Located just about a hundred kilometres west of Africa, the Canary Islands provide Europeans, particularly those from Great Britain, with a beach vacation that is but a short plane ride away. Since this destination is largely targeted towards this market, it is very hard to have a true Spanish experience here. Walking up the main street in Puerto Del Carmen will give you a variety of different restaurants ranging from Chinese food to Mexican to British foods. The entire area is littered with Irish pubs. Luckily, these aren’t included in my list of the best things to do on Lanzarote.
The actual island is full of stunning beaches. It is no surprise that this is a popular destination. We stayed at Parque Tropical and we adored it. Our room was basically a tiny apartment, we had a full kitchen and our bedroom that contained two single beds was in a separate room. The hotel had a pool but we never saw anyone swimming in it.
The camel driver makes the camel pay attention for you AND they don’t charge for photos.
The Best Things to do on Lanzarote
One of the first things we did after picking up our car from the airport was make our way to Echadero de los Camellos. Here, you get the opportunity to ride a camel around a volcanic area. One camel costs 12 euro, meaning for two people it was 6 euro each. The ride was short but enjoyable. A camel sitting down and standing up is an experience in its own right.
The entrance to the camels is located just before the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, which is the national park of Lanzarote. Follow the signs for the camels before heading to the park.
The view of La Graciosa, from the free point of the Mirador del Rio.
We drove up to the Mirador del Rio which offers a viewpoint of La Graciosa, a nearby island which can be reached by ferry in Orzola. The water surrounding it is turquoise and magnificent.
Don’t miss the Cueva de los Verdes.
Cueva de Los Verdes offers visitors a trip through a volcanic cave. The volcanoes on Lanzarote are still active so not all of the cave can be explored. However, with a guide you can travel for about an hour through this unique cave. This cost 9 euro but was an amazing adventure. This location served as a hide out from ancient pirates who used to visit the island. The actual entrance for this place is very easy to miss. Cueva de Los Verdes can be found just before Jameos del Agua so keep your eyes peeled.
This reflection was perfect (Also, this spot was mentioned on Buzzfeed #7 ).
It may have never crossed your mind to visit a volcanic tube before but Jameos del Agua offers a very unique opportunity to do so. In fact, I don’t even think that I had heard of volcanic tubes before my visit to Lanzarote. Inside, there is a large, still pond. The entire area is serene and peaceful, spa music plays which adds to the ambiance of peace. The cost was 9 euro.
The serene water of Jameos del Agua. The white spots are microorganisms.
The towns of Lanzarote are reminiscent of Greece. Many of the buildings are white with painted doorframes that strike out in bright blue or green. I really enjoyed simply driving through them and admiring the architecture. Lanzarote is a popular bike destination so you will often spot bikers along the roads. Watch out!
Eating In Lanzarote
Our hotel was located in Playa Del Carmen, which as I’ve mentioned caters to British tourists. We had a traditional English breakfast most days, this is offered by many restaurants. Including, our favorite, the Tequila Lounge. We also popped over to La Cantina for Mexican. Many of the restaurants located along the main strip offer happy hour drink specials. Either bar hop to maximize drink specials or walk up the street before deciding where to go. We went to Africa twice as they offer two for one happy hour prices.
At night, walking up the main street of Playa Del Carmen feels like being in Vegas. There are promoters that encourage you to visit their bar or club. Many of the restaurants offer the same foods at roughly the same prices. Eat at whichever strikes your fancy.
The beach of Playa del Carmen is what really matters here.
The Beaches of Lanzarote
Not only does Lanzarote contain some stunning sights but it also contains gorgeous beaches.
El Golfo: Check out this unique beach. Lanzarote is a volcanic island, which means that there is volcanic ash. At El Golfo, the beach is beautifully composed of black, slightly rocky sand. This is a result of the volcanic ash. The gentle blue water creates a stunning juxtaposition against the backdrop of the sand. The town of El Golfo has numerous restaurants along the water for a meal with a view.
El Golfo is nestled in the distance of this frothy water beach.
Mojon Blanco Surf: Located on a sneaky backroad near Orzola, this surf beach has turquoise blue water. In order to reach it, you’ll have to drive by the signs for the boat to La Graciosa, You will approach the back end of the town and see a barren field with a solitary building. Watch closely for the sign offering directions, just before you should see a parking lot with a tiny back road turn right and buckle up for a bumpy ride. There is a sign saying no swimming but there were plenty of people ignoring it and it is easy to see why.
Following the LZI highway towards Orzola allowed us to spot another barely noticeable road to a beach full of volcanic rock that had been arranged as a shelter for daytrips to the beach.
How cute would a picnic in this volcanic rock circle be?
Punta Mujeres: Another site of beautiful water is the Punta Mujeres. The water takes on a turquoise blue and I am all about lovely water.
We picnicked at the Punta Mujeres.
Many of the beaches in Lanzarote are reached by back roads or travelling through the smaller towns. While driving around the island keep your eyes peeled for the sight of sand and watch out for these tiny roads.
I’m trying to pose for the photo while being alert for bicycles (Actually, I’m a paranoid driver in other countries).
Getting Around Lanzarote
Basically, your life will be easier if you rent a car. There are some tourist buses and cabs that will take you to the main sites but this is expensive. If there is more than one of you we really recommend renting a car. This can be done in the airport at arrivals, reserve ahead of time since this island really requires cars they can be booked up fast. We rented a car from Avis for 93.77 euros for two days and it cost us 20.43 euro to fill up the tank at the end. This was very reasonably priced and well worth it. Moreover, it made our entire experience much more smooth.
Everyone should know how to read a map. Cell phones aren’t everything.
We visited Lanzarote in May when the water was only about 17 degrees which was far too cold for swimming in our opinions. Brave souls may find this to be reasonable.
These are some of the best things to do on Lanzarote that we found! Please feel free to add your own favourites in the comments.