The Canary islands are a group of islands, seven in total, conveniently located off the African west coast and therefore benefiting from a nice and warm climate all year round. Interesting fact, these islands are volcanic ones as you can notice by the lava fields covering pretty much the whole surface of the islands. Cactus, Aloe Vera and vine grow here, but apart from that everything is imported.
Some practical information: We rented a car at the airport of Arrecife, Lanzarote, For 11 days we paid only 111€ for a small car (Auroreisen), insurance included. You can drive to all the interesting places and take it on the ferry to Fuerteventura. Accommodation can easily be arranged with airbnb. Be sure to check out the following hosts: Irene in Puerto del Carmen, Jindriska in Corralejo and Aurelio in Caleta de Fuste.
LanzaroteYou cannot talk about Lanzarote without immediately thinking of Cesar Manrique, the artist who tainted all the island with his art. He was an architect, a painter and a sculptor and his works can be found all over the island.
We started by visiting his house, which has been converted into a museum. The artist has ingeniously taken advantage of the location on the lava field and has used volcanic bubbles as rooms. You can acces the rooms through tunnels and the last one is a recreational area with a swimming pool. In the museum you can find Manrique's art, but also his private art collection.
Next stop is "El jardin de cactus", one of my favourite places on Lanzarote. Manrique designed a garden with thousands of cactus's. It is a combination of art and nature which is most successful. Big, small, green, pink, brown, yellow cactus's grow everywhere in a harmonious ensemble.
Jameos del Agua is another outstanding place to visit on Lanzarote. It is a volcanic tunnel with a high ceiling that gives it the feel of a cathedral. At the bottom, there is a natural lake with crystal clear water. One of the inhabitants of the lake is the blind albino crab. It is completely white and only a centimetre long. This crab also happens to be the symbol of the caves.
Situated only a few km from this cave is another one worth a visit: Cueva de los verdes. A guide takes us from one rock formation to another. The last one is spectacular, and quite surprising! I leave you to discover it.
Do you know Aloe Vera? It is a miracle plant in the family of garlic! You can use the plant inside and outside your body and it has many special virtues such as rejuvenating and healing properties. After visiting one of the many Aloe vera museums and a plantation, we are convinced! You should try it too!
La Graciosa is a small island situated north of Lanzarote. We accessed the island by boat from Orzola. On the island itself, there are almost no vehicles, which is great! You can either rent a bicycle to get around, or walk, like we did. Try walking to Las Conchas, an unspoilt beautiful beach on the other side of the island.
La Geria is Lanzarot's wine region. The wine is excellent and the landscape impressive. To protect the vines from the heavy winds, the lanzarotenos have constructed little semicircular walls with rocks around them.
Parque nacional de Timanfaya also called fire mountains is one of the must see attractions on Lanzarote. We weren't very impressed by the so-called geysir, or the hole in the ground, but the bus ride through the martian landscape was nice. You can see some craters and the colours are beautiful, a subtle mix of ocre and sand...
Last stop for us is the coast near El Golfo, definitely the most beautiful place on Lanzarote. Waves as high as houses crash onto the black rocky coastline. It is wild, it is crazy and I love it! You can also see a strange green lagoon some hundred metres from the small village. To top of the visit, you can sit and watch the waves while sipping a drink in the village of El Golfo.
FuerteventuraFrom Playa Blanca (Lanzarote) there is a boat going to Corralejo(Fuerteventura). The two islands couldn't be more different - what a pleasant surprise! Fuerteventura is wilder, less organised than Lanzarote, and we are about to discover its secrets...
Corralejo is in the north and a typical surfer and hippie place. The local market is full of inventive artists who recycle, re-use and upcyle almost everything. And then there are the beaches! No wonder Corralejo is called the Carribean of the Atlantic. Endless white beaches stretch out, bordered by incredible turquoise water, home to surfers and nudists.
Isla de Los Lobos is only a boat trip away from Corralejo and well worth a visit. We spent a day there, walking around the island and enjoying the silence. There are no cars and no inhabitants on the small island.
On our third day, we learned that Fuerteventura was an important military base in the earlier days (around 1800). It was raining, so we visited la Casa de los Coroneles to get an insight in how they used to rule over the island. Conveniently located next to the casa is the museum of Canarian art, a smell jewel of a museum. There we discover the cultural richness of the island, and also that Cesar Manrique was not the only talented Canarian artist.
I love goats, I don't know why, but I love the way they walk, talk, look at you and generally the way they look. Even the smell I like. Did you know that on Fuerteventura there are more goats than peolple? Imagine my joy when I discovered this!
Betancuria is home to many goats and it is also a beautiful little village in the hills in the middle of the island, The trail GR 131 runs through the village, a trail that goes from North to South of Fuerteventura. We follow the trail for the day. It climbs up, up to the top where we finally have a 360° view over the island. The wind is strong and we are grateful. To finish the day, make sure to taste the goat's cheese, it is delicious.
Driving to Jandia is an expedition. The South tip of Fuerteventura is a protected natural area and driving there is very bumpy. Be patient though, reaching the lighthouse is worth to be shaken a little. The view is spectacular.
We stayed in Caleta de Fuste (Castillo), and not far there is the Museo de la sal. If you want to learn how salt is collected and processed, the museum explains everything. The most delicate salt comes from the foam on the waves, and to have tested in myself, it deserves its reputation.
Our trip has come to an end, I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Bye bye Canaries, thank you for sharing your beauties with us and thank you for being so kind.