We still haven’t gotten used to London's grey weather, so sunshine trips are always a must. The Canary Islands are a popular warm weather getaway for people in the UK, so we’ve been wanting to check it out. We enjoyed some good lounge time by the pool, but wouldn't rush back to Lanzarote since it wasn't our favorite place we've visited.
Friday 28 April
It’s a pretty long flight from London to Lanzarote (4.5 hours), but since we had such an early flight we landed
before noon. Last minute we decided to rent a car, which was a good choice. There are a bunch of different towns on the island, and this way we were able to explore on our own. The car rental pickup was quite a hassle. We waited for 30 minutes in line, only to be told we were too early and our car wouldn’t be ready for 45 more minutes. Once we finally got our car, it was an easy 15 minute drive to the hotel.
Paseo Maritimo, s/n, 35508 Costa Teguise (Lanzarote), Las Palmas, Spain
After a long and tiring morning, we were very happy to be greeted with mimosas at check in. The hotel was nice, and we had a balcony facing the water. The pool area was lovely, and the breakfast spread was enormous. The town we were in, Costa Teguise, had tons of restaurants, but most of them were either pubs, Indian restaurants, or had a menu combination of tapas, pizza, pasta andTex-Mex, which we weren’t thrilled about, but we did manage to find some hidden gems nearby.
Paseo Maritimo, 3, 35508 Costa Teguise, Las Palmas, Spain
We grabbed a quick pizza lunch right under our hotel and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the pool.
Costa Teguise Market and dinner
We stopped by the Costa Teguise night market, which happens a couple of times a week. It's mostly gimmicky cheap souvenirs but it was still fun to browse. There were several restaurants lining the square, so we popped into one for some sangria and tapas, and then had dinner at a nearby fish restaurant. We weren't overly impressed with the food at either place, but we enjoyed the ambiance.
Saturday 29 April
Lanzarote is known for its volcanic landscapes, so we were excited to have some adventures in addition to relaxing. We spent Saturday morning exploring a few of the sites. You can buy multi-site tickets and save a few Euro’s, and the tickets are good for several days.
Jameos del Agua
Carretera Arrecife-Orzola, S/N, 35520 Haria, Las Palmas, Spain
Our first stop was a crater/ pool that had been carved out by volcanic lava. The site has been decorated by a local artist and turned into a music venue and restaurant. It was pretty to see, but we wish we had gone there for a meal or for a show, since we only spent about 20 minutes there and then we moved on.
Cueva de los Verdes
La Corona, 35520 Haría, Las Palmas, Spain
Just down the road is a network of caves that were also created by flowing lava. A guide takes you through, but ours was hard to understand. The caves were pretty and interesting to see, but the tour felt a little long (it's 50 minutes).
Mirador del Rio
35500 Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Spain
This is an attraction that you can see without buying a ticket, but we didn’t know and paid the entry. It’s a beautiful view of the cliff coast of Lanzarote, which we enjoyed but wish we hadn't paid for.
Marina Rubicon Market
It started to rain when we finished up the site seeing, so we drove the length of the island south about an hour to Playa Blanca. The rain stopped by the time we arrived, and we explored the market at the pretty marina. It was similar to the market the night before, so we finished up quickly and went to lunch.
There are several restaurants lining the marina, so we chose one that seemed to have the best tapas menu. We had high hopes, since we were disappointed by our meal the previous night. The meal lived up to our expectations, and we enjoyed delicious bruschetta, garlic shrimp and some other tapas plates.
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the hotel, enjoying the little bit of sun that came out.
Av. del Mar, Local 13, 35508 Costa Teguise, Las Palmas, Spain
Several blogs and the guide book noted this restaurant as the best in the island, so we were excited that it was only a 20 minute walk from our hotel. We could only get an early booking, but we enjoyed a leisurely meal and were able to keep our table for hours. The service was lovely, and they gave us a complimentary starter. All of the food was delicious. They were closing for a week-long holiday the next day, otherwise we would have gone back again.
Sunday 30 April
Timanfaya National Park
The biggest tourist attraction on the island is the volcanic park. You’re not able to walk around the park on your own, and they offer a couple of guided walks each day, but they are limited to eight people so we weren’t able to get a place. Instead, when you arrive in the park they put you on a coach bus and drive you around with an audio guide. The park was beautiful and incredibly unique. The drive was a little long for Josh, but Becca really enjoyed it.
The coastal drive from the volcanic park to El Golfo was beautiful, and we finally understood why Lanzarote is known for its scenery (the rest of our drives had been pretty barren and bleak). We arrived at a car park and followed the masses of tourists up a path for 10 minutes, which brought us to a beautiful green pool that’s adjacent to the ocean. Apparently the water is green because of the algae that live on the surface. The area was beautiful, with the contrast of the green lake, red rocks, black beach and turquoise ocean.
Taberna De Nino el Varadero
Calle Ntra. Sra. del Carmen, 6A, 35510 Puerto del Carmen, Las Palmas, Spain
The weather wasn’t great, so we decided to explore a bit more before going back to the hotel. We stopped at this tapas restaurant and enjoyed some delicious fried cheese and other tapas. After lunch we walked around the town of Puerto del Carmen, which is another big hub of hotels and restaurants and were surprised at how ugly and rundown it was.
We had mixed weather in the afternoon, with some sun, some clouds and some rain, but we did our best to enjoy time by the pool.
Calle los Loros, 2 35539 Nazaret Spain
This restaurant is in a unique building that used to be the actor Omar Sharif’s home. It’s a beautiful setting and has a lovely garden, but it was a bit chilly to eat outside. Regardless, we really enjoyed the fresh fish and discovered our new favorite Spanish wine, El Grifo, which comes from Lanzarote.
Monday 1 May
This was our day to just lounge by the pool and relax. We went for a morning run along the beach, and otherwise just hung out by the hotel, soaking up the sun.
La Gula Gastrobar
Pueblo Marinero, Calle la Mayor, 6, 35508 Costa Teguise, Las Palmas, Spain
We really wanted to make sure we had a good last dinner, so we scoured the internet to find something a little nicer than most of the places by our hotel. We definitely found a diamond in the rough, and enjoyed another delicious tapas dinner. We were pleased to see El Grifo in the wine fridge, which made for a great last evening in Lanzarote.
Tuesday 2 May
It cloudy and drizzly when we woke up, so we had a leisurely breakfast and went for a walk along the beach. We then treated ourselves to massages and time at the hotel spa, which was great.
Calle León y Castillo, 8, 35530 Teguise, Las Palmas, Spain
We had time to kill before our flight, and since we weren’t impressed with the restaurants lining the beach in Costa Teguise, we decided to drive 20 minutes inland to Teguise. We’re so glad we did, since we found a fantastic restaurant for lunch. It’s a huge place with lots of rooms and a cute back garden where they grow their own vegetables. The service was pretty slow, but we had time and the food was fantastic.
After lunch we walked around Teguise and explored the shops a bit. It was the first village we visited that actually had some charm to it, so it was a nice way to end the trip.
Rose, Thorn, Bud
On every trip we share our rose (highlight), thorn (lowlight), and bud (what we're looking forward to).
Rose- sunshine (Becca), last lunch (Josh)
Thorn- how ugly much of the island was (Becca), car rental place (Josh)
Bud- Ireland with Jeff and Rachel (both!)
If you go, things to know..
What else is there to do? We hit up most of the tourist spots, but we did skip the vineyards and wineries, which are open for tours and tastings. There's of course the beach, and plenty of places for water sports and some boat trips to nearby islands.
What’s the vibe? Most of the tourists we encountered were British, and the demographic skewed older. There are tons of pubs and Indian restaurants, which made it feel a bit like England.
When to go? The Canary Islands are known as a year-round sunny destination. The climate is pretty temperate, and the temperatures are in the low 70's for most of the year. It was in the mid-70's the whole time we were there, so with the sun it felt nice to sit out.
Would you recommend it? Not really... this is the first place we've been that we really wouldn't recommend. While we were able to find good restaurants, we really had to hunt them out. The beach area was pretty run-down and not as picturesque as one would expect. It's a pretty far way to travel, and we just didn't feel like it had what we'd want for an island vacation.