With it´s average of 3000 hours of sunshine a year, and daily temperatures of around 22 degrees, Lanzarote is the perfect choice for a relaxing break, and there´s plenty of luxury to find on this least commercial and built up of Canary Islands.
It’s a volcanic island with a dramatic landscape created by six years of devastating volcanic eruptions in the 1730´s. It is made up of brilliant white buildings in pretty little villages, lively historical towns, all of which surrounded by the most surreal scenery.
Teguise is the old capital of the Island and a declared Architectural Historical Site. This fascinating place, up on a mountain with quaint cobbled streets and a beautiful market square is the real Lanzarote. The town has a cosmopolitan feel – with a vast choice of cuisine and trendy bars tucked away down little alleys. It´s a lively place, a mixture of all nationalities, as well as tourists, and has a popular market on a Sunday.
Soak up some culture
I had arranged tickets for what turned out to be a truly unique experience, a classical concert held in one of the longest volcanic tunnels on the world, the Cueva de Los Verdes.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, certainly not walking for at least 20 minutes down the winding, dipping tunnels (note to self: don´t wear heels for a trip down a 6km lava tube). Even with the inappropriate footwear, it was well worth the effort. The spectacular lighting created a surreal atmosphere as we all descended deeper and deeper into the earth. Needless to say when we got to the hall the acoustics were fantastic – I doubt I will experience anything like it again.
Lanzarote owes a lot of its culture and preservation to a local artist and architect, Cesar Manrique. Because of him you won’t see billboards or high rises. I loved the Cesar Manrique Foundation, his former home, now a museum in Taro de Tahiche. It´s a must see with the house built on, and in, five volcanic bubbles.
A spot of shopping
Puerto Calero is a top class marina in the south of the island, where the beautiful people go. A magnificent spot with high end restaurants, and is definitely worth a visit if you fancy a day of retail therapy. Here you can get your Armani, Hugo Boss and Versace then stop for a cocktail or two at one of the many bars while you eye up the stunning boats in the port while you day dream about which one you’d buy if you won the lottery.
Where to stay
Continuing the Cesar Manrique theme, I stayed at the Hotel Gran Melias Salinas whose lagoon style pool had also been designed by the local architect. With a magnificent atrium, filled with semi-tropical plants and a waterfall, the hotel certainly had impact. We opted for a master suite and I was impressed with the simple elegance of the rooms, the tasteful use of marble and of course the private Jacuzzi on the terrace, but this was totally eclipsed by the spectacular panoramic view of Las Cucharas beach and the surrounding landscape.
Places to Eat
For Sunday lunch La Cantina came heavily recommended, an intimate venue owned by two veteran islanders, Ben and Zoe – a welcoming couple from the UK who´ve lived in Lanzarote since their teens.
The food was exquisite – on a par to the trendy restaurants and bistros you´d find in London these days. They draw on many influences, but strive to maintain the Spanish theme using organic and local produce grown for them specially. The best surprise came after the meal when I was invited back to the restaurant´s secret garden, where the host´s daughter, Tallulah, was singing a set – a fabulous voice in a wonderful setting.
Ignore the Lanzagrotty brigade, there is certainly luxury to be enjoyed on this classy island!
Katie, the author of this sponsored post, is the baking and travel addicted blogger behind delightso.me where she writes about her adventures in cake and on foreign shores.