It’s time for one last glance of the summer! I returned from the sunny isle of Lanzarote this week, after staying at a delightful eco retreat for an extended weekend. Lanzarote is a brilliant holiday destination if you’re environmentally conscious, as there’s plenty of ways the easternmost Canary Island promotes sustainability.
As the British summer slips away, the getaway made for a nice last glance at this year’s sunshine and temperatures of around 25 – 29 °C. I’m going to be honest, I spent most of the time walking around the local area of Arrieta, across its sandy beaches, and lazing around the resort, but isn’t that truly a perfect long weekend away?
Lanzarote’s Eco Attractions
When it comes to travelling, I like to visit new locations to discover a little more of their culture and environment. Lanzarote appealed to me because of its natural beauty across both plants and animals; the island has held UNESCO biosphere reserve status since 1993.
Just by walking outside the eco village and into the desert around us, I could spot lots of different types of succulents and cacti. I also caught a wild bird on camera (pictured), although I’m not quite sure which!
If you’re thinking about travelling to Lanzarote to discover what it has to offer while respecting the environment, here’s a few ideas:
- Hire a bicycle (or e-bike) and take a cycling tour
- Head to Timanfaya National Park to explore the volcanic landscape
- Visit the Jameos del Agua lava caves, curated by César Manrique, one of Lanzarote’s most celebrated artists
- Go rockpooling at some of the more rocky parts of the coastline, and clear up any rubbish you find (make sure to log it on the Plastic Patrol app)
- Book a massage (Claudia of Masajes Lanzarote gave me one of the best massages I’ve ever had!)
- If you do want to drive across the very small island, consider renting a hybrid car
Lanzarote has a slow, relaxed pace of life, more so than Southern Spain, or even the Greek island of Crete when I visited. Cars are few and infrequent, and it’s just a short walk from the desert landscape to the beach, where the cool Atlantic waters wash ashore. The slow lifestyle really felt perfect on our weekend away.
Staying in Eco-Friendly Accommodation
As well as respecting the beautiful sunshine-hued landscape of Lanzarote, I spent my trip with Lanzarote Retreats, at their Eco Village at Finca de Arrieta. The location was the main reason for my visit; I was gifted my stay in order to experience the self-sustaining site, which combines eco principles and relaxing scenery.
I’ll be sharing my full review of the resort in my next post, but for now, I can happily share that it really did live up to my expectations: the resort is wholly powered by its solar panel and wind farm, and it encourages guests to be more eco-friendly in the small, kind ways. Separating waste, and saving excess shower water were two easy switches, as well as taking any food waste over to the donkeys, chickens, and ducks to feast on.
These small measures really added to my stay, rather than took away from them. It was nice to see how this small, family-run venture has been built on sustainable values, and is happy to invite guests to do the same.
What about travel?
Of course, when it comes to getting to Lanzarote, the majority of tourists will fly in. Only visitors from neighbouring islands, or the West Coast of Africa, could consider a boat, and even then, nautical travel is not exactly environmentally friendly.
However, when it comes to travel generally, I think it’s important not to rule out flying, but consider reducing how many flights you take per year overall. Flying can make up a big percentage of your annual carbon emissions, so I would also recommend offsetting your flights, as I have done for this trip.
I’ll be writing more about the ethical conundrum of travel and the environment soon, but for now, I’m pleased that when it comes to my holidays, I can still live my values when I’m away, and that I’ve had the opportunity to visit the beautiful volcanic land of Lanzarote!
Disclaimer: I was gifted my stay at Lanzarote Retreats in order to write this review. All views and opinions expressed remain my own.