I’m a lucky girl in that my in-laws have a villa in Lanzarote which they rent out and stay in. But in June the villa was empty meaning Paul and I could hop on the plane and spend a few weeks enjoying the sunshine and our home away from home. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some things you can do in Playa Blanca and Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote.
Lanzarote is part of the Canary Islands, the third most populated after Tenerife and Gran Canaria. It is known as the “Island of Volcanoes”, situated only 140km from Africa.
WHERE TO STAY
Of course, you can always stay in a hotel, but I prefer staying in a villa. There’s fewer restrictions, more space and it’s home from home! You can chill out and watch TV, cook your own healthy meals and even float around on your own private pool. Like the sound of this? There are loads of lovely Lanzarote villas dotted around the island, so take a look before booking a hotel.
Playa Blanca is a popular tourist destination with plenty of restaurants and bars across the sea front. I’ll be honest when I say they can change on a regular basis depending on the ownership, but there are a few I can recommend that are based in Playa Blanca and the surrounding area.
The perfect snack bar with a great range of food, snacks and ice cream. Paul and I visit Lani’s every time we come to Lanzarote and although June was the first time we came here as vegetarians, we didn’t find it hard to find something to eat.
For you meat eaters Restaurante Grill Volcan De Timanfaya has a large selection of meat, including goat and rabbit…
A few years ago I tackled their Bull Chop. I managed to eat it all but I was a bit of a porker back then! I recall that I enjoyed it.
However, for non-carnivores, there are a few vegetarian options available. For our three year wedding anniversary Paul and I had a three-course meal including coffee and drinks for just over €35.
It does get extremely busy so be aware that it’s popular. The service, we’ve found is also personable and friendly.
I do get excited about visiting an Indian restaurant as they always have great vegetarian options. And this curry was possibly the best I’ve ever had. The food is flavourful, not greasy, fresh and delicious. I’m hungry just thinking about it… For €60 Paul and I had poppadums, onion bhaji, a pilau rice, a naan each, vegetable korma, an aloo gobi, desserts, coffee, two bottles of water and two non-alcoholic beers each. Definitely recommended!
Again, this is a popular place so get there at a decent hour to beat the crowds of hungry curry lovers! Oh, and they do takeaway too.
Of course, the best way to keep fit in the hot weather is to go swimming. Our villa has a communal pool which is open only to those who have a key which means it’s quite quiet most of the time. Most hotels have a decent selection of swimming pools but if it’s a little overcrowded there’s always the beautiful sea!
Fancy creating a bit of a sweat? As you go from Playa Blanca towards the Marina there is an outdoor gym consisting of various machines which is a great free alternative to paying for a gym membership.
Princess Yaiza Hotel Gym
If you’re staying in Lanzarote for a month (believe me there are a lot of people who do!) you can purchase a month membership for €50 plus a €20 joining fee. This is definitely for those who are looking to workout more than four times a week. They also offer €55 for classes and activities including the gym.
The gym itself has cardio, free weights and machines. It’s a small gym but doesn’t get too busy! Be sure to bring your own water as they only sell bottled water and there are no fountains.
If you get up early enough you can run across the beach to the outdoor gym and it won’t be too hot. There are plenty of runners who do this but be sure to drink lots of water.
I’ll be honest… Lanzarote isn’t known for its wonderful shopping trips like New York. There are a couple of shopping centres but they tend to consist primarily of gift shops selling wood carving and volcano sculptures and supermarkets (HiperDino is very good for groceries and essentials). You can also visit the markets for souvenirs and fresh food.
The shopping centre near Marina Rubicon is practically deserted a lot of the time but it’s nice to have a wander there to pick up any shopping.
Speaking of the Marina Rubicon, you will find a few fashion brands there such as Lacoste but it’s no Bluewater so don’t expect many high street brands.
FAMILY FUN IN AND OUT OF PLAYA BLANCA
If you’re staying at a hotel, they will be able to inform you of any hotel activities such as kid’s clubs. However, there is also a huge variety of tours and excursions. This includes a grand island volcano tour where you can visit Timanfaya National Park, submarine safaris and other fun excursions.
Marina Rubicon also offers swimming and sporting activities including nautic activities and excursions.
There is also mini-golf, swimming pools, tennis courts, beach activities (pedalos, boat rides etc.), a bowling alley in the evenings at the Rubicon shopping center.
Most of the bars in Lanzarote offer some sort of evening entertainment whether it be karaoke, live music or sport so you won’t be short of things to do in the evening.
TIPS FOR VISITING LANZAROTE
- Always, always wear sunscreen even when it’s overcast and windy.
- Get mosquito repellant, cream and sprays because you’re bound to get bitten!
- There are certain parts that you cannot walk on such as the lava fields at the National Park.
- Be sure to check shop opening times especially near religious holidays and Sundays.
- Buses are pretty easy to use so don’t be afraid to jump on one to explore the island!