Caleta de Famara, Bungalows and Playa de Famara

The small fishing village of Caleta de Famara is on the northwest coast about 15 kilometres away from Teguise. It occupies a long curving bay with beaches stretching for many kilometres. It has almost perfect surfing conditions all year round. The San Juan beach often plays host to international surf competitions.

To get to Famara you travel down from the mountains and along sandy roads with dunes on each side. When you arrive in Famara you immediately notice how quiet it is with its dusty, sandy streets. It seems far removed from the hustle and bustle of the island’s main resorts on the other side of the Island. Nearly all the people walking around are watersport enthusiasts, the shops are mostly surf shops, along with some great cafes and seafood restaurants. There are no banks in the village.

Cesar Manrique used to spend his childhood holidays here. He said, “My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood with five-month summer vacations on the Caleta and the Famara beach”. Perhaps his holidays here were the driving force behind his life’s work of fusing art and nature.

The weather here can be cool and cloudy during the winter months when the resorts on the other side of the Island are enjoying much warmer and sunnier weather.

The village has 2 distinct parts. The original fishing village known as Caleta and the relatively new bungalow complex with its semi-circular buildings that sits next to the cliffs.

Caleta de Famara

The original fishing village and harbour have existed for a long time, Caleta literally means small port. It somehow seems stuck in time and has not kept pace with developments on the rest of the island. Caleta offers a glimpse into what Lanzarote was like before mass tourism arrived.

Sand covers the streets and the small harbour is only used to launch the locals small leisure craft. Gone are the commercial fishing vessels which used to be the lifeblood of Famara.

The fact that it is devoid of the usual tourist spot attractions is one of the reasons why people go here. With its unpaved paths, Caleta definitely has that untouched feel to it

The restaurants in Caleta are quite basic and generally serve freshly caught fish and seafood. Many are almost on the beach and have stunning views over the Atlantic. The village faces west so the sunsets can be quite spectacular.

Be sure to book in advance, especially during busy weekends in the summer, as these restaurants are very popular with locals.

The Famara Bungalows

The Bungalows were originally conceived as a luxury resort and built nearly 20 years ago. The development sits underneath the cliffs and has excellent views over the ocean. It isn’t to everybody’s taste, however. Some people have likened it to an oil terminal, which I personally think is a bit harsh.

For various reasons, this development fell into disrepair. It is not exactly one of the most sought after places on Lanzarote. It does seem to have had a bit of a renaissance in recent years. Many of the bungalows are available for holiday rental and the complex has a central reception area, swimming pool and a small supermarket.

Playa de Famara

There are two main beaches at Famara, one on either side. These are the Playa de Famara which curves around under the cliffs and a smaller beach San Juan which is popular with surfers. Famara is several kilometres long and the longest stretch of beach on the whole island.

The beaches have strong currents and swimming is not advised. Most of the people in the water are experienced surfers. The currents remove the sand in winter leaving a rocky beach and bring it back in the summer leaving a sandy beach.

If you want to go swimming there is a small lagoon (Kleine Lagune) with an even smaller beach which has the added benefit that it is quite often free of wind. This is located just to the west of Caleta.

A strong wind blows here most days, so it’s not a very pleasant beach for sunbathing. However, this does make it a mecca for kitesurfers who make a great sight as they skim along the sea pulled by their large, brightly coloured kites. If you want to learn how to do this there are several schools, teaching kitesurfing as well as traditional surfing.

The long beach is large enough to accommodate lots of people. The area that is furthest from the village is often occupied by naturists, although this is an unofficial nudist beach.

The beaches make a great walk with some of the best scenery in Lanzarote. You can walk quite a distance along the base of the Risco (cliffs).

The sea view here always looks impressive with the island of La Graciosa not too far away and the Atlantic’s waves crashing endlessly.

Travelling to Caleta de Famara

By Bus

It is possible to catch a bus from Arrecife to Caleta de Famara. Route 20 operates 5 times a day on weekdays, with a journey time of between 45 and 60 minutes.

By Car

From the LZ-30 turn onto the LZ-402 and follow this for about 10 kilometres to Caleta. Drive carefully as sand often covers the LZ-30.

If you are staying in Famara and want to explore other places on the island, you will probably want to hire a car. 

Other things to do in Lanzarote

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Exploring Lanzarote - Caleta de Famara

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