Lanzarote – Up North   8 comments

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After one full day I had itchy feet and they needed a travellers scratch. Time to explore the island. Lanzarote is quite a small island and it only takes an hour to drive from one end to other so we headed to northern tip to see what was there.

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Even though there are huge fields of lava from an old eruption this part of the island seems a little greener, maybe because it wasn’t affected by the major eruption in the south of the island in the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s the Malpais de la Corona, the “badlands”

We stopped off for a “comfort break” in an extraordinary landscape of black lava and pure white sand

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Seeing as all the rock type was black lava I assume that the sand has blown in from the Sahara a few hundred miles to the east. I didn’t see anywhere else on the island it could have come from

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Time for lunch so we stopped off in Orzola, on the north tip of the island. A sleepy, traditional village as far removed from the tourist resorts as you can imagine. Stunning views to the cliffs of Famara

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We had one of the best meals of the trip in a busy and friendly restaurant. An octopus, prawn and mushroom stew and a huge shared plate of fried local fish

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We returned to the coast and the amazing Caleton Blanco. The Lava has formed pools of calm, shallow, clear water and white sand. It’s almost tropical and makes a great place for a swim

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Or indeed a sunbathe!

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The views across the stark shapes of the lava and out to see to the distant island of Alegranza were amazing

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We spent a happy couple of hours here catching it on a perfect day sheltered from the westerly winds

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Back into the car for some sightseeing. The road climbs steeply through the badlands and the wonderfully named village of Ye. Just beyond you reach a car park and pay a cheeky sum to look at this view

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It’s the Mirador del Rio and one of the islands best known tourist attractions. They have built a series of viewing platforms both inside and outside, perched right above the dramatic cliffs of the Risco de Famara.

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The views across the to the island of La Graciosa are spectacular

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And back along the spine of the island to Monte Corona (the flat-topped one below and the source of all that lava down by the coast)

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Its 450m straight down to the sea and its undeniably stunning. However after further exploration later in the trip we discovered several other spots perched above these precipices (the cliffs are several miles long) where you can look at the view for free. The photo below doesn’t really do justice to how sheer the drop really was

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It’s the island of La Graciosa that holds the attention. You can visit by boat, more on this in a later post

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Time to head back home but one more stop off on another of the islands famous beaches at Famara

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Its named after the cliffs we were on earlier, in the background here

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The setting sun was lighting up the cliffs to great effect

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The beach is famous as a surf spot. It faces west and the full force of Atlantic breakers. It was windy now and felt more like a British beach in summer in the chill breeze and low sun. Fantastic spot though – for a few minutes anyway

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The local village is a real surf haven and on another day I’d have rented some gear and hit the waves. I meant to go back but we never did, too busy with walking and chilling. One for next time and to try the seafood in the village which is apparently superb

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The sun set on a really great day out

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A short drive home through volcanic desert of the south of the island and another wonderfully named village of Soo. I felt I was getting to the know the island better and away from the resorts it’s both charming and beautiful. I liked it alot. More to come

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8 responses to “Lanzarote – Up North

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  1. A fantastic day exploring. I’m rather envious of that lunch!

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  2. Looks a fantastic place… and just the thing I want to see when I’m ankle deep in snow, slush or frost trying to avoid sneezing and coughing folk with the flu outbreak here…. Ggggrrrr! :o)

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    Blue Sky Scotland
    • Sorry about that – if you wait a few posts there are couple of cloudier days 🙂 Its pretty grey and dreary down here in Herefordshire if that helps
      Once you get away from the small areas of mass tourism its pretty well unspoilt

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  3. Okay – you’ve convinced me. That all looks stunning. In fact, I can’t decided whether I like the look of the lunch or the view most. It’s so TBF somehow to have built a summit shelter on an equatorial beach!
    Looking at all that apparently arid sand and rock, I was going to ask what the locals lived on prior to tourism, but I suspect I now the answer – fish and piracy?

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    beatingthebounds
    • It was a good lunch I have to say and we went back later in the trip. All the non-resort beaches have these shelters gives a clue to the fact that its quite windy in the Canaries but it was quite a pleasant breeze while we were there – apart from one day.
      They grow a lot of vines on the volcanic ash in the centre of the island and before the big eruptions apparently it was quite a green and well farmed island. After the eruptions large tracts were destroyed or buried under ash. Lots of people left the island never to return. Its now thriving again due to tourism but away from the east coast where the resorts are, its pretty empty and deserted.

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  4. Oh my, those beaches, the swimming. What a contrast, where here my swimming is reduced to a quick dip and dodging ten foot waves and water temperatures hovering around 6 degrees.

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    Brenda-Dawn Linney
    • The beaches are a real highlight in Lanzarote (more to come). The sea is perfect for swimming and the water stunningly clear. I think its due to the fact there are no rivers and therefore no sediment to cloud up the water. I enjoyed all my swims, you are a brave soul for winter swimming in the UK especially in the North Sea! 🙂

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