Lanzarote!

Updated: Mar 13, 2020


Mention “Lanzarote” and I used to think of 90s lads’ holidays that are best forgotten, but thanks to Mike's dive trip I have now seen a completely different side to the island...

We were five in total - four new ocean divers and one dive leader. In short we had a fantastic week. As well as the incredible wildlife and excitement of a night dive and RIB dives for the first time, the trip was also good for the basics - improving trim and buoyancy, practising using shot lines and getting experience of DSMBs.

We were based at Puerto del Carmen in two apartments near the beach and Safari Diving. The apartments were basic but perfect for our needs - five minutes’ walk from the dive centre, each with two bathrooms and large terraces and balconies perfect for drying kit. Puerto del Carmen is a small resort near the airport, popular with older couples and young families. And divers!

The diving: first time for all us ODs in warm (21 degrees) clear (30m) water, and what a novelty that was! Most of our dives were on the “house reef” two rocky spits enveloping a gently sloping sandy beach which meant relaxing shore entries for many of our dives. Following an orientation dive with a guide we were free to explore the area alone. Highlights include a night dive (the luminous plankton was wonderful) and two RIB trips, to a site called Richie’s Garden and a wreck, as well as spotting barracuda, starfish, cuttlefish and seahorses.

Our final day of diving was at the nearby resort of Playa Blanca where we went for two dives - to an “underwater museum” and the wonderfully named Flamingo Reef. The museum is a selection of underwater life size statues by local artist Jason DeCaires Taylor. They were sort of sub aqua Anthony Gormleys, with figures in various scenarios- an underwater RIB, suited and booted businessman playing in a playground and - my favourite - a large crowd walking towards a gap in a long wall. Our guide told us the statues have acted as an artificial reef and attracted large shoals of fish to the previously barren area. Unusual as this was, it was our second dive to Flamingo Reef which was truly memorable for the sheer quantity and variety of wildlife we saw - huge shoals of fish, a group of 7 - 8 barracuda (we kept a respectful distance!), rays (including a napping baby - bless!), and best of all an octopus, which Matt spotted, and we followed to a rock where it rested. Once we all had a good look, we left it in peace. We used Dive College Lanzarote for these dives - its guides and facilities were excellent and they were right next door to a decent Italian too…

We hired a car for the week, and this made life a lot easier for trips to Lidl, the airport runs, and allowed us to do a bit of sightseeing. On our one non-dive day we visited the impressive Timanfaya national park to see the moon-like volcanic landscape.

Unfortunately our final day on the island coincided with an Iron Man competition. After the third time of being diverted from a dual carriageway onto a dusty unpaved track we abandoned our planned tour of the island and had a lazy afternoon in a restaurant instead. Which in retrospect wasn’t a bad idea.

Lanzarote is close, has year round sunshine, and offers wonderful diving and places of interest for those days when you aren’t diving. I will be the first to put my name down for next year’s trip…


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