The island of Lanzarote is incredible and definitely worth a visit. I may be biased as I grew up on the island and had a fantastic childhood here! I do recommend you visit though, and visit properly. Here is a Local Guide to Lanzarote.

The island is often misunderstood by tourists, who come over and stay in all-inclusive hotels, eating and drinking in the hotel restaurants, and spending their whole day sunbathing there. Doing this, you miss out on everything the island has to offer. 

Lanzarote is known as ‘The Rock’ to us locals, as it resembles exactly that, a giant rock. The lava fields around the island are unharmed and protected by the government. The lava offers stunning scenery, often used in films for a ‘moonscape’ setting.

Lanzarote offers a number of activities for tourists, from sightseeing tours to adventures. Below I have listed a number of things that I would recommend doing when you come to visit this island.

A Local Guide to Lanzarote:

 

Lanzarote is one of the most picturesque of the Canary Islands, mainly due to the influence of Cesar Manrique who insisted that all buildings had to be painted white and be no more than 3 storeys high (with the odd exception). Its natural beauty is a huge part of why many tourists, and locals alike love the island.

Fun fact: Did you know that the windows and doors here can only be painted with 3 colours? Blue: to represent the ocean. Brown: to mimic the colours of the volcanoes, or green: to symbolise the palm trees.

 

 

 

Where to Stay in Lanzarote

First of all, choosing a place to stay will effect how you enjoy your time here. There are 3 main resorts, Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca, each with their own selling points, beaches, restaurants, bars, shops, nightlife and promenades.

Personally, I love Puerto del Carmen as it offers all of the above and it is the most vibrant place to be on the island. If socialising is your thing, I’d recommend staying in this area.

In Playa Blanca, there are many 5* resorts and so naturally you will find an older crowd in this area. It is a beautiful place to stay with a few beaches along the coast and plenty of beach front bars to sit in. Expect it to be quieter here.

Costa Teguise attracts a lot of tourists and has many beach bars to choose from and two main beaches. The best part about Costa Teguise in my opinion is the selection of brunch cafes. We seem to be limited with them anywhere else on the island. The biggest downside to this location is the wind. It can be very windy in this town as it is located on the North East of the island. 

If you love to surf, you could consider staying along the West coast of the island in the town of Famara or La Santa. These are the surf hotspots of the island and boast an incredibly chill vibe!

Timanfaya National Park

 

Timanfaya is the main tourist attraction with its live volcano and bus only tour of the park. Whether you are into your history or not, visiting Timanfaya is a unique experience. The volcano remains active and bus tours take you around the picturesque landcape, explaining the history of the eruption and how if affected the island. The locals use the heat from the volcano to cook meals in the restaurant giving them a bbq taste, unlike anything you have ever tried!

 

Getting there: There are many tour companies who offer a trip to Timanfaya. If you have a car, type in Timfanfaya National Park into your Google maps. You’ll arrive at a barrier with a small hut adjacent to it where you can buy your tickets. Drive up the road and park at the restaurant at the top where you can then hop on to one of the buses that are sat waiting on the tarmac for you.
Opening times: 09:00-3.30 – The last bus tour around the park leaves at 3.30pm so you must arrive before then.
Price: €12 for adults. €5 for children. The entrance fee is €12 which includes a 40 minute educational bus ride through the volcanoes, and a few demonstrations of the volcano activity up at the visitor centre!
Important information: Timanfaya is a very popular tourist destination. If possible, choose to go later on in the afternoon when all the crowds have already been and gone for the day.

TIP! If you would like to see a number of attractions while you are here, consider booking an organised tour. Not only do you have everything planned for you and transport to each location, it works out cheaper the more you want to see. Here are the tours available on the island offering daily excursions.

Gran tour

Where: Visiting, El Golfo, Timanfaya, La Geria for wine tasting, Teguise and Jameos del Agua.
Time: 9am to 6.30pm.
Price: 45 euros
Important information: Lunch is included in the price

South Tour:

Where: Visiting Timanfaya, camel ride, El Golfo and La Geria for wine tasting
Time: 9am to 4pm.
Price: 33 euros
Important information: Lunch is included in the price

North Tour:

Where: Visiting Teguise, Mirador del Rio, Jameos del Agua and the Cesar Manrique foundation
Time: 9am to 5.30pm.
Price: 38 euros
Important information: Lunch is included in the price

If you’re not THAT into sightseeing, there are other things to do on the island which are really fun!

There are plenty of stunning beaches on the island which you can visit. Most of them are very close to nearby bars so you can sit and have a drink in the sun.

Papagayo Beach, Playa Blanca

 

Papagayo is the iconic beach of Lanzarote. Situated in the side of the cliffs, this natural beach attracts 1000’s of tourists. There is an entry fee of €3 but it is totally worth it. The beach is down a long dirt road and there are no shops once you arrive. There is a small restaurant located on the cliff but I would recommend taking a crate of beer with you for the day!

 

Playa Grande & Playa Chica, Puerto del Carmen

 

Playa Grande beach is located in the heart of Puerto del Carmen. This beach is close to 100’s of bars, restaurants and hotels making it a very popular spot. There is a beach next to it, called Playa Chica. This beach is smaller, and very good for snorkelling. There is a dive school at the beach and there are many scheduled dives per day. If you love being underwater, or want to get your PADI, check out the Lanzarote Diving for more information.

If you are a beach enthusiast like me and want to find the best beaches in Lanzarote, click here to read my detailed blog.

 

Los Charcones

One of my favourite places on the island are the natural rock pools. I have written a separate blog on how to find them and what you need to know before you go, here.

Watch the airplanes land, Playa Honda

This is one of my favourite things to do on the island. The airport is in Playa Honda, right next to the beach and the planes fly in very close to your head. You can sit on the beach and watch them land, feeling the power of the wind. I love to come here and feel the adrenaline rush as these gigantic flying machines head towards you.

Lanzarote Airport

Getting there: For the last couple of years there has been a promenade that runs from Puerto del Carmen all the way to Arrecife (the capital). It is perfect as the walk from one to the other is mainly flat. On the way, you pass the airport. You can also hire bikes for 10euros or less a day, and bike the whole thing. It is around 20km there and back, which makes for a fantastic bike ride.

TIP! If you are driving, you can park at either the Hotel Beatriz in Puerto del Carmen and then walk left in the direction of Arrecife, or at the main car park in Playa Honda near the high school (instituto de Playa Honda) and walk right in the direction of Puerto del Carmen.

 

Wine Tasting in La Geria

Lanzarote is famous for its wine, and for good reason. Did you know that the grapes are grown underneath the volcanic ash (peacon)? After the volcanic eruption in the 1700’s residents lost the ability to grow wheat and were forced to adapt to the new volcanic landscape.

The island has a similar climate to its neighbouring desert; the Sahara. During the day it’s hot, but the cool breeze from the Atlantic Ocean means that temperatures can plummet at night time.

The ash from the lava is fertile and able to hold humidity from the overnight condensation and so it turned out that the island is the perfect place for growing grapes.

The cool wind chill at night gives the grapes acidity, complimented with the sweetness developed from the long sunny days create the unique wine of Lanzarote.

This is what a typical vineyard here looks like. Farmers dig these holes and surround them with volcanic rock walls to help keep the soil temperature constant and to protect the vines from the strong coastal winds. These formations create the effect of a crater and look “moon-like”.

Because of the way the grapes are grown here, they must be hand-picked which makes the winemaking process heavy labour.

You can sample the local Lanzarote wine at many wine tasting places in La Geria.

Hiking in Lanzarote

If you like hiking, specifically up volcanoes, I have written a blog post with 3 beautiful hikes in Lanzarote. that you shouldn’t miss! 

Getting Around Lanzarote

I recommend hiring a car to explore the island of Lanzarote as there is a lot to see. There are various car hire companies on the island: Cicar, Cabrera Medina, Gold Car, Avis. Don’t forget we drive on the right-hand side of the road here!

Hiring a car in Lanzarote used to be extremely cheap, however post COVID, most of the cars were returned to the mainland as there were no tourists to rent them. The tourists have returned, however the number of cars has not, and therefore there is a high demand for cars on the island which has unfortunately skyrocketed the prices! Hopefully this will only be a short-term problem.

TIP! We also use roundabouts differently here, as in we go all the way round the outside no matter which exit we want!! The saying ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ applies perfectly in the case. I have learned to just go with it, or you end up stuck in the middle lane going round and round for a few minutes as you can’t get out. It can also be really dangerous. Stick to the outside lane and you should be OK! 

 

Other ways to get around the island

There are many tours that you can book which will show you different areas of the island. The tours are good as you don’t have to drive (good idea if your wine tasting).

Bike hire is a great way to see the island and most of it is flat (unless you head up to the mountains). There are also guided bike tours available nowadays.  Price ranges from 15 to 50 euros per person, depending on the group size (no more than 8 people) for a guided tour.

You can also hire buggies which costs 95 euros for a 2 hour guided tour and 115 euros for a 3 hour guided tour. Take a look at the website below for more information.

http://www.buggieslanzarote.com/ 

 

Best Places to Eat & Drink in Lanzarote

I have written a separate blog post of the best places to eat & drink in Lanzarote here.

 

Other must-visit spots:

+ El Mirador del Rio – an incredible viewpoint overlooking the island of La Graciosa. If you wish to take a boat over to La Graciosa, and I highly recommend that you do, you can check out my blog here: 2 days in La Graciosa. Even if you simply fancy going over for the day, you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting the island in this blog and you can choose which bits you want to see for the day! The boat leaves from the beautiful fishing town of Orzola which is also worth a short visit.

+ Jameos del Agua + Cueva de los Verdes

+ Teguise Sunday Market

 

So, there you have it. There are plenty of other things to do on the island but this should give you enough things to do!