Cornering the market on Lanzarote’s best resort beaches, Puerto del Carmen is the rightful queen of the tourist scene.

Puerto del Carmen is one of the most popular holiday destinations on Lanzarote. A pretty harbour, huge beach, and plenty of restaurants and bars, what more could you want?

It can be hard to choose between Lanzarote’s three main resorts. Laid-back Playa Blanca boasts mountainside villas and a clutch of small town beaches, while purpose-buit Costa Teguise lures with its four natural bays and time-honoured charms, having first accommodated visitors in the 1970s, but when it comes, however, to sun-soaking, page flipping and sea dipping, Puerto del Carmen is the golden one.

Famara beach is a surfer's paradise and has been given the nickname of 'European Hawaii', so definitely check it out if you want to give surfing a go.

Young families flock here at the peak of summer, but the tail end of autumn, winter and early spring are ideal times to see a different side to Puerto del Carmen, a relaxed, festival-filled period when t-shirts are still en vogue and chilled seafront tipples are just as refreshing.

Here are some of the top things to do in and around Puerto del Carmen.

Beaches

The seven Papagayo beaches are among the most beautiful of this Canary Island. Golden stretches separated by volcanic rock, make for a rather pretty coastline. The crystal clear and shallow waters make them great for families.

The island offers an array of beaches. In Papagayo in the south of Lanzarote, you can expect unspoiled, secluded stretches, and Famara, on the west coast offers more rugged sands where the wind dances among the dunes.

Puerto del Carmen’s beaches are wide, golden and just steps away from a fresh-from-the-sea platter or an ice-filled cocktail that rivals the colours of sunset. In short, they’re perfect, and the EU thinks so too - as each has a Blue Flag.

Playa Grande Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Framed by a promenade, lined with bars, shops and restaurants, makes is a mecca for tourists looking for a great day or night out.

Playa Grande is the queen bee among those honeyed stretches of fine grains, where calm ways roll tenderly onto the shores. Around a mile long and an average of 100 meteres deep, this huge town beach is sandwiched between tranquil waters and a meandering promenade; behind this are shops, cafés and restaurants.

Even bigger than Playa Grande, Playa de los Pocillos runs in front of hotels in the area known as Los Pocillos, which many consider part of Puerto del Carmen. With less protection from the famous Canary Island breeze, the sands of Los Pocillos host kite fliers, while the waters off it tempt windsurfers.

Open to the elements, Playa de los Pocillos is a windy beach, best for water sports and kite flying!

The best of the rest: close to the Old Town and harbour, neighbouring Fariones Beach and Playa Chica, also known as Pila de la Barrilla, are petite but protected. Local children jump from the jetties and scuba divers wade, between sun worshippers, into the underwater world of Puerto del Carmen. At the other end of the promenade (the Avenida de Las Playas), tiny El Barranquillo is hidden by a maze of alleyways - your curiosity will be rewarded.

El Barranquillo Beach is a tiny beach that really deserves a visit. The calm waters are great for paddling, and also for watching the burning red sunset.

Festivities

With average daily temperatures between autumn and spring ranging from 20°C to 23°C, a glorious parade of festivals and events revel in the milder weather and easy-going atmosphere of Puerto del Carmen.

National days and religious holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, are celebrated with zeal. Major events include May’s Ironman, which brings onlookers to Playa Grande, where the ocean greets eager swimmers, and finally to the streets, where weary runners complete the gruelling triathlon.

For those who want to really push themselves - or watch other people push do so- Ironman is the biggest sporting event on the island. Triathletes battle in swimming, cycling and running to win the coveted Ironman title.

It’s the annual Carnival, however, that gets feet tapping and hips shaking. There’s no controlling it. The colourful parade arrives on its tour from the capital, Arrecife, in February or March, though carnival fever grips Puerto del Carmen for weeks before the main event.

Carnival is one of the biggest events of the year. With two weeks of parades, parties, costumes and dancing, Lanzarote is the place to be.

Things to do in Puerto del Carmen

A saunter around the Old Town harbour is the perfect way to start the day. The steep inclines get the blood pumping while breakfast menus are likely to have stomachs rumbling. Boat trips depart from the harbour throughout the day.

Glass-bottom boats, dolphin-watching trips, catamaran jaunts and visits to nearby Fuerteventura are all available.

To get a different vista of Lanzarote, head out to sea. There are so many boat trips and excursions available that make for a great day out. The most popular are the dolphin- and whale-watching boat trips.

Puerto del Carmen is one of the best places to shop in Lanzarote. The usual tourist and duty-free offerings line the seafront, though Biosfera Plaza, to the rear of the Old Town, is more likely to have you flashing the plastic. Guess Ray-Ban and Levi's are familiar, while shoppers soon become acquainted with Spanish fashion labels such as Springfield and Pull&Bear. Visit between January and March to hunt for bargains in the winter sales.

After all that shopping and sightseeing, refreshments are available in the myriad bars of Puerto del Carmen, from themed pubs to neon-lit bars by the sea. Dining is also a pleasure here. Top eateries range from tapas bars and steak joints, to curry houses and glitzy Asian-inspired restaurants.

Puerto del Carmen has a varied and diverse nightlife. Filled with themed bars and cocktail venues, restaurants and lots of entertainment, your evenings are sorted.

Things to do near Puerto del Carmen

Lush, manicured greens are a welcome treat for the senses on volcanic Lanzarote. The 18 holes at Lanzarote Golf, on the outskirts of the resort, blend a Ron Kirby-designed, 72-par course with spectacular Atlantic Ocean vistas.

If a day away from the beach is what you're looking for, why not try a game of golf? Perfect your swing on Lanzarote Golf, just outside Puerto del Carmen, and enjoy the warm sunshine.

The upscale marina of Puerto Calero offers more in the way of boat trips and shopping, though designer tags hang off the clothes rails here. A strip of restaurants and bars lines the harbour, where diners enjoy a soundtrack of clinking cutlery and chattering yacht rigging.

There’s a bracing clifftop walk from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero (just over an hour), or a taxi ride takes 10 minutes.

Puerto Calero is a great destination for shoppers who want to treat themselves to something designer. There is also a pretty harbour where you can sit and have a refreshing drink in a bar, while watching the boats bob up and down.

If you have young family members joining you, you can’t go wrong with a day trip to Rancho Texas. This Wild West themed animal and water park is minutes from Puerto del Carmen and regular buses run from the resort.

Children and adults alike will love Rancho Texas. The Wild West themed animal and water park has a variety of animals and shows to watch too - it is a great day out.

Island attractions

Hire a car during your Lanzarote getaway and explore this incredible landscape with ease.

The volcano-dotted Fire Mountains are best seen in Timanfaya National Park, which is just 20 minutes by road from Puerto del Carmen, though it feels like a world away. The route takes you through the wine-producing region of La Geria, so stop by a bodega and find out what volcanic earth and intense sunshine can do for a bottle of wine.

Timanfaya National Park, with its volcanic Mars-like landscape, is a world away from the busy beach towns. Take a coach tour, or hop on a camel to get a good look at the interesting surroundings. You can even have dinner cooked on a barbecue over the dormant volcano.

Legendary Lanzarote artist César Manrique adorned his island home with a trove of large-scale masterpieces. Visit the volcanic bubbles turned rooms at the César Manrique Foundation, which is a 15-minute drive from Puerto del Carmen, or journey into the north (35 minutes) where Manrique made over a system of caves - Jameos del Agua.

A visit to the wine-producing region of La Geria, comes highly recommended. The Malvasía grape produces a variety of white, red or rosé wines, from very sweet to very dry, so make sure you taste some.

With some of the finest beaches in the Canary Islands and a strong line-up of supporting acts, holidays in Puerto del Carmen are the perfect antidote to the British winter.

If you want to relax on the sun-drenched Lanzarote shores for your next holiday, check out our Resort Directory below to book your next fantastic break away.

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