The best beaches in Lanzarote

Best spots for families, windsurfers, surfers & nudists

Lanzarote has a large variety of beaches of all colours, from the black lava sand of Playa Quemada (literally "Burnt Beach") to the fine golden sand of Punta Papagayo close by.

Family & resort beaches

In the south, the large resort of Puerto del Carmen has the very popular, long beaches of Matagorda and Playa Grande, with safe swimming conditions, sun parasols and loungers for hire.

Pedalos, surf and windsurfing boards are available here to keep all members of the family amused, and the tapas bars and restaurants of the old town are close by. A short walk towards Playa Honda on the so called Ruta del Colesterol - a promenade much used by walkers, cyclists and joggers - leads to numerous small bays and coves. These coves have excellent snorkelling in the warm waters. Close to the airport, Playa Honda is backed by a large area of residential units and has 5km of sandy beach with good access to the restaurants and hotels of Lanzarote's capital, Arrecife.

At Punta Papagayo, within the confines of the Monumento de Los Ajaches Nature Park there are a variety of wide sandy beaches, small coves and secluded inlets, some of which are used by nudists. Further along the coast towards Puerto Calero, Playa Quemada is a natural beach of black sand beneath a few old fishermen's houses and is a private and peaceful place to swim.
Within the town of Playa Blanca itself, the manmade beach of Playa Dorada is popular with visitors staying at the large resort hotels close by. Further north, at Costa Teguise, Las Cucharas Beach is excellent for windsurfing, and there is good safe swimming from the wide sandy beaches. In the northeast, at Arrieta, there is a long, sandy beach and a jetty plus play area for small children close to the old fishing village. Further north still, there are numerous little white sand beaches with plenty of large rock pools with sun warmed water, which make safe bathing areas for those with young families.

Windsurfing & kitesurfing beaches

Most of Lanzarote's windsurfing schools are located in Costa Teguise. The wind here blows along the beach, and there are piers extending into the sea which provide perfect entry points for beginners. Las Cucharas Beach is the most popular amongst windsurfers as the waters of the bay are calm and smooth. However, if the swell is running there is a good offshore break giving more experienced windsurfers the chance to practice their jumping skills. Matagorda and Playa Honda both have sandy beaches and are suitable for beginner windsurfers.
On the northwestern coast at Famara, the waves have run unimpeded for thousands of kilometres across the Atlantic. The breaks here can be magnificent, with swells reaching up to five metres. However, rip currents and wind shifts in some weather condition can create challenging situations, so the beach should only be used by more experienced windsurfers. For absolute beginners, the sports complex and resort at Club La Santa has a small beach in a lagoon with expert tuition available.

Surfing beaches

The best breaks of the island are on the north coast which is open to the Atlantic swell. Here, Playa de Famara is one of the most popular, with numerous schools and surf equipment hire shops in the pretty, laid back village of Caleta de Famara.
The beach stretches for several kilometres beneath the spectacular high cliffs of Famara but can have tidal rips so should always be treated with caution. Further south there are some internationally known breaks off the rocky coast around La Santa, but these are not for the fainthearted.
The beaches on the leeward side of the island to the north can have some good surf running; Arrieta is always worth checking out and Playa de La Cantería, just north of Orzola, often has some great breaks too.

The northern beaches of La Graciosa, the only inhabited island of the Chinijo archipelago, usually have a good wave running. There is little motorised transport on the island though, so surfers must face the prospect of organising a safari by RIB which can be arranged in Órzola. The other alternative is a very long hike with a board.

Nudist beaches

There are two established nudist beaches in Lanzarote– the small cove between Puerto Muela and Playa Mujeres at Punta Papagayo in the south, and Charco del Palo below Mala in the north. Here, an entire nudist village of small, modern units has been set up above a small beach in a deep secluded cove.
Photo credits: [Top box: Canary Islands Photos - UNFILTERED] [Helpdesk: Tatyana Vyc] [Golden sand: Francesco Crippa] [Windsurfing & kitesurfing: Francesco Crippa] [Surfing beaches: Thierry Gregorius]
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