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Moor up and mingle amongst Manrique's legacies

24th September 2012 Print

Upmarket yachting specialist Essential Sailing is expanding its programme in the Canary Islands by launching holidays in Lanzarote for the first time during winter 2013. Perfect for sailors and non-sailors alike, the week-long itineraries provide plenty of time to explore the island’s often over-looked cultural attractions as well as stunning lunar landscapes and sheltered bays.

Featuring art made entirely from lava and lava bubbles, visionary artist and architect César Manrique’s house and art gallery in Tahiche is testimony to how nature can turn into a work of art in its own right. Manrique was the inspiration and driving force behind much of Lanzarote, shaping how it is today – from ensuring buildings remained low-rise, to creating some of the island’s top-ranked cultural attractions including breathtaking sculptures and a unique cactus garden with over 10,000 plants.

The flexibility of Essential Sailing’s itineraries, which are bespoke for every guest, allows plenty of time to see some of these unique cultural sites. With a base at Marina Rubicón on the island’s south coast, a typical week might include a potter around breezy Punta de Papagayo on Lanzarote’s southernmost tip – an unspoilt expanse of golden sand only accessible by boat or dirt track – feasting on freshly-prepared fish, served the traditional way with oil, vinegar and mildly hot home-grown peppers. Not to be missed is exploring Timanfaya National Park’s Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains) – the result of over 100 volcanoes erupting between 1730 and 1736 – and Jameos Del Agua, a subterranean water garden with a natural auditorium shaped by collapsed lava tunnels. A hop over to Fuerteventura’s lively working fishing harbour, Corralejo, combined with a visit to the haunting Isla de los Lobos (Island of the seals) two miles south, for snorkelling and diving, is another pleasant outing.

Guests stay aboard a luxury Beneteau Oceanis 50 yacht – in essence, a floating boutique hotel - which is kitted out with all mod cons. The four double cabins are all en-suite (one is reserved for the crew) and are luxuriously appointed with Egyptian cotton bedding, air conditioning, complimentary toiletries and flushing loos. The unobtrusive professional skipper and host are on board at all times to provide a delicious daily breakfast and lunch, plus a couple of evening meals using the freshest local produce.

No sailing experience is necessary and guests are free to get involved with the sailing as much – or as little – as they like. Itineraries are very flexible, but mornings are normally spent afloat with afternoons ashore for sightseeing.

Lead-in price: A one-week fully-crewed private charter sailing holiday around Lanzarote in February 2013 costs from £1,349 pp (six sharing) in low season and includes chauffeur-driven airport transfers, seven nights’ accommodation on board, fully-crewed service, daily breakfast and lunch, two dinners and all drinks served with meals. Flights extra.

Late availability offers providing 25% off the normal price are available for departures until 29 December 2012 with a one-week stay costing from £1,039 pp. An early booking discount of 20% is also available for one-week bookings for travel during 2013 meaning that a one-week stay costs from £1,079 pp*. Both offers are subject to availability and must be booked by 30th October 2012.

Essential Sailing will be operating in the following locations over the next 12 months:

Italy (Until 13 October 2012; 3 August 2013 – 26 October 2013) 
Tenerife and La Gomera (10 November 2012 – 26 January 2013) 
Lanzarote (2 February 2013 – 13 April 2013) 
French Riviera (4 May 2013 – 28 July 2013)

*This offer applies to holidays between 05/01/2013 – 29/06/2013 & 31/08/2013 – 28/12/2013

For full booking and prices visit