Visit Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, the beautiful Canary Islands which make an winter sun gem for those living in the UK. Off the coast of Africa, the islands are just a 4-hour flight from London. Offering year-round warm temperatures, soft sandy beaches, and landscapes that look like the moon, the islands are one of my favourite short-haul warm spots.
I recently spent five days there, lapping up some warm sun and escaping the British freeze. It was a straight forward journey too, flying to Fuerteventura from London (for £50 last minute, may I add), and back from Lanzarote for £20 (!). I also used the very straight forward booking platform, Direct Ferries to buy the ferry between the two islands (£10).
If you’re wondering what there is to do and see, (that doesn’t involve sitting in a giant hotel bought with a package holiday), you’ve come to the right place!
Here are 10 reasons to visit the gorgeous islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands:
1. The Beaches
Need I say more? These are near Corralejo, Fuerteventura.
2. The amazing Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote
Home to the incredible Fire Mountains, I’ve only seen this kind of lunar landscape before in Hawaii. So I think it’s pretty amazing you can see this relatively close to the UK. The volcanos are dormant, but this 50sq km park offers the opportunity to get up close to the scenery and drive on the paths through the park.
3. Experience a volcano meal or some of the local wine in Lanzarote
The guides love to show off the heat potential of the volcano and will happily cook up some meat BBQ-style to try. But, another expected gem of the area is the local wine and vineyards. From the black volcanic soil, grape vines peek out and islands has become home to some delicious wines. Interestingly, grapes thrive in the soil here, and the island’s relatively high slopes offer ideal elevation for the vines. This, together with the cool steady breezes from the Atlantic and the warm temperatures from the African mainland give the vineyards the kind of weather variation that grapes need!
The Canary Islands are an amazing place to go whale watching all year-round. More than 26 species of whales and dolphins reside in these warm waters, so any day could be your lucky day!
5. Take a drive through Corralejo National Park, Fuerteventura
This beautiful National Park consists almost entirely of sand dunes and the pristine beaches are unmissable. Prepare for a fair amount of nudity on the beaches!
6. Learn a new watersport
Both kiteboarding and surfing are well-established in Fuerteventura, and the warm waters and reliable conditions make it an excellent location to learn or practice.
7. Explore the old town of Arrecife, Lanzarote
Despite being the capital of Lanzarote, and where the international airport is, actually a lot of people bypass Arrecife for the beach resorts. However, its old town actually dates back to the 17th century and there are some really gorgeous buildings around!
8. Explore Lanzarote’s black sand beaches
Black sand beaches are dotted around some of Lanzarote’s coastline, including those at El Golfo, featuring the green lagoon forming part of a submerged volcano.
9. Explore Corralejo, Fuerteventura
This lovely little coastal town at the northern most part of the island makes for an ideal base. Gorgeous beaches, cute cafes and bars and an easy-going lifestyle with few package holidaymakers, its easy to chill here for a few days.
10. Stop in Playa Blanca and Yaiza
These two towns in the southern part of Lanzarote offer two vastly contrasting landscapes, but make a for a great twin-stop on a drive. Playa Blanca is fairly relaxed with a few bars in the harbour and town, and Yaiza is at the start of volcano land but offers a lovely insight into local life.