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Puerto del Carmen

With sunshades four lanes deep and just 10 minutes' drive southwest from the airport, Lanzarote's original purpose-built resort is a primarily British-geared hub packed with bars, restaurants, clubs, jet skis, dive schools, banana boats, sports screens, middling hotels and apartments, and plenty of shopping. While Puerto del Carmen certainly won't be to everyone's taste, it remains Lanzarote's most popular resort, now sprawling along 7km of the island's south-central coast.

There's a glimmer of Canarian atmosphere at El Varadero harbour, at the far west end of town, which still has a faint fishing-village feel, with its bobbing boats, seafood restaurants and uninterrupted ocean views. The main street is Avenida de las Playas, a gaudy ribbon hugging the beach.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Puerto del Carmen.