22nd September 2016
This was my first visit to the Canaries, primarily for the scuba diving. The Red Sea is off limits just now and I had already visited that region five times. Regaldive have Lanzarote down as a new location so I decided to check that out.
I was told that the island itself was worth seeing as well as exploring under the water, so booked a ten night stay. The resort I was based in was Puerto Del Carmen, staying at the Costa Volcan Apartments based in the Old Town.
I'll start with the diving. I was booked with Safari Divers. Their location is right on the Playa Chica beach and was a 5 minute walk from the apartment. The morning dive was from the beach and the afternoon dive was a boat dive. I didn't really travel much further than 10 minutes from the Play Chica beach for any dive and there was plenty to see. The set up at the dive centre is tight for space but the equipment on hire was excellent. I was told I was brave diving with a shortie suit but then I didn't get really cold anytime I was away given my home location! The visibility was good underwater. There are about six wrecks just out from the beach sunk as artificial reefs and plenty of sea life. Sardines, barracuda, rays, rock fish, starfish, sea urchins, very large groupers. Highlight of the trip was seeing an angel shark. I'm sorry I don't have a photo of it, but you can check out this link to get an idea.
This really made the trip for me. I want to thank Kevin from the Netherlands for supplying some underwater photos to add to the album accompanying this blog. Thanks buddy. It was a pleasure to dive with you.
After ten dives over five days I had taken my total number of logged dives to 122. It was time for some R&R. After a day off I did a walk along the coastline from Puerto Del Carmen to Puerto Calero. This took just under an hour and I have provided some photos along the way. Spent a couple of hours chilling out with ice cream and coffee in Puerto Calero and got the bus taxi back along the coast. A walk well worth doing out of the heat of the day.
The following day it was my 58th birthday. I took a bus tour around the island which lasted from 0950 until about 1900. Most of my photos are of this trip. The island itself exists as the result of volcanic eruption and it has a lunar-esque landscape which is quite striking. We visited the amazing green lagoon at El Golfo and the National Park at Timanfaya. The photos should be self explanatory. One of the most amazing features in Lanzarote is Los Jameos Del Agua. Following the original volcanic eruption a series of caves and cavities were created. Under the influence of local architect/artist /ecologist Cesar Manrique these have been transformed into various public spaces with a restaurant, auditorium, swimming pool and dwelling areas. A fairly unique location and well worth seeing.
A few observations about Lanzarote. The absence of insects was noted and welcomed. It was between 25 and 28 Celsius most of the time. This was too hot for me given that a lot of the accommodation does not seem to have air conditioning. There is a good breeze a lot of the time which does help. The food was excellent and good value. In the Old Town of Puerto Del Carmen I would recommend the following restaurants.
The fish, all the meat (but especially the Iberian lamb) and the Canarian potatoes were well worth sampling.
I would like to go back to Lanzarote (ideally to accommodation with air-con!). The diving is good and I think you would need at least two days in a car to explore the island more fully. Other Canary Islands may follow suit. Who knows?
As usual, I hope you enjoy the photos and possibly this blog may even have some useful information should you travel to the same destination. The last two photos are from the mobile phone so not up to the usual standard.
All the best