Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The best beaches of Lanzarote

The Canary Island of Lanzarote is home to over 100 beaches with the vast majority being white rather than black sand which are more prevalent in the other Canary Islands. Lanzarote has 213km of coast line and the best way to explore, as ever is to hire a car or motorbike and to venture out along the coast to experience the island.

I will start with the beaches located around the south of the island in the area of Playa Blanca which is very popular with tourists. Papagayo Beach is located to the east of the centre of Playa Blanca and is located in what is now a national park. Access to the beach is via a dirt road or by water taxi from Playa Blanca harbour and the beach is sheltered by high cliffs. The beach and water are fantastic and there is a small selection of services available at the beach. Please note that there is a small charge to use the road accessing the beach and it is worth taking an umbrella.
A beach where you wouldn’t need to be so prepared as when visiting Papagayo Beach is Playa Flamingo which is located within walking distance of the centre of Playa Blanca. Playa Flamingo offers a very attractive, clean and safe beach, suitable for families. The water is also very calm and suitable for young children. There are a number of shops and cafes located near to the beach if you wanted a break from the midday sun.

Situated towards the east of Lanzarote is the region of Puerto del Carmen which is one of the major tourist hubs on the island. There are several beaches worth visiting in the area one of which is Matagorda Beach which is located close to the islands airport. The beach is small but very clean and well maintained as well as having a wide selection of shops and restaurants. There is also a children’s play area nearby to keep the children entertained if they get bored of the beach as well as facilities to hire bikes and ride along the promenade. Matagorda could also be a great holiday option if you were looking for somewhere a little quieter than the centre of Puerto del Carmen.

Further north of Puerto del Carmen is the area of Arrecife and Costa Teguise. Costa Teguise was created in the 80’s and is a truly self contained holiday centre. It is also home to five beaches.  The most popular of the beaches is Playa Cucharas. Playa Cucharas is over a kilometre in length and is a golden sandy beach suitable to families as the slope in the sea is very gentle. There are also plenty of facilities at Playa Cucharas with a large selection of shops as well as loungers and sun shades available to rent during the day. The beach is also popular with windsurfers and one half of the water is separated from the swimmers so that both swimmers and windsurfers can operate safely.

A beach that is perfect for those who love to swim is Playa Jabillo which is surrounded by volcanic rock which creates a perfect pool for swimmers. It is worth visiting Playa Jabillo either early in the day or later in the afternoon as it can be difficult to park in the surrounding area but it is a lovely spot to burn the calories from the excesses of a great holiday!  

Another beach that is popular with swimmers (and the locals) is Playa Ancla which is situated off the beaten track away from the centre of Costa Teguise. It is perfect for swimmers but rather primitive in terms of its amenities but certainly adds to its charm. 

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