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Visitors from the United Kingdom need never adjust their watches during their stay in the gorgeous paradise destination of Lanzarote. The United Kingdom and the northeasternmost Canary Island always fall under the same time zone, although they couldn’t be more different in all other respects. Wherever visitors drive to on the unspoilt and visually impressive island of Lanzarote, they are likely to encounter beautiful landmarks created by one of the island's most famous artists, César Manrique. It typically takes under half an hour to travel across this small island by car.
Who to Book With
Lanzarote Airport, the only one on the island, is where many visitors can pick up car hire. Half of the airport's eight vehicle rental companies are familiar international chains like Payless and Hertz, while the other half are Spanish or independent operators such as Auto Reisen and Goldcar. The airport is conveniently situated between Arrecife, three miles away, and Puerto del Carmen, which contains the majority of Lanzarote's other rental outlets. Most locations accept online booking, which is the best way to make savings.
Best Time to Go
Lanzarote may boast a surprisingly large amount of climate variations for such a small island, but warm weather and sunny days are the default conditions at all times of the year. Winter is Lanzarote's coldest season, but it is also when many Europeans choose to come and visit, as daytime temperatures remain high enough for comfortable swimming. Spring and autumn are Lanzarote's least busy seasons, but they also bring the island's cheapest hotel and vehicle rental prices.
Need to Know Essentials
Drivers must present these documents prior to claiming rented vehicles:
- The official hire document
- An authentic passport or valid passport photocopy
- A driving license valid for three or more years
- The credit card used in the online booking
Driving across the entire island of Lanzarote typically takes less than half an hour, while driving from north to south takes no more than 40 minutes. LZ-2 is the main road linking Arrecife, the island's capital, to the popular beach resorts of Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca. Vehicle rental in Lanzarote tends to be cheaper than in mainland Spain, especially for smaller and older automobiles.
Visitors who do not come to the island via Lanzarote Airport arrive by ferry from the mainland Spanish city of Cádiz or from other Canary Islands. Once in Lanzarote, taxi and bus services are available, but cars remain the only way to reach some of the island's more isolated inland regions. Lanzarote is small enough to be explored by bicycle, scooter or motorcycle, but these means of transportation can be risky during the island's windy summers. The island of Lanzarote has no rail service.
Taxis tend to cost more in Lanzarote than private vehicles, but they are widely available outside of large hotels, at Lanzarote Airport and in most significant communities. Airport passengers should only board taxis at the official airport taxi rank. The average fare between Lanzarote Airport and Arrecife is €15. The Lanzarote Taxi website contains further details about routes and fares.
Despite its name, Arrecife Bus not only serves Lanzarote's capital, but the entire island as well. Buses depart from Arrecife to Lanzarote Airport for a €1 fare, and to Puerto del Carmen for a €1.50 fare. Journeys to the southern resort of Playa Blanca cost about €30. The bus service is reduced on weekends. Tickets for the Arrecife Bus service that travels around both Arrecife and the rest of Lanzarote can be purchased directly from drivers. Children under four years of age can travel for free as long as they do not require separate seats. Passengers who use the recently implemented BonoBus plastic swipe cards, whose initial purchase costs €12, can save up to 30 per cent on bus fare.
It may take under 30 minutes to drive from one end of Lanzarote to the other, but much more time is recommended to truly explore everything this small island has to offer. Flamenco dancing and Spanish dining form the majority of Arrecife's nightlife options, while Puerto del Carmen is the best place to find the kind of nightclub partying typical of other beachfront holiday hotspots around the world. The Rancho Texas and Guinate Tropical theme parks are among Lanzarote's more family-friendly attractions. The island's most unusual natural landmarks are the water caverns found near to the bottom of Monte de la Corona volcano, and the green caves on Lanzarote's northern side.
Jameos del Agua - This ancient water cavern network is now surrounded by a swimming pool, a nightclub complex and even a huge concert cave where up to 600 people can enjoy live performances near to the bottom of Monte de la Corona volcano. The caverns themselves were formed from volcanic eruptions approximately 3,000 years ago.
Cueva de los Verdes - Pirates once hid around this four-mile network of green caves, whose narrow passages are now illuminated for the benefit of tourists. Spanish and English guided tours of these unique green caves are available. They are an extension of Jameos del Aqua and end at the Tunnel of Atlantis, which extends for nearly a mile into the sea.
The Rancho Texas Park - This brings a sample of the Lone Star State to the Canary Islands. A gold mine, a Native American village and farmyard animals stand alongside more exotic tropical birds. The park's nightly shows feature both traditional Spanish and country and western music.