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Lanzarote in January: 20 of the Best Things to Do, Eat, and Drink

Find ideas for what to do in Lanzarote in January. Spend an unconventional winter weekend in the Canary Islands. Eat the best Lazarote has to offer.
What is there to do in Lanzarote in January? When I told one of my colleagues that I would be taking a 4-day weekend off from work, he asked me where we were going.  

"Lanzarote", I replied.  

"How surprisingly conventional!" was his response. 

The Canary Islands are popular in Ireland as package 'sun holiday' destinations and there are plenty of direct flights from destinations in Europe to Lanzarote. 

We're not the type of people who like to lay around on beaches reading romance novels and sipping fruity cocktails.  

What to do in Lanzarote in January: Visit unique vineyards and sample local wines

When planning our visit, we sought out Lanzarote's points of interest and destinations on the island that were surprisingly unconventional.  

Lanzarote Winter Weather: What to Expect

Before we jump into all the fabulous things to do in Lanzarote in winter, let's discuss what to pack for this time of year. 

What is Lanzarote weather like in January? The average high temperature is 67 °F (about 19 °C) with low average temperature in the mid 50s. 

Lanzarote December weather is reportedly similar. Lanzarote has a temperate climate and doesn't get too hot or too cold in the winter which is just to our liking. 

Check out the photos below for a photographic glimpse of Lanzarote's winter weather. We packed light layers: short sleeved shirts, a light cardigan, and a light jacket just in case. 

You shouldn't expect weather suitable for laying out on the beach in a bathing suit in Lanzarote in January but you can certainly take a cool walk on the beach. 

The water temperature averages around 20 °C in December and January which many would consider quite bracing.

Things to do in Lanzarote in January

Now let's take a look at some of the fun things to do on a winter break in Lanzarote. Here are ten personal recommendations for what to do in Lanzarote in January for 4-days that don't involve sitting on a lounge chair on the beach.

1. Visit El Golfo, Lanzarote's Volcanic Lake

We hired a car for our Lanzarote road trip and used it to visit El Golfo, The Green Lagoon, a neon green volcanic lake surrounded by textured hills in shifting colors.  

The January weather when we visited was a little gray and cloudy but that just seemed to make the colors of El Golfo pop in photos. 

The landscape was simply outstanding and we carefully picked our way down from the top of the cliff to admire the lake while waves crashed in on the beach behind us. Lanzarote is truly stunning.
What to do in Lanzarote in January: El Golfo Volcanic Lake

2. Taking Time to Stop and Smell the Flowers at Lanzarote's Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is a popular tourist beach in Lanzarote that is pretty quiet in January during the Canary Islands low season.  Instead of donning our swimsuits and laying out our beach towel, we took the opportunity to take a walk stopping to smell the flowers along the way.
What to do in Lanzarote in January: Flowers at La Playa Blanca in Lanzarote

3. Volcanic Hike on Lanzarote at Montaña Roja

Montaña Roja, a short distance from the popular beach at Playa Blanca is a great destination for a moderately strenuous hike in Lanzarote.  

We parked the car at the edge of the residential area at the base of this dormant volcano and made our to the top for sweeping (albeit windy) views of Playa Blanca and the surrounding coast below.  

Once we were at the peak, it took about half an hour to complete a circuit of the rocky ridge. It would have also been possible to cut across the caldera below but we decided to skip it as the sky was about to open up and unleash a heavy rain. 

Come prepared for a few rainy days if you visit Lanzarote in January but overall Lanzarote is very dry. January is the wettest month but the probability of precipitation is still only 10% according to NOAA.
What to do in Lanzarote in January: Montana Roja Volcano walk

4. Lanzarote's Timanfaya National Park

As I'm sure you can gather by now, Lanzarote has a volcanic origin and this was a major focus of our 4-day weekend road trip in the Canary Islands.  

A series of fiery eruptions in the 1730s led to the formation of Timanfaya National Park (also known as Los Volcanes Natural Park).  

Today, the lava rock landscape is too unstable for walking but it's possible to drive into the park (beware: get there early or risk getting stuck in a queue of cars waiting for parking) and take a bus tour through the lava fields of the multi-coloured Montanas del Fuego (Fire Mountains). 

We normally don't like bus trips over walking but since this was our only option to see this destination in Lanzarote, we signed on.  We were regaled with the history of Lanzarote and the park in three languages (English, Spanish, and German) via a pre-recorded track piped into the bus. 

We could see visitors riding camels below.  It looked like fun until we realized the amount of effort and expense required to prepare for a journey that was less than a football field's length.  

What to do in Lanzarote in January: Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote

Back at the Timanfaya National Park visitor's center, we checked out the various displays of the sheer heat present just below the surface of Lanzarote.  Chicken was barbecuing over a steamy vent in the ground.  

Carefully trained employees poured buckets of water down pipes pushed through the surface.  It was quickly returned as a forceful geyser!  

Other employees took bales of hay and held them with a pitchfork over a seemingly innocuous hole in the ground.  The dry tinder soon caught fire and was gone in seconds.  

Never underestimate the power of nature, especially in Lanzarote.
What to do in Lanzarote in January: Demonstrations at Timanfaya National Park

5. Lanzarote's Scenic Vistas at Mirador del Rio

Mirador del Rio is a popular scenic vista on Lanzarote.  We chose to eschew the visitors center (and the steep entry fee) since there was quite a bit of fog in the area when we arrived.  

Instead, we took a walk down the small road that runs just alongside the visitors center and admired La Graciosa Island.  

We then tiptoed through the short grass and wildflowers just beyond the parking lot for more views and birdwatching.  

Once again, we really enjoyed the stunning experiences on our long weekend in Lanzarote!
Lanzarote Points of Interest: Mirador del Rio on Lanzarote

6. Caves of Lanzarote - Jameos de Agua

Jameos de Agua is a dramatic complex designed around a cave open on both ends by local architect and artist César Manrique.  The cave is used today as a concert venue and nightclub.  

We were curious about what all the fuss was about so paid the admission fee to visit.  To be honest, we were way more impressed with the hike we took among the black volcanic rocks just outside.  

We spotted all sorts of seabirds including a Eurasian spoonbill along the beach looking to catch some fresh fish.  This was definitely one of the highlights of our January trip to Lanzarote!
What to do in Lanzarote in January: Jameos de Agua

7. Lanzarote's Cactus Garden

Jardin de Cactus is another Cesar Manrique designed creation on Lanzarote.  More than 1000 varieties of cactus are arranged along stepped terraces interspersed with sculpture.  The garden is a lovely spot to walk quietly and reflect on the natural beauty of Lanzarote in January.
What to do in Lanzarote in January: Jardin de Cactus on Lanzarote

8. Lanzarote's Fine Wine and Vineyards

We may not favor sipping a cocktail on the beach, but we love a good glass of wine.  Lanzarote features fantastic food and dozens of wineries dotted along the volcanic landscape.  

The methods used in Lanzarote to cultivate the vines are unique in the world.  Small depressions are made in the volcanic soil and small rock walls are built in a semi-circle around each one to protect the fledgling vines from the wind.  

Harvesting the wine is quite labor intensive and done by hand.  You won't typically find Lanzarotan wines beyond the island so definitely seek them out while you're there.  

We certainly drank our fill during the four days in January when we were visiting Lanzarote.  We particularly enjoyed the intensive mineral flavors of Canarian white wines. 

Lanzarote's wineries are an ideal place to spend a day if the weather forecast turns rainy.
Things to do in Lanzarote in January: Vineyards, Wine, and Wineries

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other places with picturesque seaside drives to visit? Consider a trip to Portugal and a road trip in the Algarve in winter where you can follow in the footsteps of the great explorers from the age of exploration.

9. Fort and Museum at Arecife, Lanzarote's Capital

Arecife is the capital of Lanzarote and most people give it a miss unless they are arriving by cruise ship.  It's worth spending a few hours looking around.  

We particularly enjoyed touring the old fort (which now houses a small museum).  I kept imagining how intimidating this structure must have been back in the day with copious canons (now turning to rust) trained on would-be visitors to Lanzarote. 
Lanzarote Points of Interest in January: The fort and museum at Arecife on Lanzarote

10. Lanzarote's Larger than Life Sculptures

Lanzarote is clearly known for sculpture based on the influences of Manrique.  A variety of artistic works can be found all over the island.  

Lanzarote's sculpture is a good excuse to take a walk, get the blood pumping, and explore parts of this beguiling Canary Island that we wouldn't see if we spent our entire 4-day weekend parked on the beach.
Sculptures on Lanzarote in January

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you think Lanzarote would be a great destination but is a little too far to travel? Why not check out things to do in Palma de Mallorca instead.

What to Eat and Drink in Lanzarote?

One of the things that impressed us the most about our 4-day trip to Lanzarote in January was not the sun and beaches but rather the food and wine. 

In this section, I'll cover ten of our favorite Lanzarote food and wine experiences that will make you hungry before your trip even begins.

Lanzarote food - pimientos padron

1. Lanzarote Wines at Bodegas El Grifo

Visiting the bodegas associated with Lanzarote vineyards is one of the most fun things to do on a trip to the Canary Islands. Bodegas El Grifo was by far our favorite winery in Lanzarote.  

They do both a self-guided tour through a small museum (Museo el Grifo) and the vineyard itself plus a generous tasting is included in the admission price.  

We particularly enjoyed the chance to see Lanzarote's unique vines; each dug into the black volcanic soil and the grapes lovingly protected from the wind by a semi-circle of rocks.  

The timing of our visit was also impeccable. We heard tinkling of the keys on a piano and walked into the small museum just as it started to rain outside.  We were serenaded by someone prepping for an upcoming event as we explored the exhibits.
Lanzarote Wine: El Grifo Winery

2. Lanzarote Wines at Bodega La Geria

Bodega La Geria was another fun winery to visit on our journey to Lanzarote.  Just look for the small white church (Ermita de la Caridad) that sits in front next to the road. 

Bottle after bottle of fine white and rose wines were lined up in the tasting room. I imagine that these La Geria wines would go well with fresh fish dishes or prawns.  

We picked up some unique bottles of wine (some for less than 10 EUR each).  This is wine we simply can't get at home.  If you fly Ryanair or another low cost carrier to get to Lanzarote, it's worth paying for an extra checked bag so you can bring some bottles of wine home.
Lanzarote Wine: La Geria Winery

3. Food and Drinks of Lanzarote at Bodegas Rubicon

Bodegas Rubicon is just across the street from La Geria and features a small restaurant serving up local specialties.  We enjoyed Canarian food including a flavorful octopus stew, chickpeas, and the famous  papas arrugadas (wrinkled Canarian potatoes) with two kinds of spicy mojo sauce. 

The mojo verde (green mojo) is my favorite and is made with cilantro, parsley, green peppers and garlic. So delicious. We washed our Lanzarote cuisine down with a glass of Canarian wine, of course, before taking a quick tour of the grounds and tasting room.
Lanzarote Restaurants: Rubicon Winery and Restaurant

4. Lanzarote's Bodega Antonio Suarez Winery

Bodega Antonio Suarez is a no-nonsense family run operation.  We stopped here on a whim as we were driving past.  The tasting room is carved out of space in what looks like a storage area for farm equipment.  The wines themselves were good Lanzarote local wines and retail for 6-8 EUR per bottle.
Lanzarote Wine: Bodega Suarez

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other unique destinations with great wine to travel to? Check out Brno in the Czech Republic (aka Czechia) for some lovely light reds.

5. Lanzarote's El Chupadero

El Chupadero is situated among a vast expanse of vineyards with mountains in the distance.  The views are simply stunning.  

They do wine tastings by day and serve dinner and a bit of nightlife in the evenings.  We sampled three of their Lanzoarote wines: a white, red, and rose.  

The tasting cost 1 EUR per sample but we were also served a generous bowl of peanuts at no charge which really hit the spot.
Wine Tasting at Lanzarote's El Chupadero

6. Mexico in Lanzarote - Emma's Mexican Cantina

We've lived in California and the one thing we miss living in Europe is good Mexican food.  We jumped at the chance to try 'Mexican food cook by a Mexican' as advertised by Emma's Cantina Mexicana in Lanzarote.  

I loved how they had a decoder card on the table with stern warnings for those that can't take the heat. I tried the house special spicy chili con carne (they brought me a sample first to make sure I was up to the challenge since it's the spiciest thing on the menu - no problem!) washed down with a margarita.  

We were even treated to a little glass of Olmeca digestif afterward.  Yum.

Lanzarote Restaurants: Emma's La Cantina Mexicana

7. Lanzarote's Restaurante Trattoria La Dolce Vita on the Marina

We had dinner at an Italian place called Trattoria La Dolce Vita with sweeping views over the marina on a different night in town. You'll find both meat and seafood dishes on the menu. 

Ravioli with cream sauce and bacon was a highlight of the meal.  We sipped a bottle of local Lanzarote wine and at the end of the meal were treated to a digestif served over a giant ice cube.  

This was definitely a charming place and typified why we love all the Lanzarote food and wine.

Lanzarote Restaurant: Dolce Vita

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Are you interested in a Spanish sun holiday destination a little closer to home? Discover all the fun things to do in Palma de Mallorca.

8. Off the Beaten Path in Lanzarote - Haria Sociedad

Haria is a quiet white-washed town on the hillside in the middle of Lanzarote.  We had one of the best meals of our trip to the Canary Islands at La Sociedad on the main square.  

We were lured in by the attractive menu mounted on a paella pan.  Our favorite part of this traditional Lanzarotan meal was the plate of small green peppers cooked in oil and coated with a generous layer of salt (pimientos padron).  Delicious! What's not to love about the cuisine of Lanzarote!
Lanzarote Restaurant: La Sociedad in Haris

9. Dining in the Former Capital of Lanzarote - La Cantina Teguise 

Teguise was the former capital of Lanzarote from the 15th to 19th century.  We stopped by on a quiet Sunday afternoon and strolled through the streets lined with sun-soaked white buildings. 

Afterwards, we popped into La Cantina for lunch and sampled a platter of Canarian specialties including queso de Teguise, Potaje, papas arrugadas, gofio, mojos, pimientos padron and bread.
Lanzarote restaurants: La Cantina Teguise

10. Sweets of Lanzarote - Mantecados

I definitely have a sweet tooth and was excited to find my favorite Spanish holiday specialty available in Lanzarote in January.  Mantecados are pulverized almonds held together with either lard or olive oil.  

We were visiting Lanzarote after the holidays and managed to nab a large bag of mantecados at rock bottom sale prices.
Lanzarote food: Mantecados

Map of Lanzarote Points of Interest Visited on a 4-Day Weekend Trip in January

Click the image below to visit an interactive map of places we visited on our 4 day weekend trip to Lanzarote in January. 

Map of Lanzarote: Things to do in Lanzarote

Where to Stay in Lanzarote?

We stayed at the Nautilus, a comfortable Lanzarote Hotel less than a 5 minute walk from the ocean in Puerto del Carmen. Nautilus Lanzarote featured ample outdoor space for sitting and relaxing and a sizable room with a kitchen. 

The majority of Lanzarote hotels are located closer to shops and restaurants in Puerto del Carmen but Nautilus allowed for easier parking and was still only a 15-30 minute walk (or a 10 minute drive) to all the action.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other destination ideas in Spain? Why not:

Useful Links for Planning What to Do in Lanzarote in Winter

Hello Canary Islands

Are you looking for inspiration for other winter sun destinations in Europe to travel to beyond Lanzarote? Check out this post from The Discoveries Of.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Lanzarote in January: 20 of the Best Things to Do, Eat, and Drink
Lanzarote in January: 20 of the Best Things to Do, Eat, and Drink
Find ideas for what to do in Lanzarote in January. Spend an unconventional winter weekend in the Canary Islands. Eat the best Lazarote has to offer.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog