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Tourist information on things to do in Lanzarote

If you are thinking about a holiday in Lanzarote or you've decided to make the move and relocate to the island then you are probably asking yourself what there is to do on an island that is only 900 kilometers square (including the small neighbouring islands).

Of course there is the sunshine to soak up and enjoy and there is no shortage of beaches on which to do this. In the south, next to the resort of Playa Blanca, there are the quiet bays and beautiful fine white sand beaches of El Papagayo. The beaches are never usually overrun by tourists due to the fact that they are only accessible via water taxi or a very bumpy car journey along a dirt track.

Further north there are the more commercial beaches of Playa Blanca and Los Pocillos. Situated in Puerto del Carmen with row upon row of sunbeds and parasols these beaches are ideal for families as swimming is safe here There are toilets, changing huts and showers on the beach and the restaurants and bars are never more than a 5-minute walk away.

Moving north again there are amazing beaches around the fishing towns of Arrieta and Orzola. These beaches lack the facilities offered by the beaches of the main resorts but if peace and tranquility is what you desire, away from the usual tourist flow, then these beaches are a must for you to visit. Swimming here is however limited to low tide as the sea behind a natural rock barrier is usually too rough to be safe even to the strongest swimmer.

Around the coast there is Playa de Famara, a vast expanse of golden sand with the Famara cliffs offering a stunning backdrop. Due to the strong undertow and the crashing waves a red flag usually flies at this beach; the only people entering the water being experienced surfers.

If you enjoy sport, action and adventure then Lanzarote is the place for you. Lanzarote has excellent facilities for the extreme sports fans including surfing, windsurfing, hang-gliding and mountain biking to name but a few. One of the great things about Lanzarote is that whether you're an absolute beginner or you're an old hand the conditions here cater for all levels.

If you're more of a water baby Lanzarote can offer you some of the best scuba-diving in the world, with the majority of dive schools catering for the beginner through to the advanced diver. Water skiing, jet skiing and para sailing is also available.

For the Rex Hunts among you there is the opportunity to try your hand at deep-sea fishing.

Lanzarote is popular with long distance runners and road cyclists, many of whom flock to the island during the winter months to train. They tend to stay on the west coast of the island at the La Santa sports complex. La Santa has fantastic facilities, catering to athletes of over 60 different sports.

If just the thought of trying your hand at sport leaves you out of breath then how about taking in some of the cultural attractions Lanzarote has to offer including those designed by the infamous Canarian artist César Manrique.

Starting at the north of the island there is Mirador del Rio. Designed by the infamous César Manrique, this modern eagle's eyrie offers breathtaking panoramic views over the neighboring island of La Graciosa.

Slightly further south on the east coast there is Los Jameos del Agua. Situated inland, Manrique created a nightclub, bar-restaurant, and underground auditorium in a system of volcanic caves. Narrow volcanic tubes connect a seawater lagoon in the central cave to the Atlantic Ocean so that you can notice the high and low tides. The crystal clear waters of the lagoon are home to the tiny blind albino crab that is unique to the island of Lanzarote.

Adjacent to Los Jameos del Agua is Casa de los Volcanes. Here you can learn about the nature of volcanic activity, the eruptions that have occurred on the Canary Islands and the active volcanoes situated throughout the world.

Opposite from Los Jameos del Agua are the Green caves (Cueva de los Verdes). Like its neighbour to the east it is part of a system of caves that begins at the 609-meter-high volcano Monte Corona and ends seven kilometers away, 50 meters below the oceans surface. A tour of the caves are a definite 'must-see' but are only possible if accompanied by a guide who is familiar with the vast labyrinth of caves.

Another of César Manrique creations is situated in Guatiza. Jard�n de Cactus is home to 1,400 varieties of species of cactus among which are examples of Manrique's lava sculptures.

For those who have an interest in modern art and architecture a visit to the Fundación César Manrique is another must. Originally Manrique created this as his house, unconventionally building above and below ground level. Although the above ground rooms look like any other house on the island, the underground rooms have been created from five volcanic bubbles. Manrique has shown that even in the most inhospitable surroundings it is possible to make something elegant and luxurious. The Fundación is also home to an exhibition of pieces from Manrique's private collection.

52 square kilometers of volcanic landscape have been created into the national park of Timanfaya. The national park is home to the once raging Montañas del Fuego (Mountains of Fire). Even today the whole area of the national park quietly bubbles away under the earths surface at temperatures ranging from 100 - 400 degrees Celsius. Travelling up the volcanic route is strictly prohibited unless you take the bus trip to the summit of the volcanoes. As you make your way up the volcano you cannot help but be amazed at the unique surrounding landscape.

In the wine producing area of La Ger&iactue;a you will be amazed at how the local viniers have overcome the difficulties of cultivating the volcanic landscape to create a profit yielding grape growing cultivation which is also pleasing to the eye. Here you will see rows of funneled fields and rough volcanic walls protecting and encouraging the vines to grow.

If you are planning to visit Lanzarote you will probably be staying in one of the main tourist resorts of Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen or Costa Teguise. Sadly these places have lost much of their traditional architecture and way of life to make way for the tourists. To get a real feel of Lanzarote you should make your way to some of the villages scattered over the island.

Arrieta and Orzola are typical examples of a Canarian fishing village. Upon entering them you get the impression that time moves slowly here so the atmosphere is very peaceful and laid back and there is nothing better than spending a Sunday afternoon here, sat at one of the restaurants eating fresh fish, drinking some of the local wine and soaking up the sunshine and atmosphere.

Further south and inland are the neighbouring villages of Máguez and Haría. Haría is situated in a valley filled with hundreds of towering palm trees, each one rumoured to have been planted on the birth of a child in the village.

Teguise is a very historic town and it was in fact the island's capital until 1852. Many of the buildings have preservation orders on them due to their architectural and historic nature. Overlooking Teguise is the mountain of Guanapay whose lofty heights are crowned by the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, Teguise’s stronghold which dates back sometime to the 14th Century.

Twice voted the beautiful village in Spain is Yaiza. It is a stunning contrast of white, green and red and soothing to the eye after the starkness of the surrounding volcanic area.

Some of the best views of the island can be found in the little village of Femes. From here you can see the islands of Fuerteventura and Los Lobos separated from Lanzarote by a glimmering dark blue strip of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you are looking to buy property in lanzarote for a holiday home, investment or for a permanent move please click on one of the links below and view a large selection of properties for sale from Lanzarote's best estate agents

- To find estate agents with property for sale or rent in Lanzarote please click here

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