LANZAROTE: WHAT TO DO BESIDES SURFING AND KITESURF
37/5000 10 things to do with the whole family
If you are reading this article it is because you are thinking of organizing a kitesurf holiday or a surf trip in Lanzarote, but you are wondering if it could be the right destination to take your family with you and then your non-surfer girlfriend / wife / husband and maybe even your child.
Unfortunately the needs of those who surf (and worse still kitesurf) are not always compatible with those of their carers, and this alas is true everywhere. However there are destinations that fit better than others to get everyone to agree, because for example, in addition to the wind-exposed beaches, they have small sheltered coves that are not too far away, or trekking routes or other attractions to visit.
First of all I must say that Lanzarote has an undeniable advantage: the island is quite small, so everything is extremely concentrated. Surf spots, kitesurf spots, tourist towns, museums and natural parks, everything is within a radius of up to an hour by car. This means that you can safely have a surf session early in the morning, go for a walk around the island with your family and have a session at sunset again before having dinner at some restaurant.
But what are the things to see and do with the whole family during a vacation in Lanzarote, between a surf session, or kitesurf and the other ... or what your family can do while you are at sea, if the wind blows too hard to enjoy the beach? Here are my favorites:
1) The Timanfaya Park, a unesco reserve of the biosphere.
A Martian landscape dominated by red and black. Craters and lava spread over about 50 square kilometers around the Montagna de Fuego. Entering the park you find yourself immersed in a surreal landscape and you have the opportunity to experience the volcanic activity that has shaped the island's landscape until quite recently. To visit the park different solutions are possible, but always with a guide as it is not possible to venture independently.
The simplest solution is to enter from the access that is along the road that crosses the Natural Park of the Volcanoes from Mancha Blanca to Yaiza, a black road between black mountains, which deserves to be traveled. At the entrance that can be crossed with your own car you pay the ticket (today 10 € for adults and 5 € for children, with a 20% discount after 15 in the afternoon) with which you have access to the bus tourist that allows you to take a tour of the park lasting about half an hour. I tell you right away that the bus is actually the most disappointing part. Closed glasses that make it difficult even to take photos and rather hasty tours without the possibility of stopping or going down. What I liked instead is the Visitor Center, structure obviously designed by the genius Cesar Manriquez, with an adjoining restaurant where you can taste the food cooked directly on the bbq fed by the heat of the volcano, practically a well about 13 meters deep which on the surface does not carry water but heat. Also in front of the visitor center the park guides offer demonstrations of volcanic activity and soil temperature.
Alternatively, you can visit the park with authorized tourist guides who offer less hasty routes. Everything obviously depends on how much time you have available between sessions!
2) The Lanzarote Wine Route
The cultivation of vineyards in Lanzarote is something magical. Walking along the road from San Bartolomé to Uga, in La Geria, you will find yourself immersed in a unique landscape where the black of lava is punctuated by the green of many small dwarf vines, sheltered from the wind one by one by semicircular walls. The wineries in this area are many, one of the most famous is that of the Grifo, winner of several medals and international prizes, it also has an attached museum. The dry white wine obtained from this malvasia is delicious and very fragrant. Absolutely to sip at sunset after a memorable surf or kitesurf session. I always put a bottle in my suitcase to take home some of this island.
3) The Mirador del Rio
The view that you get from the top of the Risco di Famara on the "Rio", the narrow body of water between Lanzarote and the island of Graciosa, is a show that cannot be missed during a holiday in Lanzarote. If you want you can go for lunch, bringing with you some sandwiches and stopping to taste it at the picnic tables that are on the top, or stop to eat something in one of the little restaurants on the street. The structure of the Mirador, also a work of Cesar Manriquez, is certainly very beautiful, but if you don't have much time or don't want to spend the money for the admission ticket, know that you can enjoy almost the same view from the path to side of the Mirador.
From the Mirador you can enjoy a marvelous view of the entire Famara bay, and above all from there you can evaluate very well if the wind is entering!
4) A tour of the markets
In the surroundings of Famara there are two markets where your family can enjoy a morning while you are at sea doing kitesurfing or surfing. On Saturday morning there is a very small but still quite characteristic market in Haria. Here you can buy excellent local cheeses, bread, fruit and vegetables. Sunday morning is the time of the largest market in Teguise. This is actually rather dispersive and too touristy, but still a walk and a coffee in Teguise are always pleasant. In the markets you can also take advantage to buy some aloe cream, ubiquitous in Lanzarote. Aloe cream is available for all tastes and prices, with higher or lower concentrations and more or less valuable ingredients: from the packs you can buy in supermarkets for about € 1,
5) Excursion to the island La Graciosa
The island of Graciosa is a small jewel in which to walk, relax and feel really light years away from stress. It can be reached by a crossing of less than half an hour by ferry from Orzola. It is not possible to bring your car on the island, and there is no public transport. Once you arrive you can rely on those who organize excursions on the island (like our friend Luis) or rent bicycles. In addition to exploring the island's beaches, which among other things are excellent surf spots, you can enjoy good fish in the delicious restaurants of the port. For more information you can read this article on our Graciosa surf trip .
6) Natural swimming pools for children and not only
Natural pools, charcones as they call them here, are a common feature in all the Canary Islands. In Lanzarote the most beautiful can be found in Punta Mujeres or near El Golfo. To the north of El Golfo there is one in particular that can be reached along a long dirt road. You then descend from a cliff overlooking the sea and find yourself in a small cove with a natural pool that fills up at high tide. Furthermore, the rock face is equipped for climbing! Pretty cool!...
In addition to these real natural pools, on the beaches of the island, in particular in Famara, when the tide goes down, small pools are also formed, ideal for small children because generally only a few centimeters deep and therefore also very hot .
7) Cameos del Agua or Cueva de los Verdes
Two underground paths in excavated tunnels from volcanic eruptions and caves. La Cueva is a large tunnel carved by lava, once used by pirates as a refuge. Cameos del Agua is another of the incredible works born from the genius of Manriquez who here fused the beauty of a natural cave, which among other things hosts small Czech crabs, unique in the world, with an auditorium, a natural lake, a museum . Once you're here you can't miss the surf spot that's right below. Once it was also a very popular windsurfing spot, but since the road to the spot is closed to cars, it is a little less crowded. We also went out with kitesurf ... but you don't do it. The locals here do not tolerate kiters and cut the tires for much less!
8) Playa Papagayo
The Papagayo beach, located south of Lanzarote, is universally considered one of the most beautiful on the island. Indeed it deserves at least a visit. You pay access by car (about € 3), but in the end it costs less than any parking lot by the sea in our area! In summer it tends to be quite crowded, but from here you can also reach other beaches that are just as beautiful and perhaps a little less crowded. I recommend that you join the day at the beach with an evening in Playa Blanca, a typical tourist town with classic seaside restaurants and the like. If you are looking for something more exclusive for dinner you can find excellent restaurants in El Golfo.
9) Aperitif, dinner or after dinner at Lagomar
Lagomar is a wonderful villa-museum where the actor Omar Sharif lived. You can visit it for free after 6pm when the bar opens. It is an incredibly scenic place to get lost in tunnels and tunnels, sipping something to drink. There is also a restaurant.
10) Excursions by MTB or EBIKE
The bicycle is a perfect means of transport in Lanzarote. The temperature is always pleasant and with the bicycle you can calmly enjoy the silence and the landscape of the island, besides many dirt roads it is better not to face them with a rental car, unless it is an off-road vehicle, because as said several times the insurance does not cover damage done in off-road vehicles. Here then is that a Mountain Bike (electric in my opinion is better), allows you to get anywhere, have fun and spend a few hours in a different way. In my opinion, a good idea is to rent the ebikes and go with those to visit the island of Graciosa.
In conclusion Lanzarote is certainly not one of those places where if there is no wind or waves there is nothing to do, on the contrary ... here it is more difficult to stay without doing anything!