Lanzarote is a beautiful Spanish island in the Canaries, off the coast of Africa. Between the volcanic landscape, the beaches, the perfect weather, and the rugged coastline, Lanzarote is a great escape idea. Whether you want to snooze on the beach, see the landscapes, hike on volcanoes, or surf, Lanzarote has plenty to offer.
I put together a Lanzarote itinerary for anyone planning to visit the island. We will work our way up from 3 days in Lanzarote to a 7 days itinerary. But first, let’s talk a bit about Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
Lanzarote is part of the autonomous region of the Canary Islands. In terms of geography and climate, Lanzarote is closer to Africa than Spain.
Planning a tailor-made itinerary of Lanzarote is about finding the things that appeal most to you. I am structuring these Lanzarote itineraries in days, but I will highlight all major attractions for you to see in a few days. Keep reading for some amazing Lanzarote itinerary ideas!
When to visit Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a great all-year destination. With 300 sunny days every year, it’s the perfect place to escape from a cold home during winter. You just need to decide if you prefer bathing in the ocean or exploring Lanzarote without the crowds in the low season.
The temperature in Lanzarote is always comfortable. With highs of 28 degrees Celsius in August and 20 in January, you need that sunscreen any time of the year. It’s really up to what you want to do in Lanzarote. However, it’s a place that will keep you busy whenever you visit.
Watch our video explaining what it was like visiting Lanzarote during the pandemic:
How to get to Lanzarote
The airport in Lanzarote is connected with frequent flights to mainland Europe, Madrid, the UK, and Ireland.
How to get around in Lanzarote
If you really want to explore Lanzarote, renting a car is a must. Public transport will get you from town to town, but there are places you can only get to by car.
Where to stay in Lanzarote
The best places to stay in Lanzarote are Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen or Puerto Calero.
The intent of this post is to highlight the best options to include in your Lanzarote itinerary. You should choose the things you would enjoy most. I’m trying to assemble the itinerary on themes and location, but you can mix and match as you want to create your perfect Lanzarote itinerary.
3 day Lanzarote itinerary
Let’s start with a 3 days itinerary. If you only have a long weekend in Lanzarote, where should you go first?
Here are my suggestions for a 3 day Lanzarote itinerary.
Day 1: Timanfaya and the surrounding area
The first day is about one of Lanzarote’s main tourist attractions; Timanfaya – The Mountains of Fire Park.
Timanfaya National Park
Our itinerary starts with exploring the land of volcanos. Timanfaya is a natural reserve with no housing or development due to its protected status. It is like spending the morning on Mars – the landscape is just incredible.
You are only allowed to explore the volcanic park riding the coach on El Ruta de Los Volcanes. The bus is included in the entry fee to Timanfaya Park and it will take you between craters and lava tubes through a Martian landscape.
There are more than 25 dormant craters in Timanfaya. The Diablo panoramic restaurant is also a work of art. Its furnace looks like a gateway to hell, as they use the volcanic heat to grill everything.
On your way back from Timanfaya National Park, stop in El Golfo village. It’s a charming place with traditional whitewashed houses on volcanic soil. The main attraction is Lago Verde nearby.
The green lake formed inside a volcanic crater, close to the ocean. The landscape is unique: the blue sea against the black beach, the green water caused by an algae species, and the reddish volcanic soil.
Keep going south on the coastal route until reaching Los Hervideros. When the volcanos in this part of the island were erupting, hot lava reached the sea and cooled instantly, creating a stunning coastline.
Los Hervideros means boiling pots, because of the wave crashing with full force into the caves. It looks like the sea is boiling below.
Las Salinas del Janubio
Further south, the scenery changes. The volcanic landscape makes way for the salt fields. Next stop – Las Salinas del Janubio.
Salt was very profitable for Lanzarote back in the day, when ships passing through needed a lot of it to preserve fish on their voyage. Only a few of the original salt farms remain now on the island. Stop at the viewpoint for some more incredible views.
To take with you the experience of the first day in Lanzarote, buy some Janubio salt. It is incredibly pure, with no additions, and you can bring that taste home with you.
Make your way inland for the final stop on your first-day itinerary in Lanzarote. The locals have adapted in a very creative way to be able to grow vines on this arid island. They dig cone-shaped holes in the black volcanic soil, protect them with half circle walls and plant a vine in the middle. Because of these holes, the protected area is called La Geria.
The results are some very good white wines. Book a tasting with a local producer, or just stop for some more amazing photos.
Day One Itinerary Tip
At Timanfaya National Park, you can buy a combined 3 or 4 CACT centers ticket. That will allow you to save on your entrance fees on some of Lanzarote’s attractions. A combined ticket can be used within 14 days from the first use. If you’d prefer to do a tour of Timanfaya National Park, check out this tour.
Day 2: Explore the beaches
For the second day, I thought you should stick close to the coast and enjoy some of the most scenic beaches in Lanzarote.
The southern coast of Lanzarote has plenty of sandy beaches, where you can spend a lazy day by the sea. Playa Blanca is one of the towns with a few beaches to suit all tastes. It is also one of the preferred places to stay in Lanzarote with a family, quieter than Puerto del Carmen, for example. Playa Dorada is one of the most popular beaches in Playa Blanca.
Playa del Papagayo
Shell-shaped and protected from three sides, Playa del Papagayo is a strip of golden sand by an emerald sea. The water is crystal clear here, perfect for snorkeling. There are four more beautiful beaches in the area.
A special place, Playa Quemada means The Burnt Beach. A few tranquil coves, with black pebbled beach stripes in contrast with the blue waters, make a beautiful landscape.
There are no sunbeds or umbrellas here, but the place is perfect for swimming.
The Coastline Walk
Let’s end the day by staying close to the sea, with a beautiful walk. The coastal walk from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero takes less than an hour each way. The walk starts in the harbor of Puerto Calero with a set of stairs. It’s an easy, 3 kilometers walk, and you can see the islands of Los Lobos and Fuerteventura on your way.
2nd day Lanzarote itinerary tip
Stop for lunch at one of the small restaurants in Playa Quemada. Try the fresh seafood and the potatoes with one of the local mojo sauces.
Day 3: Discover Cesar Manrique’s Work
On the third day in Lanzarote, take the time to experience some art and special architecture. You can spend the entire day visiting the works of Lanzarote’s most renowned artist, Cesar Manrique. He was involved in the sustainable development of the island, creating art with minimum intervention over nature.
These are some of the places you shouldn’t miss on your Lanzarote itinerary:
El Mirador del Rio
El Mirador del Rio is a viewpoint in the northern part of Lanzarote. It is one of Cesar Manrique’s incredible designs, and he managed to camouflage the building into the rock.
The site is at 400 meters of altitude, overlooking El Rio-the strait between Lanzarote and the small La Graciosa island. From the inside, looking through the giant glass windows, you have a panoramic view. You can observe La Graciosa, the Chinijo Islets, and also Las Salinas del Rio-the oldest salt fields in Lanzarote.
Los Jameos del Agua
Cesar Manrique transformed his home island Lanzarote by creating unique centers of art, culture, and tourism (CACT). In all his work, he used what nature laid in front of him, combining the elements with his genius into amazing art.
Los Jameos del Agua was the first project Manrique created on the island. He used part of a collapsed lava tube to create a stunning attraction. It hosts an auditorium, an underground lake, and a walled garden with a central pool. The key here is the contrast between the minimalist colors of this setting: white walls, blue water, and green plants against the dark volcanic soil.
It won’t take more than an hour to visit Los Jameos del Agua, but the memories will last for a lifetime.
Cueva de Los Verdes
This cave is part of the same volcanic tunnels system as Los Jameos del Agua. It was created by an eruption of the Corona Volcano and the hot lava making its way to the ocean.
Another local artist, Jesus Soto, created the space we can visit today at Cueva de Los Verdes. He used expert lighting to highlight shapes and different colors inside the cave system.
You can only visit Cueva de Los Verdes on guided tours. The cave system will be a constant surprise, with spaces opening when you least expect and various colors effects. Inside, the temperature is stable at around 19 degrees Celsius.
The Cactus Garden
The last intervention of Cesar Manrique on Lanzarote materialized in The Cactus Garden, close to the town of Guatiza. The plans for the garden go back as far as the 1970s, but he was only able to build the project in 1990.
The garden is laid out as a Roman amphitheater. Manrique used local materials to build the different-level terraces. Over 1000 cacti species live in this unique garden.
It’s yet another example of nature and architecture brought together, perfectly balanced. You can also visit the traditional windmill at the Cactus Garden and admire the panoramic view of the garden and the volcanic soil beyond.
Cesar Manrique Foundation
After seeing some of Cesar Manrique’s legacy in Lanzarote, the right place to go is the Cesar Manrique Foundation.
The building was designed by the artist, and he lived there and used it as a studio for 20 years. It’s the most stunning place I’ve ever seen. The house is integrated into the environment and uses the lava field next to it as artwork.
The upper level has a traditional Lanzarote architectural style, but the lower story is set in and around volcanic bubbles connected with a tunnel.
The same simple colors and strong contrast dominate the space here too.
3rd day Lanzarote Itinerary Tip
Before heading to the Cactus Garden, stop for lunch at one of the seafood restaurants in the small town of Arrieta.
4 day Lanzarote itinerary
After three busy days, you probably covered some of the best things to do in Lanzarote. You would think so, but the truth is this memorable island has plenty more to offer.
Day 4: North to South
For the fourth day in Lanzarote, I drew a North to South itinerary. There is some Manrique involved, some beach time, and a traditional village to explore.
The beach at Famara is one of the best surf spots on the Island. It’s also a good place to unwind and take in the incredible scenery. The beautiful beach is right next to a cliff, Risco de Famara. The views here will take your breath away.
In Caleta de Famara village you can rent surfing equipment or just stop for a fresh bite to eat.
Teguise is one of the oldest villages in Lanzarote. A walk through its historic center is a must – it will connect you with the island’s traditional side.
The most noteworthy attraction in Villa de Teguise today is the weekly Sunday Market. If you happen to be in Lanzarote on a Sunday, head to Teguise in the morning. The market is huge and you can find anything from clothing, local food, and cosmetics to craft products and souvenirs.
If you visit with children, there is also a Piracy Museum close to Teguise, where you can find out about piracy in the Canary Islands.
This privately-owned museum was designed by Jesus Soto. He created a house inside the natural caves formed by a volcano. The upper floor apartment is fully functional, and the ground floor has spaces dedicated to entertaining. Again, the design tries to intervene as little as possible in the environment. The reddish rock contrast with the white walls and blue pool to create a unique oasis. Moreover, from the upper terraces, you can see very far.
LagOmar has been briefly owned by Omar Sharif, hence the name.
4th day Lanzarote itinerary tip
You can rent a cottage and spend your Lanzarote holiday in LagOmar.
5 day Lanzarote itinerary
If you have one more day in Lanzarote, you should pay some attention to the island’s capital, Arrecife.
Day 5: Discover Arrecife
Arrecife is not as popular with tourists as the beach resorts, but you should spend at least half a day exploring the city.
San Jose Castle
Start with San Jose Castle. The fortress was built for defense against the pirate’s attacks in the 18th century. Today, after a redesign by Cesar Manrique, San Jose hosts a Contemporary Art Museum.
El Reducto Beach
The large golden sand strip is one of Arrecife’s attractions. It’s a blue flag beach and, behind it, the seafront promenade is full of cafés and restaurants shadowed by coconut trees.
San Gines Neighborhood
Arrecife developed around a historic fishing village, San Gines. Today, the neighborhood of San Gines is one of the most charming parts of the capital. Explore the historic San Gines church, the streets, and the seafront in San Gines.
5th day Lanzarote itinerary tip
One of the best places to have a cocktail with a view in Lanzarote is the Arrecife Grand Hotel roof-top bar. The hotel is the only tall building on the island.
7 day Lanzarote itinerary
If your time in Lanzarote is longer than five days, that’s great! You can probably do all of the above in four days, but I don’t want to rush everywhere and miss out on the experience.
The best part of traveling is not when you check a to-do list. Rather, getting lost, finding a charming coffee shop, or sitting next to a palm tree are the most rewarding things.
Further on, I’m just going to give you some ideas for you to choose from and make your own itinerary.
An underwater museum? What?!
Museo Atlantico is indeed an unusual museum. It’s an artificial reef consisting of 10 groups of sculptures. They are placed at a 14 meters depth, near Playa Blanca.
The idea is that the artwork will be completed by nature. The sculpture groups will attract and allow marine life to develop around them. If you never dived before, there is a beginners’ tour as well. It starts with some theory, safety briefing, and some practice before going to the dive spot.
Remember the small island in northern Lanzarote? You can get there on a ferry from Orzola. It’s a full-day trip, and you can rent a bike on the island and explore some of the most amazing beaches.
A day at the beach
Speaking of beaches, why not spend a full day at the beach? Allow yourself to disconnect and rest.
Climb a volcano
Climbing a volcano is not an experience you can have very often. Pack some sunscreen and water, wear some sturdy shoes, and off you go! One of the most accessible is Mt. Tinaguache, as you can walk there from Costa Teguise.
Day trip to Fuerteventura
From Playa Blanca, you can take the ferry to the closest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura. One day is probably not enough to explore Fuerteventura, but it’s a good start and you can get a taste of the island.
Remember these Lanzarote itineraries
That’s about it! You have the Lanzarote itinerary all lined up, you just need to choose the things you’re most interested in for your amount of time in Lanzarote. Next step: book your flights and accommodation and you’re ready to go.