Winter sun, emerald shallows and winds that are perfect for watersports – the call of the Canaries beckons from its shorelines, and Lanzarote’s balmy blonde beaches lead the way for a seafront holiday.
Nature’s colour palette of black, red and gold grains form volcanic and man-made stretches of sand, fringing buzzing coastal resorts from north to south.
With over 100 beaches to bathe, the Brit holiday hotspot promises plenty of spots to pop a parasol or paddle in the temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of Spain’s best sands wrap the southernmost tip of the laid-back Los Ajaches Natural Park, world-class waves batter Famara with surf in the north and the island capital Arrecife is blessed with a Blue Flag quality coastline.
Whether staying all-in by the white swathes of Playa Blanca or finding paradise on the island’s little sister, La Graciosa, here are the best playas to lay your towel in Lanzarote.
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Playas de Papagayo, Los Ajaches Natural Park
Applauded as the star of Lanzarote’s swathes, the golden beaches of Papagayo take prime position on the southernmost tip of the Los Ajaches Natural Park – follow the dirt track and pay the €3 entry fee for paradise found. The popular crescent cove sheltered by cliffs makes for a relaxing reading spot, ideal for topping up a tan, treading turquoise waters and snorkelling reefs teeming with marine life. And you can forget sand-crusted sandwiches; clifftop Be Papagayo offers a menu plentiful with seafood paella and tapas platters.
Playa de Famara, Teguise
Surfs up on the north coast and there’s 6km of untamed shore to explore on Playa de Famara. Powerful winds produce consistent swells, breaks and rolling waves in this slice of the Natural Park of the Chinijo Archipelago so Famara’s fine sands are a surfer's haven whatever your style of board. The local fishing village of La Caleta de Famara offers fresh fish refuels after rides on the water and there’s a wealth of surf shacks and schools ready to take you from novice to expert.
Charco de Los Clicos, El Golfo
The black sands of El Golfo meet an algae-green lagoon and rust-toned cliffs on Lanzarote’s west coast. A landscape of contrasts, protected Charco de Los Clicos sits on the crater of an extinct volcano and though swimming is prohibited at the nature reserve, a lookout point allows visitors to watch the dark tombolo between waters green and blue bear the brunt of wild Atlantic waves.
Playa Dorada, Playa Blanca
With clear, warm waters and clean, fine sand, Playa Dorada sparkles afront the family-centric all-inclusives and sprawling holiday resorts of Playa Blanca. Peppered with plenty of blue parasols, pedalos and kayaks to hire, the 300m artificial bay is best enjoyed during Lanzarote’s mild shoulder seasons to avoid the buzz of the summer holidays.
Playa Mujeres, Los Ajaches Natural Park
Atop the Papagayo playas, the secluded stretch of Mujeres is a dirt track away from the hustle of commercialised Playa Blanca. Backdropped by Lanzarote’s barren desertscapes an inviting palette of blues laps the wide shore and a float on the surface is a popular pastime with snorkellers seeking a glimpse of octopi and angel sharks.
Playa del Reducto, Arrecife
In the heart of laid laid-back island capital, Arrecife, Playa del Reducto’s golden sands and turquoise waters have earned their Blue Flag status. A lofty palm-fringed promenade of beach boutiques and contemporary art museums frame the urban crescent, and the calm shallows – ideal for children to have a paddle – are well-suited for a sunning session with a mojito or mocktail in hand.
Playa de las Conchas, La Graciosa
Though an island in its own right, La Graciosa’s rugged northern coast is littered with empty bleached white beaches that put the swathes of mainland Spain to shame. For a day trip to the dunes of Las Conchas, an expansive shore studded only with rocks and tidewrack, it is a short ferry ride from the tip of Orzola in Lanzarote to the playa paradise – well worth the endeavour for an uninterrupted stretch out on the sand.
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