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Intimately intertwined with the legacy of 20th-century lanzaroteño artist and environmentalist César Manrique, Lanzarote is an intriguing island with an utterly extraordinary geology of 300 volcanic cones, eerie blackened lava fields and the occasional bucolic, palm-filled valley.

A Unesco Geopark since 2015, the island also ticks all the good-time boxes. There are beautiful beaches (both blonde-sand and black-rock), fascinating sights, glittering natural pools and excellent hiking, cycling, surfing and diving, not to mention a wealth of restaurants and accommodation. Though long associated with package tourism, Lanzarote is now pulling in an ever-growing number of independent travellers.

The main holiday resorts hug the southern coastline, northeast of which rise the surreal volcanic badlands of the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya and the island's wine region. Among the wilder northern reaches, surf flourishes at Famara, former capital Teguise surprises, Haría charms with its history and, beyond, Isla Graciosa (the Canaries' eighth island) beckons.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lanzarote.