The surreal volcanic landscape on Lanzarote is best appreciated on foot. Well-signposted hiking trails criss-cross the island and, though there are plenty of reputable hiking operators offering guided routes, it's perfectly possible to hike independently. The hike up to the Caldera Blanca, on the fringes of the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, is a highlight. The Ruta del Litoral is the only free-access hiking route within the national park; there are some other guided routes within the park, but you'll need to book ahead. Other exciting hiking areas include northern Lanzarote, the southeast around Playa Quemada and Femés, and the Punta del Papagayo nature reserve, though there's much, much more.
The long-distance GR131 travels the length of the island and, although it doesn't always take in the most exciting paths, it's an excellent starting point for hikes. On a more leisurely note, the world's longest seafront promenade is being constructed along Lanzarote's central-southern coast, running all the way from Costa Teguise to Puerto del Carmen (26km) and handy for strolls, for example, between Arrecife and Puerto del Carmen (9km, two hours).
Local tourist offices are getting better at providing walking maps and advice, and there's some basic information online (www.turismolanzarote.com); otherwise, contact the island cabildo in Arrecife, which produces detailed maps showing the main routes and their essential details. A hiking guide such as Discovery Walking Guides' Walk! Lanzarote, detailing 41 routes with map, is invaluable.
Competitive Sporting Events
- Ironman Lanzarote (http://eu.ironman.com) One of the world's toughest Ironman (triathlon) events; May
- Volcano Triathlon (www.clublasanta.com) Aimed at all levels; May
- Wine Run Lanzarote (www.lanzarotewinerun.com) Half-marathon through the wine region; June
- Haría Extreme (www.hariaextreme.com) A gruelling 80km trail run, with shorter options available; dates vary
- Travesia a Nado 'El Río' (www.lanzarotedeportes.com) Open-water swimming race covering the 2.6km of waves and currents between Lanzarote and Isla Graciosa; October
- Lanzarote International Marathon (www.lanzaroteinternationalmarathon.com) Coastal route between Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen districts; December