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Just returned from a week at Villa Anna and just wanted to say how much of a great experience booking with Optima Villas was. The staff were professional and efficient and nothing was too much trouble. Well done guys, you are a great team and I would certainly book with you again.[read more]
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Driving on Lanzarote
Inside Guide To Driving On LanzaroteLanzarote is, generally speaking, a pretty safe place to drive. There is much less traffic on the road than in urban parts of the UK and the roads are well signposted and of good quality – so it’s not that daunting a challenge for tourists who want to explore the island’s main attractions.However there are both cultural differences and anomalies in the Spanish highway code that foreign drivers should be made aware of before they take to the road. Not least as Spain also introduced some tough new driving laws earlier this year which carry hefty fines for unwary tourists.New Driving LawsSome important changes were made to the Spanish Highway Code in May, but awareness of these new laws remains pretty low amongst visitors.The most pertinent points include not allowing children to travel in the front seat of your hire car. Any under 12 found anywhere other than the back berth will result in a fine of 200 euros for the driver. The law doesn’t in fact explicitly state age, but size, so in fact anyone measuring under 1 metre 35cms should avoid sitting in the front seat of the vehicle.Tourists who like to indulge in a spot of drink driving should also beware, as fines for exceeding Spain’s 0.5mg limit have been doubled to 1000 euros. Drivers can also be saliva tested for drugs and this offence also carries the same monetary penalty. And the Guardia Civil don’t even need to stop vehicles in Spain in order to impose fines, as they can simply rely on taking a car’s registration number.In fact you don’t even have to be in charge of a vehicle to get drink or drug tested as even pedestrians who infringe the highway code can also be liable to prosecution in Spain, something worth thinking about before weaving your way home after a night on the town!And last but not least, don’t even think about wearing flip flops to drive your hire car as this will also result in an instant fine.Cultural DifferencesThere are a few important differences to driving in the UK that tourists should take on board before taking to the roads.Firstly, indicating on Lanzarote is deemed optional by most drivers. So always leave plenty of room between you and the car in front to allow for sudden, unindicated manoeuvres. Contrarily though, drivers will often use their indicators to signal that they are slowing down as a result of an incident in front of them – most often slowing traffic.British drivers will also find that lane discipline is pretty poor, which only really becomes apparent when you attempt to negotiate one of the few roundabouts on the island. Local drivers will think nothing of taking the outer lane and then cutting in to take their desired exit, again often without indicating.Using the horn is also almost totally unheard of here, and more often than not just earns you a friendly wave or beep of recognition in return.Spanish drivers can also stop the traffic, quite literally, for up to two minutes. Which is why a drive around the capital of Arrecife can be quite enlightening as motorists slowly say goodbye to their departing passengers in the middle of the road, whilst the traffic queues patiently behind them.