As our first week pretty much only consisted of surfing, we had planned a little different program for our second week. Aside from surfing we finally got to see another island of the Canaries, Lanzarote. On Thursday morning we packed our stuff (luckily we could leave some at the SIF so we didn’t have to pack so tight as for the flight) and took the ferry from Corralejo to Playa Blanca on Lanzarote. We chose the Fred Olsen Express ferry, the whole boarding process was smooth and after 30min we had already reached Lanzarote.
We then started our drive to the center of the island, to the town Teguise where we had booked a small B&B. The “La Mimosa” B&B is run by Giulia and her husband. We really enjoyed their hospitality and amazing breakfast. If we ever make it back there we’ll surely pay them and their two cats another visit.
Since this was our first time on the island we had a tight schedule for the next 3 days. It started on Thursday afternoon with a visit to the first house of Cesar Manrique, that by now contains an exhibition of some of his artwork and also tells a little bit about his life. It is remarkable how much this artist & architect has shaped and influenced the island of Lanzarote. The house itself with pools in lava bubbles and orange chairs and a distinctive 70s vibe is also pretty cool 😊 and reminded us of a James Bond movie.
Early the next morning we drove to the Timanfaya National Park, which contains the last remaining active volcano on the island. If you (like us) come with the rental car you really should not come any later than 9:00 AM, unless you want to wait quite a while in the car. Since you are not allowed to travel through the park with your own car you have to park it at the “El Diablo” restaurant (another house / artwork by Cesar Manrique) and take a bus that takes you in a 45min tour through the park. After the tour you also get an impressive demonstration how hot this volcano still is. After this we visited the Lago Verde and had lunch in the nearby village El Golfo.
After so much history and geology it was time to get into the water so we drove to the south of the island (easy as Lanzarote is much smaller than Fuerteventura) to the Playa de Papagayo. This is a nice little snorkeling spot with lots of smaller and bigger fish. The highlight though was another snorkeler who drove a decent sized octopus out of his hiding spot (3m beneath the surface) with nothing but a short spear, killed it, and then gutted it right in the ocean. That was his dinner.
On the next day we had another typical tourist destination on our program, the Cuevas de Los Verdes. The name has nothing to do with the color green (which is absent in the whole cave) but from the family Verdes who discovered the cave. The organization was a bit chaotic and also frustrating, as there was one line (you can only enter the cave with a guide in a group of about 50 people) for people who got there with their own car (like us) and one line for people from hotels who came by bus. So even if you had been waiting in line for half an hour and you should be next – if a bus comes they get to go in before you… Therefore a tip from us: If you want to visit the Cuevas be there well before opening time (which is 10:00 AM) otherwise you will have to wait. After waiting for about one and a half hours it was finally our turn. Our tour guide Dominic from Cologne who’s been living on the island for many years and who does not only speak German and Spanish perfectly but also English and French. It was really interesting to see a lava tunnel from the inside and it was indeed worth the wait. In the afternoon we went to two viewpoints on the island (“Mirador”), one of them was also built by Cesar Manrique and just like all his other buildings it really integrates itself smoothly it its surrounding nature. A short bath in the ocean completed the day.
On Sunday we already had to say goodbye to Lanzarote. In the morning we also got to experience the somewhat famous Teguise market. Which means that the small town is pretty much overrun with tourists in cars and buses from all over Lanzarote. On the market itself you can get food, and lots of things from surely authentic Gucci handbags to jewelry with lava rocks. On the way to the ferry we explored the island a little bit more. Unfortunately we had picked a different ferry company to go back (Naviera Armas) and the experience was a lot more chaotic than on the way to Lanzarote. The ferry itself was also a lot older. So if you can choose – choose Fred Olsen.