Fed up with the winter gloom in mid-December, we decided to take off to the brighter climes of Lanzarote in January. We were rewarded with excellent walks amongst volcanoes, over lava fields, along windswept white sands and spectacular clifftop paths. Armed with Inntravel’s folder of interesting and varied walks and list of "favourite things to do", we had to get ourselves organised to ensure that we made the best of our nine days there. It was fairly obvious which walks and attractions could be combined for great days out. The biggest challenge came in capturing it all in a picture a day. Here are the nine selected from several hundred plus a few words to help future travellers plan their visit to this fascinating island.
Montañas del Fuego, Timanfaya
A day to leave the car at home to get our bearings with a stroll around Yaiza, then up Atalaya Peak for spectacular views all-round, including Timanfaya. After dropping down to Femes for lunch, we continued the circuit home to Yaiza in time for tea.
The view from Mount Tinasoria
A short drive to Uga for a circular walk through La Geria vineyards and around Mount Tinasoria provided an appreciation of a novel method of vine cultivation and great views from the top. Back to Uga for lunch and then a drive through lava fields to El Golfo to check out the green lagoon, bars and restaurants and enjoy the waves crashing against the shore.
A coach trip through Timanfaya
Straight to the Timanfaya National Park for an amazing coach trip around the volcanoes (such a pity we left it too late to get onto a guided walk). Enjoyed the Park Visitor Centre before seeking out a sandwich at the café next to the church of Ermita de los Dolores followed by a pleasant afternoon stroll in the volcanic heartland of Mancha Blanca.
Heading towards Playa de las Conchas
Prompt start for a big day on La Graciosa then dawdled over coffee in Caleta de Sebo before picking up a picnic at the bakery and setting off for Playa de las Conchas. We decided to make a real walk of it and carried on to the fantastic white sands of Playa del Ambar. A bit of a slog back (should have hired a couple of bikes) but had plenty of time for ice cream and afternoon tea before catching the ferry.
Visiting the César Manrique foundation
Started the day with a couple of hours walking around Arrecife town and harbour before visiting the César Manrique Foundation, a trip highlight. Even if you not keen on the art, you are bound to be bowled over by the architecture. Dropped into La Lolita bakery in San Bartolomé for some great cakes to take home for tea.
The gardens of Jameos del Agua
Drove north to make Jameos del Agua for opening time. Good coffee, more extraordinary architecture – another holiday highlight. Afterwards a quick hop across the road for an underground walk through Cueva de los Verdes (well worth doing), then a short drive to the very pleasant little town of Haría for lunch and the start of the Haría circular walk with its great views across the sea.
Golden sands at Playa de Papagayo
Playa Blanca for coffee and quick reconnoitre before walking the sandy beaches to Playa de Papagayo. Very beautiful but the restaurant was shut; so back to Playa Blanca for a latish lunch.
Morning coffee with a view at Mirador del Río
North again to the Mirador del Río for morning coffee and early lunch with a spectacular view and then off to the Risco de Famara for the walk down to the sea at Caleta de Famara and on to the salt pans. Back to Haría for tea and a saunter round town. Left it too late to do César Manrique’s house – better planning required next time.
Walking the Timanfaya track around El Golfo
Fond farewells to our host at Casa de Hilario and last stroll around Yaiza before parking up in El Golfo for a walk over the lava fields along the coast towards Playa del Paso. Took the inland route through the Timanfaya National Park back to the car and a last lunch by the sea, one final stroll along the front and then off to airport for the 18:00 to Bristol.
A few tips...
The weather in January was fine. We had a few hours of drizzle one evening, a couple of rain squalls one morning and one very windy but sunny day (when the ferries to La Graciosa were cancelled). Apart from this it was a mixture of light cloud and sunshine, good walking weather. Shorts every day but fleece and windproof top at the ready at all times. Warm clothes were required every night.