The big holiday places of Lanzarote
In Lanzarote, the touristic life is concentrated to 90% in the three big holiday locations Playa Blanca at the south of the island as Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise at the eastern part of the island; While the retort city Costa Teguise is rather the favourite place for quiet people with an upper standard and aquatic athletes, Puerto del Carmen is the favourite place of beach fans and people who love the nightlife. Playa Blanca is the ideal place for familie sand for lovers of dream beaches.
Puerto del Carmen
Puerto del Carmen is THE holiday resort of Lanzarote par excellence. Here are hotel beds for thousands of tourists. To the contrary of Costa Teguise, in Puerto del Carmen also local people live, so that one is not completely alone among the tourists. In the seventies, instead of the big holiday place there were still some huge tomato fields and salines. Today, 5 km long beaches adorn the costal line; the whole place extends to a place of 7 km length.
Puerto del Carmen is indeed a big touristic place, but luckily there are no oversized hotel bunkers as known from other touristic centres. Alongside the coast the Avenida de las Playas is leading. While this beach street of a length of several kilometres is practically unspoilt at the seaside so that there is always a nice view to the sea and the beaches, at the other sides, the restaurants, bars, tourist shops, banks, car rentals string closely together. The traffic in this street is during the day the way I know it from the centre of Munich. It is difficult to find a parking place and parking the car costs money.
At night , there is a lot of party in Puerto del Carmen. In numerous bars, clubs and gambling houses the tourists have fun, partly until the daylight. But Puerto del Carmen is also a place to go out for the local people. Specially the inhabitants of the capital prefer to go to the little neighbour city, because here is definitely life than in Arrecife.
Although Puerto del Carmen is a big tourist centre, it is not an ugly city. One can have a nice walk alongside the beach avenue and enjoy the gorgeous views to the huge beaches and the mountains in the hinterland. In general , Puerto del Carmen has the most beautiful and the biggest beaches of the island. The beaches are several kilimetres long and have partly a width of up to 200 m. The sea is very shallow so that one can walk far into the sea before loosing ground under the feet. There will be no overcrowded beaches here in the near future. The fine sand is not imported, by the way, but has been blowed in the course of the milleniums from the sandy landscape El Sable behind the mountains by the trade winds.
Those who want to dine properly in Puerto del Carmen will find countless restaurants that bid for the tourists. But good local food is hard to find here, but international cuisine instead from Chinese up to Kebab shops. It is difficult to find real good restaurants among such amounts of restaurants; the tendency is rather fastfood. Who is surprised about the fact that the big american burger chains are already present?
Playa Blanca is on one hand the youngest holiday resort of Lanzarote and on the other side the one that grows in the strongest way. The place that is located at the very south of the island is, according to my opinion, the most beautiful holiday resort of the island; At the east and the west side of the harbour there is a boardwalk that is completely reservd for pedestrians. The car traffic takes place in the heartland. That makes the boardwalk and the beaches to be quiet and pleasant.
Although Playa Blanca continuously grows, the place is still cozy and clearly arranged. There are no monotonous shopping centres as in Costa Teguise and no mega hype as in Puerto del Carmen. Playa Blanca is also not a pure tourist centre; there are enough local people mixed among the light skinned vacationers.
With Playa Flamingo and PLaya Dorada, Playa Blanca has two absolute dream beaches with fine light sand. The beaches are protected by moles against big waves; the sea gets deeper very slowly, so that the beaches are a paradise for children. At the beaches there is everything available from a supermarket up to a snack. But the toilets and showers are charged.
Playa Blanca has a very big advantage related to its location: not only the view to the neighbour islands Fuerteventura and Lobos every day is again breathtaking, Playa Blanca has also by far the most sunny days per year of the island. Specially in the winter the sun often shines there, while the rest of the island is clowdy. And then, Playa Blanca has of course the Papagayo dream beaches that can be either reached on foot, by car or by boat. But one thing is also clear: in order to explore the island, one has to drive long ways, as in the very south of the island there is nothing well worth seeing except Playa Blanca with its dream beaches.
Imagine that in the year 1970 there was a bald abandoned black lava coast at the Costa Teguise, and then, in the course of the emerging tourism, it was decided to build a posh holiday resort. At the beginnig, the master builder of the island, César Manrique, seemed to take part in the arrangement of the luxury holiday resort, but then greedy tourism specialists took over the control of it.
Today, one discovers at the Costa Teguise a holiday resort in that it is immdiately noticeable that it has been raised from the retort. At the Costa Teguise, practically no Lanzaroteño lives, but therefore thousands of tourists do. There are long shopping miles, where the tourist shops, restaurants, supermarkets and car rentals closely string together. here are numerous shopping centres of the same structure as they were positioned in dozens. A thing like a city centre does not exist. Instead, there are long boardwalks where one can walk from one beach to the next one.
At the Costa Teguise there are in total 5 beaches and all of them were artificially arranged. What is unpleasant is the fact that they are crisscrossed by reefs, so that one has to search for the sandy spots in order to walk to the water. The Costa Teguise is a paradise for windsurfers as here is permanently a strong wind. he western half of the Playa de las Cucharas is even reserved exclusivly for aquatic athlets.
The Costa Teguise is exactly right for people that want to spend a quiet bathing or surf holiday. Contrary to the nearby Puerto del Carmen, at the Costa Teguise there is no life in the evenings; there is practically no nightlife in the tourist centre. To me, the monotonous retort city was totally deterrend, the Costa Teguise was not enthusiastic to me at all.
The little fisher village La Santa can surely not be described as a big tourist place, also, it can't keep up in any way with the three big holiday centres of the island. But in La Santa there is the Club La Santa which is a holiday centre for sportsmen, from the free time sportsman up to the competitive athlete.
The complex that is located in the centre of the western coast of the island has been built in the seventies, thus it has already something under the belt. Here, not highly comfortable rooms are the most important thing but simply sports. There is practically no kind of sports that can't be done in Club La Santa: from ball sports to any kind of water sports up to an indivicual fitness-plan, ambitious vacationers can do anything what their body demands. Of course there is also a large poolscape and an own lagoon right at the sea.
Today, such a huge club complex like La Santa could surely not be built anymore in Lanzarote. But for sportsmen it is a paradise in the Canarian Islands and it also enjoy a worldwide acquaintanceship.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz