Best places to stay in Lanzarote
The capital of the island is a diverse and interesting place to visit with historical buildings, an art museum and plenty of traditional shops as well as big brand name stores. If you choose to stay in Arrecife there is a four star hotel in the town which is also useful as a landmark and meeting place as well as a selection of small family run hostels.
Hidden in a maze of small passageways is the La Recova market and fresh produce and secondhand goods can be found here as well as plenty of artisan craft shops to browse round. For more shopping the pedestrianised area of León y Castillo aka Calle Real has it all. Designer shops sit next to Euro bazaars and there are plenty of shoe shops and fashion outlets, chemists, banks and caféterias for a coffee or beer to slake your thirst. A pretty place to sit at and watch the world pass by in Arrecife is the lagoon of El Charco San Ginés with little boats bobbing up and down and many tapas bars for a quick snack. The beach in Arrecife is wonderful place to top up your tan with the golden sands lined with bars that are ideal for relaxing with a coffee or cocktail any time of the day.
Castillo de San Gabriel is worth a visit during your stay in Lanzarote. It is set on a on a tiny island just off Arrecife and accessed by a causeway and a drawbridge known as Puente de las Bolas. Built in the 16th century the castle is now a small museum and from the grounds there are stunning views of Lanzarote and out across the Atlantic. Back in the town the Castillo de San José houses the Museum of Contemporary Art and is also used for concerts and exhibitions.
Puerto del Carmen
This is the original resort on the island and closest to the airport. Puerto del Carmen was once a tiny fishing village but now sprawls for six kilometres and the super beach is dotted with sunbeds arranged under colourful umbrellas. It is a great location for sports enthusiasts with the prestigious Ironman Lanzarote event being held here every year. Running, cycling and scuba diving are all popular pastimes here with divers exploring The Blue Hole and The Cathedral dive spots.
The night life in Puerto del Carmen is the best on Lanzarote and Centro Atlantic is the place to go. There are enough pubs, clubs, bars and discos to keep the most enthusiastic party animals on the go without getting bored. There are plenty of British and Irish bars and restaurants where pub grub is available and all the major sporting events and soaps are shown on giant TV’s. Don’t forget the local foods though. Typical Canarian dishes to try are papas arragudas, wrinkled potaotes, served with spicy mojo sauce and sama frita, small white fried fish.
For over a decade Biosfera Plaza has been the shopping centre in Puerto del Carmen with over fifty shops, several restaurants, crazy golf and a children’s play centre. There is a big supermarket as well so you can stock up on the essential items for your stay in Lanzarote. Accommodation in Playa del Carmen is very much geared towards self-catering holidays with plenty of apartment complexes to choose from and a few private villas to rent.
This is a super family resort to stay in with an Aquapark, an Aquarium and a golf course. Located on the north of the island this was the second resort to be developed and the rocky coves have been transformed into super beaches. Playa Jabillo is excellent for families with young children as the beach is very sheltered and the water shallow and warm. Playa Las Cucharas is the beach in the centre of the resort and has great windsurfing opportunities.
Pueblo Marinero Square has a street market every Friday evening which gets the weekend off to a good start and there is always entertainment to keep the children amused. There is lots to see and do in the square and it is surrounded by a good selection of Spanish and international bars and restaurants. Various discos and pubs cater to anyone wanting to boogie the night away while sports bar show all the latest events on Sky sports channels.
The King of Spain has a villa in Costa Teguise but for those on a more restricted budget there is accommodation in hotels, villas and apartment complexes. There are many, many hotels of all types but they get booked up quickly so to be sure of getting the hotel you want for your stay in Lanzarote it is wise to book well in advance.
This is the newest resort in Lanzarote’s portfolio and sits right on the southern tip of the island. Stretching seven kilometres from the beautiful Papagayo Beach to the Faro de Pechiguera lighthouse, there is a long seafront promenade for invigorating walks. Playa Blanca beach is central to the resort but many of the smaller beaches and pretty coves have to be accessed by dirt track or by using the water taxi service from the harbour. All the buildings are low rise with smart villas and upmarket apartment complexes being the accommodation choices, with just a few luxury hotels.
There are inviting restaurants for candle lit dinners and sedate bars where a quiet drink can be enjoyed but most visitors tend to spend relaxed evenings round their apartments or hotels. For night owls Playa Blanca might be a quieter resort than Puerto del Carmen but there are still lively places to party until dawn. Centro Comercial Punta Limones and Centro Comercial Papagayo have disco and karaoke bars that stay open until 6am. Playa Blanca has all the normal tourist shops although not in great quantity so for more upmarket shopping have a stroll along to the new marina. Marina Rubicon is very smart and full of designer boutiques, luxury yachts and restaurants serving international cuisine.
Playa Famara and La Santa
Tucked under the Los Riscos cliff range Playa Famara is the ideal choice for beginners and intermediate surfers. A short distance away La Santa has world class breaks such as El Quemao, La Izquierda & La Derecha so experienced surfers are not short of somewhere to challenge their wave riding abilities. There are also amazing kitesurfing opportunities in Playa Famara especially between March and September when the "Los Alisios" trade winds blow in from the northeast.
La Santa is still a working fishing village in Lanzarote and supplies the beachside restaurants that serves delicious fresh fish to the hungry surfers who flock here. An active holiday out on the waves is hard work and as well as fish restaurants the pizzerias and local tapas bars are great places to meet after a hard days surfing and to replenish all the calories that you have burned off!
The two traditional villages are still very Spanish in style but that is part of the charm when you choose to stay in this area of Lanzarote. Mass tourism hasn’t reached the area and a laid back Canarian pace of life is still evident and a holiday here is really about the surf and a beach life.
Accommodation ranges from budget studios, apartments and detached bungalows and individual rooms are available in special kitesurf houses for anyone who wants to meet up with like-minded people. There are a couple of well-stocked supermarkets for day to day essentials and surf shops for those even more important purchases.