For my husband’s birthday, I decided to surprise him with a bit of Winter sun. I can’t believe I managed to keep it a secret! When he finally learned we were going to Lanzarote he was really excited. We scarcely go to sunny destinations and are notoriously bad at ‘relaxing’ when on holiday, so this was a very different kind of holiday for us.

In the interest of totally switching off, I took a week away from the internet and didn’t bring my camera. The challenge of taking photos with just my iPhone (and GoPro, I know it’s water resistant but I didn’t fancy testing it that much!) was quite fun and I enjoyed not lugging all my camera stuff along with me.

The weather was great, 20°C to 25°C each day. It didn’t rain once and the time of year meant the resort wasn’t too busy.

Rather than self catering as we normally do, we stayed in a big hotel. It was novel having vegetarian food easily accessible and not having to think about anything. The pool had 15 pools, ranging in size which we spent time each day exploring. The larger pools were absolutely freezing but smaller ones warmed up nicely by the afternoon.

The Pools

Best of all was the pool in the premium area (swag). Although I’m pretty sure all guests visiting without children got access to this ‘exclusive’ gated area. The pool was huge, —big enough to warrant a bridge across the middle—lined with palm trees and surrounded by deck chairs with cute little tiki umbrellas. At the end of the pool a bar served drinks until midnight. All the deck chairs here had nicer cushions than the rest of the resort but snagging one meant arriving early. Some pros even had these giant peg things for their towels. We were clearly pool lazing amateurs.

After breakfast we tended to head to this area. Where I would order an Americano and work on my Simpsons Tapped Out town. Adulting at its finest.

The pool looked so blue and inviting, every morning I debated wether I should get in. When impatience got the better of me I made a break for it and sat treading water alone until my lips resembled the colour of the pool.

Freddy’s Cat House

Feral —but incredibly friendly— cats were found all over the hotel. And in fact Lanzarote generally. A local charity called Freddy’s Cat House has set up cat feeding stations everywhere for them. It’s so nice to see they’re being looked out for and a neutering program is underway. Naturally they got all of our remaining Euros. International crazy cat ladydom.

cats

Summer is by far the season where I feel most out of my comfort clothes wise. I’m far from fashionable at any time of year but enjoy hiding under layers and wearing mostly black whenever possible. One reason to enjoy digging my Summer things out is my Skinnydip clamshell bag. I mean, it’s holographic and did I mention its shaped like a shell? OOTD: Serving you mermaid realness with Monica from Friends humidity hair.

Volcanos

Like any self respecting 8 year old, I get really excited by anything volcanic. One evening we drove to Volcán El Cuervo, an expired volcanic crater we found the first time we came here. You can walk inside and see the hardened magma and crazy colours. Geology rocks.

Aa

There’s something weirdly humbling about standing at the foot of these massive structures. I like to imagine how weird it would be to live through an eruption. Some people might find miles of lava fields bleak but I think they’re fascinating. In Lanzarote the lava fields are sparsely covered with succulents and home to fast moving lizards.

volcano

Another volcanic bit of sight seeing we partook in was a pit stop at this eerie green lake in El Golfo.

el golfo

Papagayo Beach

The most beautiful and remote beaches we’ve found in Lanzarote are at Papagayo. Four beaches are accessible from one dirt track, with views out to Feutaventura. The cliffs are eroded into amazing shapes and the water is so clear you can see the fish swimming in it.

One morning we went to check out Papagayo and decided to go snorkelling. It was freezing but once fully emerged you kind of adjusted to it. Huge and colourful fish swim right up to you in the shallows. I managed to find a blue starfish but the highlight of the day—and indeed my snorkelling life to date— was spotted by Aaron. Without any exaggeration, a gigantic, bigger than me, Steve Urwin incident sized stingray swam nonchalantly underneath us and out to sea. I was so shocked (and a little bit terrified if I’m being honest) I jabbed away aimlessly at my GoPro and didn’t manage to film it. But it was completely amazing.

One of my main reasons for wanting to learn to dive was to swim with rays. As it transpired I’m absolutely terrified of diving and will never, ever do it again. But it felt amazing to sneakily realise that ambition when I least expected it (and whilst in close proximity to the surface. Where as a non-amphibian I definitely prefer to stay).

Reef 1. Amy 0. I briefly considered claiming this happened during an altercation with the aforementioned giant stingray.

Jardin De Cactus

Lanzarote was the place which accelerated by cacti and succulent obsession. I love seeing the bright flowers and huge cacti dotted around. I’m going to have to organise some sort of plant exchange program. I want mine to grow to these proportions!

cacti

You can tell I don’t go to many hot places. I spent the whole time looking for lizards and got genuinely excited by this giant cockroach. Aaron was less enamoured with my find.

Last year I tagged along on my friend’s appointment with Dr Sam Bunting, Harley St dermatologist and owner of the best skin I think I’ve ever witnessed. She drilled into us the important of wearing SPF—yes, even in Wales—and I vowed that this year I’d turn over a new leaf.

I purchased factor 50 (wrongly) thinking that would give me maximum protection. I covered myself in it, rubbing it in so not visible anymore and then got burned within about half an hour. The whole trip was like a trial and error experiment in how not to use SPF. Whilst I did manage to prevent any serious sunburn I have to admit I came with rather red arms. I’ll be reviewing a couple of facial products containing SPF I used and loved over the coming weeks.

Despite loving cold places, I have to admit I think a dose of natural Vitamin D in Lanzarote has done me a world of good! It was so nice to relax, read loads of books and take a proper break from things.

  • Oh wow. Such fab pics. Looks like you had such an amazing time. Xx

    • Amy

      Thanks Ant, I love it there X

  • Karen Williams

    O wow. What an amazing location and so much beauty.

    Karen x
    JinksyBeauty x

    • Amy

      It’s such a pretty place X

  • Looks lovely Amy! The snorkelling looks amazing – glad you had a nice time 🙂

    Sophie
    abeautifulride.co.uk

    • Amy

      Thanks Soph X

  • I loved Lanzarote, we went with a group of friends last year are rented a villa. It was lovely and the locks were a snap I got too 🙂

    Kenzie xx

    Kenzie | LemonaidLies – Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

    • Amy

      Ah that sounds fun! I thought the locks were really cute X

  • I want to go to the cat house! X

    • Amy

      Me too haha X

  • Makeup Musings

    This looks amazing! Would love to visit!

    • Amy

      I wish I was still there, it’s so rainy here today X

  • Yiotou_La

    This is my kind of holiday; relaxing at the beach (or pool), enjoying the sun and reading books. That place is so beautiful and I admit I haven’t heard anyone else talking about this place but it’s a great destination. I also use an SPF 50 for face but for my body I use 20 or less, but I always reapply it within an hour to make sure I avoid getting red but I always do, especially the first 5-6 times I go to the beach!!

    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com

    • Amy

      It was really nice! It’s quite popular here as it’s way quieter and less of a party destination than the more popular Canary Isles. It was so nice to chill though! That’s where I went wrong, I thought it would last for a while, I was wrong! X

  • I’ve never been to Lanzarote but I think your photos have sold it to me! Your hotel sounds absolutely incredible! Which one was it?
    xx

    • Amy

      Ah I hope you go, I loved it! It’s the THB Tropical Island X

  • leah rachel

    This looks incredible and congratulations on keeping the holiday secret! That must of been tough! Love the fact there is a cat charity over there looking after all the feral cats – so cute!
    The shell purse looks so good.

    Cyber Mermaids | Alternative beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog

    • Amy

      Thank you! I loved that they were helping the cats X

  • The pools look heavenly. I can’t believe you managed to keep this secret! I would have never of managed.

    • Amy

      I’m missing it already. It was tough! X

  • Those pools look amazing, must have been such a lovely holiday!

    Cass | CassandraMyee

    • Amy

      They were so nice. It was X

  • Amy

    It really is, not too far but great for Winter sun. I actually did my qualification and honestly it was the most horrendous experience haha, never again! X

  • Sounds and looks like such an amazing trip! Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

    • Amy

      It was, thanks Gemma X

  • This sounds like a great trip, and your photos are great. It’s a great idea to leave your camera and have some time away from the internet!

    Carolyn x
    Faithfully Carolyn

  • Sounds amazing! It’s good to take a break from social media every once in a while 🙂

    http://charlottaeve.com

  • It looks amazing, so pleased you had a nice time, those pools look incredible!! My mum has been to Playa Blanca and loved it, we have been looking too as we’ve never been xxx

  • Great photo’s and I LOVE the idea of the feeding houses for cats! I would be there the entire holiday! I went to Lanzarote many years ago and remember the volcanoes – which a lot of people don’t seemt o know about! x

  • Awh waow! This sounds like a truly amazing holiday! I am so jealous 🙂 your pictures are gorgeous 🙂 xox

    Rach | http://caninesandcosmetics.blogspot.co.uk