Orzola is an adorably cute little fishing village on the north coast of Lanzarote. If your horrified mental image of Lanzarote is of a barren lunar landscape interspersed with tourist resorts full of boozy Brits, then Orzola will come as a pleasant surprise to you.
Nothing much happens in Orzola, but that is part of its appeal. Aside from one supermarket and a handful of fish restaurants, the only other thing of note about Orzola is that this is where you catch the ferry to the nearby island of Graciosa. So, the only excitement to be had in Orzola is a spot of ferry watching. That said, it is also a lovely place to just sit and watch the world go by. We stayed at a really nice apartment, Odamar de Orzola, which is right on the seafront looking out to open seas. Cheap, well equipped with a lovely view and fantastic hosts, I highly recommend it.
What Orzola does have in abundance though, is natural beauty. The landscape surrounding the village is stunning and unique. To the west of the town, the imposing Risco de Famara range juts out into the sea, looming over the picturesque La Canteria beach. This is an ideal place to catch the sun in the morning (its in the shade in the afternoon), although due to the crashing Atlantic waves, swimming is prohibited in this area. Not to worry though, as a short stroll to the east of the village you have plenty of beaches to choose from.
Heading out east along a well laid footpath takes you through a truly other-worldly landscape. This area of volcanic lava fields, formed by an eruption of the Mount Corona over 4000 years differs considerably from the more well known and truly barren landscape of Timanfaya National Park in the south of the island. Due to the elapse of time, nature has slowly reclaimed the land, and whilst the terrain is still rough and rocky, it is covered with vibrant green foliage. The footpath is cut into the terrain and if you keep your eyes peeled, you can spot the odd lava tube as you stroll along. It is also possible to walk out on to the lava flow, but a good sturdy waterproof pair of boots is recommended due to the occasional rock pool and sharp jagged rocks.
About 1km along the footpath the trail opens up to the first of a number of beaches in the area collectively known as The Caletones. This area along the north coast of Lanzarote is well worth a visit for its calm pools and warmer waters. Unlike in the south, the sand here is pristine white. The dramatic contrast between the black rock, green of the local plant life, sandy white beaches and sparkling blue sea is visually stunning. The Caletones are a wonderful place for paddling and rock pooling, so are ideal for families with young children. The area is perhaps less suited for serious swimmers as due to jagged rocks both above and below the surface, getting to the open sea is fraught with risk.
Anyone who has ever been to Lanzarote will be well aware that it is generally a very windy place; the beaches in the north are no exception. However, the beaches here are dotted with little windbreakers built from the rocks, so get there early and claim your own private little cocoon from the wind. These beaches are entirely unspoilt and at one with nature, therefore don’t expect to find any amenities here. This, in my view, is a positive as it means they never get horrendously crowded.
In summary, Orzola and the surrounding area is a special place; beautiful, peaceful and a perfect spot for quiet contemplation. If you are looking for a place to recharge your batteries, or an unspoilt and tranquil base for exploration of the island, then there is no better spot than Orzola.
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