Located on the eastern end of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a 40 mile-long sunny island with lovely beaches, plenty of outdoor activities, dramatic landscapes with aged volcanoes and relaxing retreats. The influence of Cesar Manrique, the visionary architect, is evident all over the island at places like Castillo de San Jose, Ceuva de los Verdes, Jameous Del Aqua, Mirador Del Rio and Museo Campesino. For the outdoorsy, there’s go-karting, golf, horse-riding, jeep and quad-bike safaris, boat cruises, submarine diving and parasailing.
You can cover the best of this tiny island in a Day Tour too.
Lanzarote offers a wide variety of beaches along the entire coast of the island.
The man-made Playa Grande is the central and most popular beach, with a magnificent promenade of bars and restaurants running along its length. It is a well-facilitated beach with lifeguards, showers, changing areas, rentals for beds, boats and water sports equipment. The placid waters in this part of the island make it ideal for windsurfing.
Teguise is one of the largest and most popular of Lanzarote’s seven municipalities. Los Charcos on Costa Teguise has fine white sands and calm, clear waters, making it a favourite with tourists. La Caleta de Famara, with fine golden sand and mountains in the backdrop, is often referred to as the Hawaii of Europe. A surfers’ paradise, it has huge swells with steady winds.
Teguise has an aqua park for kids as well. Bastián, in a semi-developed zone of Costa Teguise, and El Jablillo nearby have volcanic gravel sands and placid, turquoise waters which are kid-friendly. The adjacent Las Cucharas beach has a lot of development around it, and offers a full range of services from hammocks/parasols to bars/restaurants along its promenade to rentals for a wide range of sports equipment.
Haria, the northernmost part of Lanzarote, has some fine beaches with Sahara sand. The entire coastline known as Malpaís de la Corona (“badlands”) has white and golden sand, with volcanic magma forming bays which are ideal for swimming. El Caletón Blanco (“the big inlet”) is a white sand beach and camping ground. For windsurfers, there are the Caleta Caballo and La Garita.
Tinajo the central north part of Lanzarote is reputed to have one of the best surfing conditions in Europe. It has the La Santa village with beaches around a lagoon. The famous hotel and sports complex Club La Santa is a winter training ground for international sports stars, with world-class facilities for sports.
Tias has the holiday resort of Puerto Del Carmen and a succession of beaches along its 6 km long southern coastline. The Playa de Los Pocillos at the more exclusive end of Puerto Del Carmen is quieter, but still has a good choice of pubs and restaurants. Windy on occasions, but with calm waters, it is very popular and offers good wind surfing conditions. The Fariones and Barrilla are other beaches in the Puerto Del Carmen area.
The Playa de Matagorda is good for beginner windsurfers, but its proximity to the airport means you have the motor noises from aircraft taking off and landing. Alongside the Matagorda area is the Lima beach with fine lava stones in the sand, which is also good for beginner windsurfers.
San Bartholme has relatively few beaches. The Guacimeta is a fine beach, close to the airport. The Playa Honda is a family beach with good conditions for windsurfing. La Concha with fine golden sand and calm waters, has a small promenade of shops and bar/restaurants.
Arrecife, adjacent to San Bartholme, has few beaches, mostly frequented by locals only. The El Reducto beach, a picturesque ‘Blue Flag’ beach set in an almost enclosed bay has calm waters and fine golden sands. To one end of the beach you will find a park with palm trees and benches designed as a monument of a ship wreck. One of the major attractions of this beach is the “Charco de San Gines” lagoon, a natural pond formed by sea water housing a collection of small boats belonging to fishermen who live around the lagoon. The El Cable, a windsurfing beach, hosts unique Canarian festivals from time to time. The Ensenada de la Calleta alongside the port area of Mármoles is a favorite with tourists for its calm waters.
Punta de Papagayo, located at the southernmost tip of Lanzarote, is actually a collection of small beaches with golden sands, separated by high cliffs. With a surrounding landscape of volcanic ash, crystal clear water and fine white sand, this stretch of the coast with several small bays and coves is quite simply stunning. The Playa de Las Coloradas – a quiet gravel beach, Playa Blanca – parallel to the restaurant-lined promenade in the village, Playa Flamingo – a scuba diving coast, and Playa Dorada are other good beaches in the area.
The Mirador Del Rio Observation Deck in North Lanzarote is a lookout area on the Risco de Famara cut into the mountains, offering incredible views of the island, with the spotlight on the Archipiélago Chinijo Natural Reserve and the Famara Cliff.
Nearby, at the foot of Mount Corona, an extinct volcano which is the highest point of the island, is the 11-acre Parque Tropical with gardens, waterfalls and lakes. The park has around 300 species of birds including ostriches, flamingos, toucans, cockatoos, finches, weaver birds and macaws. Within this aviary there is a striking lake teeming with Koi Carp, with Mandarin and Carolina ducks for company. With a cactus park and waterfall, it is a relaxing natural retreat where you can spend the entire day.
Next to it is La Cueva de los Verdes, one of the longest lava tunnels in the world, formed by the Corona volcano. The spectacularly colorful displays look great in the underground lighting. On the same Corona is the Jameos del Agua, a natural wonder created as a result of gas explosions within a volcanic bubble.
Over the years, seawater has flooded the tunnels creating a saline lagoon connected to the ocean. It is home to tiny albino crabs, also called “jameitos” that have become blind through many years of living in poor light. There is also a fascinating underground auditorium in rock.
The “Parque Nacional de Timanfaya” is the ground of the Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains), created in the 1730’s when more than 100 volcanoes flared up, with six years of eruptions leading to complete devastations of several villages. The wacky ‘El Diablo’ restaurant, where traditional Canarian food is grilled using geothermal heat, is within the park.
Lanzarote may be tiny, but you could easily spend a week here on the splendid beaches in the midst of stunning landscapes. Check it out for a lively, leisurely summer.