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Lanzarote is a portion of the Canary island chain situated around 90 kilometers away from the African coastline.
The Canary Islands are composed of nine islands that are always toured by millions of holidaymakers each year. Each island is well-known for its natural forms, undying attraction, and excellent warm climate.
Volcanoes, unparalleled flora, remarkable scenery, and luscious beaches are some of the reasons why holidaymakers crowd to these Atlantic Islands each year.
The island flourishes in a distinctly tropical climate that you can experience all year round. This is due to the more tepid waters which run from the equator.
And although a growing tourism trade has drawn thousands of guests each year, the island’s natural excellence is well-preserved.
The three main resorts that you can find on the island are Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen, and Costa Teguise. Each of these paradises is a union of golden, white, and black sandy beaches.
Lanzarote became a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is easy to tell why.
The popular natural sites, such as Mirador del Rio, offer a magnificent panoramic view of the Chinijo Archipelago and El Golfo, a semi-circular crater formed by stone. Inside of it is a blue-green lagoon encompassed by black sand, red rocks, and the serene blue ocean.
Sun and water sports lovers will surely cherish Lanzarote, and there are several activities you can enjoy such as diving, windsurfing, boating, and skiing.
5 Curious facts about Lanzarote
- Lanzarote is the oldest island of the Canary Chain of Islands and was formed some 180 million years ago.
- Lanzarote is also a volcanic island and all eruptions have made the island more extensive as the lava flows and gets cooled down by the sea. Its last major eruptions happened in the 1700s.
- Although most visitors of the Canary Islands widely know the main Islands of Tenerife, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro, and Lanzarote, there are still three smaller islands in the chain that you can visit the northern part of Lanzarote which is also perfect for holidaymakers, they are Alegranza, Montana Clara, and La Graciosa (which translates to “the humorous one”)
- The first settlers on Lanzarote originated from Africa around 5 B.C and were named Moja.
- The island produces its own wine. The vines have been meticulously adapted to endure the high winds that frequent the island and to thrive in the unusual volcanic soil.
Top Road Trip Destination in Lanzarote
Lanzarote is an amazing island near the coast of Morocco. It is also one of the Canary Islands’ archipelagos and is part of Spain.
Lanzarote spans about 850 square kilometers and rests less than 200 kilometers off the coast of Morocco. Set by fiery volcanic activity, Lanzarote, with its myriad volcanic cones, desolate landscapes, and ancient lava flows, is a fascinating place to visit. Aside from the spectral volcanic landscapes, you’ll discover picturesque whitewashed settlements, sandy beaches, vineyards, and diverse “miradors” with breathtaking views.
The most excellent way to tour these places in Lanzarote is to hire a car and embark on a road trip.
Touring Lanzarote by car is very easy. The roads are in good condition and there’s little to no traffic. So, you can explore the island at a very relaxed pace.
In addition, it makes economic sense to hire a car instead of spending separately for transportation to and from the airport and trips. You just have to pay attention to the road signs, make sure to drive in the right lane, and don’t drink and drive.
Arrecife is the capital city of Lanzarote. From its docks, ferryboats connect Lanzarote with the other Canary Islands and the European and African continent. The old town, with its narrow alleys, is a pleasure to explore. Another attraction that you can visit here is the 18th century Castillo de San Miguel (now an art museum).
Jardin de Cactus
From Arrecife, head straight to the LZ-18 road leading to Costa Teguise. There’s a variety of beaches that you can see including the sandy Playa de las Cucharas, some hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Proceed to the Jardin de Cactus (Cactus Garden). Constructed in an old quarry, the Jardin de Cactus is one of Cesar Manrique‘s creations (more on him later). The garden, outlined in the shape of an amphitheater, shelters more than 10,000 cacti from around the world, as well as stunning volcanic stone sculptures.
Jameos del Agua
Drive the LZ-1 road northwards to one of the great places in Lanzarote: Jameos del Agua. Along the way, make sure to stop at the natural rock pools in laidback Punta Mujeres, a delightful place for a drink and cheap and abundant tapas at the Pool Bar Pichon.
The Jameos del Agua is one of the island’s most charming attractions and a must-see spot in Lanzarote.
The Jameos is a stunning mixture of geology, architecture, and design. The island’s most popular artist/architect, Cesar Manrique, designed a visitor center complete with a restaurant, bar, auditoriums, and a museum with what used to be a huge lava tube. Touring the Jameos del Agua is unquestionably one of the best things to do in Lanzarote!
Mirador del Rio
Continue driving north along the coast on the LZ-1 or take the shortcut to the LZ-201 and proceed to the next attraction: the Mirador del Rio. Another Cesar Manrique’s creation. This viewpoint, smoothly mingled into the cliff-face, grants breathtaking views of the majestic cliffs and La Graciosa Island across the strait.
From the mirador, drive southwards to the LZ-201 road leading to Haria.
Situated in the Haria Valley or “Valley of a Thousand Palms,” this charming whitewashed town conflicts sharply with the desolate volcanic landscape. You can stop and take a stroll around this lovely town, have a drink at the main square (Plaza León y Castillo), or tour the baroque church at the plaza.
This is also a popular hiker’s paradise and you can witness various viewpoints in the surrounding mountains for magnificent views. Some viewpoints accessible by car are the Rincon de Haría and Valle de Malpaso.
This is the last stop as you take the northern route: Teguise.
The former capital city of Lanzarote, Teguise is a peaceful town that comes to life every Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. It is during these times that the biggest market on the island opens.
You can find lots of fresh produce, wines, arts and crafts. The wonderful ambiance makes the market an excellent place to visit on Sunday mornings.
Caleta de Famara
From Arrecife, drive the LZ-20 to LZ-30 and LZ-402 roads heading to Caleta de Famara. This gustling beach, with its extensive arc of golden sand, is also a popular destination for surfers and kitesurfers. Drawn by the imposing cliffs on its back, it became one of the most scenic beaches (in a wild sense) on Lanzarote.
Timanfaya National Park
Proceed along the lush, windswept coast towards La Santa (another surf spot) before heading straight to the Timanfaya National Park.
Timanfaya is composed of 25 volcanoes and widespread lava fields. Proceed to the visitor center and park your car there to join a bus tour of the park.
It’s a surreal adventure touring the park. As you reach volcanic cones in an abundance of colors, old lava flows, and interesting rock formations, you might even think you’d just arrived on Mars!
From the national park, drive to Uga and proceed to La Geria taking the LZ-30 road.
Situated on the edges of the Timanfaya National Park, La Geria is Lanzarote’s main wine-producing district. What also makes it particularly interesting is its black, ashy scenery and horseshoe-shaped rock walls that guard the vines.
There are several bodegas (wineries) worth stopping by for a wine-tasting tour.
We can recommend going to Bodega La Geria and Bodega Rubicón. You certainly enjoy the wine-tasting or tapas experience at La Bodeguita del Tablero as well. Be sure not to miss the local favorite, Malvasia, or the Moscatel varieties.
From Arrecife, drive down the LZ-2 road leading to Charco de Los Clicos. Better known as El Golfo, this green lagoon is a captivating place to visit. The unique color of the lagoon is formed by a type of algae detected in the water. Supported by the eroded walls of a crater and diversion of sharply black beach, El Golfo is surely a magnificent sight.
From El Golfo, proceed to Los Hervideros, just further down the coast.
This viewpoint is a popular spot to visit due to its breathtaking aspects of the rugged coastline. You can spend some time here to savor the sights and sounds of huge waves crashing into the volcanic walls and caves.
There’s also a trail here that will lead you to other viewpoints and a lava field.
Salinas de Janubio
Drive a bit further south towards Salinas de Janubio, a patchwork of picturesque salt flats. It’s a magnificent photo stop and you can also locate a shop which sells different types of salt.
After all the driving, it’s time for you to head to the beach!
Some of Lanzarote’s most desirable beaches can be reached easily. From Salinas de Janubio, drive the LZ-2 road leading to Playa Blanca. This bustling beach area offers diverse accommodation choices and a plethora of restaurants, bars, cafés, and shops.
For something more isolated, you can head for the beaches of the nearby Costa de Papagayo. You have to spend a few euros, though, to get inside the park. But once inside, you will be granted a choice of five beautiful beaches!
Playa Papagayo is well-known and somehow crowded. Take a little walk and you’ll reach Playa Mujeres, which is a bit tranquil.
Driving in Lanzarote
Driving in Lanzarote is enjoyable and very safe, particularly if you are from countries like the UK and Ireland where people are used to working through rush hour traffic.
The island has no major motorways of more than two lanes. And once you head outside the main resorts, there is often little traffic to none to quarrel with.
Traffic jams are unheard of, petrol is very affordable and car hire is both readily available and affordable as well.
Driving Rules in Lanzarote
- All vehicles must be driven on the right side of the road.
- The speed limit on motorways is 120 kph or 80 mph. In towns and villages or built-up areas, the speed limit is 50 kph or 30mph, and on all other roads, unless displayed otherwise, the speed limit is 90 kph or 56 mph.
- All passengers must wear a seat belt.
- Children under 12 years old or under 135cms or 4 feet are required to utilize a booster seat.
- It is unlawful to use a mobile phone while driving in Lanzarote.
- Drivers must have their driver’s license, passport at all times, and an International Driving Permit for non-EU citizens.
- Wearing flip-flops is not allowed while driving in Lanzarote.
- The blood alcohol limit in Spain is 0.05%.
- Make a full stop at stop signs and don’t cross solid white lines.
Documents Needed when Driving in Lanzarote
The following documents are required and should be carried with you at all times while driving in Lanzarote:
- A full driving license
- International Driving Permit
- Identification, such as a passport
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of ownership (V5C certificate)
You are also expected by law to provide the following items with you:
- Replacement tire
- Reflective jackets
- Headlamp beam deflectors
- Warning triangle
- GB sticker or Euro plates
Things to Remember When Driving in Lanzarote
- You should remember that the Guardia Civil keeps a high profile on the roads here and frequently sets up spot checkpoints at roundabouts and intersections.
Tourists are infrequently stopped, but make sure that all passengers are wearing seat belts and that you are not under the influence of alcohol when driving.
- Numerous cultural differences are also not attributed in law but still are well worth considering. Amongst the vital: indicator lights are not usually used by local drivers when turning, which can generate a dangerous circumstance for the unwary motorist.
However, indicator lights (not hazards) are usually used when slowing down at a pedestrian crossing or for a hazard up ahead. This includes traffic slows down for unknown reasons.
- You can spot lots of parking areas on the island and they are normally free of charge at most of the main tourist attractions on Lanzarote.
In Arrecife and in Puerto del Carmen, there are usually pay and display regulations that are set. Marked by bays with blue lines, which are noticeable, like on the main Avenida de las Playas in Puerto del Carmen.
If you are intending to visit Arrecife then the easiest place to park your rented car is the parking area next to the Charco San Gines.
- The accident rate in Lanzarote is rather high. It is due to the combination of tourists driving more slowly and carefully and some local drivers driving above the speed limit can be a bad combination.
However, hundreds of thousands of tourists experience driving in Lanzarote each year without incident. Be sure that your car hire company provides you a number to call in the event of an accident or breakdown.
Hiring a Car in Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a famous destination and a great holiday goal packed with fun activities and family-friendly resorts. But have you thought about what’s outside of the tourist villages?
Also, is it really worth renting a car in Lanzarote to traverse it?
The quick answer is yes. Here are seven reasons that can make you excited to travel to Lanzarote by car.
Renting a car in Lanzarote is cost-effective
Lanzarote is a striking landscape with moonlike volcanic ranges, expansive caves, alienesque wineries, and jaw-dropping grounds. The only way to enjoy this wonderfully unique landscape is by getting out there.
Public transport on the island is scarce
If you need to travel from point a to point b, riding the bus is fine, but you have to follow their restricted times. However, if you need to get from point a to point b, and to point c, you’re in for some long delays in random villages.
The roads are simple to navigate
This makes driving in Lanzarote a relaxing experience. The polar contrast of almost any place in the UK on a Friday afternoon.
Hiring a car in Lanzarote is cheap
Hiring a car in Lanzarote for the week can even work out better than spending on airport transfers.
The more often you rent, the better value you’ll get. A rental car costs €40 for one day, but you can just spend €120 if you’re renting it for the whole week. If you rent the car for a whole week, it’s only a little more, and you’ll also have the freedom to travel the island whenever you want. It’s worth munching the numbers before you go.
Driving a car provides freedom
By driving your own car, you can get out and travel Lanzarote on your terms. If you wake up and favor a day by the pool drinking gin and tonics, do it then explore the next day.
You can reach charming little villages and markets
This means you can skip the resort towns as well as not have to rely on the same tourist shops as everyone else. You may be able to locate some unique souvenir shops or even a Spanish supermarket.
Touring is often less crowded
This is indifference to bus tours where there is literally a busload of people everywhere you travel.
Car Rental Companies in Lanzarote
These are the following car rental companies that you can easily locate at Lanzarote Airport:
Documents Needed When Hiring a Car in Lanzarote
When picking up your car, you are required to present a valid driving license, your passport, and you also have to be over the age of 23 to hire a car in Lanzarote. Some companies may require a swipe of a credit card or cash as a deposit that will be returned when you take the car back to them.
Type of Insurance You Should Purchase When Hiring a Car in Lanzarote
It is essential to purchasing a Car Hire Excess insurance since it covers the extra expenses or excess or deductibles you spend to the car hire company when you give the car back. For example, you are on a holiday and your rental car was stolen or damaged in an accident.
Having excess insurance will cover the contingencies and you don’t have to pay anything to the car hire company. There are other terms used for this type of insurance like excess insurance, excess waiver insurance, and Super CDW.
Normally car companies at the desk, force their customers to purchase car hire excess insurance. Beware of them. They are very expensive, and you’d spend £5 to £25 a day according to a survey prepared by Icarhireinsurance. The worst is that the insurance does not cover everything, so you still have to pay an extra charge.
A better and cost-effective alternative is to purchase car hire excess insurance online for a chance to save up to 45%.
Car hire excess insurance is voluntary if you have no issue risking £2500 and more. But purchasing Car hire excess insurance can cover up to £6000 of expenses. And we would suggest purchasing an annual car hire insurance and excess insurance, particularly when it covers you in Europe or worldwide. You don’t want to be bothered just to buy one every time you go on a holiday.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age do I have to be to hire a vehicle in Lanzarote?
Like in the rest of Spain, the minimum legal age allowed to hire a car in Lanzarote is 18. However, several car hire companies only accept drivers with the age of 21 and over, and some fixed their minimum age higher at 23. Enter your age correctly when comparing deals, and verify with the provider if you’re unsure.
Can I hire a vehicle if I’m only 21 years old?
Yes. While some car rental providers in Lanzarote set a minimum age of 23, you can still find a deal if you’re 21. Just expect to spend for a ‘young driver’ surcharge.
Do I need a car rental excess insurance in Lanzarote?
No, car hire excess insurance is not compulsory in Lanzarote. However, it is worth noting that car hire excess insurance can cover an accident or if anything bad happens to your hire car.
Sometimes that can increase to over €1,000. So, this coverage can provide you peace of mind.
You can usually acquire a better deal by matching standalone policies rather than taking the one offered at the desk.
Can I use my debit card to rent a car in Lanzarote?
You can absolutely rent a car with a debit card in Lanzarote. You just have to provide your car hire provider a refundable cash deposit, and some car rental companies only accept debit cards if you buy their full insurance cover.
Is it more affordable to rent a car at the airport or off-site in Lanzarote?
Receiving your car at Lanzarote Airport is the most recommended option if you’re flying in, although it can be expensive. You can still acquire a good deal by comparing online wherever you want to pick it up.
Can you rent a car in one location in Lanzarote and drop it off in another?
Yes, you can rent a car from one town and drop it off in another in Lanzarote. Not all car rental companies offer this option, so compare deals with your preferred areas to find one that does.
Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canaries located south of the Iberian Peninsula and west of Africa.
The Canary Islands form one of the self-governing states of Spain.
Stunning settings and great weather combined with the comfort, accessibility, and safety of a European area make the Canaries an ideal year-round tourist destination.
Tourists to Lanzarote can count on a very extensive range of car hire solutions.
Lanzarote Airport car hire is an economical choice and the car rental companies in this area are plentiful. Major car rental companies such as Europcar, Hertz, and Avis Rent a Car can be located at Lanzarote’s only airport. There are also local car hire providers like Auto Reisen, Cabrera Medina, Cicar Canary Islands, Payless Car, Goldcar, Beta Car, Marbesol, and Felycar Lanzarote.
Car hire is also available in different spots on the island, normally located in popular beach resort areas and in Lanzarote’s capital, Arrecife.
Quite a number of fascinating sites can be toured on Lanzarote and a simple drive through the island is really worth a try.
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