When you’re visiting an island, the beaches are obviously the first and main things you want to see. Being a major beach junkie myself, this was the first thing I researched when I planned my trip. When you google Lanzarote, the first picture you find is of a gorgeous orange-sanded beach with an extravagant orange rock formation practically on the shore. I’ll tell you right now – I didn’t find it in the seven days I was there, and trust me – I searched for it. But I did find some amazing beaches and a whole lot more I wasn’t expecting.
* BEACHES *
The water is SUPER CLEAN everywhere you go, but do keep in mind it’s the Atlantic Ocean so it’s colder than what most Europeans are used to.
This island has every possible water sport available for you to try but it’s most famous for its snorkeling, scuba diving, and surf centers. If you’re a surfer, Famara is the surf town you don’t want to miss – it’s completely dedicated to surfing and pretty much nothing else. (And yes, girls, the Spanish surfer dudes are totally hot!)
Another piece of information for those of you who are accustomed to the touristic beaches of Europe – beach bars do not exist on this island, and sunbeds/umbrellas are only available at a few locations in the very touristy spots, and even there you won’t have drink or food service on the beach, so bring your own. Two sunbeds and an umbrella cost 12 euros.
Beaches you need to visit:
Playa de Flamingo – a small beach engulfed by man-made rock cubes in a resort town with cafes and restaurants nearby (sunbeds available)
Playa Blanca – a very large beach in the Puerto del Carmen area (sunbeds available)
Playa Mujeres, Playa de las Coloradas, Playa de Papagayo, Caleta del Congrio– on the very south of the island. To access these beaches you will need to drive through a very off-road rocky path for several kilometers and you may end up wanting to turn back half way – DON’T! It’s totally worth the damage you’ll do to the vehicle, and there are several beaches worth seeing here that you can visit in the same day. Just follow the signs and take the route that leads to the beach you choose. (no sunbeds available)
TIP: As an added bonus, if you opt for Playa de Papagayo – there is a restaurant on the very top of the hill. You will pass it on your way down to the beach. It’s called El Chiringuito and you will thank me for this info when you get there! The food is delicious and the view is spectacular, especially around sunset. The prices are a bit higher than other places but the portions are large enough for two to share.
Playa Bastian and Playa de las Cucharas – in the Costa Teguise area, shops and restaurants all around, very touristy, happy hour specials (sunbeds available)
Caleton Blanco – on your way up to the north, just before the city of Orzola, you will see a sudden shallow, deserted beach and a dirt road leading off the freeway – TAKE IT! This small beach has white sand, crystal clear water, and…it’s hard to explain – hideouts in the sand that have been semi-enclosed with lava rocks to protect you from the wind and give you some privacy….(ooh la la…)
* VOLCANOES *
This island exists because of volcanic eruptions. It’s pretty much entirely comprised of volcanic rock and what was once lava pouring into the ocean. If you’ve never been inside a volcano before, this is your chance because there are several you can walk into. What you’ll find inside is absolutely amazing.
Make sure you spend some time lying down on the actual rocks – close your eyes and really feel the energy around you.
Places you need to visit:
Cuevas de los Verdes – an underground tunnel formed by the Corona volcano where one kilometer is open to visitors. A guide will take you through these amazing volcanic caves where you will learn all about the cave and its various colors. (Entrance fees are 30% less after 3 pm.)
Jameos del Agua – right across the freeway from Cuevas, this is a natural lake and lagoon (only the king of Spain is allowed to swim in the pool) made by Manrique within one of the many natural exits from the underground lava tube. Here you will be able to see the special blind albino crabs of Lanzarote, known as “jameitos”. Cutie-pies!
Timanfaya National Park – here you will be able to see and experience geothermal anomalies – unusual temperatures coming from under the ground. You will also be able to ride a camel. Visits are strictly regulated so a guide will take you through the areas open to visitors. The steam geyser is the most popular tourist attraction here.
* WINES *
Lanzarote is also famous for its wine, and for good reason – the wines are wonderful. You should visit La Geria, the wine region, and go wine-tasting at the different bodegas. Here you will also see the incredible volcanic vineyards, which are like nothing you’ve seen before – grapes growing out of moonlike volcanic soil craters. Grapes thrive in this ashy nutrient-rich soil, believe it or not. You can find many organic wines as well, as another thing you should know about Lanzarote is that it’s an ecological island in every sense.
What more can you ask for? Beaches, volcanoes and wines! A perfect combination if you ask me. And if this is your idea of a great vacation, then Lanzarote is definitely the island you want to visit next.