When it comes to holidays in the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is a major destination for UK tourists. With a rugged coastline, easy access to active water sports and Timanfaya National Park on your doorstep, it’s the perfect playground for outdoor lovers. But where should you stay?
We explore some of Lanzarote’s best resorts, including the major players Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca and Playa del Carmen to help you decide which is best for you.
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This small port city is Lanzarote’s capital, full of vibrant shopping streets and a traditional Spanish charm. Many visitors come here for the shopping alone, from boutiques and designer outlets to the Saturday market full of local wine, food and souvenirs. The main shopping street is León y Castillo or Calle Real as it’s known locally.
Another of Arrecife’c draws is the beach, Playa del Reducto backed by a handful of hotel resorts. It has golden sand and calm waters for swimming and is protected by natural reefs. For culture vultures, there’s plenty to do offshore. Visit Castillo de San José – a historic fortress and contemporary art museum – with its privileged location on top of a cliff and onsite restaurant. It was renovated by famous local architect Cesar Manrique.
On the southeast coast of Lanzarote, Costa Teguise has been around since the 70s. Just a 15 minute drive from Arrecife, this resort packs in a handful of sandy beaches ideal for water sports, a waterpark and aquarium perfect for kids and upmarket restaurants and bars for relaxed nights out with great local food.
One of the nicest ways to experience this laid-back resort is along the seafront promenade which connects all five beaches. It can get windy along here which is a top draw for windsurfers, but head to Playa Jabillo for a sunbathing spot that is wind-protected. You have easy access to the national park from Costa Teguise too, with tours running frequently so you can experience its unique volcanic formations. It’s also well situated to explore the many attractions in the north of Lanzarote, including the Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos del Agua and the Jardin de Cactus.
There’s sun, sea and sand in abundance here. One of Lanzarote’s most-loved resorts, Playa Blanca is a family friendly destination three beaches, a stylish marina, shopping centres and countless seafood restaurants serving daily fresh produce. The main beach Playa Blanca has Blue Flag status and is both clean and busy with activity, while Playa Dorada’s honey coloured shores and shallow waters are perfect for relaxed family days out.
East of Playa Blanca, the untouched, sparsely populated Papagayo Beach is within the Los Ajaches nature reserve and has calm waters thanks to the shape of its bay. By day, take your pick of water sports and market shopping, while nightlife is mix of casinos, sophisticated bars and atmospheric restaurants.
Puerto del Carmen
The nightlife hub of Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen is packed full of cocktail bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants to keep your whole party satisfied. There’s a strip with a diverse mix of nightlife for couples, families and groups. With no less than three sandy Blue Flag beaches, Playa Grane, Playa Chica and Playa Pocillos – there’s plenty of space to kick back and relax too with sun-seekers having flocked here for decades.
There’s an attractive old harbour too, packed with glistening white yachts, seafood restaurants and scenic views. Elsewhere, you can explore the national park and La Geria black lava vineyards. Visit during July and you can experience the island’s Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Carmen festival, a street parade of singing, folklore performances and dancing. One of the things you’ll notice around the town is how low and flat the whitewashed buildings are due to strict planning regulations, avoiding any high rise buildings.
Tucked away in the southwest coast of the island, this exclusive resort is centred on one of the world’s most impressive marinas. Boat lovers can take to the waters on sailing trips and submarine excursions, or try Scuba diving among underwater marine life. This picturesque resort is just a 15 minute drive from its neighbour Puerto del Carmen.
As with all Lanzarote resorts, you’ll find some of the best seafood here, as well as traditional Canarian cuisine and tapas bars. You’ll stumble upon several cafés and restaurants that line the promenade, making it the perfect place to simply unwind and escape the crowds. With a wide selection of attractions too, you can opt for designer shopping or a round of golf too.