Both of us love beaches but there is nothing we hate more than overcrowded and commercial beaches. Sunbeds and ugly umbrellas crammed on a small stretch of sand is definitely not our idea of a good day. Fortunately Lanzarote is full of secluded beaches and hidden coves.
If you, like us, enjoy gorgeous beaches, we would highly recommend renting a car in Lanzarote. A number of rental companies have booths at the Arrecife airport, and offer convenient and reasonable rates to tourists visiting the island. Having a car makes it much easier to uncover hidden gems.
Here are what we feel are the best beaches in Lanzarote:
#1 PAPAGAYO BEACHES
On Christmas day we drove to the southern tip of Lanzarote to explore some of the more cloistered beaches of the island.
The Punta de Papagayo is a crescent of sandy beaches sheltered by cliffs, hidden in a protected area called the Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches. I’ve spoken of the gorgeous drive to the beaches here. The entry to the Monumento Natural de Los Ajaches is €3, and there is a dirt track that leads to the five beaches.
The beaches are surrounded by volcanic hills and are a fifteen-minute walk away from the car park. Many tourists are put off by this but trust us when we say this- you will be rewarded with the most pristine beaches and gorgeous views if you do make the trek.
The dirt-track that leads to the Papagayo beaches
Pristine Papagayo beaches
Azure waters at Papagayo Beaches
Once you’re at the beach, pick an enclove for yourself- cliffs have segregated the beaches into little sections, and you will be spoilt for choice. Make sure you get your umbrellas and sunscreens. There are barely any shacks or kiosks selling touristy knick-knacks and it can get very hot.
The only shack at Papagayo beaches
We packed some local wine and grapes for our day at Papagayo
Vid at the Papagayo beaches- this is how we celebrated Christmas ’12
#2 FAMARA BEACH
Located at the northern end of Lanzarote, this 4 km long beach is situated at the base of the Famara mountains. The dramatic landscape provides a perfect backdrop for an idyllic day at the beach.
It can get very windy (we’re talking gales that covet your sunscreen bottles, umbrellas, and sunglasses :-(), so this is not the place for a picnic or a swim. However, it is the perfect beach if you want to relax or surf. There are a number of surfing schools for beginners and it is easy to rent surfing gear.
We spent the morning unwinding at the rugged beach and walked down to Famara village for lunch. It has a number of beach-side restaurants overlooking the stunning and unspoilt Famara beach.
Lunch at a beach-side restaurant at Famara Beach
Sunset at Famara Beach
Bruised Passports’ Tips
- Rent a car to explore Lanzarote’s hidden beaches
- Pack a picnic for your day at Papagayo- once you’re there you will not want to move. We suggest packing some local Canarian wine, grapes, and cheese.
- Do not pack a picnic for your day at Famara- it is very windy at all times. Instead enjoy a languorous meal at one of the beach-side tapas bars.
Need help planning a trip to Lanzarote? We have some sample itineraries here