We’ve only just got our summer snaps printed out and Christmas adverts are already hitting our television sets. If you’re idea of ‘holidays’ is about sun, sea and sand rather than turkey dinners, snow and a man in a red suit, then you’ll probably be wanting some winter sun, pronto.
With its all-year round sunny climate, plentiful activities and friendly locals, Lanzarote has always been a popular choice for off-season getaways. Temperatures rarely drop below 20C and the average sea temperature between December and March is 19C. You might not walk around in your swimwear during the off-peak season, but it’s definitely warm enough for short sleeves or skirts.
Long associated with cheap package holidays, the island is starting to attract independent travellers looking to take advantage of its volcanic terrain and UNESCO biosphere reserve status. So, let’s take a look at what you could be doing this winter.
Lanzarote is an intriguing island with natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Timanfaya National Park is probably its most famous attraction, reminiscent of a sun-dusted moon-scape. Over 100 volcanoes erupted here nearly 300 years ago and left steam bore holes and craters in its path, which are used for exciting demonstrations today. For a viewpoint of the Chinijo Archipelago make your way up the Mirador del Rio. Over 475 metres high, early island inhabitants used it as a lookout point for any attacking pirates! To step back even further in time, Castillo de Santa Barbara is a 16thcentury castle that is still intact and open to visitors.
Let your hair down
To really get in the holiday mood, Lanzarote offers a lively nightlife. There are a few reputable resorts to keep you going through the late (or early!) hours: Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. However, if you’re looking for more of an authentic Spanish atmosphere on an evening, then head to Arrecife. This small harbour town boasts upscale seafood restaurants, like MIAC Restaurant, with wine lists to match. You will need to drive or take a taxi ride to Arrecife but it’s worth it for if you just want to get away from it all.
Find some quiet time
Speaking of quiet time, if it’s a totally relaxed getaway that you’re after, then there are plenty of places perfect for some essential ‘me time’. To the north of the island you will find Haria, also referred to as ‘The Garden Island’. This tranquil valley is a land of palm trees, warm residents and volcanic caves. If you are interested in sea life, the Lanzarote Aquarium is the biggest on the Canary Islands and is to the south. Fancy a wander around some museums? The Catacean Museum features one of the largest marine mammal bone collections in Europe and the Wine Museum El Grifo is the oldest winery on the Canary Islands.
Whether it’s for a few days of sun or a two week indulgence during the otherwise chilly months, going to Lanzarote is a real treat during autumn and winter. These are just a selection of things to do and should be on any itinerary no matter what time of the year it is.