The volcanic ash and craters have now been turned to the islanders’ advantage in a novel and very picturesque method of vine cultivation.
The capital and cruise port, Arrecife, is to be found on the southeast coast. It has recently been given a makeover and has an attractive palm-lined promenade backed by restored Colonial buildings. From the cruise port it is a short distance to almost anywhere on the island with the main highlights all within an hour’s drive or less.
The most easterly of the Canaries, Lanzarote, is a dry and spectacular island which owes its eerie inland moonscape to the activity of volcanoes long since dormant.
Lanzarote is famous for its strict conservation ethic and, above all, its other-worldly volcanic landscapes which have been enhanced by the inspired landscaped creations of island genius, César Manrique (1919-1992). Even a short tour of the island should allow you to take in three or four of the amazing and often surreal seven set-piece Centros de Arte, Cultura y Tusimo attractions that are his legacy.
• Arrecife’s beautiful Museum of International Art in an old fortress, visible as you cruise into the port.
• Teguise, the wonderfully preserved Spanish Colonial ex-capital.
• Jameos del Agua: A spectacular César Manrique fantasy grotto, created from the natural volcanic landscape.
• The adjacent (unadorned) volcanic cave system of Los Verdes.
• A trip around the National Park of Timanfaya, an awe-inspiring landscape of volcanoes and volcanic debris which covers nearly one-third of the island You can explore part of it by camels.
Arrecife Tourst Information
Muelle de los Mármoles (Cruise Terminal), Arrecife, Lanzarote
Tel: 34 928 801 326.
Within a few minutes of leaving your cruise ship, you could be strolling among Arrecife’s excellent shopping area with the latest Spanish fashions and duty-free shopping, including electrical goods, cameras, jewellery, perfume, spirits and tobacco (and, of course, the famous Canarian cigars). Teguise hosts an excellent Sunday market showcasing island crafts such as: pottery, basketwork, rugs and woodcarvings.
The cuisine of the Canaries is heavily influenced by the Spanish mainland. Fish dishes are often the best choice and are traditionally served with papas arugadas (boiled wrinkly potatoes) and a green herby sauce. Drinks originating from the Canaries include ron miel (honey-rum) and wines, which thrive in the volcanic soil.
When to go:
Sunshine is guaranteed daily from February through October though a little rain may fall at either end of the season and in April. Between November and January the weather is a mix of sunshine and showers with day time temperatures around 23°C (73°F).
4.5km (2.7 miles).