Lanzarote is an island steeped in history. In fact, it has been an island for 180 million years – that’s roughly one hundred million years before the T-Rex had even evolved. It might be difficult to get your head round the sheer depth of history that this small island has, especially after a few cervezas… So, as a solution, we’ve come up with 5 stunning, historic sites that are an easy day trip from all of our Lanzarote villa options – spanning millennia and giving you a great picture of Lanzarote history.
1. The volcanic landscape around Timanfaya
Lanzarote was formed from volcanic rock, and the geology remains volatile underfoot today. However, the last eruptions were in an explosive period between 1730 and 1736, during which the landscapes of the Timanfaya were formed. The records from the period, from a local priest’s diary, are that of hell on earth:
‘Towards the end of June, 1731, all the western beaches and shores were covered with an incredible number of dead fish of all species — some with shapes which islanders had never known before. In the North West, visible from Yaiza, a great mass of flames and smoke belched forth accompanied by violent detonations. In October and November more eruptions took place which worsened the islander’s fears.’
Today, Timanfaya is an arid landscape, dominated by the volcanoes formed in the 18th century. It’s an unmissable day trip to see Lanzarote’s volcano heritage, complete with an (optional) camel ride and early in the year it’ll be less crowded, allowing you to lose yourself in the calm landscape that was borne out of flames and boiling lava.
2. Castillo De Las Coloradas – overlooking Fuerteventura
Overlooking the beautiful, eclectic resort town of Playa Blanca, the Castillo is a short walk up from the beach, and offers great views across the strait to Fuerteventura. A small watch tower, it was used to defend the island from devastating attacks from pirates in the 18th century. A small slice of history in a beautiful location above a bustling town, it’s perfect for a relaxed afternoon walk up from the beachside cafés. The calm Lanzarote weather will ensure great visibility across the water, so consider this a perfect photo opportunity with added historical context!
3. Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe at Teguise
The town of Teguise was once the capital of the island pre-tourism, and so offers a glimpse at authentic Lanzaroteño life. The large church in the town centre epitomises this, dominating the surrounding Plaza de la Constitucion. Built in the 16th century, it’s older than the parts of the island formed during the volcanic eruptions at Yaiza! The perfect time to visit Teguise is during the Thursday and Sunday markets in the Plaza, offering a wide range of local produce.
4. Casa José Saramago
Legendary Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize for Literature winner Jose Saramago lived the last few years of his life in Tias, a small town near Arrecife largely undisturbed by the tourist trail. His house lies on a quiet suburban street, and offers you a chance to intimately know the writer and political campaigner’s final years with the help of a guide who is fluent in English. Saramago’s writing dealt with wide-ranging, existential themes, and with the help of a free cup of coffee on his veranda, you too can stare out onto the horizon and ponder the great questions of our age. The house
is a perfect afternoon’s trip away from the main tourist sites to suit anyone with literary tastes.
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5. Museo de la Piratería
is a large castle just outside of Teguise, perfect for a day trip. The road up to the castle is slightly rudimentary, but the museum within,
completed in 2011, is worth it. Telling the often grim story of the pirate and slave raids that happened constantly throughout the 15th century and onwards, it offers panoramic views of the interior of the island. Lanzarote in February or surrounding months offers the best climate to see this attraction, as the sun won’t be as strong, so you can spend longer on the ramparts of the castle taking in the impressive view – imagining that you’re on the lookout for pirates, prowling the Atlantic.
Ready to start your Lanzarote experience? Our wide range of beautiful villas
are perfect staging posts for a historical adventure around Lanzarote.