The nights are drawing in and there’s an unmistakable chill in the air. While the colder months call for festive cosy nights in, many tourists are flocking south to get a dose of Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) in the long dark winter months. Although mainland Europe can be chilly in winter, look slightly further afield and find abundant sunshine year round in Lanzarote, only a four-hour flight from the UK.
This popular island, located in the Atlantic archipelago of the Canaries, is a year round sun-seeker’s dream. Lanzarote boasts a dramatic volcanic landscape dotted with stunning beaches and turquoise waters.
From restaurants, activities and places to stay – we’ve got you covered. Check out our insider guide to this beautiful island that will have you packing your bags to go and top up your tan
Head to the beach
The thing we love most about the winter sun is whiling away the hours at the beach, and luckily Lanzarote has got a beach to suit every mood. Papagyo Beach is often called ‘the most beautiful beach in Lanzarote’, and it’s easy to see why. Relax on the white sand, or stroll along the dramatic cliffs where you can catch a glimpse of neighbouring island Fuerteventura.
Playa Del Blanca is loved by families for its calm, sheltered waters; and the number of charming restaurants and ice cream parlours located a short walk from the beach are perfect for cooling down after a day of building sandcastles on the golden sands.
The island’s warm yet temperate climate is suitable for sun worshippers and thrill-seekers alike. We’d suggest that Playa Chicha is where active holidaymakers should head to try out a range of water sports including jet skiing, parasailing and flyboarding
Families with active kids should also pay a visit to the famous surfing beaches on the island’s north coast. Costa Norestre surf school, which has a great reputation on the island, offers classes for complete beginners to seasoned surfers. With a friendly and experienced team of instructors, kids from ages 8 and up can take lessons and learn to ride the island’s great surfing waves. Take a look at its website for bookings and availability.
Sample some authentic eats
With abundant fresh seafood, Mediterranean cuisine and a number of upmarket culinary experiences; Lanzarote is a foodie paradise.
Restaurant Lilium is situated on Arrecife’s harbour and serves up Canarian classics with a modern twist. The range of fresh seafood is a must-try with local dishes such as Sancocho de Cherne (fresh fish prepared with sweet potatoes and spicy Mojo sauce), followed up by a selection of delicious dessert options such as chocolate mousse or fresh papaya with ice cream. A popular place for romantic dinners, bookings can be made via their website.
To catch the ultimate sunset view, look no further than Cafe del Ola in Puerto Del Carmen. For a truly memorable experience, we recommend grabbing a beachside table in the evening to watch the sun set over the Atlantic with a Mojito in hand.
For a taste of some of the best regional cuisine, head to an authentic haunt and sample an array of fresh tapas, all for a price that will have you coming back for another helping! Local food, great beer and even better value is served up at El Guachinche de Luis in Costa Teguise, we recommend you try the Papas arrugadas (Canarian potatoes) served up with traditional spicy red pepper Mojo sauce. For something a little different, pick up an artisan burger and an organic beer at Tabla Arrecife.
Lanzarote is reliably family friendly and Pardelas Park is heaven for kids, who can feed the farm animals and explore the outdoor play area. Pardelas will impress adult visitors too: it has a popular restaurant which is a great spot to refuel on local delicacies and sample the island’s best wines. Its website has useful information including prices and opening times.
Pick up some bargains
Lanzarote has a wealth of shopping opportunities, whether you want to scour the upmarket boutiques, grab a local souvenir from the market or shop till you drop at one of the island’s shopping malls.
The town of Teguise comes alive for the Sunday flea market, the largest open-air market on the island, where tourists and locals scour the hundreds of stalls to hunt down a bargain and engage in some good-natured haggling with stall owners! Marina Rubicon is the place to head for clothing, jewellery and books, whereas Costa Teguise hosts an evening market with a lively atmosphere where you can refuel on tapas at a number of local bars.
Lanzarote also has plenty of chic boutique shopping; head to the island’s capital Arrecife’s main shopping street Calle Leon y Castillo and make sure to explore the quirky bazaars located down side streets for some more unique souvenirs.
For hardcore shopaholics, Bioserfa Plaza in Puerto Del Carmen is a shiny modern shopping mall housing popular European brands such as Zara and Mango.
Explore the volcanoes at Timanfaya National Park
Lanzarote is a volcanic island and The Timanfaya National Park is a must-see; with bubbling geysers, a ‘Martian’ landscape and an opportunity to get up close to the towering Fire Mountains.
After you’ve checked out the national park, be sure to sample some traditional Canarian specialties at the El Diablo Restaurant; where traditional meat and fish is cooked over a volcanic barbecue at 450 degrees Celsius.
Has this guide got you dreaming of some winter sunshine? Check out our range of villas in Lanzarote to plan the perfect escape!