Ale Acosta, our Local Hero from the Canary Islands

Are you thinking of travelling to the Canary Islands? Let yourself be swept away by Canarian rhythms with this playlist made especially for your trip!

Ale Acosta, half of the soul and talent of the band Fuel Fandango, has some tips to follow for buying local products or wandering around his favourite beaches like a real local.

Hello Ale, how would you introduce yourself to Volotea passengers who don’t know you?

Well, I’m a Lanzarote boy who came to Madrid nearly 20 years ago to become a musician; one thing led to another and I’m still here, mainly working as a composer and producer. Right now, the thing I’m known best for is my group Fuel Fandango and for the soundtrack for the series Arde Madrid, I’ve also produced artists of all kinds, for example, Enrique Morente, Rayden, Buika and Alice Wonder.

Do you think Lanzarote has influenced your music in any way?

More than you’d think, it’s always with me, I’ve gone to the island many times to compose, its landscapes still surprise and inspire me as if it were the first time.

Also, my studio in Madrid is called Famara Studios, after my favourite beach in the world.

What advice would you give to someone who’s just booked a flight to the Canary Islands but doesn’t know where to start?

I always say the same thing: all the islands have their individual charm and they’re all different, so if you can, visiting more than one is ideal.

My first recommendation is, without a doubt, Lanzarote (of course). It’s best to grab a hire car and wander around the villages and forgotten lanes; I’m still finding places on the island that I didn’t know about, and it’s only 62km end-to-end.

Which museums or galleries are totally unmissable?

For me, the tourist resorts designed by César Manrique are museums in their own right, they’re a total must-see: Jameos del Agua, Timanfaya, Mirador del Río, Jardín de Cactus, and his old house Taro, which is where his foundation is now based… Ah! I forgot his house in Haría, which they’ve recently opened to the public and it’s amazing.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is in Arrecife (the capital of Lanzarote), in the Castillo de San José, with beautiful views.

And another very special place is El Almacén (also in Arrecife). Of the same ilk as Andy Warhol’s The Factory, it was created by César Manrique in 1974 as a collaborative space for the island’s contemporary artists. After being closed for quite a while, it has been totally renovated and re-opened with a really interesting program of exhibitions, workshops, a photography festival, independent cinema, and more.

Which are your favourite three places for eating and drinking in Lanzarote?

I love eating at El Mirador de Janubio, El Risco in Famara and Casa Santiago in Yaiza.

If you want to go out for a drink in Arrecife, the Charco de San Ginés is busy with locals and pretty close to Nao, an artisan brewery which has a really cool bar where you can try all their delicious beers.

And if you see “Salmón ahumado de Uga” on a menu, order it; Uga smoked salmon is a real delicacy.

Where would you go to listen to live music or dance?

If you want something a bit lively, there’s the legendary Callejón Liso, in Arrecife, it’s always been there and it’s a classic, ask anyone, everyone knows it.

There are a few places in that area, like the Noise Club, with DJs and concerts.

In the Arrecife Marina, there’s La Grulla, it’s new and I haven’t been yet, but I’ve heard it’s really good.

Is there a record shop or second hand street market you’d recommend?

It’s really sad, but there aren’t any record shops in Lanzarote.

There’s a really cool Sunday street market in the Villa de Teguise, and you can find local craft work at the Monumento al Campesino (and you can eat traditional food there too).

Which event in Lanzarote wouldn’t you miss for the world this year?

There are various events throughout the year you have to go to if you can. In June, there’s the Sonidos Líquidos music festival, which is held in the La Geria vineyard area, surrounded by volcanoes.

In summer, there’s an electronic music festival called Jameos Music Festival with a carefully curated lineup of international DJs in Jameos del Agua, the most amazing location.

And then there’s the unique Arrecife En Vivo at the end of September

that takes place in different settings in the city; the atmosphere is incredible.

At the end of the year during the carnivals in Arrecife, there’s La Fiesta Canalla, a very eclectic festival with a great DJ lineup and amazing atmosphere.

And lastly, this year there are going to be lots of events for the centenary of César Manrique’s birth. This artist changed the island and has left us an incredible artistic legacy, look it up if you don’t know about it, because it’s really interesting and still a source of inspiration for a lot of people.

If you wanted to take a morning or evening stroll, where would you head to?

Watching the sunrise or sunset in the La Geria area is incredible; a drink on the Casa Santiago terrace in Yaiza or at El Golfo while the sun sets is fantastic. But to be honest, evenings are gorgeous almost anywhere on the island, the light changes so much in the sky that when I’m there, I often stop the car wherever I am to relax and watch it.

Which beaches are at the top of your favourites list?

Without a doubt, Famara. It’s a huge impressive beach, when you get a day without wind, it’s a sight to behold. I’ve played in 35 countries on all five continents with Fuel Fandango and the more I travel, the more I realise how special this beach and the island are.

The beaches at Papagayo are also a guaranteed hit.

If you had to buy local design, crafts or clothing, which shops would you go to?

For crafts and local produce: the Monumento al Campesino.

Then the Sunday street market at La Villa (the village is gorgeous and a great place to spend a weekday).

Which other Volotea destination would you like to visit and why?

Well, I’d like to go back to the south of Italy and the Greek islands, because I’ve played there with the band but didn’t have time to see anything, I’ve noticed that you fly to lots of cities in the area.

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