Hello people of the world wide web! It’s been a while, I know. I am rubbish at blogging, I know. Life has taken over as per usual. Updating my laptop not long ago, I went through some old-ish un-edited photos from my travels and oh man there is enough to provide content for years and years ahead (decades maybe, considering my blogging frequency). I may as well put them on that dusty forgotten website of mine, I thought.
At the end of last summer, after two months filled with festivals and work events, Red Bull Air Race travels, a cheeky escape to an undiscovered bay in Croatia and a quick semi-business trip to the UK extended into a cheeky few days in Devon, I was desperate to go surfing. Don’t get me wrong, Devon was just as lovely as it always is, but waves-wise not much happened. And even though we tried our hardest looking for landlocked surfing solutions here in Prague, wake surfing doesn’t quite do the job.
A combination of a quick phone call, crazy cheap flights and a few spontaneous decisions made a very last minute trip to Lanzarote happen. I never really knew much about the Canary Islands and I didn’t really google anything prior to our arrival. The plan was to just rent a car, rent surfboards and go and explore. Little did I know the island had so much to offer. These are my 10 favourite things about Lanzarote:
If you’re a cacti freak like myself (yes there are people obsessed with cacti in this world), Lanzarote might be your dream destination. They are everywhere, they are majestic, elegant and oh so aesthetic. I couldn’t quite photograph every single one I secretly fell in love with, but here are some.
Lanzarote’s architecture is very specific due to the influence of César Manrique, artist and architect responsible for regulations on the height and colours of buildings built on the island (Bali might want to get inspired here). Therefore nearly none of the buildings are taller than the palm trees and most houses are bright white colour with green or blue window sills. If you’re really into architecture and arts, I recommend visiting Manrique’s house Fundación in Tahiche or the museum in Jameos del Agua.
The island of Lanzarote apparently has so much hard lava on it that every single human being on this planet could take 50kg of it. It is very much of a Moonland, hardly any plants would survive the dry and windy climate. This creates a very unique Mars-like landscape with reddish, grey and black colour scheme. You could take billion pictures and still be amazed by how beautiful, peaceful yet mysterious Lanzarote’s landscape is.
4. Creepy Teguise toy garden
On our way to a traditional Saturday market in Teguise we walked past a random creepy garden. If you’re not into weird semi-destroyed toys, headless Barbie dolls and bleeding teddy bears this may not be your cup of tea, but I found it rather fascinating.
I have no photographic evidence of the delicious food Lanzarote has to offer (most probably because I eat like a baby dinosaur and no meal can ever stay on my plate long enough to take a picture of it). Let me just tell you all about it then. Our favourite spot was definitely a place called “La Cantina” in Teguise. Lots and lots of organic goodness, amazing cheese platter with tasty fig jam, delicious sweet potato fries, traditional Spanish cured meat (not for me, gracias!) and oh dear lord the Sangria!!! Me gusta!!!
6. Beaches and waves
Lanzarote is definitely not the easiest spot to figure out when it comes to surfing. Without the very precious local knowledge (muchas gracias Gony and Josh!) I would be stuck at Famara beach (on a bigger day suitable for intermediate level, beginner friendly on a small day) the entire time. Luckily the boys advised me on nearly all the spots around the island, so we did lots of exploring and wave hunting. The first few days were ridiculously big and scary, but slowly but surely it got better (or maybe we just grew some balls out of pure surf deprivation haha). La Santa left was definitely my favourite wave, reminding me of my favourite spot in Bali. I had a really good surf there on our last two days (nevermind hitting the razor sharp lava rocks on my way in and scraping my entire body whilst being late for our flight back – you gotta love your top sticking to you with dried blood on a 6 hour flight haha!). We also surfed on the east coast a few times (white beaches – turquoise water), tried San Juan and failed (hit the rocks for the first time and bruised my shoulder), surfed different parts of Famara beach every day and nearly attempted to surf Punta Mujeres, but luckily didn’t as the waves were mahoosive. Lanzarote definitely isn’t a beginner friendly island, apart from Famara beach so if you’re thinking of a learner’s trip, perhaps try other places. Once you get the swell-wind-tide balance right it is dreamy though! I loved La Santa but seeing what happened a few weeks after we left left me speechless.
7. Cute little villages and the people of Lanzarote
Every single little village in Lanzarote left me speechless. Typical hispanic atmosphere mixed in with a lot more relaxed and peaceful vibe of the volcanic island made for a very interesting combination. People of Lanzarote are beautiful, with dark eyes, olive skin and wrinkles that could tell stories. There is a large expat community in Lanzarote and friends of friends took care of us and showed us the party side of the island life as well which felt refreshing after days and days of chasing waves.
8. This natural pool
Here’s a little pool located in a sleepy little village on the east coast. I loved it. I loved the old ladies swimming and chatting for ages. I couldn’t stop staring at them and taking pictures whilst sipping an espresso bought in a local supermercado.
9. This sunset
On our first night, the sunset was unbelievable. I didn’t have my camera on me and of course the following days it wasn’t quite as spectacular but still… Did you know that the volcanic ash can inject millions of tonnes of dust into the stratosphere and produce vivid sunset and twilight effects? Learn something new every day they say!
10. The adventures
Lanzarote is an epic place for adventures. Most of our days were spent wave hunting but we did sneak some dry-land activities in too. One day we even went caving (with no guide, no torches, no actual caving equipment) and it was great (and slightly claustrophobic) fun. No adventure would be an epic adventure without radical humans to adventure with though. Muchas gracias amigos, muchas gracias Lanzarote.