I had worked in the Canary Islands for 5 years, mainly on the Island of Lanzarote. The island of Lanzarote is my favourite so it’s only fitting I write a blog post or two. Luckily when working in Lanzarote I developed a website called Everything-Lanzarote. I shut down the site not long after I left, however kept the information.
LANZAROTE, RESERVE OF BIOSPHERE
In October 1993 by UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation declared the island a Biosphere Reserve. The famous artist César Manrique, whose creative work left a large impression. He was one of the great promoters of the Declaration. One of the aspects considered for the Declaration was his own work. A work of intervention in the island and integrated in it, a great example of the association between art and nature.
The declaration of Biosphere Reserve recognises the work made during decades by the men and women of Lanzarote. They fought to create an innovative and original model of development.
LANZAROTE QUALITY DESTINATION
The natural landscape that Lanzarote offers is, without any doubt, the most unusual of the Canary Islands. Its special lands, the singularity of their cultivation’s. The effect of the sea on its shores give a unique charm to the island. The Lanzarote declaration as a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, adds guarantee to the conservation of the Island’s natural values. Visitors should respect the customs and traditions of Lanzarote. Beyond that the “Sun & Beach” Tourism, the rural hotels and houses offer the opportunity to discover Lanzarote from another point of view. The laid back feeling and unique landscapes guarantee enjoyment.
Many explorers confirm that the ancient inhabitants of the Canary Islands came from the North of Africa. The pre-Hispanic civilisation were still in the age of stone when, in 1312, the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello arrived. Lanzarote got it’s name from that navigator Lanceloto became Lanzarote. Still numerous vestiges of the way of life of the first settlers of the island are conserved. In 1402 the conquest of the Canary Islands began. Starting from Lanzarote, since that time it joined what today is known as the Kingdom of Spain. The annexation of Lanzarote took place, although the conquest of all the Archipelago lasted almost one hundred years. Some fortresses are witnesses of a recent past whose main function was to defend the island of the attacks of pirates who followed one another until the beginning of the XIX Century.
Translation from Spanish
Prior to Arrival
Travel light, you’ll be surprised how little you can travel with. Use the 80/20 rule. You’ll use 20% of what you pack, So leave the 80% at home.
Buy what you need in country. How many times do you go on a spending spree before you travel? Save your purchases until you arrive, you’ll enjoy it more, get something different and help the local economy.
Buy toiletries in country, yes they sell toothpaste etc almost everywhere in the world.
There are hundreds of resources available on preparing for a holiday but I see time and time again situations which could have easily been avoided with a little preparation prior to a holiday. Here are my recommendations of what to do prior to coming to Lanzarote. Some may sound obvious but many people make their journey or holiday more stressful than it could be. Some of these also may sound harsh but I would rather mention it now so you have a better holiday.
Do not book a holiday based on price alone you only get what you paid for!
I see couples, family’s and groups ask to change rooms, change hotels, change resorts because they booked the wrong room, hotel or resort.
Do not request anything on a holiday booking, pay for it! Especially in peak season as requests are just that and the people who paid for a facility always get it before someone who has just requested it. So avoid disappointment because if you haven’t paid for something why would you expect it.
A low floor does not always mean the ground floor!
To assist people who are less mobile be very specific in what you require. Some hotel receptions are on floor four and rooms go down, some apartments are across the road or in a separate block. Anything specific you require, get a confirmation in writing and take it with you.
Read the small print, Terms and Conditions. Twice!
You are entering into a contract and holidays are not cheap. “The travel agent said” has no weight whatsoever. Read these before agreeing or paying for your trip, even if booking online, don’t just tick the box.
Take your paperwork with you! In the event of a problem this not only saves you your holiday time but it is invaluable to get an issue resolved.
Take photocopies of your documents!
Photocopy your passport and insurance and keep them separate from the originals. Nowadays you could store these electronically, on your mobile or in the cloud. The chances are you’ll never need these but when you do it will save a huge amount of stress.
Pack light, very light!
Most people bring six times more luggage than they need and a survey recently discovered the less money you earn the more you take (interesting). Do your holiday shopping on holiday it’s cheaper and more fun. We have everything the UK has but a lot cheaper.
Split your Luggage!
Every lost a suitcase? They don’t arrive for several reasons but the biggest is weight, if over 23Kg you need two baggage handlers to carry it, double the chance of missing the aircraft. Have clothes for everyone travelling, in every suitcase that way if one goes missing you can still change clothes.
Book you flight seats!
Airlines have no obligation to sit you together and by booking your seats in advance you can relax and enjoy the flight. Don’t forget to take the printed confirmation with you.
Buy decent insurance!
Firstly to leave the UK on holiday without holiday insurance is illegal but not researching your options is crazy. At the time of writing this article a lady is stranded in Lanzarote because here insurance company won’t pay the repatriation costs of £250,00.00
European Health Insurance Card!
Make sure it is in date and bring it with you. You can get a new one free from the NHS, some companies charge you for this service when there’s no need. With BREXIT around the corner Lanzarote has already stated it will charge UK citizens for health care, buy insurance.
If you plan on renting a car here you must carry your driving license on you at all times, you can not rent a car without it. (you no longer need the paper section)
Car rental is a bargain here in Lanzarote but in peak season the problem is not enough cars, so book peak season car rental prior to coming.
Villa Car Hire!
Consider the number of people and the amount of luggage before turning up to pick up your Group A car. You will not fit your luggage in, so upgrade before you arrive.
Bring more than you need and bring a prescription. If you need to get more medication quickly it’ll be a simple as going into a chemist. Otherwise it will be very stressful.
Baby Formula Etc.!
Yes we have babies here too, so you can buy just about everything, although it will be the Spanish equivalent.
I will add to this section as I come across situations which will enhance your holiday but the more you prepare the better and more relaxing holiday you will have.
Departing The UK And Arriving In Lanzarote
It would be impossible for me to comment about every individual airport and airline, so the information contained here is generic.
Airports are exciting places they are the gateway to adventure but they can be really stressful. Planning ahead and researching you departure airport can enhance the adventure and reduce the stress dramatically.
The majority of flights from the UK require you to be there two hours before departure to check in but the bigger and busier the airport the longer it will take to get through security and to the gate. Allow yourself plenty of time.
The person checking you in or weighing your bags is human, so please treat them as you would like to be treated. Being really nice to this person can make a huge difference to your journey. I take biscuits and a smile for check-in staff and have not had a problem yet.
Stick to the rules!
Please ensure you know your luggage allowance and hand luggage size otherwise it causes you stress not the airline.
Once you have dropped you bags off go straight to security. All airports are different but by going through security straight away means you can relax in the departure lounge rather than being stressed about the queue. A quick mention about water, take a small empty water bottle and fill it up in the departure lounge. In the UK airports have to provide free drinking water.
It isn’t so don’t buy it, Lanzarote is a lot cheaper. 200 Cigarettes approx €26.00 that’s approx £19.00
Airports are expensive because people buy stuff if people stopped buying stuff it would get cheaper.
Keep your eye on the monitors as most airports do not make announcements and arrive at the gate early.
Please read your paperwork on the aircraft,so you know where you go when you arrive.
Lanzarote is a relatively short flight from the UK and you will get some amazing views of the island as you arrive but once you land it can take some time before you get through the airport. Here are my tips for arriving in Lanzarote airport. If you have booked assistance make sure you are taken all the way to your coach as they tend to leave you in the arrivals hall.
It is possible that you arrive at passport control and there is no one there, in that case welcome to Lanzarote. Just walk through to baggage reclaim.
Do Not Leave Baggage Reclaim until you have everything, you can not re-enter this area under any circumstances. Nipping out for a smoke is no excuse, security will not let you back in.
Missing Luggage / Damaged Luggage
You must obtain a P.I.R (Property Irregularity Report) from the handling agent. Do Not Leave without this or you can not make a claim.
Several Car Hire companies have offices accessible from the luggage reclaim area others are either in the arrivals hall or the car park. Orlando Car Hire is in the Car Park on the same level as departures.
There is a cash machine in the arrivals hall.
There is no chemist in Lanzarote Airport.
Transfers / Taxis / Coaches
There are several meeting points in the airport, tour operators are on your right.
Shuttle transfer could be in the centre of the arrivals hall in front of the lifts or on the right.
Taxis are immediately in-front of you outside the arrivals hall.
Coaches are in another area altogether and you must know your coach parking bay before leaving the arrivals hall only TUI have staff in the coach park.
Transfers are the biggest headache at Lanzarote Airport, so it is very important you read you paperwork and follow the instructions.
My advice is if staying in Puerto Calero, Puerto Del Carmen or Costa Teguise get a taxi, it will be quicker and less stressful. However only one municipality has taxis at the airport so on Thursdays and Sundays there can be huge queues.
The Airport buses only go to the capital of Arrecife, where you would change to go to your resort. The bus stop is situated out of the right hand door of the arrivals hall past the tour operators offices.
Tourist Information Office.
This is situated at the bottom of the travelator on the left. However there is a new one being built right in the middle of the concourse.