Like all of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote emerged from the sea as a result of volcanic activity, but only very few of its 100 beaches have black lava rock pebbles. The rest are crescents of soft white sand and, if you know where to look, you can have them all to yourself.
Families will love the facilities at the well-equipped Princess Yaiza, where kids can career straight into a full roster of activities at Kikoland, the hotel's special children-only area. Adults will love the Isla de Lobos restaurant, which, true to its name, has lovely views over the neighbouring island.
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Hit the beach
The Princess Yaiza is by Dorada beach, but with a 15-minute drive you can soon be at the sandy coves of Papagayo, hidden away on the south of the island in Los Ajaches nature reserve. There are no shops or bars, so bring a cool box of drinks and snacks. Towards the northeast, just off the coast road between Arrieta and Orzola, are foot trails leading to sheltered inlets with tiny beaches and clear sapphire water. While on the northwest coast, Famara, with its long curving bay and excellent waves, is every surfer’s secret.
Rechargez vos batteries
After all that surfing in Famara, stay on the coast for tapas at the excellent El Risco. Further north, the fishing village of Orzola is home (unsurprisingly) to fish restaurants galore. Sit on the shady terrace at Restaurante El Norte, order grilled fish of the day and watch the boats bobbing in the harbour. If you’re looking for top-end Canarian cuisine, head inland to Esencia in Macher where the slow food menu changes monthly.
If you do one thing, go for drinks at Lagomar in Teguise. This museum-restaurant-bar – previously owned by Omar Sharif, who allegedly lost the property in a card game – was naturally created by the molten lava that once flowed down from the volcano above. The result is a quirky building full of curves, caves, secret stairways and courtyards.
Too much sun?
All over the island you’ll see the influence of visionary artist, architect and environmentalist César Manrique, whose Cubist whitewashed architecture defines Lanzarote. The César Manrique Foundation at Taro de Tahiche is a must. Set in Manrique’s former home, this modern art museum not only showcases works by the artist, but also Picasso and Miro.