Lanzarote, once dominated by surfers, tri-athletes and beach-goers, is the perfect destination for your next family vacation. Often described as “lunar” thanks to its dry, black volcanic landscape, many people mistakingly believe that it has little to offer the holidaymaker besides beach and sunshine.
As a family of five with three young and VERY energetic boys we challenged the island to provide us with more for our active bunch besides the typical beach holiday.
And the island’s answer blew us away…
Cramming a whole family into a tiny hotel room might be doable for one or two nights but for an extended holiday, space is your friend. Luckily, Club La Santa has just that and so much more.
Roomy two bedroom apartments equipped with stunning interiors allow you and the kiddos plenty of space. Right outside the door, an activity packed playground for kids and adults awaits. La Santa offers over 40 activities throughout its facilities, catering to all ages and sports ability levels. Everywhere you look, someone is doing …something. From salsa dancing class to yoga from spinning to windsurfing, from kayaking to SUP’ing. This all-inclusive sports facility not only offers to entertain your children but could also inspire them as well. Some of Europe’s leading sport teams prepare at La Santa’s state of the art training grounds.
Let the kids play football while Olympic hopefuls run the track encircling the pitch. Or sign up the little ones for swimming lessons next to tri-athletes lapping the 3 Olympic size pools for their next Ironman competition.
Afterwards, fuel up at El Lago cafe, with one of their fresh fruit and veggie smoothies before heading out for more fun….
Renting a car is easy thanks to Ryanair Car Hire. With just about everything in Lanzarote not more than an hour’s drive away, a road trip should definitely be on your agenda. Pile in, buckle up, and set off for a fun excursion to Timanfaya National Park. This UNESCO biosphere reserve has over 300 volcanic cones. Get lost amongst the black lava mountains, which are said to look exactly like the surface of the moon. In fact, the resemblance is so striking that Apollo astronauts are said to have studied photographs of Timanfaya Park so that they could get an idea of what the moon would look like before heading into outer space.
Cuisine in Lanzarote is rather varied. Traditional recipes, handed down for centuries, merge with the modern to create inventive local dishes, catering to the most distinguished pallets. The food might look simple but that’s the essence of its perfection. Our kids could have eaten potatoes with mojo sauce everyday if we let them.
Also, don’t forget the internationally awarded cheese and wines. Depending on your schedule, you might need to take a bottle or two or (cough) four home after a full day.
It’s the biggest carting track in Europe. With 2146 meters of race road, all five of us couldn’t wait to hit the pedal and feel the freedom. The sensation of speed and adrenaline was only matched by the giggles coming from each one of our children as they zipped around every corner. Senior, junior and kids’ tracks and karts ensure that safety is first and everyone can be a Formula 1 Driver for the day. Several weeks later and the whole family is still talking about returning to Gran Karting Lanzarote for a race rematch.
Swim with the fishes; explore the deep blue and spot sunken ships without ever getting wet! Submarine Safaris gave our boys their first experience of going deep in ocean waters…100 feet deep to be exact. Personalized viewing portals, friendly guides and even a submarine diving certificate made this one of our top experiences of the island. We spotted schools of fish, a stingray, and wait–is that Dad?
The California sea lions at Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park are big, playful and…noisy! These marine celebrities take centre stage, swimming with guests, performing tricks and maybe stealing a kiss or two from the unexpected bathing participates. Not to be overshadowed are the Park’s other spotlight acts: dolphins, birds of prey, reptiles, bison…. with so many on land and water activities, you’ll need two days to do and see everything.
From east to west you’ll find the architecture creations of famed artist Cesar Manrique’s dotted around the island. Whitewashed villages, colored shutters and impressive sculptures cover Lanzarote’s landscape. Now turn your sights upward and discover Mirador del Rio, offering the islands most magical views.
The building itself is barely visible thanks to a heavy stone skin that blends in with the environment. Have a coffee and take in the breathtaking sights of the Archipiélago Chinijo Natural Reserve and the Famara Cliff.
Even if we had a month at Lanzarote, I don’t think we could exhaust the island of things to do. Whether your family can’t stop for a minute (like ours) or prefers to take it easy and relax at the beach, Lanzarote provides something for everyone, at every age, and for every interest. And thanks to year-round good weather, there is no better time to visit the island than right NOW!
- Karyn Gorman and Olav Adami