We’re often contacted by readers who are planning on moving to Lanzarote, either to retire, or to move here for work or health reasons.

Choosing where to live when moving to Lanzarote

The chances are you’ve holidayed a few times on the island, and the obvious choice is to choose to live in the area you know. But don’t forget being on holiday is very different to living here.

Broadly speaking, I’d break down the island’s areas as follows:

The resorts – Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca

The towns – Places like Arrecife, Teguise, Playa Honda, San Bartolome, Tias and Yaiza

Rural areas – Places like La Asomada, Haria, Arrieta, Femes and pretty much anywhere north of Teguise

Each has advantages and disadvantages:

The Resorts

There are many benefits to living in a resort area. You are more likely to find work, the shops are open long hours and are well stocked, and many people speak English. You’ll also find many other foreign residents living in resort areas, so it may be much easier to create a network of friends. Internet connection for home or by using wi-fi hotspots is also pretty straightforward.

The downsides of living in a resort include the fact that shopping for food in the local supermarkets can be expensive, your Spanish may not improve, and you may be subjected to noisy holidaymakers! Prices of property, for rental or purchase tend to be higher and the properties themselves are often smaller.

The Towns

The island’s towns are home to the bulk of the population, and are a good place to set up home. You’ll find fewer “British” goods in the shops, but they will offer better value. Internet connection is no problem and you’ll be able to get a high speed service in the towns – there’s even fibre now in some parts of the island. You’ll find property prices are lower and the houses and apartments much more spacious.

You’ll also find you are more easily able to make local contacts, as your neighbours will also be living here, rather than on holiday.

You might struggle with outdoor space, though, and unless you’re in Arrecife, you won’t be near the beach and are unlikely to have access to a swimming pool. Apart from fiesta time, the towns are generally quieter than the resorts.

Rural Areas

You’ll have the chance to really “feel” Spanish by living in a rural area. You may still see people working the land with donkeys, you’ll be dealing a lot with small shopkeepers, and you’ll enjoy much more space, both inside and outside properties. Many villages still revolve around their Sociedades, and you’ll find you soon become a part of village life if you frequent yours. Rentals and house prices are generally the lowest in rural areas.

Most village shops still observe siesta, and you won’t find English style food or newspapers in them. They are, however, great value for money and offer old fashioned, courteous service. The internet has reached the whole island, although speeds in rural areas may not be more than about 6MB, and there are still parts of the island where mobile phone signals are weak. Very few people in rural areas speak any English.

If you’re considering moving to Lanzarote consider getting a copy of the story of our family’s move to the island: Living in Lanzarote

More reading: 8 tips for getting a job in Lanzarote