A Weekend Guide to Lanzarote
A spontaneous trip away is always a great idea. After booking flights the night before, my friend and I got a 3AM uber to the airport with our bags which we had packed in record speed. As this trip was very last minute, we were unprepared and knew nothing about the island we were going to apart from that it was 28 degrees and we had 4 days to make the most of before going back to a very snowy London. Luckily, despite our lack of organisation, we managed to find some great activities on the beautiful Canary Island, the below list contains my favourites.
1. A bike ride down the coast
Hiring a bike is a great activity when you first arrive to a new place, it means that you get to explore and have fun at the same time. Due to Lanzarote being such a small island (even smaller than London), cycling is a perfect way to get around. We decided to cycle south and get a feel for the many towns and beaches that are scattered down the coast. We came across many gorgeous beaches that were undisturbed by tourists and beautiful seaside towns with amazing cafes and independent stores. The coastal roads are made for bikes, so it's so easy to cycle around and see the coast at the same time. I'd highly recommend doing this on your first day as there were endless places that we discovered and came back to later on the trip!
I wasn’t familiar with César Manrique’s work before coming to the island, but I definitely left as a fan. He was a local born architect and artist who felt very passionately about connecting art with nature, and the César Manrique Foundation is the perfect place to see this unity. The architectural masterpiece that is Manrique’s house has been opened to the public, and filled with some of his finest work. I was in absolute awe of his house, which was created within 5 interconnected volcanic bubbles. It is the perfect mix of minimalist architecture and complexity as you travel through small naturally formed tunnels from room to room. It was so impressive to see how a house that is essentially built around a cave, managed to be so full of light and nature. As seen in this image, there are many plants and trees around the house which show Manrique's love of nature. Inside the house are many of his sculptures, paintings and drawings, which are stunning and it's easy to see the connection between his architectural work and his art. There are also documentaries being screened throughout the house, which allow you to learn about the his life and work. Visiting this house made me see the island differently, and respect it more and understand how it's nature and architecture work together to create a beautiful setting.
A spot that we discovered whilst on our cycle, the markets are all around the port of Arrecife which makes for an absolutely stunning setting to do a bit of shopping. Made up of the local’s creations, from handmade jewellery to food stalls, it’s great to get a feel for the culture by experiencing these markets. Also nearby is the Castillo de San Gabriel, which is located on a tiny island connected to the land by a drawbridge. The castle itself wasn’t particularly eye-catching, but the walk across the bridge is beautiful and there are great rocks surrounding the island which make for a fun hike!
I think we definitely made the most of our short time in Lanzarote and I would highly recommend it! If I was to go back I would definitely want to explore the volcanic part of the island, and go out to on a boat trip to explore the surrounding islands more.