When you search on the internet for information about Famara in Lanzarote, you will find pages and pages of photos and information on surfing. But read on, there is so much more to Famara than a surfer’s paradise.
Famara is situated on the North West coast of the Lanzarote, it is accessed by a long road. We’ve cycled it many times! The road to Famara is off the LZ30 that runs from Teguise to Uga, so whilst enjoying glimpses of where you are heading. have a look around the barren sandy landscape known as El Jable. It is here that in the springtime you can find fresh truffles – yes really, if you know where to look! On your right you might glimpse a group of hang gliders, they launch from this area when the conditions are right and enjoy the thermals over the Risco. Goat herds can be seen grazing in these areas, I usually smell them before I see them, have a look on your left towards Tao and Soo.
César Manrique remembered Famara with joy:
” My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood, five month summer vacations in the Caleta and the Famara beach with its eight kilometers of clean and fine sand framed by cliffs of more than four hundred meters high that reflected on the beach like in a mirror. That image has been engraved in my soul as something of extraordinary beauty that I will never forget in all of my life.”
The entrance to Famara is marked by the blue and white windmill on the right of the road. If you are heading to the beach or the bungalows turn off right here, otherwise continue around the bend to the village. Both of these roads are covered with golden rippled sand where it has been blown by the wind, so take caution and slow down. You can also approach Famara along the coast from La Santa and Soo, there is a fabulous new road connecting the villages.
Famara is split into two areas – the bungalows built in the 1990’s situated to get the best views of the Risco and Playa de Famara, and La Caleta, the traditional Spanish fishing village. The first time I saw the Urbanización Bungalows Playa Famara I thought from afar it looked like a static caravan park. The complex includes a restaurant and communal swimming pool and was developed to offer luxury holidays in Famara. The bungalows are popular and have increased dramatically in value over the past few years – they are no longer just holiday homes but residential too. La Caleta is full of small, sandy streets, it has a lovely laid back, relaxed atmosphere and seems untouched by the 21st century. There are no banks or resort type shops, just a handful of surf schools, tapas bars, restaurants and small grocery shops – exactly why I like it!
Stop at El Chiringuito for a beer and tapas (the house salad is fabulous) to watch the world go by or the Croissanteria next door for fresh sandwiches and pastries.
There aren’t any hotels in Famara, but there is plenty of self catering accommodation available to stay either at the bungalows or apartments in La Caleta. During the summer months there used to be a free campsite just past La Caleta. Sadly, this has been closed now.
Playa de Famara is a fabulous beach stretching for 6km from La Caleta and under the majestic cliffs of El Risco de Famara. The winds can be strong and the weather changeable so find yourself a sheltered zoco. There is lots of space on this beach so it won’t ever feel crowded, the kite surfers set up right at the far end past the bungalows and the surf schools tend to be in the middle. The waves are good for body boarding as well as surfing, keep an eye on your position when in the water, there are some strong currents so don’t get out of your depth.
Towards the town end of the beach the tip of a shipwreck is just visible, this was a tanker called Rolla 1, which ran aground here years ago. La Caleta also has a sheltered beach, ideal for children and snorkelling.
Look down from the top of El Risco and the Mirador in Haría and you will see how flat the area of Famara is, making it a great base for walking or cycling as well as surfing. There is a spectacular walk along the El Risco cliffs, the path leads off from behind the bungalows but not recommended for those afraid of heights. It covers some sheer drops and loose rock falls, but offers some amazing views back to Famara and over to the island of La Graciosa. This is no longer safe for all but expert climbers.
There are plenty of companies offering surf and kite lessons. If this is why you are coming to Lanzarote it would be worth your while booking the package including accommodation. If you’re on holiday but fancy learning how to surf then you can just turn up in Famara and take a class. In the summer months, you may need to book in advance.
Famara is host to a number of international surf competitions each year, so check our our What’s On section to see if there is something on while you are here.
There are lots of different ways to see Famara, the landscape is excellent for off road bikes, quads and buggies and tours are available from the resorts that cross the island, stopping in Famara for lunch.
I hope that this has shown you that Famara is so much more than just surfing, there is something for everyone and you should take time out from your holiday to head over, enjoy the facilities and completely chill out in Lanzarote’s surfers paradise.
Here’s the story of Famara’s Shipwreck.