Lanzarote is my favourite of all the The Canary Islands. I particularly like staying in Arrecife. It’s a small town with a relaxed feel to it and the bus station has routes that can take you pretty much anywhere on the island.
One of the places I visited this year was Mirador del Rio. It’s easy to get to on the bus, with a short walk from the tiny village of Ye. The views from the lookout, across to Isla Graciosa, are breathtaking. The entrance fee is reasonable and there is a small cafe where you can buy a drink and a sandwich.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has a mainland-Spain feel to it, spiced up with an eclectic mix of cultures, including African, Chinese and Indian. It’s an intriguing place, with the sunny languor and energy one would normally associate with the Mediterranean.
Casa de Colon: This fascinating museum documents Columbus’ famous voyages and features exhibits on the Canary Islands’ historical role as a staging post for transatlantic shipping. Lots of maps and model ships are on display all linked to the great man and his amazing voyages.
Catedral de Santa Ana: This brooding, grey cathedral was begun in the early 15th century, soon after the Spanish conquest, but took 350 years to complete. The neoclassical facade contrasts with the sunlight-through-stained-glass-dappled interior. You can climb the bell tower for spectacular views across the city.
A visit to the municipal town of La Aldea de San Nicolás will enable you to appreciate the popular Canarian architecture which is displayed in its old quarter: the stone and mud houses of the XVII and XVIII century and the balcony houses of the XVIII century. Examples of these are the Casa del Balcón (the Balcony House), the first house built in the village centre, Casas Blancas (White Houses) and the Casa del Corredor (Corridor House). The bus journey here, from Gáldar – where you change buses, is nothing less than breathtaking.
The town centre of Arucas has been declared a place of historical-artistic interest. Its main architectural piece is the Parish Church of San Juan Bautista, completely sculptured in stone from Arucas by the master stonemasons of the area. The church dates from the year 1909 and it possesses beautiful glasswork by the French firm Maumejean et Frères.
The town of Gáldar, capital of one of the ancient kingdoms of the island before the Spanish conquest of Gran Canaria, shows part of its ancestral past in the Cueva Pintada (Painted Cave) Archaeological Park – in the centre of town. Here you can visit one of the most incredible rock drawings of the island.
The village of Tejeda has been voted as one of the most beautiful villages on the island of Gran Canaria. Once you get there you see why, it is stunning! There are mountains surrounding the whole village, which make for some excellent hiking opportunities – with lots of well sign posted paths.
The village itself is charming with white houses everywhere, kind and helpful locals, and amazing views of nature everywhere you look. The village is quite tiny so you can explore it by foot in an hour or so by just following the main street. It also has a small church and a museum that showcases Tejeda’s history. It is well worth staying at least two nights if you want to discover the many hiking options.
The vast beaches of Morro Jable, the southernmost tourist resort of Fuerteventura, are the perfect place to unwind. The sheer size of the beaches mean you can choose whether to relax on one of the sun loungers or move a little further away to switch off completely as you listen to the sound of the waves. There is also a port, which offers connections with Gran Canaria via a two-hour boat trip.
Cofete and Faro de Jandia: To get here take the 4-WD bus from the main bus station at Moro Jable. The bus calls at Cofete first before going on to the lighthouse at Faro de Jandia. It waits there for half an hour before returning to Moro Jable via Cofete. Check departure times on the information boards at the bus station. There is usually a morning and afternoon departure.
Corelejo to Betancuria (Lanzarote) by local bus.
If you are a history buff, Betancuria is the place for you. The town holds great historical significance as it served as the center of political and religious power during the early days of Fuerteventura. As you explore the streets, you’ll stumble upon fascinating historical landmarks and museums that offer a glimpse into the island’s past.
Betancuria isn’t just for history enthusiasts. Nature lovers will also find solace amidst the town’s stunning surroundings. Set against a backdrop of breathtaking mountains and lush greenery, Betancuria provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Whether you want to go hiking in the nearby valleys or simply enjoy the tranquility of the town’s outdoor spaces, Betancuria offers an array of options.
The history of Betancuria is deeply intertwined with the early days of the Canary Islands and the colonization of Fuerteventura. Founded in 1404 by the Norman conqueror Jean de Bethencourt, the village was named after its founder and served as the capital of the island until the 19th century.
There is limited public transport here. One option is to arrive here on the bus from Puerto de Rosario and then hike along the well signposted path, up and over the hill, to the small town of Antigua – approximately 5 km away. From Antigua there are regular busses back to Puerto del Rosario.