No island is more charming than Atlantis for everyone’s imagination, set beyond the Pillars of Hercules and plunged into the ocean. According to the legends the Canary Islands stretching between Africa and Spain are the emerged remains of the ancient mythical reign: seven islands gifted with a mild climate all year through and many different landscapes. Our journey takes place along the most extreme Eastern edges of this archipelago, from the lighhouse of Punta de Janda of Fuerteventura, the wild desert island, to the Mirador del Rio of Lanzarote, the island with a moon landscape. It’s a route to be covered by car following an advice: if you intend to rent a car you’d better enlarge the insurance for the dirt roads since they are the ones that lead you to the most incredible places to see. Fuerteventura is one of these places in the most Southern part, the pensinsula of Jandia, famous for its white beaches, its dunes and its dry plains up to the lonely lighthouse. You must go through Puerto de la Cruz, a tiny settlement where you can stop to eat the fresh fish which is served at the chirringuitos on the beach.
Stories of pirates in Betancuria
From the South towards the North the route along the Western coastline of Fuerteventura is featured by amazing rocky cliffs where the big waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash and by little beaches of black pebbles and fishers’ villages where the time seems still like in Ajuy and Puerto de la Peña. The hinterland is one of the most varied territories you may find on this desert island: the huge central mountains are interfaced by an oasis spotted with palm trees, the Vega del Rio de Palmas. Betancuria is not far from there, it’s hidden behind the basaltic hills: it was founded in the 15th century and it has been the pirates’ prey for centuries and it was often plundered. It has been the capital city of the island until 1834, nowadays it is a mosaic of stone walls, palm trees, blossomed bouganvilles and simple rural constructions, it is overlooked by the fantastic Iglesia de Santa Maria dating back to the 18th century where you can see a wonderful cloister. The right address for the gourmet people is the restaurant Valtarajal where you can taste the local dishes based on the goat meat, the berries cake and the typical rhum chupito with honey.
The deserts of Corralejo
From the hinterland you can go towards the North-Western coastline and reach El Cotillo to enjoy the sunset from the terrace of the Marisma restaurant while sipping a glass of wine and eating the papas arrugadas with the green mojo sauce and picón. This is a charming village mainly at night when the artists, the writers, the jazz singers gather around the several “bar a tapas” on the beach. The Castillo del Tostón is a reman of its history where you can see shows of lights and sounds. The landscapes, the wild waterfronts, the huge waves and the land art pieces you can see along the dirt road that connects the village with Corralejo are amazing. Corralejo is the biggest village in the Northern part of the island, the ferries to reach the wild Isla de Lobos and Lanzrote leave from there. The most beautiful area is near the old harbour where the tables of many locals are located on the beach at the sound of the music sessions and they are surrounded by the artistic installations. But the most unmissable thing is the natural park that features high dunes of golden sand: a piece of African desert that was brought here by the wind!
Lanzarote, the island of the art
“Spactacular” is the first word that comes to your mind when you see Lanzarote, a feature that was given by two “lucky” events. The first one was the volcanic eruption that occured between the 18th and the 19th century that created the national Park of Timanfaya: a stretch of volcanic cones in the middle of a lava desert where the magma caught the shells and the fossils, designed the hills and created the valleys. The second event is related to the birth of the architect César Manrique (1919-1992) who left many creations in Lanzarote that has become an island protected by Unesco as a Reserve of the Biosphere: the garden of cactus of Guatiza, the auditorium created in the under-water lagoon of Jameo del Agua, his museum-house of Harìa, the foundation dedicated to him in the tiny village of Tahíche as well as many houses, wine cellars, gardens, restaurants, mirador, monuments and museums. The artist marked his own personality in many tiny villages of his beloved island.
The Geria, the region of wine
The most beautiful beaches of Lanzarote are set in the South-Eastern part but a great alternative to the white sand and the blue sea is an excursion in the heart of the island in the region of Geria. The route crosses Yaiza with its nice white lime houses and some round constructions made of lavic stones: they are the famous vineyards of Lanzarote. They produce some very good malvasia and you can find many bodegas (shops) along the road among which El Grifo where you can also see the museum that collects the old equipment for the production of the wine and you can also taste a selection of wines and the typical goat cheese. If you continue along your route you’ll each Teguise, the ancient capital city which is a combination of the Spanish pueblo and a North African village where you can stop to buy the typical products at the local market on Sunday morning or have lunch at Acatife, the traditional local restaurant. From there you can reach the Northern edge up to Mirador del Rio, another amazing work by Manrique where you can enjoy a breathless view of the solidified lava fall plunging into the ocean.
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