Written by lak11 on 25 Nov, 2012
LANZAROTE-A PLEASANT SURPRISEI’m very glad that we chose Lanzarote for our spring holiday. I was surprised by just how much we all enjoyed this holiday and liked this welcoming island. THE CANARY ISLANDS The Canary Islands or Islas Canarias, are owned by Spain. The name…Read More
LANZAROTE-A PLEASANT SURPRISEI’m very glad that we chose Lanzarote for our spring holiday. I was surprised by just how much we all enjoyed this holiday and liked this welcoming island. THE CANARY ISLANDS The Canary Islands or Islas Canarias, are owned by Spain. The name has more to do with dogs (dog is 'canis' in Latin) than canaries (as in birds) and there are several theories to the canine link. It is said that the romans encountered many fierce dogs when they invaded, but another theory is that before this the island of Gran Canaria was named after its dog population and another idea is that the islands were named after 'dog seals' inhabiting the sea around the islands. The Canaries are situated in the Atlantic Ocean and lie quite close to North Africa. The main islands in this group are, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. The Islands have two capitals, Santa Cruz (Tenerife) and Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) On his travels in 1492 (while sailing the ocean blue) Christopher Columbus stopped at the islands to replenish supplies for his ships The Pinta, The Niña and The Santa María. LANZAROTE The largest island is Tenerife and Lanzarote is the fourth largest, being thirty-seven miles (60km) long and 12 miles (20 km) wide. Lanzarote is the most eastern of the Canaries, lying about seventy-nine miles from the coast of North Africa. The capital is Arrecife and the airport is situated here. The islands are volcanic in origin and this made the flight to Lanzarote very interesting as the plane glided low over the islands and we and could make out the strange volcanic formations seen through the clouds. WEATHER Lanzarote offers a pleasant temperature all year round. It is at its hottest in July through to September with an average temperature in these months of 24deg (75 f) in July, 25deg (77f) in August, 25deg in September, although temperatures reach highs of 28/29 degrees in August. The lowest temperatures are in January when mostly it will be around 17deg (63f) but I do know several regular visitors to the island in January who say they wear shorts and vest tops when here quite often. The most rain will fall in January. The sea temperature is warmest in August. The most hours of daily sunshine will occur in July with thirteen hours of sunshine to be enjoyed. We were in Lanzarote for the first week of June and the temperature reached at least 26 degrees. This was a very pleasant temperature owing to the welcome breeze. The weather was warm enough for summer holiday clothes with a cardigan or lightweight jacket being sometimes desirable of an evening. It was hot enough to sunbathe; we needed sunscreen whilst walking about although we did get burnt on one very overcast day whilst walking around and about. While we were there some days started off overcast but after a while the sun would appear and the sky would turn into a beautiful blue. I thought the weather here would have been perfect for a holiday if it wasn't for the fact that the sea temperature was so cold. I'm used to a dip in the med but the Atlantic in early June wasn't warm enough for us to venture in; we were only brave enough to paddle! Also, the unheated pools in our complex were pretty painful to swim in although we were brave enough to swim for a short while every day. Rainfall is low but we did feel a few drops. Annual rainfall in Lanzarote is 140mm (5.5 inches). BEACHES As Lanzarote is volcanic in origin some of the beaches are of coarse black sand but for access into the sea many are ideal as the sand feels smooth enough underfoot and the water is clear. There are also beaches with almost white sand such as Playa Blanca. NIGHTLIFE We didn't go here for the nightlife but knew this was available for party animals in many places on this island. However, we were staying in a family resort and our evenings mainly consisted of dining out and enjoying a drink or two, whilst having a chat. There are several lively resorts such as Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise where, if you've the energy, you can boogie until dawn in a choice of bars and clubs. RESORTS There are many places to visit and to stay in Lanzarote but the most popular resorts are Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca still retain traces of the small fishing villages they used to be. We stayed in Matagorda near to Puerto del Carmen and, although Matagorda is small, I liked it and thought there was plenty of facilities for us. Puerto Del Carmen This is the biggest resort and was pleasant in June but I would think that it probably gets very busy in July and August. There really is so much here; beaches, restaurants, clubs and shopping galore. Costa Teguise If you want sandy beaches and lots of facilities then this may suit you. It isn't quite as busy as Puerto del Carmen but has a great choice of restaurants, bars and facilities. Playa Blanca This resort seems to be the one that is the most 'up and coming' and is growing in popularity and in facilities. It has a marina. TAXIS/BUSES I thought transport in the area of Lanzarote that we stayed in to be very good. Bus fares were reasonable and there were plenty of buses around but we found that taxi fares were so cheap that it worked out easier and sometimes cheaper for four of us to share a taxi. Taxis stopped outside our complex and were always in good supply so travelling this way was ideal. Wherever we went taxis could be seen. Our taxi journeys cost from Euro3 to Euro5. Taxis were fitted with, and used, meters, were clean, comfortable and had seat belts fitted. A popular mode of transport seemed to be bicycles for locals and tourists alike. OVERALL I liked this island and was surprised how impressed I was. I loved the pretty white villas with their bright painted window shutters and verandas. Almost all buildings are low rise, in line with their government's regulations. Bougainvillea can be seen everywhere, climbing and weaving its way upon walls and trellises. Profusions of other flora can be seen and some exotic, to my eye. From the outside of our complex we could see a view stretching for miles which, to me, when looking at distant rooftops and white buildings the feel seemed to be a mixture of Spanish and North African in flavour. I loved the climate. Some days began cloudy but we enjoyed plenty of sunshine every day and enjoyed the heat which was cooled by the welcome breeze. As walking wasn't easy for myself, making a slow recovery from a knee dislocation, this island suited me well. Many areas are pedestrianized and, even those that aren't are usually well tended and mostly made level. The island is hilly but ramps and steps are commonplace. We found most restaurants, shops and bars friendly, reasonably priced and very family friendly. We didn't have children with us but the patience and love shown to children by the islanders is wonderful. It is a very family friendly place although not having young children in my nuclear family would actually deter me from visiting her in the busy season as we were told by a restaurant owner that in August Lanzarote is, "Boiling hot and full of kids!" But then again we were in a family resort; there are resorts more suited to couples and singles. We considered eating out here cheaper than in Cyprus and Greece and its Islands, which is where we mostly travel to. Also the prices in shops were cheaper, we felt. But, as there were two vegetarians in our party we were surprised at the lack of vegetarian options on menus in many restaurants; it was non-existent in our complex. If I visit Lanzarote again, and I do intend to, then I would probably not go an all-inclusive basis as the island is full of reasonably priced and varied types of restaurants, usually reasonable priced. I thought that the island was clean, friendly, felt safe and was well organised. Close
Written by lak11 on 25 Jun, 2012
I recently spent a holiday in Lanzarote, in Spain’s Canary Islands. I hadn’t found much availability with flights and accommodation, as this was the schools half term week in Britain, and the week of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebration. It was last minute and…Read More
I recently spent a holiday in Lanzarote, in Spain’s Canary Islands. I hadn’t found much availability with flights and accommodation, as this was the schools half term week in Britain, and the week of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebration. It was last minute and I wasn’t expecting much from this holiday. I booked a week at the ex-sol owned, Morromar apartments in Puerto del Carmen. Really these apartments are in Matagorda and some distance from the heart of Puerto del Carmen. This holiday was for four adults, I was making a slow recovery from dislocating my knee, and wasn’t expecting to be able to travel far from the complex. However, on arrival at our resort, I was pleased to discover that I would be able to get out and about as the Apartamentos Morromar are situated in an excellent position, close to the small but well equipped tourist area of Playa de los Pocillos. WHERE IS IT? Playa de los Pocillos is on the south side of the island in an area that has been purposely built as a tourist resort. It’s in a good location, only five miles from the airport of Arrecife. It leads, if travelling away from the airport, to the larger and busier resort of Puerto del Carmen. I thought it especially ideal for families and older couples as it’s modern, well thought out, well maintained and walking around here pushing prams or wheelchairs would be easier than in many places owing to mostly level ground, ramps and car free zones. GETTING THEREThe resort can be reached by car, taxi or bus and also, cycling here from nearby areas seemed easy. Although we’d gone for a relaxing holiday we enjoy a stroll to bars and shops and, as the food wasn’t up to standard in our complex (we went on an A/I basis) it was good that we could visit this small resort easily. Throughout the holiday we walked to Playa de los Pocillos, if visiting during the day, but got a taxi, if going in the evening, from the taxi rank outside our complex. It was easy to get a taxi for our return journey; there seems to be ranks in most places around the island. Taxi drivers work on a queuing system and fares are on a meter and are cheap. Taxis from our hotel to the centre of Playa de los Pocillos, cost about €3.50 which, for four people, I think is good value. To walk here is easy. On leaving The Morromar one has to cross the quiet road and walk down some steps and pathways, towards the coast. After about a ten minute stroll this easy route brings one to the sea-front. Turning right soon leads to Playa de los Pocillos.Along this pedestrianized avenue there are benches every few meters or so. I found the facility of public benches made the walk pleasant and easier, although for anyone without mobility problems the walk is easy. Even in early June the temperature was between 27 to 30 degrees but always with a breeze, and especially so this near to the ocean. On one side of the avenue is the sea and the other faces inland.A BICYCLE MADE FOR TWO…OR THREE, OR FOUR… OR EVEN FIVE!A large area is a car free zone (taxis take a back road away from the beach and have a drop off point near to the restaurants) and the central part is a cycle route. This is a well-kept area for bicycles. It’s popular and well used for cycles of various descriptions; two wheelers, tandems, family buggies, buggies for four, etc. My son and his fiancée paid €10 for an hour with a further €10 as a deposit. They went from the airport at Arrecife (close to our apartments) along Playa de los Pocillos to Puerto del Carmen. This was pleasant with the hired buggy having a sun canopy. BEACH AREASThe coast stretches along this area and on the beaches the sand is dark and smooth. There are areas of black volcanic rock but plenty of places where it’s easy to get into the sea. I only paddled, as the Atlantic cold at this time of year.As I’ve been many times now to Cyprus I tended to make comparisons. I thought for well-maintained areas Lanzarote is better but in respect of facilities on the beach Cyprus offers more (or at least in the areas of Lanzarote that we saw) in this respect, as there didn’t seem to be much in the way of toilets, changing rooms and public foot showers. Also there are vast areas of beach yet not many of them seemed to have sunbeds or parasols but this could well be due to it still being early in the season. But we did notice one area which had windshields around sun loungers. For refreshments, it looked as if one would have to leave the beach to go to the bars along the avenue.There are a few hotels in this area which blend in well with the area. SHOPSWe saw a uni-sex hairdresser’s, pharmacy, supermarkets, as well as a Spar supermarket (super Mercado I should say, as - ¡Hablo Española un poco!) and usual tourist shops selling goods ranging from alcoholic beverages, sweets, postcards, souvenirs, clothes and as much as could be crammed into them. Some have a good selection of purses, wallets, bags. I enjoy wandering around gift shops but my husband gets bored. I can see his point as we shop prior to a holiday. However, we both liked the handmade goods to be seen such as paintings, tiles and brightly knitted cardigans. Shopkeepers vie for trade and can be pushy but times are hard and I really can’t blame them. Many shops reduce prices; some when asked and others offer discounts or reduced prices for multi-buys. As one who has mainly holidayed on the island of Cyprus in the last few years I thought souvenirs, clothing and spirits were cheaper in this island’s shops than in those of Cyprus. RESTAURANTSThis area isn’t as big as Puerto del Carmen but it’s an ideal spot to visit. We appreciated that we could walk here, spend an hour or so in the shops, have a drink then return to our accommodation OR stay for longer and enjoy lunch. We came here in the evening to eat.The bars were generally reasonably priced, although varying (from €1.40 to €2.50 for a large beer) with drinks and food prices. I noticed that vegetarian choices are few and far between.At the start of the avenue is The Aussie Bar, offering cheap all-day breakfasts, fish and chips, and steak meals. I noticed a ramp was being built next to the steps. The toilets were tiny and anyone with mobility problems, even without needing a wheelchair would find these difficult.Further along are more bars and restaurants such as The Anchor, which is English, owned.The restaurant workers try to entice you into their establishments. This can be tiresome, although they’re polite.We ate at El Molino which was a little on the expensive side but nice.I would recommend El Sirocco.Food in the restaurants along here offer mainly Spanish and English dishes. DISABLEDI would say that Playa de los Pocillos is generally accessible for those with mobility difficulties and wheelchair users. The ground is well paved and much of it traffic free. And it’s well lit of an evening. Also where there are steps there are nearly always ramps, albeit steep ones.But my concern is that most restaurants’ toilets were small and wouldn’t fit a wheelchair in or close by. Most restaurants seem to have a ladies toilet cubicle with the gents next to it and the doors separated by a shared washbasin in the middle. There are some exceptions with larger facilities but I could see problems arising if not forewarned.I do think this island makes an effort to be accessible and people are generally helpful. Taxis also come in all shapes and sizes; some can easily take a wheelchair.Playa de los Pocillos is equipped with several ATMs.CHILD FRIENDLY?Most definitely child friendly. The Spanish adore children and have plenty of patience with them. Restaurants supply high chairs and most offer child sized and child suitable meals.There were quite a few children on holiday here in June (half term) and we were told that in July and August the area is "hot and full of children!’’ For families with young children I would think this an ideal place to holiday.OVERALLI liked Playa de los Pocillos. Although I wouldn’t go back to the same apart hotel, I would like to visit Lanzarote again. Probably I’d go to another area of the island next time, just out of curiosity, but then again, I wouldn’t be at all averse to staying either in or close to the resort of Playa de los Pocillos. Close
Written by catsholiday on 04 Jul, 2010
LANZAROTE is the most northerly of the Canary Islands and is also one of the smaller islands. The first impression you get as you drive out of the airport is how black it is and as the most recent volcanic activity was only in the…Read More
LANZAROTE is the most northerly of the Canary Islands and is also one of the smaller islands. The first impression you get as you drive out of the airport is how black it is and as the most recent volcanic activity was only in the 1860s the evidence is actually very fresh geologically. When doing research prior to our holiday there did not seem a lot of things that you MUST see on the island. This holiday was one taken with our daughter, son in law and four month old granddaughter so we wanted somewhere warm, not too far to fly and where medical attention could be easily obtained if needed and Lanzarote fitted the bill nicely in March.What do you do on a small island with a tiny baby? Well as our little granddaughter is a very amenable baby we did quite a lot.TIMANFAYA NATIONAL PARK:One day we went to the famous Timanfaya National Park. This is almost like visiting the dark side of the moon. The landscape is black there is very little vegetation just miles of black rock and sand in various shapes. It cannot really be compared with anywhere else I have seen and is a must see if you are visiting Lanzarote.THE GREEN LAKE:El Golfo is a tiny village and it is where you will find one of Lanzarote’s natural wonders, El Lago Verde, or the green lagoon. This little lake of emerald green water is the center of a volcano that has been partly eroded by the Atlantic sea. The green colour has been created by the accumulation of algae which makes it slightly less appealing but it was interesting to look at.JAMEOS DEL AGUA: The collapsed volcanic tube has been converted by Cesar Manrique into a stunning place of natural and artistic beauty. The pool in the base has tiny little blind, albino crabs in it which I had never seen before. The café is so lovely and cool compared to outside and you can enjoy the hanging gardens and the pool/lake in the cave. At times this is covered to make a stage and the whole area converted to a concert hall.This part natural and part artistically created man made cave is a true delight. The white and blue pool (you cannot go in it) is a visual treat with plants hanging down and the blue sky peeping through the open cave top. A combination of tropical gardens, bars and a restaurant surround this underground lagoon and creates an atmosphere which is hushed and cathedral like.There is a further art exhibition area and a gift shop but we didn’t bother with these as we were enjoying the cave experience and the fantastic hanging gardens which cascaded down from the rocks around the cave opening .CESAR MANRIQUE FOUNDATION:Having been so impressed with Manrique’s creations in Tamanfaya National Park and Jameos Del Agua we decided we would continue our sightseeing with a visit to Manrique’s personal home which has now left to the Cesar Manrique foundation.This ‘house’ was designed by Manrique to use the natural volcanic rock formations and he created a fantastic house built in and around the rocks. It was fantastic; some of the walls were smoothed out and painted in a thick shiny white paint which lightened up the underground areas. The seats were shiny brightly coloured plastic – a bit like those in Elvis’ Graceland. PLAYA BLANCA:Playa Blanca has a very long sea front walk way which we enjoyed on a number of days. You walk past restaurants and shops at the town end but gradually you pass fewer buildings and looking out sea wards you can see Fuerteventura in the near distance. It is a pleasant quiet area in March but I suspect it gets busy in summer.There is a small market on Wednesday at the Rubicon Marina which was a pleasant place to wander around in the sunshine beside the harbour area. There were a number of cafés and places where you could sit with a drink and people watch or look slightly further and watch the activity in the harbour.TEGUISETeguise was once the Capital of Lanzarote but today' and is a really lovely little old town with over 500 years of History. On Sunday there is a busy Market with hundreds of stalls and entertainers around the area. The local bars and stalls serve a selection of food and drink to keep you happy while wandering round in the sunshine.In the market square there was a group of older people dressed in traditional costume singing and playing instruments. It was a most sedate affair but quite interesting and picturesque with the church behind but not greatly catchy musically.The entire town was one huge market and there were so many different stall selling everything from fresh cheeses ( we bought several) to aloe vera creams to T shirts and toys and many other clothes some more attractive than others. It was a lovely sunny day and we had a great time wandering round with the push chair stopping to enjoy different local snacks and a coffee or two.On the way from the car park to the market there was a house with the most extraordinary garden. It was full of what most people would regard as rubbish, computer screens, chairs, prams and dolls and some were quite disturbingly contorted. It was most bizarre and I can’t imagine what he was trying to create as it was obviously intentional but truly ugly and quite disturbing too. Everyone was stopping to look.Although Lanzarote is not a huge island it is extremely different scenically. Everywhere is black, the soil, the rocks and the sand. The houses are often painted white to contrast with the blackness. The area around Playa Blanca is blacker than the other end of the island but it is marginal. The landscape is strangely lunar and bleak and there is little natural vegetation. The vineyards have small stunted vines hidden in half moon hollows to protect them from the wind. It was interesting but I’m not sure that I would like to live there as it could get very monotonous. Close
Written by MichaelJM on 20 Nov, 2007
So winter sun again beckoned us and once again we decided to head for the guaranteed warmth of the Canaries. However, this time the experience was destined to be very different. We had agreed with a small group of friends (eight of us in total)…Read More
So winter sun again beckoned us and once again we decided to head for the guaranteed warmth of the Canaries. However, this time the experience was destined to be very different. We had agreed with a small group of friends (eight of us in total) to arrange our holiday together – something that we’ve only done once before. The holiday accommodation was identified and the date agreed and we all set off booking our bungalow accommodation. We’d made a crucial decision that we would live independently and spent a bit of time sorting out some of the “ground rules”. I know that may sound a little over the top but we could imagine the logistical difficulties in trying to co-ordinate all our activities over a week or two. So the simple basic rules were identified:1. Everyone would do their own thing in the day time2. There would be no expectation that we embark on long discussion during the hours of sunlight3. We would avoid the temptation to “do drinks” in each other’s bungalows (known as the “liver protection Plan”)4. We would join each other for an evening meal and agree the next night’s venue for eating.5. Any one could decide to NOT eat out with the group and “no questions would be asked”6. During “pool time” we would respect each others need for privacy (at least four of us enjoy curling up poolside with a good book, sudoko and our I-pods)7. Any “embarrassing” photos would only be shared with us as a group and not circulated around our wider friendship group.8. We would not drink too much “EVERY” nightWe saw this as being common sense but there again we’ve heard of friends going off on group holidays and individuals ending up compromising so much that they’ve not really enjoyed the holiday. That would not happen to us – and indeed it didn’t. Two couples (ourselves plus one other) went off as the advance party and on the first day we settled down at the pool to enjoy the November sunshine. Smothered in sun-cream we sat, overlooking the pool and settled down to enjoy one of our books. As my starter I’d chosen the final part of Conn Iggulden’s Emperor series whilst my wife had opted for the story of the Nigerian – Biafran war as told by Chimamanda Adichie. Both are cracking reads and I’d almost read half of the Conn Iggulden book by the end of the first day. But I distract myself from the point of this experience! Throughout this day we’d occasionally checked to see if our friends were poolside and didn’t see them at all. We’d left for lunch, returned, had a swim and still they weren’t around. Still we’d agreed to do our own thing and I was contemplating popping down to their bungalow in the early evening to check out if they fancied eating with us. As we got up to leave at the end of this “hard day” my wife spotted them at the far end of the pool. It turns out that they’d been looking for us and had assumed that we’d gone off somewhere for the day. So far rule one and two were been adhered to!!That night was the first of many enjoyable meals out and the first time that we’d regularly enjoyed a few cocktails at the end of the day. We supped “rusty nails”, “Black Russians”, had “sex on the beach” and one night had an “orgasm” alongside “Manhatten”. We settled down to enjoy “Erotica”, “Between the Sheets” in the depths of a “Hurricane” and then sipped on a “White Russian”. Not being used to cocktails this was quite an experience!Although the Cocktail bar was only a stride or two away from the apartment it was not unusual for us to still be out walking in the wee small hours of the morning. Not since I was a young man in my 20’s have I been out and about at 1.00 a.m. EVERY night for two weeks. Mind you I was able to relax poolside each day and I’m told that occasionally I was sound asleep by 100 a.m. I really can’t believe that! Of course the experience didn’t stop there because I was introduce Close
Written by MichaelJM on 25 Feb, 2007
We’d been recommended to try a pre-dinner cocktail here and although cocktails aren’t unusual in style, we thought we’d give it a whirl. This bar is at the Matagorda end of Puerto del Carmen and although it is nothing much to look at from the…Read More
We’d been recommended to try a pre-dinner cocktail here and although cocktails aren’t unusual in style, we thought we’d give it a whirl. This bar is at the Matagorda end of Puerto del Carmen and although it is nothing much to look at from the outside we found it to be particularly welcoming. Indeed the co-hosts were very keen to pose for a couple of photographs (perhaps I should have told them they would eventually be seen on the worldwide web).
There were over 50 cocktails on offer ranging from 5 to 7.50 euros a piece. This small bar played a constant stream of Elton John numbers, offered some tranquillity from the busy main road and I indecisive as ever pondered over the cocktail menu for some time.Aficionados will be acquainted with the options but as a novice I was previously naive to the options. Apparently I could have a screwdriver, sex on the beach, and an orgasma to name but three. I honestly did not have a clue and the waiter patiently stood by us whilst we studied the menu. I’m not a gin fan and it’s just amazing how many cocktails rely on gin as the main ingredient. In the end embarrassed by my indecision I asked for a Manhattan and my wife went for a cocktail uninspiringly called, a "special". Mine was ordinary to the extreme whilst hers was dressed with a sparkler (an indoor firework) and could have been the final course of a meal. It resembled a "posh" fruit salad whilst the 2 cherries and a slice of orange floating around the edge of mine was obviously the best decoration I could hope for. Certainly this was nothing like the only cocktail I ever had before, purchased for me by my son from a swanky bar in the middle of Hong Kong. Still a cocktail, if taken infrequently stills shouts decadence at me.I was disappointed that the bar tenders did not transfer the ingredients into the cocktail by way of an elaborate ceremony they just grabbed bottles and liberally poured them into a utensil with another receptacle. Mine was given a quick twissle before being poured but the more complex drink prepared for my wife required a zing on the blender and some deft slits of the fruit before they were mounted on the side of the glass or threaded onto a skewer.At eight on a Sunday night this place was still extremely quiet but it had a good feel to it. A relaxing and undemanding environment allowing us to relax at the end of a ‘busy’ day reading, sunbathing and listening to good music courtesy of Apple I-pod. What a good start for our evening meal.For a different setting with cocktails at similar prices try the Diamond Cocktail Bar. It seemed much busier than La Gurta but I reckon it offers a much comfier environment for those pre-meal drinks.
Written by MichaelJM on 24 Feb, 2007
We’d threatened that if the day started overcast we would walk along the front to Arrecife. On our last Sunday in Lanzarote the conditions were exactly right, with a full blanket of cloud over our part of the island. Breakfast was taken, camera and lens…Read More
We’d threatened that if the day started overcast we would walk along the front to Arrecife. On our last Sunday in Lanzarote the conditions were exactly right, with a full blanket of cloud over our part of the island. Breakfast was taken, camera and lens packed, and off we headed towards the beach between Los Pocillos and Matagorda. This part of the beach is great to walk on, being devoid of the black grit that can be found on parts of the seashore. Its long, sweeping shoreline is busy indeed, but on this day there were very few people about: a few joggers; the odd person taking a morning Constitution; a guy with a metal detector, doubtless looking for currency lost by yesterday's sun worshippers; and the woman swathed in a towel reading a novel. Majority of the beach’s occupants were seagulls waffling along the water's edge or diving offshore for sprats.
In recent years Lanzarote spent time and money to develop the long promenade between Purto del Carmen and Arrecife. It's a haven for cyclists, fitness fanatics, and tourists who enjoy a good walk. The total distance is around 7 miles and it was our intention to walk one way and catch the bus back to the apartment. We sauntered the first part, taking photos along the beach, and enjoyed watching the airplanes as they landed and took off from the small airport.
Along the beach, circles of stone acted as private areas for sunbathers, offering them protection from the breezes that blow along this section of the beach. Seabirds wade at the water's edge and fishermen in some of the tiny, un-commercialised villages drag their small, frail boats onto the beach. Set back from the promenade were numerous expensive looking villas, with their well attended gardens of bright bougainvilleas, enormous plump cacti, and colourful flora. Rather than soil, many of the gardens were dressed with the black volcanic grit from inland Lanzarote, which formed a beautiful contrast with the greenery of the vegetation.
Lanzarote's mountains overlooked us on our route along the coast, with wind turbines (both old and new) plentiful and blending almost seamlessly with the carefully constructed sculptures inspired by Caesar Manrique.
If you're looking for restaurants and cafes, then this gentle walk along the promenade is not the place to be, as there were very few. We were able to enjoy a tranquil walk in places only with seabirds and the gentle waves as company. As we approached Arrecife, a local marathon was in full swing and we pondered how people were able to manage on what was now a very hot day. Unfortunately, the marathon had totally disrupted the town and we were unable to find a bus back home. We decided therefore to return on foot and after 14 miles staggered back into the apartment for a long, hot bath and total inactivity for the rest of the evening. A great walk!
Written by MichaelJM on 22 Feb, 2007
Arrecife is Lanzarote's main town and I read somewhere that almost 50% of the island’s people live here. It’s the administrative centre and overall it dates back to the 15th Century when it was a small fishing harbour and trading centre. Certainly in and around…Read More
Arrecife is Lanzarote's main town and I read somewhere that almost 50% of the island’s people live here. It’s the administrative centre and overall it dates back to the 15th Century when it was a small fishing harbour and trading centre. Certainly in and around Arrecife are the reminders of its fishing heritage.
Caesar Manrique obviously missed out here with his height restriction on buildings as dominating the Arrecife skyline, and seen for miles away, is the tallest building on the island – the prestigious Grand Hotel. Arrecife seems a bit of an odd place with no obvious centre to it (not that we found anyway) and a very laid back feel to the town. To its credit there’s a magnificent sea front promenade, which sweeps its way across the bay. From a recent visit I remembered our futile attempt to park the car and I reckon the only way to see the town is to park up out of the centre and walk. We didn’t suffer the problem this time as we were on foot as were the rest of the visitors who were pounding the marathon route. Its name comes from the multitude of reefs and islets along the coast, which now has a superb promenade on which to walk and from where you can enjoy the fine coastal landscape. It was not lanzarote's original capital, taking over from the inland town of Teguise in the mid-18th Century. So what to see in Arrecife?At the Puerto end of the promenade is the remains of an ancient ship. I actually couldn’t determine whether or not this was a real wreck or a piece of art. It’s well placed near to a local park filled with modern sculptures and an impressive new building which resembles a town hall. A skate-boarding course at the edge of the park provided a little entertainment as we wandered through the greenery. The Charco area is perhaps Arrecife’s most scenic with Palm trees, bridges, and restored fishermen’s cottages, cafés, restaurants, and souvenir shops. It’s a bustling area with loads of action, ideal to people watch and just to enjoy the ambience created by Caesar Manrique. Apparently there’s a market on the promenade every Saturday – next time we’ll check it out.The San Gines region allegedly played host to the hermit saint Gines and together with the church (becoming a parish church in 1778) but originally the hermitage of Gines and the impressive square looking out over the tidal lagoon provide a great focus. Fishermen’s houses are cluttered around the saltwater land enclosing the seawater.A couple of castles house the interesting museums of Modern Art (the Castles of San Jose) and the Archaeological Museum in the castle of San Gabriel. And of course Arrecife is Lanzarote's centre of commerce with shops and cafés lining the main street of Castillo y Leon.
Written by MichaelJM on 28 Jan, 2007
Perfume is duty-free on Lanzarote and is therefore a better purchase here than either on the plane or at the alleged duty-free shops in the airport. The main perfumery shops are owned by Charlie's and there are 17 in the Puerto del Carmen area. But…Read More
Perfume is duty-free on Lanzarote and is therefore a better purchase here than either on the plane or at the alleged duty-free shops in the airport. The main perfumery shops are owned by Charlie's and there are 17 in the Puerto del Carmen area. But don't assume because they all have the same name they carry the same products or indeed the same prices. My wife decided that each store had to be checked out, although by the second or third night I was convinced this was a ploy to wear a different perfume each night the rest of the holiday. In essence they are very similar and I can't understand why one company should want to own so many similar shops on a 5km stretch. The varying sizes of each impact the range they offer. Not all of them offer an "added discount," but Charlie Perfumeria, next door to the diamond cocktail bar, will, if asked, give a generous additional discount if you buy more than one item. It is certainly well worth asking for.It was interesting to note that in the same chain of shops sales techniques were totally different: some pounced on us as soon as we walked into the shop (don't like that); others hovered, mimicking store detectives; some waved absorbent test papers at us (surely they knew that we were "scenting up" for the evening); whilst the preferred option was the cheery "Ola” as we entered the store.One of my wife's favourite shops was Chevere, a not overly priced jewelery and ornament shop. They have the appearance of not being mass-produced and verging on designer wear. The prices are generally very reasonable and we certainly managed to stock up with a few items for family Christmas presents. I never will fully understand the concept of window-shopping, but by the end of the fortnight, the people at Chevere would have recognised us. It has to be said, however, that we weren't the only regulars popping into this upmarket shop.Leather belts and handbags are in abundance and you will be able to haggle the price if you're determined enough. Offering the full price is always a bad mistake on Lanzarote and you should be able to achieve at least a reduction of a third (although my starting and often finishing position is less than 50% of the asking price).Of course Spain is renowned for its Lladro and Nao porcelain figurines. Now my wife has a penchant for these fine pieces and around Puerto there are at least four shops selling extensive selections of Nao. I know that to be a fact because we frequented each of them more than once. They all offered discounts for cash but their stocks do vary considerably, mainly dependent on what discontinued pieces they still have on the shelves. Close
Written by brichris on 18 Jun, 2004
This resort is ideal for both couples and families. It is not too large and has three clubs the facilities of each can be used. There are three heated pools, three restaurants and nightly entertainment. The bars all close at 11:30, so there is no…Read More
This resort is ideal for both couples and families. It is not too large and has three clubs the facilities of each can be used. There are three heated pools, three restaurants and nightly entertainment. The bars all close at 11:30, so there is no noise after then. There is an excellent leisure suite and gym for a modest charge.
The friendly helpful staff speak good English. All queries and repairs etc are dealt with immediately.
We had a one-bedroom unit. It was very clean and serviced every other day. The kitchen was well equipped and we self catered with ease. The cooking working area was a little on the small side but adequate for two.
The lounge area had comfortable seats and was well decorated. There was a TV and radio with BBC and some Sky. The patio area had loungers and a table and chairs. It was not in the sun, but as we had plenty of sun in the day this was more of an advantage. It overlooked the pool.
There was a drying area for clothes and they dried quickly.
The bedroom had twin beds. There was good cupboard space for clothes and it was very quiet so we slept very well. There were extra blankets and pillows, but we only needed a sheet.
The bathroom was very clean and fairly large with a lot of shelves for toiletries. There was a bidet.
The unit would be all right for a family, having a bed in the lounge, but there is no privacy for couples sharing.
We did not use the restaurants but there are three on the complex and very many in the town.
There are lots of supermarkets.
About the area
We had a car but the public transport is good. Our car only cost 107 Euros for the week and we hired it at the airport on arrival. It is only 9 km from the airport to the resort and the directions given are clear. The roads are not congested. Don’t fill up with petrol, as it is not a large island.
There is plenty to do. Timanfaya National Park is a very interesting volcanic region. Playa Blanca has a lovely beach and the old town and port at Puerto Del Carmen is very pretty. We went on a submarine trip, which was exciting. There are also attractive coast walks and you can walk for miles.
There are more things we want to see and we will certainly return again to this resort.
Written by beagles on 13 May, 2003
Highlights (i.e. best things to do, memorable moments, etc.):
Tour the island. Visit the Papagayo beaches in the south. They are the island's best with crystal clear water and are safe for children. If it`s windy see Los Hervideros just up the west side…Read More
Highlights (i.e. best things to do, memorable moments, etc.):
Tour the island. Visit the Papagayo beaches in the south. They are the island's best with crystal clear water and are safe for children. If it`s windy see Los Hervideros just up the west side for thundering waves crashing into undercuts, then the green lagoon. Marvel at the thousands of man-made craters for the vines at La Geria. Take a breather on the Playa De Famara underneath the massive cliffs. Continue on to the Mirador Del Rio and enjoy your tipple and the spectacular views of three smaller islands lazing in a blue mirror. Drop down the far side to Orzola and watch the fishermen unloading their catch and hanging it out to dry. Returning via the east coast call in at the Jardin De Cactus with some nine thousand plants and a very peaceful atmosphere. Carry on to Tahiche and you can see the house of Cesar Manrique, the artist who`s work you can see all over the island. It was built over five volcanic bubbles and he lived there until 1987. And last, but definitely not least, visit Timanfaya the Fire Mountain. See it, hear it, and feel it!
If you are visiting for the first time consider staying at Puerto Del Carmen. It is central for touring and has everything you need.
Best Way to Get Around (i.e. walking, driving, taxis, public transportation etc.):
You have to hire a car. The best thing about the whole island is the variety of scenery. The roads are good, but please wear your seatbelt -- the policia are hot on this.