A reserve full of surprises
A visit to Arrecife, Lanzarote, will literally sweep you away into another world. When you step aground from your MSC cruise you will find yourself in a lunar landscape created by the coming together of the ocean and the lava. Hard to forget. It is the volcanic nature of the Canaries that makes this a unique land.
Arrecife appears from the distance as a row of little white houses along the coast as your MSC cruise approaches the island. Looming over the port is the Castillo de San Gabriel built in the 16th century but many times restored, which now hosts a museum like the other fort in Arrecife, the Castillo de San Jose.
The town is a quiet location where one can enjoy a pleasant stroll but if you’re looking for something more exciting you should book an excursion to the Timanfaya National Park to take a close look at the volcanic activity that has shaped the hills, canyons and the strange rocky formations that characterize the island. Here Stanley Kubrick filmed some scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Timanfaya volcano is still active.
You can admire the perfect blending of nature and César Manrique’s art at the Jameos del Agua: large volcanic tunnels, created by the lava and gas, open in some points from which light and water pour in creating spectacular underground lakes. They end up in the sea at Cueva de los Verdes, another site to visit.
Greeting visitors at the entrance of the park is El Diablo, a charming creation of the same Manrique. The whole area of Los Volcanes, the Volcanoes National Park, is so unique that is has been nominated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Here you find many marine birds and very few people, all concentrated at El Golfo, a tiny, ancient fisherman’s village, today scarcely populated but where you can enjoy the freshest fish and excellent restaurants.