All right, geyser? Timanfaya National Park is number one attraction and it’s not hard to see why – it’s full of amazing natural spectacles and its close resemblance to the surface of the moon makes it highly photogenic. The Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains) were created between 1730 and 1736 when more than 100 volcanoes, covering more than 50 km², rose up and devastated this part of the island (including several villages). The last eruptions were in 1824, but the low rainfall (and therefore lack of erosion) mean the area appears much the same as it did just after the volcanoes let rip. In 1968 the area was declared a national park. Visitors now watch in wonder as dry brush thrown into a hole in the ground catches fire immediately, while water poured into a bore hole erupts seconds later in the form of steam, like a mini-geyser.
Hail Cesar. Lanzarote’s famous artist, Cesar Manrique, has left an amazing legacy on the island. His home is now a museum run by the Cesar Manrique Foundation. The foundation, based at Manrique’s home before he moved out for a quieter life, is a private, non-profit organisation set up to allow tourists access to Manrique’s home. The “ground floor”, more appropriately titled the “basement”, contains five areas situated within volcanic bubbles, the rooms bored into volcanic basalt.
Monkey business. Anyone with even a passing interest in cinema will love the fact that Planet of the Apes was filmed on the island. No, not the rubbish Mark Wahlberg version but the terrifying 1968 original with Charlton Heston. The island’s lunar landscapes have proved an irresistible destination for other sci-fi movie-makers, too, as 1980s celluloid offerings Enemy Mine and Krull were shot here, too.
Some like it hot. Lanzarote is a mere 100km off the Western Saharan coast, close to the Tropic of Cancer, and its climate is one of the most temperate on the planet. Winter’s daytime lows of 20C rise to a manageable 30C in summer, making it the perfect short-haul beach destination all year round.
Craggy beauty. There is a saying that should there ever be more than the accepted Seven Wonders of the World then at least five of Lanzarote’s attractions would be on the list. Apart from the drama of Lanzarote’s volcanic landscape the island is famed for its beautiful beaches that come in an array of colours from bright white to golden yellow and black sands. But it’s not all about the beach – why not head inland to discover the island’s hidden secrets? One of the top attractions are the green caves which were formed by volcanic eruptions. And then there’s the Charco de los Clicos, with its famous Green Lagoon, hidden inside a cove surrounded by mountains and making for a fascinating excursion.