Yaiza

Yaiza, which has a rough English translation of Rover, Lassie or Fido (being a common Spanish name for a pet dog) is, in fact, an enchanting village of brilliant white-washed houses in the south of Lanzarote. Known - usually by Yaiza villagers themselves - as the 'Capital of the South', the place is reminiscent more of North Africa than Spain, both for its architecture and the surrounding vegetation. Nevertheless, the village is included in a list of the 'top six most beautiful villages in the whole of Spain'. It's a deserved honour too, of which the villagers are rightly proud. Yaiza is superbly kept with bougainvillea and hibiscus providing gorgeous splashes of colour against the white of the houses and the black of the surrounding fields of picon, the black volcanic ash, so favoured by the island's farmers for its absorbent qualities. Picon quite miraculously absorbs the morning dew, feeding the plants in the place of what would undoutedly prove to be costly irrigation.

The borough of Yaiza includes the interesting tourist haunts of the salt pans of Janubio, the cliffs of Los Hervideros (The Boiling Pans) and the green lagoon at El Golfo. Also within the boundary are the sleepy villages of Femes and Uga.

Many visitors believe Femes possesses a certain unseen energy and a walk among its bold volcanic hills certainly has the effect of stirring the spirit. Uga, meanwhile, is home to the scores of camels which take the daily trek to the Fire Mountains before ascending the slopes of the volcano Timanfaya. It's quite a sight every morning to see over a hundred camels plodding nonchalantly through Uga's sleepy streets on their way to work.Playa Blanca on Lanzarote's south coast is becoming increasingly popular with holidaymakers with new developments appearing on the once barren landscape. Nearby Papagayo Beach and other smaller beaches, reached by driving -preferably in a front-wheel drive car - over particularly rough terrain, are favoured by naturists. Once frowned upon by the local authorities, 'topless' has recently turned 'bottomless' on these beaches, but no-one seems to mmd. These beaches are undeveloped zones of great natural beauty with superb sand, a majestic backdrop of volcanoes and spectacular views towards the small island of Lobos and Lanzarote's sister island of Fuerteventura behind. A ferry boat leaves three times a day from the harbour at Playa Blanca to Corralejo in the north of Fuerteventura (and returns three times a day from Corralejo).


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