Lanzarote, amazing scenery and laid back beaches.
One of the Spanish Canary islands, set off the western coast of Africa, Lanzerote is a wonderful 'getaway' destination, but one that's still only 4 hours flying time from north Europe. With an amazing array of beaches, some with volcanic black sand and some very interesting geography and volcanic regions, Lanzarote is an ideal beach/water sports/sightseeing location.
Best of Lanzarote
Due to it's setting, Lanzarote enjoys all year temperatures from the late 60's in winter to the mid 80's in summer, making it an ideal winter sun destination and it's in the same time zone as the UK. However, the winds which blow from Africa can get a bit strong in July, which makes it great for windsurfing, but not so good for sunbathing. There is a great Carnival in February with processions and festivities and for the last 2 weeks in August the 'Fiesta de San Gines' takes place in honour of the island's patron saint with fireworks, music, workshops and events.
To know before you go
It is also worth noting that although Lanzarote is a great one stop beach holiday, car hire is a must to see some of the wonderful sights. Local food is normally cheaper than in London and has a Spanish feel. 'Mojo and papas arrugadas' (potatoes and sauce), is good and normally eaten with fish. 'Menu del dia'(a lunchtime set menu) is often good value. The Canary islands are also duty free, and great places to shop for alcohol, perfumery, tobacco and any normally taxed luxury items.
Getting around and getting by
Bus 22 and 23 connect Arrecife Bus station and the airport. A fare one way is roughly EUR 1 with a journey time of 20 minutes. Taxis from the airport to centre cost about EUR 6. Bus 61 goes from the airport to Puerto del Carmen, a single ticket is around EUR 1.50 and Playa Blanca is about EUR 3.15. Most hotels are in the resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. Hotels in Arrecife range from about EUR 25 pp/night. Budget accommodation is around EUR22 pp/night. Public transport is relatively cheap on the island, where buses are called 'guaguas'. There are sometimes free buses to attractions from beach resorts and taxis are good value. Just round up the fare when you pay as it is not customary to give big tips. Parking in Arrecife in particular is tricky, as spaces are limited because of the narrow lanes, so it's best to park on the municipal car park and walk into town.