LANZAROTE | THE BLACK PEARL OF THE CANARY ISLANDS

Lanzarote is a real surprise. A retreat for pensioners is what initially sprung to mind, but this unique island offers surreal landscapes; black, white and golden sandy beaches; lava fields; cave; volcanoes; beautiful clear waters and attractive temperatures all year round. Hosted by Barcelo Hotel resorts, we spent three days and nights exploring the resort by Teguise Beach and the magical island of Lanzarote.

Lanzarote is around a four-hour flight from London Stansted, and from Arrecife Airport it’s a short, 15-minute drive to the adults-only Barceló Teguise Beach hotel on the east coast of the island. Opened back in 2015, the the hotel has since gone through a pretty hefty multi-million-pound refurbishment, and features two pools, one infinity pool, an outdoor gym, a spa and treatment rooms and on-site restaurants and bars. Set 150 metres from Las Cucharas beach, the view along the coastline is pretty impressive and contemporary design is easy on the eye too, with the whole resort in-keeping with the traditional white painted buildings you see throughout the island.

What you don’t see on Lanzarote are high rise buildings. It’s the only Canary Island to have introduced a law on this so hotels are not allowed to build higher than six stories and most don’t go past four, meaning the landscape isn’t blocked from view and there is a sense of calmness from not having towering blocks overhead.

Our room is spacious and has its own private hot tub on the terrace with views overlooking the pool. BOOM. There’s also a super comfy king-size bed, two-seater sofa, lounge chair and a big old rain shower as well as all the other familiar comforts you’d expect from TVs to coffee machines. We fill that tub to the brim with bubbles and have a good old soak while the sun goes down.

The hotel’s wellness centre has a dynamic 35ºC relaxation pool, sauna, steam bath, bi-thermal shower, aromatic shower and bucket shower, which are designed to be experienced in a circuit. The lighting is low, soft and the sound of water is deeply relaxing. We have a 25-minute classic massage with essential oils to help hydrate the skin and release tension, wishing this could be a daily occurrence.

From brekkie through to dinner Barceló Teguise Beach puts on quite a spread. In the morning there’s everything from bacon, eggs and pastires for those who want to indulge to fruit and cereals at the buffet bar. This changes to Asian food, plus some locally inspired dishes, in the evening. We particularly enjoyed the katsu curry fountain, where you dunk breaded chicken into the free-flowing stream of katsu sauce. A standing ovation for that guys.

Besides the hotel, there are some incredible places to experience on the island. Casa Museo del Campesino is a unique underground restaurant that leaves us gobsmacked as we make our way down the spiral staircase to the huge dining space. We ate on the ground floor in the traditional Casa Museo Restaurante del Campesino with a feast of local and traditional delights including cheese, more cheese, meat, fish, vegetables and ending with ice cream. Siestas make absolute sense now.

With so much to see we recommend taking a guided trip around the island. From natural pools, beaches, wineries and all the hidden corners of Lanzarote, you need someone who knows the landscape and its stories to really uncover the beauty of the island.

Timanfaya National Park is a great starting point to understand just how big a role volcanoes play in Lanzarote. Here you can see how volcanic eruptions between 1720 and 1736, and again in 1824 turned the landscape into an otherworldly place. A mere few inches from the surface the stones are too hot to touch (and touch you will) and fire is made before our very eyes from the heat produced just under the ground.

Cueva de Los Verdes is truly unique and probably our favourite place on the tour. This hidden wonder is a volcanic sanctuary and it’s a must-see. we won’t give too much away but there are surprises on the way that led to a 600-seat concert hall in a cave. The green lake of El Golfo, the lava caves at Los Hervideros, and the views from the hidden clifftop cafe of Mirador Del Rio are all stunning too, and even just driving from one side of the island to the other offers up some dramatic changes in the landscape – just check out this IGTV video.

Would we go back? ABSOLUTELY. We need to visit the underwater Museo Atlantico, the first submarine museum in Europe, to see those sculptures on the ocean bed.

Rates at Barcelo Teguise Beach start from £146 a night for a Deluxe room on a B&B basis.

Paseo Marítimo, s/n Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, 35508, Las Palmas, Spain
barcelo.com