Just over two weeks ago I went to Lanzarote with a friend for one last bit of sun. The plan was to make it a real walking holiday, and although we did walk a fair bit, it was still more leisurely than initially anticipated, mainly because the sun was just a little too enthusiastic at times!
We took it pretty easy for the first few days, as these were the predicted hottest days of our stay and I especially had to get used to those high temperatures.
We visited a number of the typical (paying) tourist sights, which in retrospect are not always worth their money.
First we went to the Jardín de Cactus, which did disappoint a bit. Still nice to see, but much smaller than expected.
Then to Jameos del Agua, which in my humble opinion is not really worth its entrance fee either. Yes, the cave with super clear water was nice to see, but I found the architectural swimming pool behind it arch-ugly. To each his own of course!
The only one of the three paying attractions we did that day that was impressive was the viewpoint Mirador del Rio, from where you have a stunning view of the nearby island of Graciosa.
The next day we went to Timanfaya National Park.
Although you can see beautiful landscapes just from the car (take the LZ-67), paying the entrance fee to enter deeper into the park and be driven around by bus past a few impressive points (sit on the right side of the bus) is absolutely worth it. I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves, with the disclaimer that they don’t fully capture the beauty of the reality.
After Timanfaya we put on our walking shoes for a walk around and in Volcàn el Cuervo.
Then we needed to strengthen the inner self, with the plan to afterwards also tackle Montaña Negra.
At that time we were actually in the wine region of Lanzarotte (La Geria) and when we were both sighing from the heat after our lunch and felt it would be irresponsible to climb a mountain during the hottest part of the day, we decided to stay comfortably on one of the wine farms and just chat on the terrace.
The next day we went for a slightly more difficult walk, into, around and up the Caldera Blanca.
The first part of the walk goes through a volcanic landscape. I found this really amazing to walk through. You can easily believe that you were walking on the moon.
This path ended in the smaller crater of Montaña Caldereta, where we walked around for a while and admired the landscape and view.
And then the climb began. We started with good courage, but after a while we decided to return. By then the clouds that had provided us with some much needed shade had cleared and the sun really started to shine brightly on our heads. I can’t handle that very well and by then I was already starting to have some problems. At first I didn’t really want to give in, until my friend also indicated that she was hesitant to continue walking, especially when we saw how far our predecessors had already gone and how much we still had to go.
In retrospect, I’m glad we returned, because I don’t know if I could have completed this successfully on sheer stubbornness. Did we miss something? Probably, but I thought the first part of the walk was already surreally beautiful and more than worth it.
To compensate, after returning we drove to the village of El Golfo, with impressive waves and a green lake as a contrast to all the beautiful blue violence.
The next day we took a slow start, with a late breakfast and enjoying the peace, the sun and a book. But doing nothing all day is not really in our nature, so we went to have a look in both Tequise and Arrecife. The first one was very nice, but even smaller than expected. Arrecife was not immediately our thing. Good for people who want to lie on the beach there. We just walked there to the Castillo de San Gabriel and back.
For our very last full day on Lanzarote we went up a volcano again, this time the Montaña Roja. Instead of on the moon, you can imagine that you are walking on Mars here ;).
We combined this with Playa Blanca and Playa de Papagayo. For the latter, the road there was quite the adventure, with twenty minutes on an unpaved road full of potholes and boulders. The bay itsemf is very charming and one of the only times we regretted not having swimming gear with us!
Yes, I honestly admit that I had few expectations for this destination. I knew that it is a volcanic island, with little vegetation, so I feared that I would get tired of it quickly. But I’m super happy to report that this was absolutely not the case.
I found every part of the island impressive to almost surreally beautiful. Yes, it is barren and bare, but I think I have rarely taken so many photos of stones. The shades of colour are difficult to capture, but for me the landscape varied from feeling like you were walking on the moon to walking on Mars. Until you suddenly spotted the ocean, which – how could it be otherwise on an island – always remains prominently in the picture.
Truly, a beautiful location, made all the more impressive by my relatively low expectations before departure!