Despite being a small island, Lanzarote is an exuberant hive of art and culture, offering an abundance of places to explore, including some unmissable hidden treasures. Not only does the island offer beautiful beaches for relaxation, but it also boasts some unique cultural attractions, primed for those looking to discover more than just sun, sea and sand during their visit.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss some must-visit places in Lanzarote so that you can ensure your holiday hit-list offers everything from natural wonders to cultural experiences that uncover the fascinating history of the island. From Timanfaya National Park to the Cuevas de los Verdes, we’ll leave you ready to discover the island’s best sights.
Timanfaya National Park
Lanzarote is famous for its breathtaking volcanic landscape, so it’s no surprise that Timanfaya National Park is one of the top tourist attractions on the island. The lunar-like landscape was formed in the 18th century from a period of volcanic activity – leaving a bleak and eerie expanse in its wake that offers a wonderful insight into the natural history of Lanzarote.
If you’re in search of an unforgettable experience, tourists are able to dine in the grill room at El Diablo that uses heat from the volcanic lakes below to cook food served up in the restaurant. Other highlights include impressive demonstrations, where water is poured into the geysers and fired back out as hot steam, heated by the molten lava deep below the surface – a true wonder of nature. Thankfully the volcanoes are dormant despite these theatrics, but a trip to this breathtaking landscape definitely won’t disappoint.
Cuevas de los Verdes
One of Lanzarote’s lesser known attractions which should reserve its place on all tourist itineraries is The Cuevas de los Verdes – which is easy to travel to by bus, taxi or car. Formed by volcanic eruptions from around 4000 years ago, these magical green caves are home to the longest lava tunnel in the world that spans an impressive 6km.
Within the depths of the tunnels, once used as hideouts by locals to escape invading pirates, you can witness the captivating beauty of this natural wonder up close. See the colour changes caused by iron and salt in the volcanic rock that are beautifully accentuated by special lighting and marvel at how these mega tunnels were formed thousands of years ago.
To round off a busy day of sightseeing underground and enjoy a truly unique travel experience with all the comforts of home, a Lanzarote villa provides you with the perfect base for all your adventures.
Jardin de Cactus
Set in the village of Guatiza, The Jardin de Cactus, or Cactus Garden in English, is set in a former quarry, where volcanic sand was extracted to retain moisture in cultivated areas.
Wandering around the pathways of thousands of cacti is an ideal afternoon activity to unwind and soak up the local heritage and architecture of Lanzarote. For a truly remarkable spectacle, we’d highly recommend visiting in August and September when the cacti are in flower – adding even more colour and charm to this quirky haven of tranquility.
The garden integrates historical, local traditions and the environment and was one of Cesar Manrique’s last projects, displaying a blend of man-made elements composed of Lanzarote’s volcanic rock that cleverly contrast with the vibrant fauna and water features – making this an unmissable sightseeing trip.
Cesar Manrique attractions
While many of the tourist attractions in Lanzarote were created with the influence of Cesar Manrique, visiting his former home is the best way to discover his works in their entirety. Housing one of Lanzarote’s greatest art galleries, a visit to the Cesar Manrique Foundation is the perfect way to round off your cultural trip.
The House of Manrique was his first major piece of work on the island, capturing the cultural history of Lanzarote alongside his artistic influences which have infiltrated throughout the tourist attractions on the island. Formed out of volcanic bubbles, this tourist attraction epitomises his focus on cohesion between man, art and nature, making it a must on the holiday hit-list.
We hope that with this guide, you’re feeling excited about exploring the cultural delights that Lanzarote has to offer. From the quirky Jardin de Cactus to the unforgettable entertainment experiences at Timanfaya National Park, there are plenty of attractions to suit every itinerary and interest.
Nick Ball is Marketing Manager at Optima Villas and has lived on the island of Lanzarote since 2001.