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Exploring Lanzarote's Best Museums

1592 days ago

Lanzarote is home to a surprisingly large number of museums, despite the fact that the island is quite small, covering a wide range of themes and subjects from the Pirate Museum in Teguise to the more formal Museum of International and Contemporary Art in Arrecife. Along with more eclectic offerings such as the Museo del Tanit in San Bartolomé and the Airport Museum in Playa Honda in-between.

LagOmar, Lanzarote

El Patio Agricultural Museum

Tourists seeking to get in touch with Lanzarote´s rural and agrarian past should make a beeline for the El Patio Agricultural Museum which is located in the north of the island in Tiagua. The museum is located within the walls of one of the largest and oldest rural houses on Lanzarote and in parts is still a working farm, producing a range of products such as wine and cheese. El Patio is open 10.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday and from 10.00 to 14.00 on Saturday and entrance costs €5 for adults and €2.50 for kids.

El Grifo Wine Museum

El Grifo is one of the oldest bodegas in the Canary Islands, dating back to 1775 and the wine museum which is attached to the winery provides a fascinating insight into the various methods of viniculture that have been practiced on Lanzarote over the centuries. Developed under the aegis of the ubiquitous César Manrique the museum is divided into various zones to better enhance visitors understanding of the production process. Tours are conducted throughout the day and conclude with a wine tasting. The El Grifo Wine Museum is open daily from 10.30 to 18.00 and admission costs €5.

LagOmar House Museum

LagOmar was once briefly owned by Omar Sharif (hence the name), the famous Iranian born actor who shot to fame in Doctor Zhivago. Sharif visited the island in the early 1970´s and presented the architect Jesus Soto with a Manrique inspired brief to produce a holiday home that resembles something out of 1001 Arabian Nights. Soto certainly delivered a real fantasy residence as LagOmar is stuffed with plant filled nooks and crannies.

The house museum here details how Sharif then managed to promptly lose his new house in a game of high stakes bridge to a British property developer. Today LagOmar is also home to a very chi chi restaurant and the Bar La Cueva. The house museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 19.00 and admission costs €5 for adults and €2 for kids. Visit the LagOmar website for more information.

This trio of museums are just a sample of what Lanzarote has to offer. We also recommend that visitors take time to explore others, such as the Museo Al Campesino – another Manrique marvel located in Mozaga and the Pirate Museum in Teguise, which is especially entertaining for children.




Exploring Arrecife - Lanzarote's Capital

1604 days ago

Arrecife has been the official capital of Lanzarote since 1852 assuming the mantle from the historic town of Teguise. And is today home to around 45,000 residents and an abundance of interesting attractions, including its very own town centre beach.
Museum of International and Contemporary Art

If you’re planning a break here on Lanzarote then the capital city of Arrecife is well worth exploring. Whilst it doesn’t boast an enormous amount of historic buildings (you´re better off visiting Teguise for these) there is still an organic heart to the city in and around the Charco de San Gines area, where tourists can enjoy the inland lagoon known affectionately as The Puddle and the old buildings close to the church, which is also the venue for the weekly market which takes place here very Saturday.

El Charco is also a great place for a leisurely stroll and a bite to eat, as there are a number of good bars and restaurants here, including the local favourite Casa Ginory, which serves inexpensive sea food.

The city is home to two castles, both of which now house museums. The Castillo de San Jose on the outskirts of the city is home to the Museum of International and Contemporary Art, which features a small exhibition of leading Canarian artists such as César Manrique and Pancho Lasso. Whilst the Castillo de San Gabriel has recently been reopened as a musem dedicated to the history of Arrecife, providing tourists with the opportunity to learn more about the isdland capital.

Probably the best know landmark in the capital is the Arrecife Gran Hotel, as this is the only high rise building on Lanzarote. Sneaked up by developers during the 1980´s this edifice stood empty for many years and became something of an eyesore. Until the local government reached the pragmatic decision to turn it into a luxury hotel. It´s well worth taking a trip up to the rooftop swimming pool and bar area where you can enjoy some of the best views of the island. The Arrecife Gran sits right next door to the excellent palm fringed beach beach, Playa del Reducto, which is a real favourite with locals.

Getting to the capital on public transport is easy as there are regular bus services running into Arrecife from all of the main resorts. Hop on and off at the stop by the beach and enjoy the short stroll into the centre of town. If you´re driving then the easiest places to park are on the rough ground close to El Charco and in the underground car park beneath the Arrecife Gran.




Largest Telescope in Europe Unveiled In The Canaries

1614 days ago

The Canary Islands are now officially home to the largest solar telescope in Europe. As Gregor – a €12.85 million viewing tool – was unveiled at the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands in Tenerife on Monday. Helping to further establish the islands as a real hub for astro-tourism.
Gregor Telescope in Tenerife
This giant scope, which has been named in honour of the 17th Century Scottish mathematician and astrologer James Gregory, boasts a diameter of 1.5 metres and is capable of viewing planets in our solar system such as the sun in unprecedented detail. Whilst also taking pictures in much greater clarity than was ever possible before. It is said to be the third largest and most powerful telescope in the world and has been funded by a German consortium.

If you´re fascinated by the night skies then the Canary Islands are certainly the holiday choice for you. As the archipelago is the best place in Europe to indulge in a spot of star gazing, thanks to the fact that their median position at 28 degrees latitude north means that it’s possible to view the northern hemisphere constellations all year round, as well as parts of the southern hemisphere too.

The Canaries also offer very low levels of light pollution – as the smaller islands especially are not home to large conurbations and the local government pursues a clean skies policy in order to enhance observation of the celestial show.

Tenerife is widely regarded as one of the best locations to view the heavens, as here the spectacle can be yet further enhanced by heading for the summit of Mount Teide, which is where a number of observatories are based and which stands some 3700 metres above sea level, making this the highest peak in the whole of Spain.

This is the place which amateur astronomers should head for as from here it is possible to view annual celestial events such as the Perseides or Leonid meteor showers with just a small telescope or a pair of decent binoculars. Whilst the skies above Tenerife put on an impressive show virtually every night of the year.

The smaller island of La Palma is also home to another observatory, The Roque de los Muchachos in Garafía, which sits at an altitude of 2,420 m above sea level. The skies over La Palma are extremely dark and very cloudless so this is another fantastic spot for gazers. Whilst on Lanzarote it´s also possible to view planets such as Venus and Jupiter as well as constellations such as Andromeda and Perseus.




Inner Secrets - Off The Beaten Track on Lanzarote

1626 days ago

Tourism on Lanzarote has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Whereas most visitors used to book a package break on the island the advent of the internet has resulted in a massive growth in independent travel, which has in turn helped to spur an upsurge in interest in both rural travel and the island’s more hidden attractions.

Whilst the bulk of visitors to the island will find themselves based on the south eastern shoreline away from the coast lies an island of amazing, if unconventional beauty, which is most evident in the volcanic region. But Lanzarote is also home to lots of other amazing natural scenery, much of which lies well of the usual tourist track.
Views from El Bosque in Lanzarote

The North of the island is for example home to some of the best natural sights on the island and here visitors can explore Lanzarote’s very own Bosque – or small forest. Which comes as a most unexpected surprise to many on this otherwise arid and largely barren island. The Bosque is located up a dirt track that can be accessed on the main road running from Teguise and Los Valles towards Haria. The dirt track is located on your left, just before you reach the Mirador de Haria restaurant on your right.

Drive along the track for about five minutes and you soon come to a dense colony of acacia trees and Canarian pines, sitting some 450 metres above sea level. The views up here are just amazing and the spot is very popular with locals who often visit for a picnic or barbecue. This is also an excellent spot for walking enthusiats, as here on the Famara massif you can trek across the hill tops from the church at Las Nieves right along to the cliff tops above Haria.

More spectacular views can also be enjoyed by scaling Monte Corona, which is one of the tallest and oldest volcanoes on Lanzarote. Head for the village of Ye to find the footpath up to the summit. And once you’re there you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views, along with the amazing sight of the volcano’s crater.

Elsewhere on the island in the Natural Volcano Park you can also walk into the burnt out shells of now extinct volcanoes. Or walk around the perimeter of stunning cones such as Montana Colorada. Unlike the Timanfaya National Park, which is carefully protected, you can get much closer to the volcanoes here, providing a fascinating insight into the destructive forces of nature which were unleashed on the island back in the 1730’s.




Sports & Activity Holidays On Lanzarote

1641 days ago

With May fast approaching that means it’s almost time for the annual Iron Man event, which this year is taking place on Saturday 19th. This will be the 21st year that this grueling contest has been hosted on Lanzarote and it has been instrumental in encouraging the growth of activity and sports holidays here over the last two decades. As a growing number of visitors swap the sun lounger for a cycle or a pair of trainers.

This year’s Iron Man even takes place on Saturday May 19th and as anyone who has witnessed this fitness challenge before will know the island will be coming to a bit of a standstill as the roads are given over to a field of 1600 super fit competitors. The action gets underway in Puerto del Carmen at 07.00 with a 3.6km swim, which is then followed by a 180km bike ride around the island. The triathletes then return to Puerto del Carmen to undertake a full marathon – and perhaps surprisingly quite a large percentage of the entrants fail to make it across the finishing line.

The Iron Man event is organised by the team at La Santa, which is a large sports facility based in the north of the island. During the winter months especially a wide range of athletes and pro sports people stay here to enjoy training in warm weather conditions. And a growing number of amateurs have been following their lead in recent years. Their presence is epically noticeable on various roads around the island, as large packs of brightly clad cyclists pedal their way across Lanzarote. Whilst the number of cycle shops on the island have grown rapidly in recent years.

As well as on land activities Lanzarote offers plenty to do both on and under the waves. The island is often referred to as the Hawaii of Europe, with a combination of wave and wind conditions that attracts surfers in droves. Famara on the North West coast is the spot to head for if you want to try to ride the waves as there are loads of schools here who claim to have you standing upright in a day or so.

Sailing, diving and sports fishing are also popular, whilst windsurfers tend to congregate in the resort of Costa Teguise, which is located on the southern coast.

There are now a growing number of small local companies who are catering to this market, such as Lanzarote Active Club, who offer tours and treks of some of the more remote parts of the island and neighbouring La Graciosa. Whatever your sport we offer a wide selection of holiday accommodation in Lanzarote, with apartments and villas available in all locations across the island.




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