I was fascinated to hear from my Friend Marcus at Casita Palmera that he had an American family staying at his property recently. There are no direct flights from the USA to Lanzarote, and based on our experience of travelling in the states, many people there have never even heard of The Canary Islands.
I asked him to find out more and he very kindly asked Paul some questions on our behalf:
1) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you come from….
I am a 47 year old program management professional who lives in Washington, DC. I am originally from Chicago and have lived in New York and Copenhagen. I live for international travel and the unique and enriching experiences that travel can provide. I am specifically interested in music, eco tourism, architecture, food and wine and, obviously, international travel.
2) Clearly you wanted some warmth away from Chicago but what made you choose Lanzarote, and more specifically, Haria?
While I live in Washington, DC, my parents and brother live in Chicago. My brother and I wanted to share a unique and memorable experience and celebration for my parents’ 75th birthdays. We value time together and experiences that come from travel. We celebrated my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary in Spain and we really had a wonderful time. We sough a location that would have nice weather, certainly warmer than Chicago and a place that would have a more traditional small town serene way of life, away from the mass tourist locations. The location was also fantastic to explore the interesting aspects of the island, such as Jameos del Agua, El Mirador, Cueva de los Verdes, Jardin del Cactus, etc. The villa Casita Palmera was also very appealing – perfect size, heated swimming pool, etc.
3) Who came with you?
I traveled on my own from Washington, DC and both my parents and brother traveled from Chicago.
4) What were your overall thoughts about Lanzarote?
I found Lanzarote to be even more interesting and wonderful than I anticipated.I appreciated the genuine warmth from all the people I encountered. I really appreciated the cuisine of the island, particularly the plentiful octopus, and admired the work of the wine makers, particularly El Grifo and Bermejo. I was fascinated by the foundation, home and works of Cesar Manrique which were unique and those aspects of the island are true treasures. I thought the nature and landscape were very interesting, especially the Cliffs of El Golfo and Timanfaya. I felt that these unique aspects of Lanzarote enriched the experience.
5) What route did you choose to get here and how easy / difficult was it?
We also chose Lanzarote for relative ease of flight connections for my 75 year old parents. From Chicago they flew Iberia nonstop to Madrid and then connected in Madrid to the Iberia flight to Lanzarote. We had consider La Palma but the return flight mandated an overnight in Madrid as the La Palma to Madrid flight was too late in the day from the Chicago connection. The very early departure to Madrid from Lanzarote to make the Chicago connection was not optimal though. Further, we had a three and a half hour layover in Madrid, which did extend the travel time.
My connections were a little more challenging from Washington, D.C. I flew Iberia’s partner American Airlines from the close in Washington, DC, National Airport (Washington Dulles is a significant distance further and offered no benefit in terms of flight options) to Philadelphia and continued with American Airlines to Madrid. I then connected to Lanzarote with Iberia, the same flight as the rest of the family. My return was Lanzarote to Madrid to Boston on Iberia and then to Washington, DC (National) on American.
6) Would you return despite the long trip with a connection?
Yes, I would return, though I would also like to experience La Palma as well as other parts of Lanzarote.
7) Would you be more likely to return if there was a direct flight from the US?
That might be slightly more attractive but doesn’t make much of a difference for me. I prefer flying with non US carriers as I think the level of service is better,. And depending on the origin of the flight in the States, it may not make that much of a difference time wise.
I was both delighted and enchanted with my time in Lanzarote and am grateful for the wonderful experience.