What You Need To Know
Arid Lanzarote, one of the Canary islands off the coast of West Africa, is known for its year-round warm weather, beaches and volcanic landscape. East-coast resort Puerto del Carmen has whitewashed villas, a harbor and dive centers. Caletón Blanco is a string of northern coves with calm, clear water for snorkeling, and Famara beach has cliffs for hang gliding and surf schools.
Area: 326.6 mi²
- The currency used in the Canary Islands is the Euro, which was first introduced in January 2002 and replaced the peseta, the former legal currency of Spain. There are notes of different denominations from 5 to 500 Euros and coins starts from 1 cent to 50 cents as well as 1 and 2 Euro coins.
- ATM withdrawals. Make certain your bankcard is of the four PIN number type; this is the standard in Spain. ATMs in Spain are compatible with the Cirrus or Plus system. If you have any doubts about the usability of your ATM card, contact you bank prior to leaving. You might also want to check with your bank to ask about their fee structure on international exchanges.
- Credit Cards are another way to exchange money in Spain, either through withdrawing cash or by making a purchase. It is a good idea to check your credit card policy for fees related to international exchanges and cash money withdrawals. Even with fees, credit card purchases usually provide a better rate of exchange than a street cambio (exchange) vendor does.Note – there are two levels of fees, VISA and MASTER card charge a 1% fee on all transactions but some banks then add their own 1-3% fee. There are banks that charge no additional fees for credit cards use over seas, it is these no additional charge banks you want to get a credit card from.
- Traveler Checks – In these days of ATM’s and credit cards, the old fashion, paper, Traveler Checks are not very usefully. If the paper Traveler Checks are in the currency of the country you are visiting, you might find they are accepted by individual stores, but even this is become rare. As back up money for emergencies, Traveler Checks may still have a role. The best place to cash or exchange Travelers checks are in the offices of the company that issued them, American Express, Thomas Cook, etc. Finding Branch offices of the issuing Traveler Check is not always convenient if not at times impossible. Banks will cash Traveler Checks for an additional fee. The newer,Traveler Checks come in the form of a bank card. The card is used just like a credit card but you charge the card using real cash before leaving home.
Frequently called ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’, the Canaries have warm and sunny weather all year round, with temperatures rarely under 16ºC (61ºF) in winter and 25ºC (77ºF) in summer. This is partly due to their closeness to northern Africa, making them one of the sunniest places on the planet!
There is absolutely no doubt that Lanzarote is a holiday hotspot, attracting visitors from around the world looking to escape from the cold days and grey skies of home… and you could be among them enjoying some time in the sunshine.
Rain is very rare, resulting in a dry climate with an average 16 days of rainfall annually, usually between December and February.
Unlike most of the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote does not have any high mountains (the highest being around 2,198 ft (670 metres), which means there are very few clouds that provide a natural barrier, lower evaporation and a reasonable humidity level.
Lanzarote’s climate can vary depending on exactly where you are – even so, it has the most consistent climate of all the islands of the archipelago, making it a favourite winter holiday destination. The north is usually windier, cloudier and has a little more rain due to the moist trade winds. The southern part is drier, hotter and enjoys as much as 2,500 sunshine hours annually. Central Lanzarote, located between the windier north and the sunnier south, can be said to have the most moderate climate on the island.
Sometimes in the summer the hot sirocco wind – a phenomenon referred to by the locals as “calima” – is prevailing and this can make conditions very hot, dry and dusty. It usually lasts for no more than a few days.
Spanish, or more precisely, Castilian, is the official language of the Canaries, and only place names from Guanche (the original inhabitants of Lanzarote) survive. However the accent and dialect is similar to that of Latin America.
Health and security
- Spanish healthcare consists of both private and public healthcare, with some hospitals (hospitales) and healthcare centres offering both private and state healthcare services. You don’t need to have private health insurance to get medical treatment in Spain but it usually allows you to get faster treatment for non-emergency procedures.
The state system is funded by social security contributions, with each region of Spain taking individual responsibility for a health budget allocated by central government.
- You can walk anywhere at any time without fear or menace, one of the safest places.
there is crime, but of a petty nature, theft from properties etc. Not really a hint of violence encountered.
- Although Lanzarote is a quiet Island, and relatively safe, there have been attacks on girl’s late at night, when they were walking on the beach alone.
It is wise to keep off the beaches late at night and stay in the lighted areas, avoid dark streets, stay safe.
- Be careful when using shops to exchange money with a really good exchange rate.. check the rate against your currency before handing over the cash.
- the Jameos del Agua, one of the island’s most fascinating attractions. The Jameos is a striking combination of geology, architecture and design. The island’s most famous architect, Cesar Manrique, built a visitor centre complete with a restaurant, bar, one of the most amazing auditoriums I’ve ever seen and a museum inside what used to be a gigantic lava tube. Plan a visit in the morning to avoid the crowds. Look for the little white crabs in the cave.
- Visit the Cactus garden (Jardin de Cactus) – built in an old quarry in the north of the island, the Jardin de Cactus is another Cesar Manrique creation. The garden, designed in the shape of an amphitheatre, houses more than 10,000 cacti from around the world as well as a multitude of beautiful volcanic stone sculptures. Go in the morning to avoid the busloads of tourists.