Most visitors travel to Lanzarote to enjoy the pleasant all year round weather but then amazed at the number of things there are to see and do for such a small island. As well as the attractions there are also some small villages which are host to places of interest.
On the west coast of Lanzarote on the coastline of the Timanfaya National Park is El Golfo known as the green Lagoon. El Golfo is a crater half engulfed by the sea and has formed a green lagoon, trapping the natural minerals that give it its distinctive colour which against the black volcanic sands is an unusual sight. Today the crater is half its original size and has been declared a protected area. Mixed in with the black sand you can find a semi precious stone called Olivina. Many visitors spend an afternoon collecting the stones to take back as souvenirs. There is also a small village which has some of the best fish restaurants on the island. A good location to dine and watch the sun set over the sea.
Situated in the valley of the 1000 palms (legend has it that the locals celebrated the birth of a boy by planting two palm trees and one for the birth of a girl), this village looks beautiful when viewed from above. It has a pretty village square shaded by Benjamin trees and acacias where you can eat or have a coffee listening to the nesting birds. This forms part of the real Lanzarote and a good time to visit is Saturday morning when there is a small handicraft market between 10am and 1pm. Cesar Manrique original house is also here which is now a museum. Well worth a visit.
La Geria is a vast area covered in volcanic cinders known as picon, which has been adapted for agricultural purposes and used to help grow vines from which the local wine is made. Being Porous, the volcanic cinders are able to absorb the night moisture, which then drips through to the soil below. Generations of local farmers have developed a method to cultivate the vines by scooping out deep pits and building a semi circular wall from volcanic stones to protect them from the winds. There are several wine bodegas open to the public along the road that passes to the vineyards some of which offer a small tour and wine tasting.
Once a small fishing village, La Santa is now home to one of the largest sports centres in Europe and one of the venues for the international Ironman. You are welcome to look around the sports centre.Located by the sea there is a windsurfing area with some small man made beaches.
On the northern tip of the island you will find the village of Orzola. This is where you can catch a ferry to the island of Graciosa. Another villa with a good selection of fresh fish restaurants. On the road leading to the village there are some small sandy beaches, one in particular has an area which is protected from the open sea as it is surrounded by rocks. There is a sandy beach to the north of the village with a dramatic backdrop of mountains (not safe for bathing).
This is the small island north just above Lanzarote. A passenger ferry can take you across and the journey will take approximately 30 minutes. The island has some beautiful beaches but you will probably have to walk to them. The roads are made of sand are there are some small guest houses if you really want to get away from it all and spend the night.
Teguise stands in the foothills of the Guanapay mountains, where where Lanzarotto Marcello built his castle in the 14th century. Bethencourt, who established the first European colony in the 15th century,founded the capital here and built it in the style of Spanish colonial town. Teguise was purposely situated away from the sea to discourage pirate attacks.Most people visit on a Sunday when the largest craft market on the island takes place. There are some great tapas bars also the museum Palacio de Espinola and of course the Santa Barbara castle.
Yaiza has been voted one of the prettiest villages in Spain with white houses and small parks that are shaded by palm trees, which look out towards the National Park of Timanfaya. There are some good canarian restaurants here, especially La Era which is a converted mill. There is also The Yaiza Gallery exhibiting pictures and pottery.
Nestled in the mountains with fantastic views over Playa Blanca and Fuerteventura, this tiny village has a magnificent viewpoint along with a couple of restaurants. If you are travelling down to Playa Blanca its a good idea to take the back route through Femes rather than the main road. You can stop and have a coffee or something to eat and admire the views.
Punta Mujeres and Arrieta
The name Punta Mujeres translates to point of the ladies which goes back to the dictatorship of Franco when men and women had to bathe separately. These two coastline villages are next to each other. Both have some great fish and paella restaurants overlooking the sea. One thing you will notice without a doubt in Arrieta is a house that does not conform to any of the strict building laws in Lanzarote. Casa Juanita or the Blue House looks as though it is built from Lego.