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Life's A Beach on Lanzarote

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You’re never far from a beach on the popular holiday island of Lanzarote.  Measuring just 60km by 40km Lanzarote boasts around 100 picturesque playas – making this destination a real beach lover’s paradise.

Lanzarote is the fourth largest of the Canary Islands and whilst volcanic in origin its beaches are primarily of the golden sand variety – as opposed to the black grains that are commonplace on neighbouring islands such as Tenerife.  In tandem with an enviable year round climate this is the key to Lanzarote’s enduring popularity with holidaymakers, with the island attracting over 1.5 million foreign tourists every year.

Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, AtlanticMany of the beaches in the main resorts of Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen are manmade, created by importing sand from the Western Sahara, which was under Spanish control until the mid 1970’s and which lies just some 100km away on the African mainland.  But this doesn’t in any way diminish their beauty, as beaches such as Playa Flamingo in Playa Blanca and Playa Cucharas in Costa Teguise are still widely regarded as amongst the best on the island.

But if you are in search of real all natural beaches then its best to hire a car and get out of the main resorts.  As the coastline is ringed with some truly stunning stretches of sand.

The north of the island in particular is extremely unspoilt, not least as tourist development has largely been confined to the south.  A drive towards the small ferry port of Orzola (where ferries run to the neighbouring island of La Graciosa) reveals a ribbon of striking white sand beaches which are collectively called the Caletones Blanco.  There are five of these bright white sandy coves along the stretch of shoreline and each is well worth exploring.  Not least as the shallow waters here are also ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Volcanic Landscape, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, SpainWhilst the south eastern shoreline of Lanzarote is relatively placid the North West coast is much more rugged and raw.  This is also where visitors can discover what is arguably the most beautiful beach on the island – Famara.  The drive from Teguise down to this beach is dramatic enough, as the road twists and turns and the mountains of the Famara massif which flank the beach slowly unwind into the sea.  And the beach itself is a huge expanse of sand, extending for around 8km into an almost perfect horseshoe shape.
Famara is also Lanzarote´s surf capital, as the wind and wave conditions here are just ideal for riders.  Whilst in the small neighbouring village of Caleta de Famara every other shop seems to be a surf school.

As well as great weather and excellent beaches Lanzarote also boasts a host of other interesting attractions.  For example the island is home to some of the most pristine volcanic scenery on the planet – as large scale eruptions occurred here as recently as the 1820´s, creating a 200km square volcanic region – now the Timanfaya National Park - which is extremely eerie and other worldly. 

Visitors can tour these lunar landscapes on guided coach trips and witness the destructive powers of Mother Nature up close.  Before heading to the El Diablo Restaurant in the centre of the park, where fish and meat is grilled using geothermal heat emanating from hundreds of metres beneath the earth's surface.

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