The South of Lanzarote
The island’s south is home to the most popular resorts and attracts family groups after an easy-going, sunny time punctuated with a deep-sea-fishing excursion or boozy night out.
Puerto del Carmen
With sunshades four lanes deep, this is the island’s most popular beach and its oldest purpose-built resort. That said, if you are seeking an iota of Canarian atmosphere, head for the El Varadero harbour, at the far west of the beachfront, which still has a faint fishing-village feel with its bobbing boats and uninterrupted ocean views.
Arrecife is a small, manageable city with a pleasant Mediterranean-style promenade, an inviting sandy beach and – it has to be said – a disarming backstreet hotchpotch of sun-bleached, peeling buildings, elegant boutiques, rough bars and good (and bad) restaurants.
Inland & West Coast
If you are looking for sand between the toes rather than a rollicking nightlife, Playa Blanca is not a bad choice. Despite the presence of an American fast-food chain at the beach, it is a quiet resort that has not yet spiralled completely out of control.
Northeast of Arrecife is Costa Teguise, which is perfectly pleasant, provided you are not expecting cobbled streets and crumbling buildings. This is a purpose-built holiday resort, built on a grid system, with bustling shopping centres, good beaches and water sports, plenty of mediocre (and better) bars and restaurants but, inevitably perhaps, no real soul.
San Bartolomé & Around
The Northwest of Lanzarote
The island’s northwest arguably offers visitors the most rewarding look at Lanzarote’s natural beauty. It’s a place of attractive, unspoiled towns, some great escapes and stunning panoramic views.
Teguise, 12km north of Arrecife, has a North Africa–meets-Spanish-pueblo feel. It is an intriguing mini-oasis of low-rise buildings set around a central plaza and surrounded by the bare plains of central Lanzarote.
El Golfo & Around
La Caleta de Famara
Years before he hit the big time, Manrique whiled away many a childhood summer on the wild beach of La Caleta de Famara. It’s one of the best beach spots on Lanzarote and a place where you don’t have to fight for towel space on the sand.