A Budget Backpackers Guide to Lanzarote

by - 2:07:00 PM

Lanzarote is a great place for those who want a good destination but a reasonable price. As one of the Canary Islands, it has in the past had a bit of a reputation for being overcrowded and run down. This is a reputation that is no longer applicable and this Island, which is just 50 miles from the African coast, has a lot to offer the budget traveller.

You can reach Lanzarote in around four hours when flying from the UK. The most easterly of the Spanish owned Canary Islands, it is a lot less built up and commercial than destinations on the mainland. This is in part thanks to CCsarManrique, an artist who lives on the Island. He successfully campaigned to keep the high rise apartments and overly large resort complexes off the island. Thanks to his work, Lanzarote's skyline and natural beauty has been preserved and even has a UNESCO biosphere reserve status to ensure that it stays that way.

CCsarManrique is also responsible for the creation of no less than six Art, Culture and Tourism Centres around the island. They are all unique and any one of them is well worth a visit.

The island enjoys a fantastic year round climate, rarely dropping below 20 Celsius, meaning that it is perfect for a sunny break all year round. This, of course, makes it terrific for family holidays and for those who want to lounge away the hours by the pool or by the beach. For those who are more interested in exploring, there is much more than sun, sand and sea.

For around six years in the 1730s, Lanzarote was the site of extensive volcanic eruptions. Around a quarter of the 326.6 square miles that makes up the island was carpeted in lava. The remains of this are still visible today in the form of twisted lava rocks, which create a dramatic landscape. Backpackers and others who prefer to explore will enjoy seeing this amazing scenery, which has been used as a backdrop for many films.

So dramatic is this landscape that part of it has become a national park. The Timanfaya National Park welcomes close on a million visitors each year, many of whom follow the tourist path. Backpackers and those able to suit themselves can take the routes less travelled and enjoy the eerie, yet beautiful views. The volcanoes, now dormant and quite safe, can be scaled; this is well worth the effort to see the enormous crater at the peak.

Most of the attractions on Lanzarote are state owned and they are run so as to be low cost and accessible to all. Many of the attractions are free, making this a good destination for those travelling on a budget. Eating out is also relatively cheap and there are plenty of hostels or budget accommodation available. The main challenge on Lanzarote is getting around. Public transport is a little sparse, so your best bet is to hire a car or perhaps some bikes if you are feeling up to the exercise.

The beaches are fantastic. Despite its small size, there are around 100 beaches to choose from. Even those who are visiting with exploring and backpacking in mind will enjoy spending time on the beach. The excellent climate means that the beaches are popular all year round, but with so many of them, you're sure to find a quiet spot.

image credit to telegraph.co.uk

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