Lanzarote is much more than your average sun, sea and sand holiday destination. We've found at least 20 reasons to give the popular Canary island a go this year.
1. A very appealing climate.
Rising from the Atlantic Ocean close to the north African coast, the Canaries' sub-tropical climate means lots of sunshine, little rain and a very comfortable average annual daytime temperature of around 23°C - even in high summer the mercury stays happily around the high 20s.
2. Just a four-hour flight from the UK.
Short-haul journey for long-haul weather!
3. The out of this world landscapes.
Think volcanoes, mountains, lunar-style craters, black sand beaches and arid red terrain, as well as its famous white sands and azure seas.
4. The volcano at Timanfaya National Park.
Here you can visit the island's live volcano Mount Timanfaya and centuries-old lava fields, then lunch in the geothermal restaurant.
5. Absolutely stunning beaches.
One of Lanzarote's biggest draws are its beaches. Most popular for bathing and baking are Playa Blanca, Arrecife and Puerto del Carmen. See below for the more sporty beaches!
6. Top watersports action.
The constant breeze and big ocean make Lanzarote a mecca for water babies. Head to Costa Teguise, La Santa and Famara for surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing; and Puerto del Carmen for scuba diving.
7. Revitalising spa treatments.
The island is now a top spot for pampering spas where you can indulge in thalassotherapy (seawater) and freshwater therapies, and a range of volcanic rock, mud and native plant treatments.
8. Great value for money.
You certainly get plenty of bang for your buck on Lanzarote, where tourism is the island's main source of income. All-inclusive resorts are particularly popular with holidaymakers on a budget. Of course, there are also more high-end options if you feel like treating yourself.
9. The Canary Cetacean Museum.
Poke around the bones of the earth's most fascinating sea creatures at this major research centre specialising in dolphins and whales.
10. Eating fresh seafood.
Tantalise your tastebuds with fresh squid and octopus, marinated tuna, garlic prawns, a mixed seafood platter or fishy Spanish specialities like paella, all accompanied with a healthy side of Canarian salted potatoes, naturally. Check out our recommendations for the best places to eat in Lanzarote .
11. Tasting local wine.
You probably weren't expecting the local wine to be up to much on the Canaries, but you would be wrong. Lanzarote is home to almost 20 commercial vineyards and many more private growers. Vineyards began springing up in the 18th century following the volcanic eruptions which meant little else would grow in the black lava fields. Try the El Grifo or La Geria vineyards for tours and tastings.
12. Learning about César Manrique.
Artist, architect and environmentalist, César Manrique is Lanzarote's most influential son - the island is full of his creations and his cultural foundation has ensured that development and tourism on his beloved island is kept under control.
13. Caving at Cueva de los Verdes.
The 'green cave' is one of the world's longest volcanic tunnels at 6 km, with a further 1.5 km stretch under the ocean. Created 3,000 years ago during the eruptions of the Corona volcano, it has been used as shelter from pirates and other enemies throughout history. Now visitors can tour 2 km of the tunnel or enjoy an event at the concert hall within its walls.
14. Going walking, running and cycling.
Lanzarote's relatively flat, quiet roads and 200 km of cycle routes make it ideal for exploration on foot or two wheels.
15. Experiencing the nightlife.
The island's tourist offering has been growing more sophisticated over the years, yet a lively nightlife is still part of the deal in the busy resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise.
16. Exploring nature at Cactus Garden.
Trademark César Manrique, the Jardín de Cactus combines art and nature in a 5,000 square metres former quarry bursting with more than a thousand cactus species from across the globe and distinctive volcanic stone sculptures. Take it all in from the stylish restaurant and bar.
17. Getting your history on at Castillo de San José.This old military fortress near Arrecife was built in the late 18th century, largely to keep the islanders in work. After decades of decay it was converted into Lanzarote's Museum of Contemporary Art in the 1970s, another César Manrique project. There's a lovely restaurant too, with an impressive view of the harbour.
18. Enjoying the family-friendly attractions.
Submarine Safari, Rancho Texas, Guinate Tropical Park, Aquapark Lanzarote, Lanzarote a Caballo... there are numerous places to keep the troops active and happy.
19. Promoting the Biosphere Reserve of Europe.
This very scientific-sounding term means that Lanzarote is part of a UNESCO initiative promoting living and working in harmony with nature, by balancing conservation with sustainable use. That's got to be a good thing.
It's duty free, say no more.