A guide to the best beaches in Lanzarote

A volcanic backdrop, superb climate and long, lean coast makes Lanzarote holiday destinations ideal for beach breaks. For such a small island, you’ll find great diversity here too. From calm, timid waters to breaking waves ideal for surfing, Lanzarote beaches truly do have it all. Like all the islands in the Canaries, Lanzarote emerged from the sea as a result of volcanic activity. Yet, unlike the other islands, this one has few black sand beaches. Instead, you’ll find mainly beautiful white and golden sands in this guide to the best beach holidays Lanzarote has to offer.

Playa Famara

Playa Famara is perfect for surf beginners and has a number of surf schools set up in Famara village to cater for demand. Easily accessible by bus from Costa Teguise it’s popular with bohemian types and those looking for dramatic landscapes.

As a wilder kind of beach there aren’t many facilities around, but it makes for an exhilarating walk. Cesar Manrique, the local artist and architect whose influence is seen all over the island, spent his childhood holidays in Famara. Perhaps that’s where he picked up his creative vision.

Playa de Papagayo

This beach is worth multiple points, not least because it’s actually made up of a collection of beaches. Reached down a long, dirt track, like Famara it has few facilities for tourists but offers a stunning place to sunbathe or walk the cliff walls that shelter the individual bays below. Kids enjoy paddling in the lagoon whilst swimmers glide through the gentle seas. People come from Playa Blanca so it can get busy in high season, but if you’re taking cheap low season holidays to Lanzarote you can be sure to find peace and quiet here.

La Garita

At the north of the island away from the biggest resorts, La Garita is popular with locals who come to the area for camping. The coast in Arrieta is protected by the spurs that form the Peñas del Chache massif, creating a warm, calm microclimate. The fine golden sands gently slope down to the sea and waves form at one end making it a good spot for local surfers. There is a beach bar but you’ll find more food in the village.

Playa Chica

One of the smallest but prettiest beaches, Playa Chica lures visitors with its calm waters and underwater scenery. It sits in a sheltered bay in Puerto del Carmen, an oasis of calm in the island’s party capital. Get here early to enjoy the beach at its quietest, or dive under the surface in search of the local 50-kilo grouper fish and some of Europe’s most spectacular reefs. Indeed, the area has been declared a Special Area of European Conservation.

Playa Flamingo

As well as having a fun name, Playa Flamingo has a fun spirit. A local spot for those staying in Playa Blanca it provides respite from the busy, breezy beach to which the area shares its name. With plenty of parasols for everyone and great cafes and bars lining the promenade behind, Playa Flamingo is the place to sunbathe in peace. It’s also easy to entertain young children and keep an eye on them in the curved bay.

Playa Francesca

A curve ball this one but if it’s isolation you crave, hop on to a ferry from Órzola to La Graciosa, the Canaries unofficial eighth isle. Allegedly the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, it certainly feels like an adventure trekking across to this idyllic beach. These days it’s more popular with yacht-goers than pirates, but you’ll have plenty of space to breath in the clean ocean air whilst enjoying the spectacular scenery.