With a dramatic volcanic landscape, whitewashed Spanish villas and fine sand beaches, Lanzarote is a popular holiday destination for good reason. Environmentalist and artist César Manrique helped to shape the towns and cities, and his legacy can still be seen in the traditional architecture scattered across the island. Travellers come for the hiking, cycling and diving, but don't forget to save time for the historic villages and excellent seafood.
You'll find Lanzarote hostels in villages and in rural locations. Most have kitchens so you're not reliant on eating out. Linger on an outdoor terrace on warm evenings or watch the sunset through the glass front of an eco lodge. One Lanzarote hostel runs yoga classes that you can follow up with a swim or soak in the hot tub. Surfer or cyclist? You can store your sporting equipment in one hostel's large garage. Opt for your own casita or tiny villa for a real taste of Spain.
Most visitors head straight for the resorts of Lanzarote's south coast, but surfers often prefer the wilder north shore. Famara beach is popular for water sports and is a favourite photo spot at low tide. Teguise, a 15-minute drive to the south, is the former capital of the island. During the week this charming town is virtually empty of visitors, so you can witness authentic island life. The west of the island is dominated by lava fields and the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya.
The entire island is a UNESCO Geopark, and in the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya you'll understand why. Hike or take a tour bus between volcanic cones and lava fields – you can even walk into the mouth of Volcán El Cuervo! Afterwards, you can stop by Museo Lagomar, with tunnel corridors and cave rooms built into solidified lava. The vineyards here are designed to make use of the Canary Islands' black volcanic sand. If you only visit one beach, make it Papagayo. This shell-shaped cove of golden sand has calm, crystal clear waters all day long.
The 22 or 23 bus will get you into Arrecife from Aeropuerto César Manrique–Lanzarote in 15 minutes. From there you can connect to other villages. Intercity Bus Lanzarote run a good network of buses around the island, or you can hire a bike to get the most out of the scenery. Getting around on two wheels is especially ideal in the smallest villages where buses don't run as often.