Situated in the Spanish Canary Islands, Lanzarote, which means ‘the red mountains,’ is believed to have evolved from volcanic activity occurring from around the 1730s to as late as 1840. These islands are home to 139,000 people predominately of Spanish origin. Lanzarote was mentioned in the writings of Pleny the Elder circa 1100BC. The area is home to golden sand beaches known to be a mecca for water-sports and adventure activity enthusiasts affording many opportunities for surfing lessons and scuba diving excursions.
One of the main attractions of Lanzarote is the Timanfaya National Park which attracts some one million visitors each year. One highlight of a visit to the park is the opportunity for a close-up view of a volcano while riding a camel. In addition to the experience of an approximate 25 minute camel ride, many visitors come away with a new understanding of volcanic activity. At strategic points along the route demonstrations are conducted to illustrate how these eruptions occurred as water poured into a hole results in a rapid geyser-type eruption. Another demonstration exhibits how easily hay catches fire resulting from the extreme heat just below the ground surface. Two other ways to visit Timanfaya are by coach or participating in one of two guided walking routes.
Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to La Geria vineyards where the vines are cultivated differently from anywhere else in the world. Seventy-five percent of the wines produced in this area are made from a very old variety of grapes known as Malvasia. Vines are planted in a semicircular formation as opposed to traditional rows. The volcanic ash residue provides nourishment and moisture to the vines. Special rock walls surround the plants for wind protection.
For those who crave night life of a different sort try exploring Lanzarote by night. Visitors can try sleeping in a Mongolian yurt which is offered at Finca del Mar. Other forms of night life can be enjoyed in many bars and night clubs across the island, some of which open from dusk to dawn. There are also plenty of family appropriate shows featuring dance and comedy genre available at Music Hall Tavern.