If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might know that I lived on the Canary Islands, more specifically on Lanzarote, before I moved to England. My family still lives there now, so I visit multiple times a year and I’m officially still a resident. When I tell people I live there, the most common reaction I get is surprise – it’s not really a place people associate with ‘living’. In fact, we have more tourists than actual residents, as crazy as that sounds.
I want to be completely honest: I don’t like living there. It’s nice for the holidays if you like lying on the beach or you’re interested in rural tourism and fresh aloe vera products, but for living it kind of sucks. It’s a tiny island, and that comes with limitations. It’s also not a very reader-friendly place. Most of the people I met in the 6 years I lived there loved sports and being outside and weren’t really interested in books. I mean, it makes sense – it has a really warm climate, so people go outside a lot. Unfortunately, I hate dry weather. I like forests and I take a lot of walks now that I live in England, but on Lanzarote I mostly do nothing all day because I just hate how dry the place is.
BUT I’m not writing this post to drag the place, I actually want to show you guys some cool stuff you can do and places you can visit if you happen to travel there. A friend from my university visited me in January and I decided to show her around the island because she had never been. I took a lot of pictures of literally everything, so I thought why not share them! Here we gooooo ~
Puerto del Carmen
Puerto del Carmen is one of the most important cities on Lanzarote. It’s not the capital, but it might as well be. It’s most tourists’ favourite destination, because it’s got lots of beaches and nice hotels, as well as tacky souvenir shops. I lived there for a few years before moving to another city on the island, so I know it quite well. It’s definitely not the best location in my opinion, but it has its nice little things.
This is a cute little town with nice restaurants and a lovely view. It’s not beachy like Puerto del Carmen, but instead you can see all the boats that rich people have parked on the coast. It’s a really nice place to take walks, and if you feel like walking a lot, you can actually walk all the way from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero right by the ocean.
Cueva de los Verdes
This is one of my favourite places on the island. It’s a huge natural cave, and you can only visit it with a tour guide. The cave is made of volcanic stone and it’s just absolutely stunning. There’s even a big hall inside where they sometimes put on concerts; I’ve never been to one, but it sounds pretty cool. There’s also a really awesome little extra during the tour, but I won’t say what it is, in case I might spoil it!
Jameos del Agua
This is another place I really like, although it’s not quite as awesome as the cave. It’s really stunning to look at, but considering you have to pay to get in, you can’t really do much except look around. It’s pretty though!
The Teguise market
One of the things I love to do when I visit my parents is go to the market in Teguise. It takes place every Sunday morning and the things sold are surprisingly varied. You can find lots of fake jewelry and handbags (good old tourist traps) and overpriced beach clothes, but also really nice things, like paintings by local artists, fresh products, and, most importantly, books! There’s a really cool stall that sells second-hand books, and all the money you spend there goes to Sara, a local animal shelter. The best thing: most of the books are in English because of how many British tourists the island gets!
There’s also a little church in the middle of the market. I find churches kind of unsettling and they always creep me out a little, so I had never been inside, but my friend wanted to see it, so we went in. It was quite pretty.
The castle & pirate museum
There is a small castle in the mountains (sounds like the beginning of a Skyrim quest), and I had no idea it existed until this year. My friend and I were looking for more things to explore on the island and found out there apparently is a castle that also serves as a pirate museum! As a big fan of pirate stories, I had to check it out, and it was definitely worth it. The castle is set up as a museum with different rooms, all filled with posters, miniature ships, and funky pirate music. The aesthetic is mostly for children, because I think elementary schools tend to visit the place a lot, but I am basically still a 10-year-old, so I loved it.
They also have a really weird machine that turns your cents into pirate money. My dad told me that apparently it’s illegal to have one because you’re not allowed to destroy money. Oops?
The Bosquecillo is a bit of a peculiar place, because it’s not really official. ‘Bosquecillo’ means tiny forest, but it’s more like a slightly greener desert for the people who get tired of seeing brown and yellow all the time. I don’t think it deserves to be called a forest though – there aren’t even any trees!
If you want to check it out, it’s really high up in the mountains (gotta drive on some slightly terrifying roads), and it’s close to the city of Haría. It’s also REALLY windy up there, like, blow-you-away-and-kill-you kind of windy. So no expensive hats!
Last but not least, if you like beaches, Lanzarote is the place to be. It’s got everything from your typical hot & sandy beaches to the more windy, rocky ones, depending on where you are on the island.
The beach in Arrieta
The beach as seen from the Bosquecillo
The beach next to the Jameos del Agua
The Papagayo beach (my personal favourite because of all the rocks and hills)
The beach in Arrecife (the capital)
The beach near El Golfo (the rocks are so tiny they’re actually really soft)
Have you guys ever been to Lanzarote? Or any other island in the Canaries? And if you have, did you visit any of these places? I would love to read some travel stories in the comments.
‘Till next time and happy reading!