A birthday trip to the Canary Islands it is

A birthday trip to the Canary Islands it is

It’s Friday, 3 December, a day after my birthday. I’m sitting on a train to Warsaw going to visit a close friend. I’m browsing travel websites looking for an affordable flight ticket to somewhere warm. The European countries around the Mediterranean sea don’t appeal to me as it’s going to be rainy. What other options do I have in Europe? Canary Islands! An idea is born, and a ticket is booked. On Friday, I’m booking, on Monday I’m there. Yes, baby!

My trip to Lanzarote was the fourth one this year, when I worked and travelled simultaneously. After many years of having thought about it, I’m finally doing it. What helped me make it happen? Ironical as it may seem, the Covid-19 pandemic did. Well, thank you. This crisis does have a silver lining.

Let’s look at some practical information such as transportation and accommodation first.

Transportation to Lanzarote:

The best countries to fly to Canary Islands from are Spain, the UK and Italy. I flew from Italy and back to Germany.

Warsaw – Treviso – Lanzarote (flight + flight) 18,50 EUR
Lanzarote – Frankfurt – Prague (flight + train) 42 EUR

Accommodation in Lanzarote:

Accommodation isn’t very cheap for a single budget traveller. I did, however, find affordable accommodation even though I only booked it on the day of arrival. Phew!

4 nights in a room booked through airbnb: 100 EUR
2 nights in a room booked through booking: 56 EUR

Transportation in Lanzarote:

Most people rent cars when visiting the Canary islands. What did adventurous Alesh do? Used public transportation and hitchhiked, of course.

Public bus fares start at 1,40 euros.

Lanzarote international airport – Arrecife: 1,40
Arrecife – Costa Teguise: 1,40
Arrecife – Puerto del Carmen: 1,70
Arrecife – Mancha Blanca: 1,80
Arrecife – Punta Mujeres: 2,75
Arrecife – Playa Blanca: 3,60

The morning sky above the Treviso airport

Lanzarote is a volcanic island and therefore the landscape is brown and grey. It felt like being on Mars. There is very little greenery. Yet, there are some beautiful places which are surprisingly colourful.

I stayed in Arrecife, which is the capital of the Lanzarote island and it’s close to the international airport. I worked from Monday to Thursday so I only had a few hours to spare each day and explore the island.

On Tuesday I took a bus to Costa Teguise where there are a couple of beaches. I walked along the rugged coast to get to some viewpoints and then just chilled in the sun on the beach.

The rocky coast of Lanzarote
The moon like landscape of the Lanzarote island
The moon like landscape of the Lanzarote island
Costa Teguise
Playa de los Charcos, Costa Teguise

On Wednesday I took a bus in the opposite direction more specifically to Puerto Del Carmen. It’s a bustling seaside town where there are some beaches and loads of places to eat and drink. I went for a walk along a coastal trail in the direction of Puerto Calero offering nice views of the ocean and the island.

The coast between Puerto del Carmen and Puerto Calero
The Atlantic Ocean
Playa de los Pocillos, Puerto del Carmen

Friday was the first day when I could finally see the most interesting and beautiful parts of Lanzarote. I took a bus to Punta Mujeres so that I could visit Jameos del Agua. It’s an interesting place to see, but it’s not that special. There’s a volcanic tunnel and an underground natural pool with white crabs inside. In addition, it’s a venue for art and music events as there is an underground concert hall, restaurants and a pool.

The rocky coast of Lanzarote
Punta Mujeres
Jameos del Agua

What was, however, more interesting was Cueva de los Verdes which was just nearby. It’s a fairly large and long cave, or rather a volcanic tunnel made by the La Corona volcano, which is the highest volcano on the island. The cave boasts fascinating sights and also hides some unexpected surprises. There’s a bilingual tour, in Spanish and English, and you cannot wander around the cave by yourself. I highly recommend that you visit this cave, although I must say, it’s a touristic place.

After that, I started walking in the direction of El Mirador del Rio which was some 10 or 11 kilometres away. I was ready to walk all the way but I tried hitchhiking and my effort paid off. Two French gentlemen took me to the viewpoint. And this place was by far the most beautiful place I visited that day. You’re a few hundred meters above sea level and you get to see the spectacular coast of Lanzarote, the Atlantic Ocean and the small island of La Graciosa. Breathtaking and totally worth my while.

The view of La Graciosa from El Mirador Del Río

I walked along a road high above the coast admiring the scenery until I couldn’t see the ocean any more. I started hitchhiking again having no plan, just options where I could go depending on where people would be headed. I was lucky again and two Italian girls gave me a lift and I ended up in the town of Arrieta, which wasn’t even one of my options. Well, spontaneity is the key to adventure and so I decided to chill on the beach with the powerful sun high above me. Lovely!

Playde de la Garita, Arrieta

On Saturday I wanted to see more of the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote and so I took a bus to Mancha Blanca and went on a short hike to Montaña Caldereta and Montaña Blanca. They are, both, just calderas, the latter being huge and spectacular. You can walk around the rim and enjoy beautiful views of the calderas as well as the surrounding landscape.

Montaña Caldereta
Montaña Blanca
Caldera Blanca
Montaña Caldereta
Montaña Blanca

I got back to the road and hitched a ride to the nearest town south to have lunch (a German couple gave me a lift). Then I hitched another ride to get to El Lago Verde (an Italian guy with a Dutch girl helped me out this time). El Lago Verde is an stunning green lagoon on a beach just a few dozen meters from the sea. What a spectacular sight!

El Golfo
El Lago Verde
El Lago Verde
The colourful mountains surrounding el Lago Verde
Playa de los Ciclos

Afterwards, I hitched a few more rides (with a Dutch, a British and an Indian guy respectively) to see a bit more of the beauty of the coast and to get to Playa Blanca, the very south of the island, to relax on the beach. This was freaking amazing. The sun was shining, it was 20 degrees, the view was beautiful and sitting outside in December can’t have been any better.

Where am I going to go next? 31 December – off to Cyprus. Stay tuned!

Playa Blanca
Recently, I’ve started to enjoy sunsets more than ever before

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