I love a big romantic gesture; I love planning them, I love receiving them, I love anything that says, “hey, in any other context this might be a bit weird but because we love each other, it’s completely acceptable.” As some of you may know, Randy and I had a long distance relationship from Boston to Madrid while I was an English assistant from September 2016-June 2017.
Originally we planned to see each other next when I came home for Christmas, but Randy pulled out all the stops and in a Jim Halpert/Michael Scott/Dwight Schrute (he was romantic too at times) kind of way, bought a ticket to visit me in November. I had never had a boyfriend who made such grand gesture before! After he told me he had booked this spontaneous trip I knew that I had to do something special for him. His second trip to Madrid was in February. *gasp* Valentine’s Day. I decided to not tell Randy where we were going, I wanted him to be 100% surprised. All he knew was that we were going on a trip so I told him to pack for temperate weather, with 3.5 days worth of clothes.
The morning we left he still had no clue, I told him he’d find out once we got to the airport (ugh, at 5am). We made it to Barajas airport and I handed Randy a big envelope (decked out with stickers and my fake calligraphy, of course). He opened it and pulled out our Ryanair tickets to Lanzarote, Canary Islands, with a flexible itinerary for us to solidify together on the plane ride. He was so surprised and completely caught off guard. So why Lanzarote? Well, I wanted to take Randy somewhere he would never think to go, somewhere warmer than Boston and Madrid in February, and somewhere where he could exercise his love of photography. After a lot of research I found Lanzarote. Neither one of us had ever been to the Canary Islands (unexpected place, check), it stays in the low 70’s F, or low 20’s C, in February (good weather, check), and it has the most dramatic landscapes of all the Canary Islands (Randy gets to play Ansel Adams for a few days, double-check!). It was an incredible 3.5 days, everything just went right. We rented a car, the island’s public transportation isn’t very extensive, and we took our time cruising around the island. Randy and I still talk about how it was one of the most relaxing trips we’ve ever taken. Here are my top 3 reasons why you need to escape to Lanzarote with your significant other now:
- Breathtaking coasts
Playa del Papagayo– This gorgeous crescent moon-shaped beach is located on the southeastern part of the island. It’s a 3 Euro toll to get into the park area and the drive is a little bumpy but it’s without a question, completely worth your while. Next to the beach is a bar/restaurant area but Randy and I opted for a picnic and a few rounds of UNO on my travel blanket. As you can see, there are many little hills and ledges to climb up on to get a panoramic view of Papagayo.
El Mirador del Río– Constructed by the artist César Manrique in 1974, el Mirador del Río is settled on the northern part of Lanzarote. From the cliffside viewing ledge, the entire island of La Graciosa is completely visible, from side to side. The sky was mostly clear so we were able to see the most populated part of La Graciosa, surrounded by untouched land. There’s a cafe in the viewing ledge that allows you to rest and enjoy a bocadillo, meanwhile never taking your eyes off the spectacular view.
Playa de las Coloradas– Adjacent to the Playa Blanca marina is another strikingly beautiful coast. Sitting above the beach is el Castillo de las Coloradas, a castle built-in the 18th century to deflect pirates’ attempts at attacking the southern part of the island. The deep blues and greens illuminating from ocean are purer than any portrait.
- Unique stops
Jardín de Cactus de Lanzarote– Being from the northeast, Randy and I haven’t seen many cacti up close and personal so this garden was a unique stop we wanted to check out. El jardín de Cactus is a peaceful place to help breakup a day of exploring. Along with the various type of cacti and restored white windmill is a relaxed and comfortable café where Randy and I stopped in for a glass of wine. Fun fact: the garden was the last creation of César Manrique, the artist who created el Mirador del Río.
Cueva de los Verdes– This gem is hidden away on the northeastern side of Lanzarote, on an isolated road and surrounded by greenery. For only 9.50 Euros you can take a tour of this enchanting cave and the vivid colors it evokes. In the 60’s Lanzarote hired artist Jesús Soto to take the remainings of an erupted volcano, the Volcán de la Corona, and create a site for visitors to some and admire the natural beauty of the cave. Another fun fact: guess who collaborated with Soto? You guessed it, César Manrique. Clearly, he had a huge influence on the island and its natural allure.
- Gorgeous views while cruising around
As I mentioned earlier, Lanzarote’s public transportation is pretty limited so renting a car is the best way to explore and experience all sides of the island. Randy and I picked up our rental at the airport and from there we were free to roam around. The landscape of Lanzarote ranges from erupted volcanoes to taupe colored sand dunes to jagged, dried up lava to then luscious green fields hugging the crystal clear Atlantic Ocean. Without a car we would have missed these incredible sites!
Lanzarote was an unforgettable trip. The quietness of the wide, open roads and the tranquility of the vast coastlines gave us the seclusion we need from the outside world. We were able to connect without any disturbance and make everlasting memories. It’s the perfect retreat for any couple needing to get away.
Comment below and tell me where you and your significant other have escaped to or where would you love to escape to?