The closest of the Canary Islands to Africa, Lanzarote also has the most dramatic scenery by far. Due to its compact size, it is easily explored in detail in just a few days. Boasting virtually unbroken sunshine, beach life is the main attraction and there is little chance of other sunbathers stepping on your toes. There are 99 different beaches to choose from, ranging from secluded coves, long sweeping bays, and lagoons.
Most people head to busy Puerto del Carmen, which has the largest concentration of accommodation, and water sports. There are English pubs galore and excellent al fresco seafood cafes yet it is a far cry from the manic all-action resorts of Tenerife or Gran Canaria. Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca fit the bill for the quiet life, yet still boast places to hang out after dark although things are more spread out. In all the resorts you have the opportunity to try scuba diving, surfing, and parasailing. In low-key Puerto Calero, you can indulge in nautical fun including sailing, kayaking, and fishing trips.
Venture inland a little and the contrast in scenery is startling. The star attraction is the mind-blowing Timanfaya National Park which features a scorched lunar landscape of twisted rock formations carved out of lava flows. This eerie terrain can be covered in an eco-friendly manner by camel train or on an organized mountain bike tour. At the summit is an attractive restaurant serving up wholesome Canarian dishes cooked over open grills using natural volcanic steam. The views from here are sublime. Another quirky legacy of seismic activity is the appearance of strange underground lava tubes. One, the Cueva de Los Verdes, stretches seven kilometers and is reputed to be the longest in the world.
Art and culture are alive and well in Lanzarote and if you have time only to visit one venue, make it the Manrique Museum. Devoted to the life of famed local artist César Manrique, it showcases his work in utilizing the volcanic landscape to produce fascinating and functional art which can be seen throughout the island in his Centres of Art, Culture, and Tourism.
The kids are not forgotten during a holiday to Lanzarote. Guinate Tropical Park is bound to be a highlight for young animal lovers and the top attraction here is the award-winning Penguin Paradise. It is located in a captivating position on the north coast close to Famara Cliffs and enjoys sweeping views across the small island of La Graciosa. Back to Puerto Del Carmen for another big slice of mindless fun for kids. Rancho Texas is a one-stop theme park of wild animals, water slides and wild west action, and a perfect change of scenery for all ages. There is so much to see and do that a single day hardly does it justice.