In these cash strapped times a budget break abroad can offer welcome respite from the daily grind. And where better to escape to than the Canary Islands, where the sun shines all year round and with flight times from the UK of just four hours.
There are seven islands in this archipelago located off Morocco and Lanzarote sits closest to the African coast. Flight costs are, amazingly, often cheaper than peak time rail fares between London and Manchester, with prices starting from as little as €120 return. All of the main budget operators such as Monarch, Ryanair and easyJet offer regular services, so just search their websites for the best deals.
It’s easy to find good value accommodation too, as whilst Lanzarote boasts its fair share of five star hotels it was until recently primarily a package holiday destination, which means that there are plenty of places to stay for anyone travelling on a budget.
Puerto del Carmen is the best place to start your search as this is the biggest resort on the island and home to a large number of good quality holiday complexes, such as the Columbus Apartments, where you can book a room for seven nights for under €200 (and that´s the room rate, not the price per head). There are similar competively priced deals availale in the other two main resorts of Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca too, so it pays to shop around.
Eating out is also considerably cheaper on Lanzarote than it is on other Spanish islands, such as the Balaerics. With many restaurants offering a three course Menu del Dia from around €8 per person and with plenty of other cheap options such as tapas bars available too. Drinks start from around €1.50 for a 33ml bottle of the local lager Tropical, although you will probably be charged more than this in some of the larger bars in the main resorts.
Even getting around is highly affordable, as there is an efficient, low cost bus service that unites all of the cities and resorts on the south eastern coastline. Whilst car hire is very reasonable too, with rental rates starting from around €12 per day for a standard two door model.
Whilst it´s possible to enjoy a holiday here on the cheap Lanzarote also offers a rich selection of attractions and things to do, most of which are owned and subsidised by the local government, keeping admission prices low. Don’t miss the Timanfaya National Park for example, which is home to hundreds of volcanoes and some of the most surreal scenery on the planet. Admission is just €8 per head and for a few euros more you can even enjoy a camel ride around the outskirts of this amazing natural wonder.