In Need Of Some Winter Sun? Sky Travel's Guide To LanzarotePosted on: 01 December 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
The most easterly of all the Canary Islands, Lanzarote, or Isla de Fuego ("Fire Island") as it is known locally, is full of drama and intrigue.
With the majority of its surface covered in solidified lava and nearly 300 volcanic peaks its landscape can certainly be described as "other-worldly", and it's probably the reason why it was chosen as the setting for the hit film, Planet of the Apes. Timanfaya National Park, which comprises nearly a third of the island, is where you can see the volcanic legacy of the centuries-old eruptions.
But all of this scenic drama doesn't stop Lanzarote from being an ideal place to come and relax. The sandy beaches, year round sunshine and good range of facilities make it a popular place to get away from it all, whatever time of year it may be.
Flights from the UK take about four hours and fifteen minutes, and arrive at Arrecife International Airport.
Food And Drink
Lanzarote, like all of the Spanish islands, has a range of delicious specialities to try. As well as the traditional favourites, like sangria, tortilla and fresh seafood there are a range of local dishes to sample. Try mojo picon, (a canarian sauce), vieja (a tasty fish dish), sanocho canario (a fish salad with a hot sauce), pescado al plancha (grilled white fish), bacalao al ajo arriero (dried cod with tomatoes and peppers) and arehucas (a local rum).
Shopping is also a rich experience with most towns holding a weekly market. The Friday market in Jabillo and the night-time Costa Teguise market are two favourites where you can pick up a variety of souvenirs and fresh produce. The Playa Blanca market is held three times a week, so there's no excuse not to pay a visit.
If it's high-street shopping you're after, then the Biosphere Plaza in Puerto del Carmen should be what you're looking for. If not, try the Deiland Commercial Centre, which has three floors of shops, a cinema and a bowling alley. The Rubicon Marina in Playa Blanca is a good stop-off if you fancy browsing designer boutiques.
Things to look out for in Lanzarote are leather, el golfo crystal, Olivina, a semi-precious stone and local produce such as Rum Miec (local rum with honey).
Other reasons to go:
- Called Isla De Fuego (Fire Island) by the locals due to nearly 300 volcanic peaks.
- Landscape shaped by volcanic eruptions including dramatic black sand beaches.
- Excellent conditions in the north for watersports, particularly surfing and windsurfing.
Sky Travel's top things to do in Lanzarote
Top of any visitors' list for Lanzarote has to be an excursion into the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya. Here you can discover the huge expanse of solidified lava fields, volcanic sands and Montañas del Fuego (the "Fire Mountains"). There's also the chance to take a camel ride across this alien landscape for a truly unique experience.
Lanzarote is also home to culture and history, both of which can be found at the island's capital, Arrecife. Don't miss the Museo Internacional de Art Contemporáneo, or the city's two Castles: Castillo de San Gabriel and Castillo de San José.
If its relaxation and fun you're after, then you won't be disappointed with the island's beaches and the children will go crazy for the island's aqua park. SCUBA diving is also an option if you want to explore the island beneath the water's surface.
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The website is also packed full of information on getting away and includes interesting articles, travel features, videos, fast facts and comprehensive destination guides.
You can visit Sky Travel at Sky channel 669 or at www.sky.com/travel.
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