Free Day Out
I was given an interesting challenge the other day by some tourists I met who had overspent on their budget. They asked me if it was possible to have a day out on the island without spending any money. After some thought I came up with a tour which is detailed below, and, apart from petrol, will cost nothing!
First head North towards La Santa. Park up in the village to watch the fishing boats come into harbour and surfers ride the huge waves. Next drive on around the club's running area you'll see all the sporty types running or cycling, before you arrive at the sheltered lake. Here you can enjoy watching wind surfing beginners - always a good spectator sport!
From La Santa head up to Tinajo and then Mancha Blanca. This is Lanzarote's famous wine growing region, and you will see the amazing small circular walls which protect the vines from the inhospitable environment. You'll pass shops selling local produce, and if you're feeling cheeky, you can stop for some free samples!
Continue on the road through the Montañas del Fuego. I could never tire of the truly spectacular scenery, with multi coloured volcanoes rising up from a bed of cooled lava. Even my children go quiet every time we drive through this area, and they have seen it many, many times. Don't try to stop on this road, but cruise slowly and enjoy the serenity. If you're lucky, you'll see a camel trek setting off at the far end of the road.
As you leave Timanfaya, turn right onto the El Golfo road. Just before you arrive in the town, take the left turn into a dirt car park. Walk along the track to see the amazing "Sea volcano", which has been eroded by the waves. In the centre you'll find a bright green lagoon (the colour is caused by algae) set into stark black volcanic sand. The vision is breathtaking, and there are numerous photo opportunities. Before you leave, drive through the town of El Golfo and park a the far end to spend some time on the black beach.
Next, head along the coast to Los Hervideros. This is a truly memorable place to visit. Park in the small tarmac area and you can walk in amongst the cliffs and watch the sea crash against the shore. You can go down steps which get you closer to the action, and stand on a balcony overhanging the sea. At high tide, or with strong winds, the sea shoots up blowholes in huge spouts. There is a small stall in the car park selling trinkets if you have a few Centimos to spare.
Now head along the coast towards Playa Blanca and stop at one of the many beach car parks. You'll find huge piles of black volcanic rocks at the side of the sand. Try to find a flat, oval shaped piece. It's difficult, but now try to break the rock in half by throwing it hard at another one. If you're lucky, it will split to reveal a centre of Olivine, the green gemstone of Lanzarote. This can then be used as a paperweight or a door stop, or even to make a rockery much more interesting!
From the beach keep going along the coast and you will pass by the Salt Pans at Janubio. This was once a major source of income for the island. Sea water is piped into "fields" to dry in the sun and the salt is then piled up at the side. The colours range through various hues of white and pink and the piles of pure white salt look like snow.
For the final part of your little trip, you need to head for Femés.
Your passengers will love the road up the hill which winds back and forth in true Italian Job style. When you reach the top turn left and left again, and you will be greeted with the best free view on the island. A huge plain leading down to Papagayo, with Fuerteventura clearly visible across the water. You'll also see a cafe with a cliff top veranda, so why not treat yourself to a small beer and watch the sun set.
So you can have a free day on Lanzarote, and there is something for everyone to enjoy, young or old.
We've also written about a Free Day Out In The North of Lanzarote