Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, which are owned by Spain. It only measures 37 miles by 16 miles but is the closest of the Canaries to the West African coast. The island has a dry, desert-like climate with an arid volcanic landscape. Its year-round sunshine makes it a popular tourist destination. You'll find the resorts are all on the coast. The island's capital, Arrecife, stands on the east coast and has the main airport and seaport. Consider hiring a car from Lanzarote and you'll quickly find its main trunk road runs from north to south along the eastern side and passes right through Arrecife.
Hiring a car on Lanzarote allows you to explore all the sights and investigate off the tourist trail too. Start with the capital, Arrecife. This is where half the island's population live. There's a good palm-fringed, golden sand beach protected by offshore reefs and a lagoon where fishermen moor their boats in front of their white-washed cottages. The town is dominated by the Grand Hotel, the island's tallest building. There's a restaurant on the top floor with a great view. Nearby, among busy streets, you'll find Lanzarote's main shops and restaurants, two old castles now housing museums, and the island's old churches. Further afield on the island, you'll be able to drive through the extraordinary volcanic landscape. It's mountainous and arid, with the main area of colourful rocks, craters, dried lava and fiery sink-holes now designated a Spanish National Park. Tourist restaurants serve meat cooked by the heat of the lava. As you tour around the island, note the harsh conditions for local wine growers. For generations they have learned to shelter each individual vine in pits in the stony surface with small individual walls made of volcanic rocks. That's why the vineyards here have been declared a World Heritage Site.
Opening hours: Mo-Su 0700-2300
Address: Aeropuerto Guacimeta, Canary Islands