Situated just 79 miles off the coast of Africa, Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands. The island is 37 miles (60 km) long and 12 miles (20 km) wide, making it the fourth largest island in the Canaries. I was 16 when I first visited Lanzarote. I went on a day trip by ferry (Armas) over from Fuerteventura.
The trip over took around forty minutes, with a calm sea it was a very pleasant crossing. The two islands can be seen from each other if the weather is clear. I didn’t know what to expect of Lanzarote upon arrival, although I soon realised that this island was just as beautiful as the one I had just left in the far distance.
I am going to show you a few delights of this island so you can make your own mind up. I have been back to Lanzarote many times by Thomson Holidays since my first trip and still, the island does leave a footprint on your heart when leaving.
Top Lanzarote resorts
Puerto del Carmen
In the southeast of the island, you’ll find Lanzarote’s original purpose-built resort. The most popular beach on the island is found here, and you’ll love it too! The Avenida de Las Playas runs along the beachfront, lined with bars, restaurants, and shops. Puerto del Carmen has the most buzzing nightlife of the island so if you’re up for a night out then this is the place for you. For a more authentic Canary Island experience, stroll west to El Varadero harbor where you’ll find a fishing-village unchanged by tourism and time.
This resort is full of hotels, shopping centres, bars and restaurants, so you’ll never be short of things to do or places to eat. People flock here for the variety of water sports on offer so grab your water-skis and hit the sea! The nightlife in Costa Teguise is lively but family-friendly.
You’ll love the small, charming Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote. With its sandy beach and stylish promenade, it is an ideal holiday spot for sun-lovers who also enjoy a bit of culture. This is a genuine, lived-in city and there are plenty of bars and restaurants for you to sit and watch passers-by going about their day-to-day lives.
As with the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is Volcanic in origin. Due to the recent eruptions during the 18th and 19th Centuries, many parts of the island appear to be from another world, often described as ‘lunar’ or ‘Martian’.
The dry climate (and lack of erosion) means that the Volcanic Landscape appears much as it did just after the eruptions.
Amongst the many stunning Volcanic features of Lanzarote is the longest Volcanic Tunnel in the world, the Atlantida Tunnel, which is over 7 km long and includes the La Cueva de Los Verdes and Jameos del Agua (Unique volcanic tunnel & caverns featuring an underground concert hall, restaurant & salt lake)
You can get up close and personal to the actual heat of a dormant volcano at the ever famous Diablo Restaurant on Timanfaya.
El Diablo restaurant in Lanzarote uses the geothermal heat from a dormant volcano to cook its food.
The unique eatery is situated in the Timanfaya National Park with panoramic views of the Fire Mountains.
Thankfully the last eruption was in 1824, and scientists have approved the Daredevil cooking method safe and sound.
Many flock to see how they cook the food; you can pop inside and actually see the chef cooking dinner for the restaurant guests. Do try the food as it is amazing, and very much an eye-opener to see for yourself.
The architects used nine layers of volcanic basalt rock to form this impressive grill. In order to withstand the heat of the volcano, a non-conventional cooking system was designed by architects Eduardo Caceres and Jesus Soto.
You can see in the picture the pressure and heat that blows out of these holes. They do show a demonstration in the outside area. Be ready as the red-hot steam will make you jump. A qualified chap will pour a small cup of water down one of the holes; he is fully protected with goggles and will ensure you are all stood well away from the erupting hole.
As soon as he pours it you can maybe count to five and the force of the heat down below pushes the water up and out turning it instantly to steam from the immense heat, very impressive hey! So if you’re ever a little concerned that your meal is not going to be cooked through, think again.
If you’re one for snapping lots of pictures you can take great advantage of the views of Fire Mountain, it will take your breath away.
The trip up to Timanfaya is quite a hair raising one so if you don’t like heights and very narrow roads then I guess you need to stay by the pool sipping cocktails (which is not a bad alternative).
Moving away from the volcanic mountains and back into the busy town of Puerto Del Carmen (my favourite), it has everything from beachside arcades to Casinos and some of the most impressive luxury private villas in Lanzarote.
Nestled on the coast in the south-central part of the island, it is only a 10-minute drive from Arrecife Airport and is a convenient place from which to explore Lanzarote’s tourist and cultural attractions.
History and Development
Like many places in Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen was originally a small fishing village, and the old harbour is still a delightful place to visit, boasting some excellent seafood restaurants.
Although the resort has grown over the last twenty years — it now stretches along the whole 6 kilometres of golden sandy beaches — the town has been saved from the high-rise buildings that blight so many other destinations due to the strict planning restrictions.
If sun and sea are your things, then the 6 kilometre stretch of golden beaches — washed by the waters of the Atlantic — should be enough to tempt you. All of the beaches fly the Blue Flag — awarded by the EEC — for cleanliness and lack of contamination. The surrounding waters are considered to be some of the most tranquil in the Canary Islands; they are excellent for Swimming and other water sports if you wish.
There are a number of diving schools and windsurfing centres in Puerto del Carmen, if you fancy taking up one of these exhilarating sports then get yourself down to one of the excursion shops, they will be more than happy to assist you.
For the more energetic amongst you; swimming, cycling, and running are also very popular, with various bike hire shops along the main beach promenade. The Lanzarote Ironman triathlon, which is a major international athletics event, starts and finishes on the Avenida de Las Playas, lending an air of excitement to the resort every May / June.
The new golf course, just outside of Puerto del Carmen on the road to Tias has been open for three years now. You can get more information about the course by visiting our Lanzarote Golf page.
As befits such a mecca for tourists, there are a wealth of shopping opportunities available, whether you want to peruse the tourist offerings of the main Beach Avenue or fancy something a bit more upmarket in the Biosfera shopping complex. Everything is available from duty-free electronics equipment, local arts, and crafts through to luxury designer clothes and shoes.
Carnival — which takes place at the end of February to the beginning of March — attracts many visitors from all over Europe, joining the local residents in their celebrations.
The end of July signals the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, patron saint of Puerto del Carmen. Visitors again make the population swell as folklore performances, singing and dancing fill the night until the early hours of the morning. Specially decorated fishing boats setting out to sea, to pray for good catches in the coming year, signals the end of this particular fiesta.
Where to Eat
There are well over 100 restaurants on the Avenida de Las Playas alone, with menus to suit all tastes and budgets from fast food, through to high-class gourmet eating. This is one of my favourites when in Lanzarote, “Cantina Don Rafael”, the food is delicious I always go for Mexican as I like a little spice, the menu is extensive and the ambience is somewhat special, so you won’t be disappointed.
In Lanzarote, you can choose between, Holiday Apartments, self-catering Apartments, Hotels, and Villas.
There are three main categories of Holiday Accommodation available in Lanzarote:
A One Bedroom Apartment can start from as little as 180 pounds sterling per week and can sleep up to three people giving an incredible price of as little as 60 pounds per person for an apartment. Sit down and go through Skyscanner, Booking.com and Thomson Holidays to find the right apartment for you. Make sure it contains all you need for your holiday. We use Skyscanner for hotels and flights we find them very reasonable; you can even do an extended flight trip if you want, where you can add two or three flights at the same time if you’re travelling on from Lanzarote to another island. Just pop along to the Skyscanner website through our link and try it for yourself, it works out cheaper most times.
A return flight from the company Thomson or Easyjet can be incredibly economical. When you know the date of your planned holiday, keep an eye on the flight prices as they can fluctuate daily. Try our search engine Skyscanner, they always have fantastic deals for families and solo travellers. Try to book flights in advance as you will pay more for your flight if you leave the booking to the last-minute due to the plane becoming fuller, crazy hey!
Unbelievably, your week’s holiday in Lanzarote could be as low as 135 pounds per person, or less, depending on the time of year you fly.
If you prefer to be tucked away in a secluded villa with the island at your fingertips then why not check out https://www.homeaway.co.uk they offer a wide range of Villas to suit all needs.
Be sure to get your travel insurance in place when booking your next trip away, we use several companies who offer a professional service from start to finish, listed below.