Lanzarote is an island where life is simple and slow-paced and the sun always shines (well, most of the time anyway). We stayed in Costa Teguise, which is on the South Eastern coast of the island, it is the third largest resort behind the more familiar Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen. I visited here with my family including my niece and nephew, so, I will be listing lots of kid-friendly options in this post. But, I also did a lot of solo travel around the island, so, there is lots of juicy information for you solo travellers too.
If you are lucky enough to be spending a week, or even a couple of days in Lanzarote, here are some of my suggestions for 5 days on the island.
Day 1 – relax in Costa Teguise
We were lucky enough to be staying at the Sands Beach Resort, which has everything you could possibly think of. Seven swimming pools, a poolside bar, a supermarket, an on-site restaurant free water sports including kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding. So, it’s easy to spend a full day here and not get bored. We sampled everything on our first day, and there is an excellent kids club too for your little ones. We started every day with a coffee at their poolside bar, while the kids played in the pool. Easy-peasy. If you get tired of all the swimming pools, there’s a beautiful beach just around the corner where we witnessed lots of people snorkelling amongst its rocky coves.
The resort of Costa Teguise itself is full to the brim with family-friendly restaurants, live-music bars, most of them are in squares hidden from the street, our personal favourite was Pueblo Marinero or ‘main square’. We recommend walking the coastal route here, instead of along the main road. It’s much more scenic and you may even spot a buff surfer or three.
On a side note, it’s never too hot on this coast, in fact it can be quite windy. The locals even call it ‘Breezy Teguise’.
Day 2 – join the other tourists in Puerto del Carmen
Puerto del Carmen, is a package-holidayer’s dream. A bustling and vibrant resort with an abundance of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It is definitely geared towards the younger tourist. In ‘new’ Puerto del Carmen, the beach is its beating heart, its core, it runs pretty much the entire length of the resort and you can do every type of watersports imaginable from jetskiing to surfing. We went on the Marine Water Park, which was way more challenging than it looks but what a laugh we had. My belly was sore from laughing the entire time. My nephew who’s seven went on this but my niece who’s not yet two was too young. I definitely recommend your little one be over seven for this activity. It cost €5 per person.
My personal favourite in this resort, is ‘old town’ Puerto del Carmen which has more of a local feel to it, there are lots of restaurants along the cliff walk to Puerto Calero many serving fish caught that day. I definitely recommend walking this route too for some great photograph opportunities.
Day 3 – try some windsurfing in Caleta de Famara
Such a unique beach-side town, the drive there is more than enough reason to visit it – long winding roads through volcanic landscape. Caleta de Famara or more commonly known as Famara is my top pick for your 5 days in Lanzarote. Charming, quiet and rustic and a short 30 minute bus ride from Costa Teguise, the price is €2.50 each way.
If you’ve had your fill of the typical tourist beaches that the island offers, then head over to Famara for a completely unique experience. This part of Lanzarote is famous for its incredible surfing and watersports facilities. You can try your luck at surfing, kitesurfing, or windsurfing – basically any kind of surfing you can think of! Lessons are easy to come by and there are more than enough places to rent equipment in the small village. We counted five on our short walk.
Whether you just want to laze on the sand surrounded by rugged cliffs that would look more in place in South Africa, or get involved in the watersports yourself, Famara makes for a great day out on the island.
Day 4 – step back in time in Teguise
The old capital of Lanzarote on the island’s east coast is awash with colonial charm and architecture. The town’s lovely cobbled streets and white-wash buildings make it a joy to stroll through. It’s pretty small too so you can definitely walk it on foot with your little ones in tow. I took the bus here myself, simply because I went mid-week so there’s not much to entertain the kids. I took the Lanzarote bus from Costa Teguise, which took little over 10 minutes and is €1.40 each way.
Teguise is known for its busy market that takes over the gorgeous Plaza de San Miguel every Sunday morning. You can buy everything from beer to fine artisan crafts to cheap watches here, but the vibrant atmosphere alone makes it worth the trip. The market is very openly aimed at tourists and so you’ll also see a number of street musicians and artists plying their trade around the hustle and bustle of the market.
As well as the market, Teguise boasts a number of fine churches and religious icons. Must-sees include the Ntra. Sra. de Guadalupe church, the convents of St. Domingo and San Francisco, and the castle of Santa Bárbara which stands atop the Guanapay volcano, overlooking the city.
Day 5 – get lost in the island’s capital Arrecife
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, unpretentious bars and good (and bad) restaurants. The sights are scarce, yet interesting, and include a couple of castles, a pretty lagoon and a vibey marina. If anything, Arrecife’s most notable quality is that it’s a no-nonsense working town that earns its living from something other than tourism. This piece by Lonely Planet perfectly sums up the island’s capital. It doesn’t have a massive amount in terms of tourist sights but you can easily spend a few hours getting lost in its white-washed maze.
Highlights include the charming Charco de San Ginés boat lake and the Castillo de San Gabriel. Again, I took Lanzarote Bus here from Costa Teguise, which takes about 20 minutes and cost €1.40.
While I took the trip to Arrecife solo, the kids visited the Aquarium in Costa Teguise and loved it. More information here.
On the money side of things:
Average cost of a local beer: €3 for a pint of Tropical, or €2 during Happy Hour
Average cost of a main course in a restaurant: €10-15, we ate at ‘kid-friendly’ restaurants which notoriously charge more but if you’re a solo traveller there are lots of smaller local-friendly restaurants where you can get a meal for under €10
- Portobello a family-friendly Italian restaurant in Costa Teguise. Their pasta is freshly-made, and the owner is is so friendly or in my nephew’s words “so cute”.
- Grill la Vaca Loca in Costa Teguise
- Cafe La Ola in Puerto del Carmen, for drinks and an excellent view of the beach
- Mulligans Old Town Irish Bar in Puerto del Carmen
- La Hacienda, a large kid-friendly Mexican Restaurant in Costa Teguise
Hopefully, this post provides you with some inspiration for your next trip to Lanzarote. I will be doing a more detailed post in the next week, but, I wanted to get this post published while this beautiful island is still fresh in my mind.
Thanks for reading,