that is typical of the area, made with almonds, honey, egg yolk and sugar.
In the afternoon you can visit a lagoon, Laguna Verde or de los Clicos and the Hervideros, where you can see where the sea has eroded the volcanic rocks. Lower down you can find thePapagayo beaches, situated in a nature reserve (there is an fee of around €3 to park the car), and stunning coves where you can sunbathe and relax.
And to round off the day, you can book a table at La Tegala restaurant, in the town of Mácher, near Puerto del Carmen. It's a very special and romantic place, recommended by the Michelin Guide, where the food and the architecture are a wonderful combination of tradition and modernity. Built on a small vantage point, it is the result of joining an old traditional country house and an avant-garde annex with large windows. Chef Germán Blanco's signature cuisine includes many locally-sourced ingredients (organic where possible), to make it fun and contemporary, and bursting with flavour. The best way to discover it is with the Estela menu experience, which changes a few times during the year and is quite affordable at €42.
DAY 3: NORTH OF LANZAROTE
As you head north, it's worth stopping at the picturesque town of Teguise. If you go on a Sunday, there is a very popular market with a small area selling food, where you can purchase cheese, homemade mojo picón sauce, wine, etc. Nearby you can findFamara beach, with its amazing cliff. It's very popular with surfers, as it's really windy! Then you'll come across the town of Haría and its "valle de las mil palmeras" (Valley of a Thousand Palm Trees).
Another popular place in Lanzarote is the Mirador del Río viewpoint, one of César Manrique's projects, resting atop Risco de Famara, and perfectly integrated into the landscape. If affords amazing views of the volcanic mountainsides and of Chinijo archipelago, where Graciosa is the main island. You can have a drink at the beautiful café-restaurant, which boasts large windows that enable you to enjoy the panoramic view. Then it's time to visit Los Verdes cave, situated in a lava tube that continues under the sea. And then we find another of Cesar Manrique's great works: the beautiful Jameos del Agua site. It's an open lava tube with a natural lake. Look carefully at the small albino crabs that live here. They are an endemic species called "jameítos" There is also a café-restaurant here.
You can have lunch at the coastal town of Arrieta, to continue tasting the island's delicacies from the sea. If you're looking for an affordable place, La Casa de la Playa, a restaurant on La Garita beach serves fish and seafood for €15-20 on average (Tel. 928 173 339). And if you've still got time, you shouldn't miss a trip to Graciosa island, to visit some of its secluded beaches. Boats normally leave from the municipality of Órzola. This small island only has a couple of municipalities and no roads have been built, so it's perfect for those who love cycling in the unspoilt and wild countryside.
We’ll be there. If you want to come too, check out our flights here.
Nosotros nos apuntamos, si quieres venirte consulta nuestros vuelos aquí.more info
Top 5 Gastronomy Or Why Lanzarote Is An Indie Destination
“The moon? Mars? Iceland? No, it’s Lanzarote!” You will often catch yourself thinking this as you roam this fascinating island along roads traversing uninhabited places, without anyone for miles around you. You will also wonder what it might be like to live in this pleasant land of disturbing beauty, surrounded everywhere by raging Atlantic waves relished by surfers from all over the world.
Tracts of lunar land alternating with stretches of desert, and others carpeted in vegetation, where palm trees stand side by side with lava fields, wild beaches, small fishing villages and, of course, the ubiquitous seaside developments catering to mass tourism.
And, as you contemplate the impossible patterns forged by centuries of intermittent lava flows in the rocks, and you hear the roar of the waves while munching on papas con mojo,you regret that the incomprehensible tourist dynamic should have earmarked Lanzarote as the almost exclusive preserve of family holidaymakers and honeymoon couples. That is when you wish Lanzarote would bare its Indie streak, without renouncing its conventionalism, and that we “Peninsulars” – that is what we have been dubbed by the witty locals – would make the trip at least once a year to this island overflowing with charm, which also has its less predictable side. And this chart of rankings proves it.
1- El Chupadero. Its owner, Barbara, is a former model and erstwhile German New Yorker. One day in the eighties, she came across a derelict building in the middle of the island and fell prey to its charm. She decided to refurbish it with her own hands and settle there permanently, along with her two small children. That was how this restaurant was born, unwittingly hipster to the marrow, where every corner is a marvel of good taste and the menu the epitome of indigenous cuisine based on excellent produce.
2- Bar Stop. At the other end of the island, in Yaiza, lies this legendary establishment, which dates from 1890. It has a homely feel and more than reasonable prices and appears not to have changed one jot since its beginnings. Bar Stop is a place where you can enjoy deliciously rustic home cooking any time of the day while you eavesdrop on the locals chattering away – they also seem to have come fresh from 1890, brimming with friendliness and hospitality.
Plaza Ntra. Sra. de los Remedios (Yaiza).
3- La Lupe. Going to Lanzarote only to end up eating in a Mexican, considering the oodles of papas arrugadas that are shouting to get our attention, may seem rather reckless. But, once you’ve tried La Lupe’s delicatessen and sense that it comes hot from the heart of Mexico City, you realise that you have found an exceptional Mexican cuisine. Carefully crafted tacos, enchiladas, moles and other delicacies in a highly recommendable Mexican restaurant. Ideal for dining to a Tequila rhythm before lighting up the night at Noise.
4- NoiseClub Lanzarote. This is what we might term Lanzarote’s underground concert venue, whose owners fight daily to create an Indie atmosphere in the very heart of the capital, Arrecife. Noise is a small, inviting venue featuring live performances on Friday and Saturday after 11.30 p.m. Performers are often musicians from the Peninsula, in line with the open-minded approach of the artificers of Noise and their urge to bring out a less conventional side of Lanzarote. Performances are variegated, ranging from funk to techno.
5- Lagomar. One of the world’s greats who succumbed to the charms of Lanzarote was Omar Sharif. Indeed, he ended up building a formidable house at the seaside, by way of a large, stunningly beautiful fortress, now turned into a restaurant and wine bar. Every nook in the maze-like interior of Lagomar is a fiesta, from the elegant dining-room to the small bar counter surrounded by armchairs, the beautiful gardens and the pool crowning the patio. It is the ideal spot for having a well crafted glass of wine and for enjoying, any day of the week, the pleasant temperatures of Lanzarote and the anachronistic aura – in the best sense of the word – which still pervades this legendary precinct.
Where to Sleep
Sands Beach Lanzarote: This stunning, four-star resort on the Costa Teguise, just 15 minutes from the airport, will play havoc with those who have difficulty getting their bearings. Six huge swimming pools – one of which is heated – a spa, gaming hall, supermarket, activities at all hours and enormous rooms with a kitchen make up this complex with its private beach, where guests are treated like kings and prices are actually affordable.
Text and photos by Laura Conde of Gastronomistasmore info