We recently visited several tourist destinations in the Aegean and Mediterranean, and inevitably, I cast my eye over them as someone with an interest in Lanzarote’s place in the world as a tourist destination. While each had much to offer, they also all had a dark side, which I’m pleased to say you will find rarely or never here in Lanzarote.
In several of the places we visited, we were plagued by people flogging bike hire, taxi trips, boat excursions and more. It wasn’t gentle persuasion either, at times it was quite intimidating, with leaflets being thrust at us from all sides and a feeling of being crowded in by a large group.
Here in Lanzarote, the closest you’ll get to that is a few restaurants in the resorts who employ people to entice you in, but generally a “No thank you” moves them on to the next person. By law, each restaurant is only allowed one PR person here.
I couldn’t believe how packed the beaches in Italy and Spain were – you almost can’t see the sand for deckchairs in most places. And swimming out means negotiating hundreds of other people and their inflatables and then going out a long way to get any sense of peace and space.
Even our busiest beaches of Playa Grande, Las Cucharas and Playa Dorada have plenty of space between the sun beds, and lots more either side for people who prefer to enjoy the sand. And of course, we have many, many beaches where you can be totally alone, even in mid summer.
It seems the price of everything doubles or triples when you get close to a tourist attraction or a beach on the mainland of Europe. The record for our trip was €4.50 for a small bottle of water from a food truck, not even a restaurant!
I know we pay a little more in resorts than outside them on the island, but the difference is nowhere near as marked.
In many places there seem to be plenty of unlicensed taxi drivers offering “cheap” trips, and twice, even when using official taxi services, the meter was left resolutely off during our journeys.
In Lanzarote, you’ll only find official taxis licensed by each municipality, and pricing is strictly controlled centrally – you’ll never travel without the meter on.
Badly Behaved Drunks
In one place we visited there were large groups of drunk people wandering around on stag and hen parties, and there was even a fight between two groups of drunk tourists.
You’ll rarely see drunk people in Lanzarote – occasionally a few staggering around a resort late at night, but they’re usually completely harmless.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that Lanzarote is perfect in this or any other respect. But we certainly do a better job than the other places I recently visited, and long may that continue.