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World | Canary Islands | Diving Lanzarote:

Lanzarote overview


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Lanzarote dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Lanzarote, the Canary Islands


Water temperature:

18°C (64°F) in February to 26°C (79°F) in August

Suit:

A drysuit may be preferable in winter months, although a 7mm semidry should also be sufficient. A 5mm wet suit can be worn all year with hood and gloves in winter

Visibility:

10 - 30 metres (65 - 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Caves, tunnels, sheer walls, wrecks

Marine life:

Angel sharks, butterfly rays, barracudas, groupers, moray eels, jacks, bream, sardines, cuttlefish, octopus, seahorses, damselfish, wrasse

When to go:

All year, although June to October may be preferable if you prefer warmer water

How to get there:

From the UK - As Lanzarote is a popular tourist destination there are many flights available from most UK airports including Aberdeen, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester. Monarch, Iberia and BA are amongst the companies that fly to Arecife aiport


Volcanic landscape of Lanzarote - Courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands. It is 37 miles long and 12 miles wide, making it the fourth largest island in the Canaries. It is a Spanish colony, so the language spoken is Spanish, the currency is the Euro and the religion practised is Roman Catholic. The climate is warm and dry with average daytime temperatures ranging from about 21°C (70°F) in January to 29°C (84°F) in August. Annual rainfall is just 14 cm and the water temperature ranges from 18°C (64°F) in February to 23°C (73°F) in September and October.

Lanzarote is volcanic in origin, and the most recent eruptions were in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The landscape has changed little since then, so volcanic features dominate the entire island. Most impressive feature is the Atlantida Tunnel and its adjoining caves that is the largest volcanic tunnel in the world at over 7km in length. The caves and galleries were created as a result of an eruption three and five thousand years ago from the volcano Monte Corona. A lava flow hit the sea, cooling the surface of it rapidly lava was ejected toward the east coast into in the sea. The surface of the lava cooled rapidly and hardened, whilst the lava continued to flow underneath. Hollowed out spaces were created which subsequently exploded once put under pressure by gases.

The eruptions were recent enough geologically speaking to mean there is plenty of heat still trapped below the surface. Temperatures of around 600°C (1100°F) are registered at a depth of just ten metres underground. At the National Park of Timanfaya, the restaurant El Diablo serves steaks grilled over geothermal heat. A volcanic crater called El Golfo is now filled with water and the algae that live in it make it a stunning green colour - a rich contrast to the black rock surrounding it. The volcanic landscape here is like something from another planet.

Aside for the geology, there is plenty to see and do. If you are after culture there is the 16th Century Santa Barbara Castle or, the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you enjoy beach holidays, beaches are abundant and so are all the activities that com with them - sunbathing, fishing, sailing and windsurfing. Naturally, the sand on the beaches is black. However, sand is imported form Africa to some of the more popular resorts in order to give tourists what they want. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants and an active nightlife, particularly in the larger resorts. Puerto del Carmen is the busiest resort on the Island, followed by Costa Teguise. The capital of Lanzarote is Arrecife on the south coast.

Food on Lanzarote is similar to that in Southern Spain. There something available for every taste, from English to Chinese or Italian. The traditional food on the island is mostly fish dishes. Something that is particularly nice about Lanzarote is that local authority regulations on the amount and style of development mean that there are no billboard adverts and no high rise buildings (with the exception of the Grand Hotel in Arrecife).

Diving in Lanzarote is generally done around the larger resorts. At Puerto del Carmen, which is only a twenty minute drive from the airport, there is steep wall dive, harbour wrecks and a short boat trip to offshore reefs on offer. With both boat and shore dives and the depth and skill range of the dive sites, this makes a great location for progressing training. Near the shore the sea bed is sandy, but it quickly drops away to steep volcanic walls. The volcanic landscape that is so impressive on the surface is equally as awe inspiring underwater with lava flows and cave formations providing divers with some fantastic places to explore. The rocks are covered in anemones, sponges and soft corals and are home to many types of fish. There are some wreck dives on offer, but diving here is definitely for those who want reef diving with a difference. There is also a decompression chamber on the island that can house six people at once.


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