The island Lanzarote
Lanzarote, one of the 7 Canary Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean. An island that could be considered an eighth wonder of the world. For those who think this place is all about sun, sea and beaches are wrong. For Lanzarote is known for its rugged landscapes, surreal views and unique architecture. But there are many more reasons to go to this beautiful island. Apart from hiking the GR131, of course. Although, in our opinion, this is also a very good reason. Because the island is located at the height of Africa, it is the ideal destination to get some sun during the cold, grey winter months. In this blog, we give you 8 reasons why the island of Lanzarote will amaze you. And why hiking Lanzarote is a good idea!
1. Hiking Lanzarote on the GR131
Hiking Lanzarote is a unique experience! The GR131 hiking trail crosses all 7 Canary Islands. An adventurous reason to go hiking Lanzarote. This hiking trail has a total length of 560 kilometres and is divided into 32 stages. The starting point of the GR131 is on the Canary Island of Lanzarote and then continues to Isla de Lobos. It criss-crosses the entire island of Fuerteventura from north to south, crosses to Gran Canaria, makes an arc across Tenerife and then a loop on La Gomera. Via La Palma, it reaches the most western point of the Canary Islands, El Hierro.
This hiking route looks like a real acrobatic act, but the GR131 is ideal for those who like adventure as well as island hopping. And of course, you can also choose to complete the route in several sections. Are you curious by now? You can already find information and dig deeper into this GR-131 on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. A page where you will find, even in English, everything about this hiking trail.
With WAW.travel, you can explore the whole island on foot in 5 stages. At the end, you can relax after hiking Lanzaroteon the beach. You’ll have earned that, right?
2. Timanfaya National Park
Worth visiting before, during or after hiking Lanzarote. This park, a true wonder of the world and therefore a rightful highlight of the island of Lanzarote. After all, where would the island have been without the natural phenomenon of volcanic eruptions? Lanzarote owes its origins to the undersea volcanic eruption some 15 million years ago. It lies at the centre of a volcanic belt, which is still active. And in this heart of the island is Timanfaya National Park. The park was created in the 18th century, when most of the island’s eruptions took place.
The result; more than 50 km2 of dried-up lava and expansive, black moonscape. An unreal view and thus definitely worth a visit. The area is not called ‘Montañas del Fuego‘ for no reason. For those who don’t speak Spanish, this stands for Fire Mountains. And Timanfaya refers to the first village that was completely engulfed by this lava. So much for the history section. The rest of this wonder speaks for itself. All that remains is for you to put on your hiking boots and make a reservation to visit these 30 craters and over 100 volcanic cones. In our opinion, a special place on the island that you absolutely must have seen.
Enjoy the magical sun
You don’t get owt for nowt. Also during hiking Lanzarote. And, of course, at the end of the day, under again. The sun that provides us with vitamin D. The sun that literally warms us. The sun that provides a touch of magic. The red, soft glow that appears on the jagged rocks. The rugged, black lunar landscape that takes on a warm, soft tint. The sand that gets just an extra golden edge. And you enjoying it all. Slowly but surely, the sun disappears into the rippling water and will, the next day, rise again from this calm sea. You just can’t get enough of this magical moment.
A real highlight for this sunset is the village of El Golfo. Located on the west coast of Lanzarote, it is considered one of the best places on the island to watch this wonder sink into the sea. And literally next to El Golfo, you will find a point where you have a breathtaking view of Lago Verde. This is a lake that turns bright green as soon as the sun shines on it. This green colour is due to the algae living in the water. Take this phenomenon, combine it with black sand, the rough sea AND the jagged rocks and voilà. The magic called sunset is complete.
Cueva de los Verdes
Not only on the surface while hiking Lanzarote, but the lava also knows how to make its way underground. The most famous formed tunnels are Cueva de los Verde and Jameos del Agua. These wonders offer as much as 7.5 kilometres of fun. All due to the volcano La Corona. Previously, these tunnels were used as hiding places. Now this place is no longer a secret and you can visit these caves, accompanied by a guide. Be fascinated by the unusual colour combination of the rocks, water and light in this underground place.
Vineyards that capture the imagination
It is a surreal view while hiking Lanzarote; black moonscape with pits in which green vines stand and red and white grapes cling. This is where nature and the human mind come together to produce the tastiest lava wines. Called La Geria, this region is also a protected landscape.
As a wine lover, after hiking Lanzarote you can indulge here, taste the most delicious wines and learn more about this unique method of cultivation. In fact, the pits in which the vines grow are filled with 1 plant. And the white lava stones around them are not there because it looks so pretty.
In fact, they provide protection from the westerly winds. The fact that the grapes are still picked by hand may account for that special flavour. Or is it still that volcanic, finishing touch you can taste in some wines? In any case, leave nothing to your imagination and taste the unique combination of local pride and natural wonders.
Admire the architecture of César Manrique
César Manrique, the architect who made his mark on the island of Lanzarote. This artist ensured that the original character of the island was preserved and cherished. For example, think of those whitewashed houses with their contrasting, green, blue or brown colours. Why no other colour? They are simply not allowed. Nor are billboards or other large advertising signs. Because this obstructs the beautiful views.
Where another would run hard from the grimness and desolation, he made this place his studio. This place became the basis of a creation where soul and bliss came together. Jardín de Cactus, Mirador del Río and Jameos del Agua are just a few examples of these sights where nature and culture intertwine. But perhaps the most special attraction is Casa Omar Sharif, also called Museum Lagomar.
A house built entirely into a rock face, it was bought by Egyptian actor Omar Sharif. While staying for a film on the island of Lanzarote, he instantly fell in love with this house. However, he could not enjoy his new place for long. In fact, he never lived there. In truth, a gamble while playing bridge cost him dearly. He lost his house to his own estate agent, who was European bridge player.
Surprise yourself while walking Lanzarote and visit this breathtakingly beautiful museum. Wander around, admire all the elements, enjoy the beautiful views, have a drink and discover the hidden treasures.
Wander through the characteristic villages
Already situated by the sea or surrounded by volcanoes and black moonscape. Lanzarote has several villages, each with its own characteristics. And, of course, those typical features of the island. Discover these hidden gems and blend in with the locals to experience real and unique island life.
Arrecife is the lively capital. Hiking Lanzarote starts here. A place where history and culture come together. For instance, the two historic castles on either side of the harbour are already proudly welcoming you. The little boats bobbing in the water also await you at Charco de San Ginés. And you can join the locals for a delicious snack and drink at this peaceful spot. For more action, dive into the city centre. The streets sparkle with energy and tourists and locals alike stroll the markets or visit a cultural centre.
While hiking Lanzarote, you pass Teguise and take a step back in time. This place can be found inland and used to be the island’s capital. Lime-white houses with green doors, towers of churches rising above them and lively sounds echo through the streets. Especially when it’s Sunday, as the island’s biggest market can be found here. Locals and tourists alike seek out artisanal and traditional delicacies.
Yaiza, an oasis of calm. Surrounded by the volcanic vistas of the Timanfaya National Park, this is a real picturesque highlight. Whitewashed buildings, flowery courtyards, greens and blue contrasting colours are a breath of fresh air amid those whimsical and surrounding natural wonders.
Located on the southern tip of the island, Playa Blanca is a true coastal paradise. The formerly fishing village is now a seaside resort that has retained its charm. The waters of the Atlantic, its cafes and restaurants and the setting sun are the backdrop for everyone to enjoy, in peace and quiet.
Relax on the beach
Want to let all the above impressions sink in quietly? Then unwind on one of the many beaches after hiking Lanzarote. Even though Lanzarote is not known for the most beautiful beaches, there are a few treasures. For example, Playa Papagayo, located in the south of Lanzarote. High rocks, crystal clear blue water and white sandy beaches. Explore the underground world while snorkelling or work on your vitamin D (deficiency) on the sheltered beach.
Another beach with turquoise-blue water, palm trees and snow-white sand is Playa Flamingo. Prefer a beach not yet discovered by many people? Then head to El Caletón Blanco, found near the fishing village of Órzola. On this small beach, you can clearly see the island’s black, volcanic features.
Fortunately, Lanzarote’s wonders are not yet out of this world. It is those wonders that make the island so unique. And that is why this island is an ideal (hiking) destination. So are you excited? Would you like to experience the island of Lanzarote with your own eyes? And go hiking Lanzarote? Then feel free to contact us for more information.
Still, is the GR131 a bit too rugged for you? Then take a different path and choose from one of our many Camino de Santiago routes.