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The Insider Guide: Lanzarote
NH Hesperia :: SUR
STAY:
Casona de Yaiza
Close to the volcanic national park is the village of Yaiza, typical of the attractive white villages on the island. The Casona de Yaiza, once a 19th century manor house, is now a welcoming rural hotel, offering eight comfortable guest rooms and a destination restaurant. The property’s identity is as much defined by its friendly owner and team as by its classical and contemporary collection of art. I particularly liked the peaceful patio and cactus garden and roof terrace for sunbathing. Ideal for independent travellers looking for a peaceful base from which to discover the nature and culture of Lanzarote. www.casonadeyaiza.com
Hesperia Lanzarote
Part of NH Hotels, the Hesperia Resort is alongside the relatively exclusive marina of Puerto Calero. Part of a low rise, tasteful development, this family-friendly hotel offers a touch of five star style. With a choice of pools, tennis, padel and squash courts together with a spa and sports club, the hotel is a good choice for the active traveller. Varied selection of restaurants and bars, with different dining options, including all-inclusive. The suites are very comfortable, with balcony views out to sea. Ideal if looking for a hotel with upscale facilities but without the crowds of the other popular beach resort locations. www.nh-resorts.com
Lanzarote Retreats
Michelle and Tila Braddock have pioneered eco-friendly, sustainable tourism on the island with their unique, and slightly eccentric Finca de Arrieta resort. The family offer 16 different, off-grid, self-catering properties, from quirky Mongolian yurts to cosy cottages. You can even collect freshly laid eggs each morning from the resident hens! www.lanzaroteretreats.com
SEE & DO:
Blackstone Treks and Tours
Lanzarote is one of the world’s unique island biospheres, renowned for its extraordinary volcanic scenery. Taking a guided hike is a memorable way to discover some of the secrets of this amazing landscape. Bilingual José offers an insightful, friendly and fun trek – each walk can be tailored for families, friends or small groups. Choose from the exciting volcanic ‘fire routes’ to the vineyards of La Geria. www.blackstonetreks.com
César Manrique Museum - Foundation
An environmentalist, architect, artist and visionary, the late César Manrique has left a lasting legacy across Lanzarote. His Foundation is housed in his former home, built over five lava caves. I found the remarkable architecture of his home and his collection truly helped tell the story of this extraordinary man. His former private home and studio in the north of the island is also open to the public. www.fcmanrique.org
El Grifo Winery
Vinification is very much part of Lanzarote’s identity, with award-winning wines being produced in the valley of La Geria. El Grifo, the oldest winery in the Canaries, has a beautiful museum and offers tours and tastings. www.elgrifo.com
Timanfaya National Park
The relatively recent eruptions of the 18th and 19th centuries have left spectacular volcano craters, and almost a quarter of the island covered in dramatic-looking lava. The national park tour offers a glimpse of The Fire Mountains where in places, the ground is so hot it can boil water! www.turismolanzarote.com
Jameos del Agua
César Manrique’s visionary determination to seek protection for Lanzarote’s unique landscape has meant that even today, much of the island remains in its state of natural beauty. The Jameos de Agua cultural centre is one of his several landmark projects where art, architecture and nature are harmonised. www.turismolanzarote.com
EAT:
La Tegala
Lanzarote has yet to have a Michelin star restaurant, but if the cuisine of Germán Blanco is anything to go by, then the island shouldn’t have to wait long. A delectable introduction to local produce, including wonderful cheeses. His signature restaurant, in Mácher, is close to the main resort areas. www.lategala.com
Cantina Restaurant and Pantry
Benn and his partner Zoe have created this friendly and stylish eatery in historic Teguise, the cultural heart of the island. Housed in a period building and with plenty of character and charm, the restaurant serves sharing boards (tablas) of local foods, as well as tapas, salads and gourmet burgers. Good place to try a selection of Lanzarote wines. Make sure you order Zoe’s chocolate brownies! www.cantinateguise.com
Tabla
Talented chef Nathan Holmes and his team create generous gourmet burgers, served with great fries, craft beers and an excellent choice of local wines. Regular food events too – I went along to a Street Food night which was superb. Great atmosphere, authentic friendly feel. In Arrecife. www.facebook.com/tablaarrecife
TRAVEL:
Cabrera Medina Car
I discovered the island with a Cabrera Medina Car. I really enjoyed their free gift of an English Audio CD presentation. Such a great idea! Each destination on the island is featured, so just select a track as you drive and enjoy atmospheric music and useful, informative narrative about where you are or where you’re heading. www.cabreramedina.com
Fly Vueling
I flew direct from Malaga with Vueling. Part of One World, Vueling offers a regular service. Malaga is a secondary hub for Vueling with a growing number of direct flights to domestic and international destinations. www.vueling.com
Vocento
Sarenet