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Canary Islands Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Canary Islands vacation


Bellatravel
Stunning Scenic Drive in Lanzarote 5 stars
Driving around and about Lanzarote was the perfect way to truly explore and discover the beauty of this charming Island. Lanzarote is a pretty small island with a maximum of 60km between North and South and 20km from one side to the other. The roads along the island were in excellent condition and the landscape changes dramatically every five minutes. In order to protect the natural scenery, Lanzarote has laws that limit new developments, so apart for the capital Arrecife and some Holiday Resorts you will not see a single building. Mostly are white houses with green doors and windows. You will almost have the feeling of driving in a Natural Park. Beautiful cliffs, volcanic scenery mixed with green valleys and small white villages. As Lanzarote has a flat surface driving is easy and not as tiring as the mountainous roads in the other Canary Islands.


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Bellatravel
Fast and affordable boat trip to La Graciosa 4 stars
If you are spending a holiday in Lanzarote you would love a little boat trip to the small Isla de La Graciosa, north of Lanzarote. There are daily ferries departing form Orzola. The trip only takes between 15-20 minutes which is ideal even for those who suffer sea-sickness. They had several departures but you many need to check the timetable according to the season of your visit. From October to June the ferries only run until 4pm and the same in La Graciosa. In summer, July to September there was an extra boat at 6pm. The ticket was only €20 return and it was a really enjoyable visit to the small and beautiful La Graciosa Island.


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Bellatravel
Ferry Lanzarote-Fuerteventura: Expensive but worthy! 4 stars
If you are on holiday in Lanzarote it is well worthy paying a visit to the neighbourgh island of Fuerteventura. You can jump in the ferry and arrive in Fuerteventura in just 30 minutes. There are two ferries from Playa Blanca, south of Lanzarote to Corralejo, north of Fuerteventura. The ferries are fantastic, comfortable and fast. Fuerteventura is famous for its never ending golden beaches coastline. If you want to explore a bit more you can hire a car directly from the ferry. As there are not discounts for return tickets I will advise you to get a single so it will be a bit more flexible when you decide to return. It may be essential to check if return ferries are fully booked. There are 2 ferries departing from Lanzarote, with flexible times, starting around 7am and last one departing at around 6pm. Last ferry to depart from Fuerteventura was at 8pm. It was enough scope for a one-day trip. The only thing is that these ferries were really expensive, about €70 return. Still worth the visit to the stunning Fuerteventura!

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Bellatravel
Ferry between Tenerife and La Palma Island 2 stars
There were not available flights so we went back to Tenerife on the Transmediterranea Ferry. It´s a long 6 hours journey. The ferry was really spacious and comfortable but it can be a bit tiring. The cafeteria was open all the time and you can walk along. For those who are not sea friendly I recommend the 2 hour trip with Fred Olsen next time. There are daily connections between the two islands with Fred Olsen, but tickets can be pricey. Transmediterranea only has 3 weekly connections but it´s more affordable.

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Erica Johansson
Caleta de Famara, Lanzarote 4 stars
Caleta de Famara is a quiet village located on the northwestern tip of the Spanish island Lanzarote, west of Africa. During our stay, we met a lot of friendly people, purchased local food and fruits at the two supermarkets, ate in almost every restaurant, checked out the delicious sweets in the bakery, tried bikinis and sun hats in the surf shops, admired the view to the nearest island La Graciosa, enjoyed quiet evenings with picnic on the beach, watched the surfers, sunned on the beach, and didn’t want to leave. I really liked the stillness in Caleta de Famara and how untouched the village was by tourism. I hope it stays that way.

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Erica Johansson
Casa Garcia, Caleta de Famara, Lanzarote 3 stars
Casa Garcia is a small bar and restaurant located on a sandy spot in the very center of Caleta de Famara. The place is popular among surfers and other locals. You sit in plastic furniture on the sand and eat their tasty soups, salads, or fresh fish. Casa Garcia is really unpretentious and laid back. The foremost reason to come to Casa Gracia is the fun and relaxed atmosphere. The food is okay and there is nothing wrong with the location, but this is above all a place you go to meet your friends and relax after a day of surfing.

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Erica Johansson
Casa Ramon, Caleta de Famara, Lanzarote 4 stars
Casa Ramon is a cozy restaurant in the centre of Caleta de Famara. My sister and I went there with our Irish friends Lydia and Nicole during our last night in Famara. I remember exactly what I ordered. A gazpacho and rice because they didn’t have anything else vegetarian on the menu, and since it was my birthday the following day I got a delicious dessert with vanilla ice cream and mango for free. Everything was super tasty. Casa Ramon is a fish restaurant, so if you like fish you know where to go. Apart from many seats inside, the restaurant had three tables outside.

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Shell
Lanzarote volcanic scenery 5 stars
If you go to Lanzarote and only do one thing, go to Timanfaya National Park and see the Montanas del fuego. This is the national park and is made up of around a hundred volcanoes and the lava flows from the 1730-36 eruption. These lava flows covered about one third of the island. The scenery is amazing
- lava flows, volcanoes, calderas and the start of plant life (lichens) colonising the flows. You can drive straight through the park, on your left will be the place where you can take a short camel ride amongst the foothills, but to see the main sites you will need to turn off the road and pay 10 euros per person, you
have a short drive up to the mountain top and then park the car. You are then taken on a slow 30mins coach journey the Ruta de los volcanes showing you the amazing volcanic sites of the park. There is a commentary on the bus in spanish, english and german. At the summit you are shown how active the volcano is - dry wood is put into a hole and bursts into flames and water is poured into a hole and 3 seconds later (good luck with trying to take photos!) shoots back up as steam. There is a restaurant which uses the heat of the volcano to grill it's food (for a demonstration of this get there by 3pm). There is also a small shop there selling typical Lanzarote souvenirs. It’s the most amazing scenery, - I've not seen anything like it elsewhere.

Nearby are two popular sites which you can visit for free. The boiling pots "Los Hervideros" – are amazing rugged cliffs which face the Atlantic an consist of a series of blowholes eroded in the lava flows which you can walk round (take care in windy conditions though). The crashing of the surf can look like the water is boiling.

El Golfo just further along the coast is a lake situated in a semi circular volcanic crater which has been eroded by the sea. The lake is just a few hundred metres from the sea and is surrounded by black sand. The lake is coloured bright green by the algae in it. You walk round the headland to the beach and can view the amazing scenery and the cliffs. Be warned it can be quite windy here but it is worth seeing


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Shell
Lanzarote: Jameos del Agua 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Jameos del agua is a unique attraction in Lanzarote. A Jameo is a volcanic cave with a collapsed roof and the Jameos here play host to a bar/restaurant, a nightclub, a swimming pool 9which is no longer in use) and an auditorium. Between the 2 Jameos is a saltwater lake which contains a species of blind albino crab which is not found anywhere else in the world. There is also a volcano information system within the site which gives information about the volcanism of the canary islands, the history of eruptions and various interactive displays. As with all Lanzarote sites it is beautifully designed.

It costs 8 euros for adults during the day (slightly more in the evenings although it is not open every evening) and is well worth a visit for a couple of hours. It is nearby the Cuevos Verdes so could be combined in a visit. These caves are part of the same volcanic system which are 3000-4000 years old. There is a 6km tunnel which is the longest volcanic tunnel in the world and the caves are also used as an auditorium.


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Shell
Lanzarote: Mirador del Rio 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Mirador del Rio is at the northern point on the island. It has a lookout with an view over the sea to the small island of La Graciosia, which is a quaint island with no electricity and just one fishing village. The lookout has been well designed and in keeping with the architecture of the island (Cesar Manrique, a local artsit, designed most of the main tourist sites and done so in great taste). It costs about 4 Euros to enter Mirador del Rio. There is a cafe and a shop there. It might be a long drive (along the island is only 60km long) but it is well worth a visit. We managed to go there on one day when the clouds were low and we saw them rising up over the cliffs -breathtaking!

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Shell
Rancho Texas Park, Lanzarote 4 stars
The Rancho Texas Park is a themed zoo near Puerto del Carmen (follow signs to zoo/theme park). It costs 14Euros for an adult, 9Euros for a child. It is a fun morning out and great for kids. It's open from 10-5 every day. It is mainly a zoo
focussing on wild west/US animals - bison, birds of prey, parrots, reptiles, sealions and (for some reason) two white tigers. There are several shows during the day - parrots, birds of prey (and they fly very close overhead so you might want to stand outside the arena rather than sit in it), sealions and lassoing. The wild west layout is very good with wagons and tee-pees and hood views of the animals. There are also activities for the kids such as pony trekking and canoeing and you can have your photo taken with the sealion and the parrots. There is a fast-food restaurant there and a shop which has a wide range of wild west related items at affordable prices. There are evening trips from most hotels in the area for a wild west evening with barbecue and shows.


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Erica Johansson
Tias, Lanzarote 3 stars
Tias is a small village near the popular tourist resort Puerto del Carmen in south east Lanzarote. I came to Tia one day after being at the hospital in Puerto del Carmen. The doctor at the hospital had told me to go to the nearest pharmacy to order prescriptions and the taxi driver dropped me off in Tias. I had never heard of this village before and didn’t know anything about the place. Guide books are good, but coming to a place where you need to speak with the locals to learn more about a village or town is pretty interesting.

Before leaving for Caleta de Famara, I had a nice chat with the woman in the pharmacy and learnt that Tias is rich in history and that the village is certainly worth a visit, even though most tourists opt for the beaches in Puerto del Carmen.


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Erica Johansson
Haria, Lanzarote 3 stars
I love coming to less visited places and practice my language skills with the people I meet. That I could do in Haria which is a small village in northern Lanzarote between the north coast lines. We came here one day when we were on our way to a beach on the east side of the island. Our taxi driver made a few stops along the way and Haria was one of the places we came to. I found the village to be very peaceful because it was completely quiet apart from the occasional car passing by and there were barely any people outside. I saw one old woman sitting on the porch to her old stone house and a few children playing on the street nearby. No tourists to speak of. At least not this day.

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Erica Johansson
Punta de las Mujeres, Lanzarote 3 stars
Punta de las Mujeres is a village on the northern east coast of the Spanish island Lanzarote. We were here one day when we were on our way to a white beach outside Orzola further north. Punta de las Mujeres is not a touristy place at all, not like the resorts of Costa Teguise or Puerto del Carmen. Here you come to experience another type of life, a calmer atmosphere and no crowds to speak of as there are no beaches – only stones and cliffs. I think it’s interesting to see two sides of a place; both visit the touristy areas and the places many people simply drive past.

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Erica Johansson
Watch out for Timeshare deals on Gran Canaria 1 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
We were on our way from the beach to the hotel when a girl stopped us and asked if we wanted a free lottery ticket. We accepted her offer, got the scratch card and won. We got free taxi to a hotel where we, according to the girl, had the chance to win an apartment. They let us wait by a table and we got free sodas while waiting. At this time we didn’t realize that all the people in similar blue t-shirts were salespeople. Eventually we realized the lottery ticket was just a way for them to get tourists interested in buying a time-share room in the hotel.

I’ve only heard bad things about time-share deals in Spain so far and am quite sceptic to this.


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Erica Johansson
Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria 2 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It was almost five few years ago since I visited Puerto Rico, but I can still remember everything as if it was last week. We took the evening bus from the nearby town Arguineguin, and spend the evening in a shopping mall in the centre of Puerto Rico. I didn’t like it at all, thought it was too touristy. All the waiters we passed tried to get us to eat at their restaurant. We chose one Italian restaurant in the middle of the mall. After I had tried the tasteless spaghetti Napolitana I ordered, it wasn’t difficult to understand why we were the only people in the restaurant.

I don’t have anything against Puerto Rico, but now I have learned that the restaurants where the locals eat are so much better.


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Erica Johansson
Arguineguin, Gran Canaria 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This was our first charter trip a few years ago. Arguineguin is located on the west coast of Gran Canaria near the bigger tourist resort Puerto Rico. We lived in the hotel Aparthotel Green Beach just near the main beach. A great location for us because it was swimming and the beach we were most interested in. I remember the waves were really high and we had so much fun playing in the water, and watching the surfers near the cliffs. Just beware of the currents, don’t go too far out.

The waterfront in Arguineguin has lots of shops and restaurants. Almost every day, we followed the sidewalk north to a nice little park just near the water where we ate our lunch.


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Erica Johansson
The White Beach, Lanzarote 3 stars
My sister and I wanted to go to a beach and told the taxi driver to drop us of at “una buena playa”. We ended up by a beach called “the white beach” south of the village Orzola. We couldn’t see the ocean for all the rocks and realised it wasn’t really a beach, but a stretch of sand cluttered with black stones and an inlet with a pond. The bottom of the pond was covered with corals.

I chatted a bit with a Spanish family, the teenage son said that this place is called “the white beach”. He told me it’s popular among the locals, and that not many tourists know about the place. On south Lanzarote, we could find the island’s real white beach, Playa Blanca, but according to him this “beach” was much better and less touristy.

After some time on the beach, my sister and I headed towards Orzola.


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