Another Free Day Out!

I've been asked to come out with a free day out in the north of the island, so here goes:

Start off by heading for Famara beach and enjoy the amazing drive down a long straight road, with sand dunes all around and a huge beach dead ahead, fringed by massive cliffs. Pull over at the beach and spend some time watching the surfers and power kiters - look out for the beginners, they provide the best entertainment!

From Famara drive towards Haria. Enjoy the view from the top of the mountain - here you can see both coasts, with Arrieta to the right and Maguez to the left - this is the "thinnest" part of Lanzarote. Now you need to drive down to Haria itself, and the road is fantastic, switching left and right throughout the descent. The valley is the greenest part of the island and is known as "The Valley of a thousand palms". At one time a palm was planted for every baby girl born in the village and two for a boy. If it's a Saturday you can enjoy the small market in town, but if not you should still park up and have a walk for a taste of rural Spanish life.

Next head towards The Mirador del Río, following the coast. By taking this road you will see much of the famed view without paying to visit the official attraction, although I would still recommend stopping there if your budget permits it. Cruise slowly and you will see La Isla Graciosa, which is a small island just off the coast of Lanzarote.

From the Mirador, go down to Órzola, which is home to some great fish restaurants and the ferry service to Graciosa. Have a wander around Órzola and, if you are lucky, you'll see one of the fishing boats come in to unload their catch.

Next take the southern coast road and head towards Arrieta. When you get to the island with the huge red wind sculpture, turn left and follow the signs to the beach. This is a favourite beach with locals, offering a great combination of decent waves for body boarding together with enough calm water for swimming and snorkelling. You'll also find clean public toilets and showers there, and a small bar for a drink or snack. On Sundays they serve a delicious home made Paella.

From Arrieta head back towards Tahiche, take the old road through Mala and you'll pass Manrique's Jardín de Cactus, which features a huge (fake) cactus which will provide a memorable photo opportunity.

So this, together with the tour published last time should provide you with a couple of inexpensive days out, to balance the holiday budget. But don't forget to visit some of the other attractions on the island - you may have to pay, but they all provide fine value for money.

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