If you are looking for a relaxed holiday in Lanzarote then maybe Playa Blanca is for you. The fast-growing resort located in the south of the island has a very chilled atmosphere, is home to a stunning yacht marina (Rubicon Marina) and has plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants. It is about 37 kilometres from the capital, Arrecife and 33 kilometres from the airport.
Playa Blanca is Lanzarote’s newest resort town. Originally, it started life as a small fishing village. A group of Scandinavians bought the land around the village back in the 1970s. It was subsequently sold to developers who wanted to create a new luxury resort town that was different from the more boisterous Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen.
Over the last 20 years, it has developed into one of the three biggest holiday resorts on the island and is very much family orientated and perhaps the most upmarket.
The white buildings in the town contrast beautifully with the red and brown background of volcanoes and of course the deep blue water of the Atlantic Ocean.
On the eastern side of the resort are a number of large luxury hotels which are almost within touching distance of the Playas de Papagayo. The resort itself has several beaches, Playa Blanca, Playa Flamingo, Playa de Montana Roja, Playa Dorado and Playa de las Coloradas.
How to get to Playa Blanca
If you are driving, head onto the LZ2 and then south. This eventually takes you almost into the centre of Playa Blanca. If you are driving from Arrecife or the airport the journey time is about 35 minutes. It’s a great journey as a large part of it is through some of the Island’s best volcanic landscapes. Of course, when you arrive you need to navigate around the streets of the resort but this is not too difficult.
Alternatively, if you are travelling on a budget or don’t want to drive there are a number of buses that run to Playa Blanca. Line 61 runs from terminals 1 and 2 at the airport departing every hour. Line 6 runs from Arrecife and Puerto del Carmen to Playa Blanca.
If you are in Fuerteventura you can catch one of the ferries from Corralejo to Playa Blanca. There are foot ferries and car ferries making the short crossing in about 30 minutes. If you plan on doing this it’s best to book your ticket in advance in order to get the best price.
How to Get Around Playa Blanca
Playa Blanca is a very walkable place, most streets have pavements and there are a number of pedestrian areas around the seafront. If you don’t fancy walking there are lots of places offering bikes for rent.
Playa Blanca also has its own bus service. The number 30 runs a circular route around the town every 30 minutes. This stops at all the main places and only costs 1.30 euros regardless of how far you want to travel.
Playa Blanca Beaches
The white beach which lends its name to the town sits at the heart of the resort and has a European Blue Flag for cleanliness. Being central means that there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants as well as shops and amenities within easy reach. The beach is quite small and close to the entrance to the port.
The beach disappears at high tide, you can check the tide times at www.tidetime.org.
Playa Flamingo beach is just a few minutes’ walk west of the town. The beach is very clean, safe and attractive. High cliffs shelter it on one side. At the top of the cliffs is the Mirador En Playa Flamingo which offers great views of the coast and is a nice place to watch the sunset.
Although it is outside of the town centre, there are still a number of shops and restaurants nearby.
Playa de Montana Roja
Montaña Roja (Red Mountain) Beach is located close to the less populated areas of Montana Roja and the lighthouse at Pechiguera. The beach is much quieter than those in the town centre.
Playa Dorada translates literally as The Golden Beach. This is definitely an accurate description of the beach with its honey-coloured sand. The beach is protected on both sides by manmade breakwaters so the water is nearly always calm. Locals often visit Playa Dorada for a morning swim.
This beach is not too far from the main resort area and it has a number of shops and cafes.
Playa de las Coloradas Beach
Playa de las Coloradas is a cosy, intimate beach east of Playa Blanca. The beach is a mixture of volcanic sand and pebbles. The Sandos Papagayo Arena Hotel and the Castillo de las Coloradas both overlook the beach.
Playas de Papagayo
Nearby Papagayo is one of Lanzarote’s highlights. These are a series of beautiful beaches each sitting in its own cove. All of the golden sand beaches are protected from the wind by cliffs and they also have calm water, perfect for swimming. Read my Papagayo guide for more information.
Places to see and Things to see and do in Playa Blanca
First opened in 2003 Rubicon Marina is the south’s answer to Puerto Calero. Surrounding the Marina are over 20 small bars and restaurants. There are a similar number of high-end designer shops. The area around the Marina looks like a small Spanish village with narrow alleyways that run between the buildings.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, it is home to a really nice local market. The market specialises in locally-produced crafts. The stalls have reasonably priced gifts that include jewellery, handpainted souvenirs, leather goods, artworks, trinkets and clothes.
As well as the Marina, Playa Blanca has a port that is home to the ferries that travel back and forth to Fuerteventura as well as leisure boats and the remnants of the fishing fleet.
Castillo de las Coloradas
East of the Marina and just in front of the Hotel Vulcan Lanzarote is a small defensive fortification on top of a peninsular. The Castillo de las Coloradas is a small watchtower built in the 1740s. This was built to defend the coast from the almost continuous pirate attacks from North Africa. Locals used to take refuge in the tower. If pirates were spotted approaching the harbour, the bell on the watchtower would ring.
The castle is free to enter. As well as its historical interest, there are fantastic views from the peninsular eastwards to the beaches at Papagayo. Many people come here in the evening as it’s also a great place to watch the sunset.
Playa Blanca Beachfront
Playa Blanca has spread out along the southern coast of Lanzarote for a distance of about 9 km. Running the length of this stretch of coastline is a pedestrian walkway that connects all the beaches, seafront bars, cafes and restaurants, with the only break in the path being at the Port.
The beachfront is perfect for a walk or bike ride (bike hire is available in the resort) as the walkway is free of traffic. It connects the Castillo de las Coloradas in the east to the Pechiguera Lighthouse in the west. The path is wide and well maintained. At all the best viewpoints, there are benches so you can sit for a while and enjoy the many stunning sea views.
The lighthouse stands at the western end of the Beachfront walk and is quite some distance from the centre of Playa Blanca. It’s certainly worth the effort as it is a very impressive 50-metre high building. The old lighthouse still stands next to the new and is designated a place of cultural heritage by the government. It’s a pity that people have covered it in graffiti.
Getting to the lighthouse is a nice walk/bike ride along the southern coastline. The lighthouse is visible for some distance before you reach it.
As well as impressive coastal views, on the landward side, there is the old volcano Montana Roja to look at.
Montana Roja or Red Mountain is the old volcano that sits behind the western part of Playa Blanca. It is possible to climb up to the crater and walk around the rim, a total distance of about 3km. The best time to climb the volcano is early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler. Both the sunrise and sunset are spectacular from the top. You can walk from the beachfront path or park your car near the base of the volcano as follows.
Head North out of Playa Blanca northwards on the LZ2. Turn off left on the outskirts of town at the roundabout with the petrol station. This takes you along Faro de Pechiguera. Turn right at the third mini roundabout and go past the Jardines Del Sol holiday resort. Take the second turning on the left where there is a small sign for Montana Baja. Follow the road around until you see a small “Al Volcan” sign on the left. Find somewhere to park and you’ll see the obvious path climbing the righthand side of the volcano. I have marked the route on the Google Map.
Once you have climbed up to the rim you can walk all the way around the crater. As well as stunning views of Playa Blanca and the southern coastline you can also see the western coastline and Fuerteventura.
Take a Trip to Corralejo in Fuerteventura
If you look out to sea at the horizon from Playa Blanca you can see the volcanos of Fuerteventura. These are only 16 km away. There are several ferries making the crossing at regular intervals, from the port. This makes visiting the town of Corralejo a perfect day out.
Corralejo has a chilled-out surfer town vibe with its wide streets lined with surf shops and places to eat. The beaches of Northern Fuerteventura offer some of the best surfing in the Canary Islands and are a magnet for surf enthusiasts.
Corralejo is the second biggest tourist centre on Fuerteventura. Its popularity comes from the beaches and wonderful sand dunes nearby. All the nearby beaches offer great views of the Island of Lobos and Lanzarote in the distance.
The old part of the town is full of squares and narrow streets, all of which lead down to the waterfront. The town centre consists of a marketplace, cafes and restaurants.
Book your tickets a few days in advance so you can secure the best prices.
Shopping in Playa Blanca
As well as the shops around the Marina and along the promenade, there are lots of shops in the streets behind it, in particular the pedestrian Calle Limones. These sell all manner of things and there are also a number of high street chain stores dotted around. There are plenty of supermarkets selling mostly British and German goods.
As well as shops there is an excellent market in Marina Rubicon on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Lanzarote is duty-free and many bargains can be had, especially with small electrical items and perfumes where you can pay up to 30% less than back home in the UK. Do double-check what you are buying though, especially with electrical items. Most shops are open late into the evening.
Food and Drink
There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars along the Playa Blanca beachfront, and the streets running parallel to it, at the edge of the old town. However, whilst the choice of food on offer is extensive you’ll find it hard to eat traditional Canarian food. A lot of the food on offer is English rather than Spanish.
Other things to do in Lanzarote
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