For one of the smaller Canary Islands, Lanzarote certainly packs a lot in. The isle rolls out for just over 320 square miles, and within that space, you’ll find a wealth of landscapes vying for your attention. For starters, there’s the rugged beauty of Timanfaya National Park – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that’s home to over 100 volcanoes known as the Fire Mountains. There are also 16 kilometres of sandy beaches, plus the longest underwater tunnel in the world. Lanzarote’s also got a great selection of resorts that are all geared up for summer holidays or a dose of winter sun – and they’re especially well-suited if you’ve got children in tow. Costa Teguise lines up family-friendly beaches, lively shopping centres and an action-packed watersports menu, while Playa Blanca’s the front runner when it comes to tear ‘n’ share tapas bars and a traffic-free promenade. Over in Puerto Carmen, you’ll come across a welcoming international vibe, a trio of sandy sweeps, and some of the best diving spots the Canaries have to offer – keep your eyes peeled for the manta rays that hover near the wreck sites just offshore. Travel-wise, direct flights to Lanzarote from London clock in at around four hours. Taking off from a northern point, like Manchester or Newcastle, will only set you back another half an hour or so. Your arrival airport’s in the capital – Arrecife – but the island’s size means that whichever resort you pick, you can be in the thick of things within a 40-minute transfer.
- Pick a spot on Puerto del Carmen’s beach. With a lengthy six kilometres of sand, it’s prime sandcastle-building territory.
- Hone your haggling skills in Teguise’s market. It’s the biggest on the island and you’ll find everything from lace to pineapples.
- Nibble your way through a tapas menu at a harbour-side restaurant in Puerto del Carmen. Traditional titbits include whitebait, Manchego cheese and Serrano ham.
- Shake your hips in Puerto del Carmen. The Centro Atlantico is a particularly popular night-time hangout, with lots of bars and dancefloors on different levels.
- Let your inner spaceman loose with a trip to Timanfaya National Park. The lunar-like landscape here is probably the nearest you’ll get to being on the moon.
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