With year round sunshine, numerous sandy beaches and plenty of interesting sights, I think Lanzarote has the most to offer of all of the Canary Islands.
There are many resorts to choose from, Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise are the largest but there are also smaller resorts, such as Los Pocillos, Matagorda and Puerto Calero – suffice to say there is a resort here to suit all tastes!
One thing they all have in common is sandy beaches, great restaurants and low rise buildings. Even the lively resort of Puerto del Carmen doesn’t appear as commercialised as some its counterparts in the other Canary Islands. With laws ensuring that there are no high rise buildings in Lanzarote, all of the resorts are very pleasing on the eye.
There is plenty of night life in Puerto del Carmen but you would never consider it ‘rowdy’. For this reason it tends to attract plenty of families and couples as well as girls looking for a nice break away. There is a huge choice of accommodation too, from five star hotels to basic apartments, and generally speaking most of the accommodation is of a good standard. Within the resort itself there are plenty of different areas to stay, the growing ‘new town’ leads in to the neighbouring resorts of Los Pocillos and Matagorda. Personally I prefer the ‘old town’, which has some lovely restaurants, excellent duty free shopping and stunning views over the harbour as the sun sets. Families can enjoy a day out at Rancho Texas Park, which is a kind of zoo but with some swimming pools where the children can play water games. My kids loved seeing the elusive white tiger and the flying condor!
For something a little more upmarket you could try Playa Blanca in the south. With plenty of five star hotels it is becoming the ‘sophisticated’ choice. The promenade stretches for 7km from the Marina Rubicon to the small old port where you can catch the ferry to Fuerteventura. There are plenty of inexpensive restaurants here along the seafront and most with stunning sea views. The newly built marina has plenty of upmarket restaurants and designer boutiques, all surrounded by some luxurious yachts. This resort is also very popular with families as there are numerous self catering options to choose from, most of them offering an entertainment programme and facilities for children. There is also a water park here, Aqualava, which proves very popular with families.
The island itself is the perfect size for exploring. It is very easy to navigate so I would suggest hiring a car and visiting the main tourist spots yourself. Timanfaya National Park is a must see, the volcanic landscape is spectacular but go early as it gets very busy in the afternoon. Try El Diablo restaurant, whose meat is barbecued by the heat from the Volcano – it has spectacular views and very unique dining but to be honest the food is just ok. A short drive from Playa Blanca brings you to the small village of El Golfo. This is a great spot to stop and have lunch, the seafood is fantastic and the setting is perfect. Situated on the coast, with sea views but extremely authentic and thankfully still unspoilt. If you like to haggle, visit the old town of Teguise. With its cobbled stone streets is probably the pettiest town on the island and holds a market every Sunday.