Beaches and bathing in the island Lanzarote
At the coastal lined of Lanzarote with a length of 100 km, there are approximately 100 beaches; A third of them havde a nice bright sahara-sand, a third has the pristine volcanic sand and a further third is stony, thus not adequate for bathing. From all these beaches, approximately 30 are touristically fully arranged, which means there are enough parking places, comfortable accesses, toilets, restaurants, etc. But there are also numerous lonely beaches that are only reachable on foot and therefore they remain untroubled from the tourist attacks.
The beaches in the south and the east of the island are ideal for bathing. The beaches at the west coast and in the north of the island are mostly dominated by strong winds, so that they are rather a paradise for windsurfers than for bathing guests.
Playa Flamingo in the holiday resort Playa Blanca
The holiday resort Playa Blanca has two main beaches in which the tourist life takes place. This beach is located at the east of Playa Dorada and at the west of Playa Flamingo. Playa Dorada is located more centrally, as it connects straight to the boardwalk of Playa Blanca. In Playa Flamingo in the west there is also a boardwalk, but there is only some life during the day when it is time for bathing.
Playa Flamingo is a gorgeous, artificially arranged beach of finest sahara-sand. It is located in an artificial bay, so that the sea seems t be a huge swimming pool: either on the left side as also at the right, two long extended moles from which one is even accessible, separate the bathing pool from the sea. The big advantage of this is that there are practically no waves in Playa Flamingo, which means that one can calmly swim in the sea.
This sea pool is, of course, a pure paradise for children, this is the reason why there are so many families with little kids in Playa Flamingo. The beach smoothly turns into water; it is possible to walk some metres on finest sand into the sea. Of course, it is a highlight to to swim so far into the sea until reaching one of the stone walls in order to have a look to the "real" sea.
Right behind the beach there is a boardwalk with numerus restaurants, the typical tourist shops and a supermarket where one can buy some drinks and snacks at reasonabla prices. It is possible to park the car at a distance of approximately 100-200 m form the beach. A visit to Playa Flamingo is definitey worthwhile!
Playa Dorada in the holiday resort Playa Blanca
Without doubt, Playa Dorada is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. The main beach of Playa Blanca (in the very south of the island) glistens with its gold-yellow dessert sand; one soon recognizes that this sand has been arranged artificially. This beach is really inviting to have a bath, specially because of the reason that the water is lovely clear. By swimming a little into the sea, one easily forgets that the water underneath is already a few metres deep, as one still can see the sea ground.
The infrastructure of Playa Dorada is excellent: there are numerous restaurants, kiosks, bars, two supermarekts and even a Burger King. Tip: the supermarket of the upper street is twice as much expensive than the lower one that is less visible, thus the right one is to be choosen! In Playa Dorada there are a lot of parking places but during the week-ends they get busy soon.
But one thing really shocked me, as I never experienced it before: there are open showers at the beach and the use of them costs a fee of 50 cent. A shower with a coin-operated machine - I have never seen such a thing until then.
Playas de Papagayo
The Papagayo beaches ar elocated at the south-east tip of the island, they nicely string side by side on a rocky headland underneath the Ajaches mountains. All of those beaches are first class sand beaches. It is not possible for the nature to offer the guests the beaches in a nicer way. The beaches are protected backwards and sidewards by the rock cliffs and have a bright fine sand that transfers the bathers smoothly into the shallow water. One gets a first impression of this bathing paradise by looking over from the view point of Playa Blanca, Punta del Aguila, to the tongue of rock.
There are three possibilities to get to these dream beaches: by car, on foot or by boat. In order to get by car to one of the parrot beaches, one has to drive a few kilometres on a clumsy road. In order to protect this unique nature, an entrance fee of 3 € is to be paid. From the can road, there are repeatedely signposted access roads to each of the beaches. In some beaches it is possible to drive up to the sand, in some beaches there is a bit to walk from the parking place to the beach, partly down the cliffs.
It is nicer to visit the Papagayo beaches on foot or by bike. A march from the first beach to the last one takes approximately 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the footpath from Playa Blanca gets increasingly complicated, as large hotel buildings increasingly obstruct the way. From the harbour of Playa Blanca there are also some boat taxis that take the vacationers to the Papagayo beaches and pick them up in the late afternoon. The advantage of this boat tour is that one can see all beaches from the sea, which menas from the front.
At the west side of the south-east tip of Lanzarote there are three beaches Playa Mujeres, Playa del Pozo und Playa de Papagayo. In Playa de Papagayo there is a restaurant with toilets. On the other side of the headland, there are both long extended beaches Playa de Puerto Muelas and Playa Caleta del Congrio. There is a simple camping ground in front of these beaches.
The Papagayo beaches are so natural and beautiful that one should not discard in any case visiting them. They are not only beautiful due to their situation, due to their turquoise shining water and their fine sand, but also due to their spectacular views over to the neighbour islands Fuerteventura and Lobos.
The four Playas in Costa Teguise
There are already four beaches alongside the coastline of the large holiday resort Costa Teguise (from south to north): Playa Bastián, Playa del Jablillo, Playa de las Cucharas, Playa de los Charcos. The beaches are artificially arranged with bright sand. As it should be for a touristical place, behind the boardwalk, numerous restaurants, supermarkets and souvenir shops string together.
None of the beaches really impressed me. The sand is nice indeed, but the access into the sea is not very pleasant, as one immediately adjoins some little rocky cliffs on which it is hard to walk. Also the view from the beaches isn't anything special. They are just artificially arranged beaches for the thousands of tourists that spend their holidays at Costa Teguise.
Playa Salinas de Janubio
A visit to the salt fields Salinas de Janubio belongs to the standard program of all visitors of Lanzarote. A little beneath the Salinas de Janubio there is a long extended black sand beach. The sand partly merges in little lava pearls. A walk with bare feet on this round stones has the effect og a foot massage.
At this west-beach, there is often a strong winds so that it is rather inadequate for a long extended bath session unless the sun burns so strongly from the sky that a permanent cool breeze is desired. Thus, the beach rather invites to have a beach walk than to have a bath. Additionally, it is possible to find many precious stones underneath the lava pearls. The are many tourists walking ducked alongside the beach and hope to find one or another piece of olivin. And indeed: after half an hour, we could collect a little fistful of the little precious stones.
Playa El Golfo
Right beside the emerald-green lagoon Lago Verde at El Golfo there is the black sand beach of El Golfo. There are two accessions to this lava beach, one at the north and one at the south of the lagoon. The southern accession leads to a wide road down to the green sea and to the beach, the northern accession ends at an observation deck at the Lago Verde. There is a trail down to the beach that is officially prohibited to use.
The black beach of El Golfo looks very inviting, specially with its spectacular green lagoon in the background. However, during my visit, having a bath was not recomended due to the bad water quality.
Playa Quemada in the south-east of the island rather denominates a little holiday resort than a beach. The volcanic beach that belongs to Playa Quemada is the Playa de la Arena. This black sand is located oin a protected cliff bay, so that also in the case of a stron wind in the island one is not blown away in this spot. In the location Playa Quemada there are a few tapas restaurants and shopping facilities.
But how to get to the beach and back are two separate chapters: if the tide is low, one can easily walk underneath the cliff to the boardwalk. But when the tide is high, this way is inundated and only a more complicated way is possible in which one first has to scale approximately 50 metres of altitude difference in order to descend afterwards. Of course, this detains a lot of beach visitors, so that it is possible to describe it as a lonely and quiet beach the way many people like it.
Playa Blanca and Playa de los Pocillos in Puerto del Carmen
Puerto del Carmen is not only the biggest tourist place of the island but also THE bath resort in Lanzarote par excellance. In Puerto del Carmen there are three large beaches of best quality. Playa Blanca is located right at the centre of the city; the huge Playa de los Pocillos is located a little more to the north where in the last years a new city- and tourist centre has grown.
Either the Playa Blanca as also Playa de los Pocillos are two sand beaches of class of their own. The sand is nicely bright and smoothly merges into the shallow water. Also in the water, one does not slide into the rocky cliff stones but walks on smooth sand. Specially in Playa de los Pocillos it is very pleasant to be able to walk deep into the sea before the head drops into the water. If one walks and/or swimms a piece into the sea one is rewarded with a fantastic view to the localty and the mountains in the hinterland. Both beaches have a perfect infrastructure with toilets, deck chairs and a supermarket.
Unfortunately, parking the car in Playa Blanca that is completely situated in the centre, is not for free. But to the contrary, it is possible to park at Playa de los Pocillos. There is so much space at Playa de los Pocillos that one can be sure that this beach will never be overcrowded. In the back part of the beach it would be even possible to arrange some football grounds .
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz