Officially part of Spain, Lanzarote actually lies much closer to the coast of West Africa. The most easterly of the Canary Islands, this volcanic island is a popular year round holiday destination, thanks to its sunny climate, warm temperatures, and stunning landscapes. Beloved by beach lovers and hikers, the island’s relaxed resorts, golden sandy beaches and abundant activities also make it a huge hit with families. Here are nine destinations and experiences that’ll make Lanzarote the perfect island for your family holiday.
Lanzarote has several coastal destinations particularly suited to families. Playa Blanca in the island’s south is a lovely laid back town featuring traditional low rise architecture and distinctive Canarian whitewashed houses. The town has an attractive marina and plentiful restaurants, supermarkets and bars, plus several attractive beaches. The gently shelving main beach in the centre of town is pretty compact and can get busy. Playa Dorada, a few minutes’ walk to the east offers a wider expanse of golden sand with shallow waters and a choice of eateries nearby.
A ten minute drive from Playa Blanca brings you to gorgeous, unspoilt Papagayo beach, one of five sandy coves located in Ajaches Natural Park. This protected wilderness area boasts pristine white sand and wonderful turquoise waters. There are limited facilities in Papagayo’s unspoilt landscape, so bring a picnic, plenty of water and a sun umbrella.
Puerto Del Carmen
Puerto Del Carmen on the east coast is a lively, bustling resort, and the island’s main entertainment hub. Playa Grande is an extensive blue flag beach with lovely golden sand and calm seas. Behind the beach, the broad promenade runs the length of the resort, lined with numerous shops, bars, clubs and restaurants.
North of Lanzarote’s capital Arrecife, Costa Teguise is a traditional family friendly resort with a choice of four lovely beaches, splash parks, playgrounds, and restaurants. If you’ve a head for heights, check out the indoor climbing wall. Enjoy a host of water based activities such as snorkelling, windsurfing, diving and kayaking, or rent a bike and explore the coastline and inland.
An excursion to Timanfaya National Park is a must for first time visitors to Lanzarote. This astonishing and unique moon-like terrain is the result of repeated volcanic eruptions over the centuries. Grab a window seat on a highly enjoyable bus tour, which snakes vertiginously through the ancient lava fields. You’ll pass enormous ancient craters and stunning rock formations within the fascinating landscape. Afterwards, enjoy a camel ride across the sands on the border of the park and channel your inner Lawrence of Arabia.
Ride in a Yellow Submarine
See fish and marine life in their natural environment on a trip in a yellow submarine. On a one hour excursion from Puerto Calero your vessel dives 100 feet below the surface, passing shipwrecks before touching down on the ocean floor. Large windows in the purpose built submarine let you enjoy a close up with life under the waves.
The island’s largest water park, Aquapark, offers all the usual water based fun, along with a paintball court and an immersive cinema. Playa Blanca’s Aqualava is a smaller volcano themed water park, ideal for younger children, featuring several slides, a lazy river, a saltwater wave pool and a water spurting octopus.
Rancho Texas Animal Park
Watch sea lion shows and birds of prey displays at this wildlife park near Costa Teguise. Paddle kayaks in the Indian village, cool off in the splash pool, and watch cowboy lasso demonstrations. Meet the park’s residents, including dolphins, armadillos, tigers, pumas and Nile crocodiles.
Learn to Surf
On the northwest of the island lie the dramatically scenic resort of Famara. This three mile windblown expanse of pristine white sands backed by looming cliffs is an excellent surfing and windsurfing hotspot. Several surf schools offer children’s and adult’s lessons for all standards, including novice.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com