Cruises to Lanzarote’s sunny climate are a big hit with sunbathers and swimmers, who relish its volcanic red, black and white sand beaches. Make the best of your Lanzarote cruise and But tear yourself away from your sunbed to explore the island’s spectacular moon-like volcanic landscape, best seen from the Fire Mountain in the Timanfaya National Park and famous for the fantastical shapes created by solidified volcanic lava.
Camel rides are available in the park, and tours here will also take you to the lush wine country of La Geria to sample the heady local vintages. Head north instead of southwest and you will discover wonderfully verdant Haria – ‘the valley of a thousand palms’ and can enjoy panoramic views from Mirador del Rio.
Equally fascinating is a visit to Jameos el Agua cave, an oddly shaped volcanic cave overlooking a saltwater lagoon where you will find a colony of white crabs unique to the island.
There are two locations that the ship could berth at. One outside the capital, there is normally a shuttle to take you in and one very close with only a 10 minute walk to town.
Although a lot smaller than Tenerife it has much more to offer the tourist in places to see. The majority all of these are within an hour – hour and half from the main port of Arricife.
The shopping areas in Lanzarote a poor second to Tenerife. Although the capital Arrecife has a shopping area it is not up to the standards of Santa Cruz De Tenerife or Playa de Las Americas.
Puerto del Carmen There is a little more on offer in Peurto del Carmen especially in the Biosfera Shopping Centre near the old town. P&O do a transfer to here for £22pp (2016) but you are only there for about 2 hours. Best option is a taxi from shore takes 15-20 minutes and costs €22/25. Good beach, ask for MacDonalds.
It is a very family friendly resort and has a nice ambience. It stretches out along a costal road with a large pavement/prom area and is flat too. Lots of shops, bars and restaurants here too.
Places to Visit
Cesar Manrique House; Fantastic house built around a lava flow. Has wide bright rooms full of art work and a beautiful garden. Well worth seeing.
Jameos del Agua; (Caves) – well worth the visit. Created by Cesar Manrique and so easy to explore using the subterranean walkways. Once you have paid the entrance fee you are then left to spend as long or short a time as you require and browse the cave in your leisure.
The pathway down leads you to a nightclub area that is open three nights a week, and then onto a large underground lake that holds albino crabs, after this you go through a narrow walkway along the right hand side of the lake that leads you to another small bar area and then up into the open air section. Here is the swimming pool that only the King of Spain is allowed to swim in. Steps then lead up to a terraced area with a small cafe and a Volcanic Museum.
There are plenty of opportunities for photographs and areas to sit and just take in the surroundings.
Las Cuevas de los Verdes; (Caves) – they are part of the same system as Jameos del Agua and again a must see. These are natural lava caves that you go through with a guide and this takes about 45 – 60 mins, depending on the group size. Our group was about 20 strong and this was a good size because all the explanations are done in Spanish and English and if there were any more in the group it would be more difficult to see and hear. Because these are volcanic caves you can see how the lava flowed on the side walls and they have also used lighting to emphasis the main areas. The main feature of these caves is a secret area that will be shown to you by the guide so I will not enlighten you any more on that. Again, plenty of opportunities for photos and just a small warning in places you will need to mind your head and duck to go through some of the areas. No Health and Safety here.
With both of the above they are busy and because the Las Cuervas caves have a guided tour I suggest that if you are pushed for time you do these first.
The caves are about a mile apart.
Timanfaya; (Volcano) – If you decided to include this can I suggest you try and sit on the right hand side (starboard for all you cruisers) of the coach, better views. At the end of the coach tour you can then visit the displays of heat. After which a visit to the restaurant for a drink or some food, hot food after 12 noon (cooked by the Volcano’s own heat) and then a visitors shop.
Guinate Tropical Park; – a little further afield and there is lots to see here, especially for the children. Parrots, Toucan, Ostriches, Tortoise, Monkeys to name but a few. There is a Parrots show also, three times a day. Worth a visit About 1 hour from Arrecife.
Mirador Del Rio; (viewing point) – a little further along from Guinate Tropical Park with spectacular views over La Graciosa island and the entrance fee also allows you a free drink. About 1 hour from Arrecife.
Los Hervideros; The rugged coast line just along the coast from Playa Blanca. Large caves formed by the crashing of the sea. Walkways along the top and partly inside with viewing platforms.
El Golfo; (green lake) – Large lake cut off from the sea many years ago. Now turned a bright green. If you do visit and want lunch can I suggest the La Lopa restaurant, first restaurant on the right as you approach the main village. Excellent service and very reasonably priced. Can I recommend the Canerian stew and filleted catch of the day, served with Canerian Potatoes and Mojo sauce.
Yellow Submarine; This goes from a small marina just outside Peurto del Carmen. It was a little expensive, but well worth the trip. Lots to see, your own porthole, not cramped, diver outside to attract the fish.
Beaches: There is Puerto del Carman and Costa Teguise to choose from. Both easily accessed for the capital. For the beach take a taxi from Arricife to Peurto del Carmen, ask for McDonalds, this was about €22 or Costa Teguise about €10. 2016 prices.
By Peter Dagnall
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