A Unesco biosphere reserve, Lanzarote is an intriguing island with an extraordinary geology of 300 volcanic cones, yet ticks all the right good-time boxes. There are great beaches, interesting sights and plenty of restaurants and hotels. The landscape has a stark and otherworldly appearance, with the occasional bucolic, palm-filled valley juxtaposed with surreal crinkly black lava fields. Long associated with package tourists and pie-and-chips resorts, times are finally changing and there has been a marked increase in the number of independent travellers to the island. In response, the government has undertaken an island-wide initiative to signpost walking trails, and rural accommodation options have increased.
The island’s major sights have been aesthetically developed by the late César Manrique, a Lanzarote native and artist. He still has a considerable impact on the island via a cultural foundation that promotes Lanzarote’s conservation, culture and architectural integrity.