Lanzarote’s three resorts are famous, but there are some stunning non-resort areas on the island too. Here’s a very quick run down of places you should investigate on your travels around Lanzarote:
Many visitors will shy away from venturing into the busy capital of Lanzarote. Where else can you find a busy city with a beautiful beach? Follow the coast road through and you will find the parks, El Reducto beach, Castillo San Gabriel, El Charco de San Ginés – the inland marina for small fishing boats and Recova Market, Castillo San José and the port and yacht marina. For shopping park underneath the Gran Hotel, and walk along the front away from the beach until the road leads to the castle on your right, enter the pedestrian area on the left for the main street. The shops are found within small arcades and along the streets leading onto this road.
ARRIETA & PUNTA MUJERES
Probably the best known of the non-resort villages, these two are side by side on the Northern coast. They are one of Lanzarote’s best kept secrets. The beach at Arrieta has two tapas bars open at the weekend and the Paella smell wafts out to entice the sunbathers for a portion, served with ice cold cerveza. Punta Mujeres does not have a beach but a number of sea water swimming pools built into the rocks.
CHARCO DEL PALO
This small village accessed from Mala is a naturist area, the inhabitants can be found bearing all even in the supermarkets and restaurants. The area is renowned for fantastic snorkelling and diving. Technically a non-resort area, but they do get many naturist holidaymakers staying in the village.
As you come into the village, park on the right and walk to see the sea volcano with a green lagoon. The village has a number of restaurants that serve the catch of the day looking out to the black beach. Drive along the coast towards Femés and see Los Hervideros where the sea crashes up through blow holes.
This tiny Spanish village located at the top of the mountains between Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca has a fantastic view over Playa Blanca and Fuerteventura. We suggest that you dine out at one of the restaurants on the balcony, whilst watching the sunset.
The César Manrique cactus gardens are found here, just look for the windmill and huge plastic cactus! This non-resort village also has a couple of good tapas bars and a supermarket to visit.
The village has a craft market each Saturday morning in the main square. There are a number of tapas bars and restaurants to rest at. The area is very picturesque and green, or yellow and purple depending on the time of year. The wild flowers look like a carpet over the mountains. There are over 1,000 palm trees as the villagers’ plant 2 for every boy and 1 for every girl born there.
This is the wine region of Lanzarote. Drive through the lava fields that have been sculpted with Zocos to keep the wind from spoiling the vines, it looks like craters on the moon. There are numerous Bodegas you can stop at to taste the local produce.
Loved by surfers but not for beginners, this area has ferocious waves with a rocky coastline, great to watch and not for the faint hearted. There is a large sports resort here that numerous sports athletes and teams have stayed at to train.
At the far Northern point of Lanzarote is a small fishing village with a number of restaurants, the ferry to La Graciosa leaves from here. Great fish restaurants, with a spectacular drive on either approach road, from Haria – mirador and from Arrieta – numerous white sand beaches.
The best beaches on the island are hidden within the national park area. Dropping down from Femés the beaches are signposted on the first main roundabout. There is a small charge to drive your car along the dirt roads with tracks leading off to several beaches. There are no facilities so take food and drink to enjoy whilst overlooking Fuerteventura and watching the boat trips from Marina Rubicon and Puerto Calero anchor off the bays before heading back.
In Playa Honda you will find the industrial estate, Deiland shopping centre complete with cinema and ten pin bowling. This is not a tourist destination but a popular residential area. If you head past the side of the Deiland centre down to the beach we recommend that you stroll along the promenade stopping at the tapas bars for sustenance.
On a Sunday, the old capital is swamped by tourists for the large market. The market has hundreds of stalls and is very popular. If you visit on any other day you will find a lovely quiet village with cobbled squares and individual shops and restaurants.
This is undoubtedly the best tourist attraction on the island. The scenery is absolutely stunning, you can choose to drive through the area and visit the free volcanic centre but we would advise to pay and visit the Montañas del Fuego (Timanfaya), where you can stand and feel the heat of the only live volcano on the island. There is a restaurant complete with a volcano BBQ!
Here’s our guide to Arrecife.