Panoramic view of Yaiza on the island of Lanzarote (Canary Islands)



Situated in the foothills of the National Park of Timanfaya is Yaiza, the southernmost municipality on the island of Lanzarote. This village is surrounded by a fairy-tale environment formed by craters and the dark tones of volcanic earth, which give rise to places of singular beauty such as La Geria, the El Golfo hydrovolcano and Los Hervideros.

The south coast also offers some of the island's images, such as the Quemada Beach and the Papagayo coves. The sunshine and beaches are complemented by an incredible range of leisure and entertainment facilties provided by the tourist resorts of Playa blanca and Puerto Calero. Moreover, further inland are old villages boasting major monuments, such as Femés or Yaiza itself.

Situated in the south of Lanzarote, Yaiza is a historical village in which the vestiges of the earliest settlements on the island can be admired. The municipality is characterised both by the unusual beauty of its lunar landscape and the excellence of its natural heritage.The greatest exponent of this ecosystem is the National Park of Timanfaya. Its perimeter encompasses a huge sea of petrified lava, the result of great volcanic activity on the site between the 18th and 19th centuries. It contains interesting geological formations, such as caves, cones, vents and as many as 25 craters. On entering the park, the first place of interest is the so-called Islote de Hilario. This is the starting point for coach tours of the "Ruta de los Volcanes", offering a spectacular landscape of lava and ash covered by a thin film of lichen. The National Park of Timanfaya is itself surrounded by the National Park of the Volcanoes, where the fields of volcanic material extend to the coast.The volcanic morphology appears along the coastline in highly interesting geological formations, such as at Los Hervideros, where imposing cliffs of basalt rock are washed by the waves. Situated a short distance away is El Golfo, a spectacular coastal crater containing the Laguna Verde, a small lake that has been awarded Nature Reserve status. Other attractions not to be missed are the Charco de los Clicos lake and the Salinas de Janubio salt marshes.Volcanic activity has also brought about ingenious forms of cultivation, such as those that can be contemplated at La Geria, the island's main wine-producing area. Here the vines are cultivated in hollows dug into the terrain and protected from the wind by small semi-circular, stone walls.Leisure and beachesYaiza boasts several of the most beautiful beaches along the Lanzarote coastline, offering deserted expanses of sand with crystal-clear waters, such as Playa Quemada, and secluded coves with white sand, such as those of Papagayo.The fun side of the municipality can be found at the resorts of Playa Blanca and Puerto Calero, which offer a wide range of leisure and entertainment facilities. The busting streets of Playa Blanca, originally a small fishing village, provide all kinds of shops, restaurants and night-time pavement cafes, whilst boat trips to the islands of Lobos and Fuerteventura are other options on offer. Meanwhile, Puerto Calero boasts excellent nautical facilities offering sailing lessons as well as boat and submarine trips.Inland again, the historical monuments of Yaiza are well worth a visit. Situated at Femés is the church of San Marcial, dedicated to the patron saint of the island, which gave rise to the first diocese in the Canary Islands (15th century). The Los Remedios hermitage dating back to the late 17th century is an object of great devotion throughout the area. Other monuments of interest are the fortified Torre del Águila (Eagle Tower) and the so-called Casa de Benito Pérez Armas, an important cultural centre. Gastronomy and the outskirts In addition to Yaiza, other nearby villages worthy of a visit include Tinajo, where the Virgin of Sorrows, the island's other patron saint, is worshipped at the Mancha Blanca sanctuary, and San Bartolomé, the main monuments of which are two former private residences, the Casa del Mayor Guerra y the Casa Ajei. Also quite close is the capital, Arrecife. In this trading and port city the major attractions are its two fortresses, the castles of San Gabriel and San JoséFinally, situated in Tías is one of the island's most important resorts, Puerto del Carmen. This old fishing port contains a large proportion of the island's leisure facilities, boasting abundant restaurants and pubs as wall as a marina.In Yaiza, as on the rest of the island, it is possible to sample tasty dishes such as "ranchos" (a local pork-based stew) and the famous "papas arrugadas" (potatoes boiled in salt) served with "mojos" (sauces). The sea supplies Lanzarote's cuisine with excellent seafood and fresh fish, such as the local "vieja" stewed or "a la espalda" (slit down the middle and grilled on its back), corb and Uga salmon. With regard to desserts, the area's cheeses, young and cured, are highly esteemed. La Geria produces the majority of the wine qualifying for the Lanzarote Label Guarantee the finest products being the sweet wines, white wines and the "crianzas" (aged in oak barrels).

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