Things to Do in Lanzarote

20 Amazing Things to Do in Lanzarote (Beaches, Culture & More!)

Your guide to the best things to do in Lanzarote – from cultural attractions to picturesque villages, and beaches to excursions!
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If you’ve landed on this post then I’m assuming you’re planning a trip to my favorite Canary Island and are looking for things to do in Lanzarote – and if that’s the case then I am JEALOUS!! You’re in for a treat and I cannot wait to get you sorted with all my favorite things to do in Lanzarote.

Lanzarote was admittedly not on my radar until last year when we decided we wanted to go to the Canary Islands for the first time. We did all our research on which was the best to pick, and the choice just seemed so clear: Lanzarote couldn’t be missed.

It’s really a perfect vacation for everyone! You can take it slow and fully relax, have an action packed week of adventure, or have a perfect mix of the two! No matter what you do I’m sure you’ll have the best time and I’ll be living vicariously through you!!

Scroll down to keep reading about the best things to do in Lanzarote!

Things to Do in Lanzarote

What is Lanzarote best known for?

Lanzarote is one of the seven Canary Islands – a Spanish archipelago off the coast of North Africa – and it’s best known for its unique rocky and volcanic landscape – due to Timanfaya – that makes for an almost interstellar experience. Lanzarote also has a rich artistic and bohemian history, thanks to César Manrique, an artist and architect who has poured so much love and development into the island.

Why should I choose Lanzarote?

You should choose Lanzarote because it is unique among the other Canary Islands! While all of the islands are ideal for beaches, sun and nightlife, Timanfaya and Manrique give Lanzarote a unique twist. Where else can you start the morning in a bohemian architectural dream, followed by an afternoon of picture perfect sunbathing, and finish off with wine tasting surrounded by volcanic soil in the evening?

Now, if you’re worried that Lanzarote is perhaps too adventurous for you, fear not! I am genuinely one of the least “adventure” keen travelers and I still had a great time. The reason I believe Lanzarote is the ideal choice for which Canary Island you should visit is precisely that it caters to everyone.

Do you need a car in Lanzarote?

The short answer to this question is yes – if you want to explore!

If you decide to stay in a resort, many of them provide transport to and from the airport. Additionally, because Lanzarote is a tiny island (driving from one end to the other takes about exactly 1 hour), taxis aren’t actually too expensive of an option. Still, though, a car will make your life much easier if you want to explore all the things to do in Lanzarote.

During our trip to Lanzarote, we opted to rent a car for half of the week, and stayed at a resort (without the car) for the second half of the week. I HIGHLY recommend this approach, as it gave us the best of both worlds. We saved some money and still got to explore a bit at our own pace!

If you do decide you want a car to accomplish all these things to do in Lanzarote, my recommendation is booking with Discover Cars. I’ve always found it to be the absolute best interface for comparing prices, sorting for things like automatic transmission (which I NEED!), or weeding out companies I’ve never heard of to make sure it’s a stress free rental experience.

It’s also worth noting that many of these things to do in Lanzarote can be booked through GetYourGuide, which we actually used to visit Timanfaya after dropping off our car. Most of the experiences we looked into included free pick up/drop off at your hotel pretty much ANYWHERE on the island where hotels are located… so it might be worth factoring that into your decision about car rentals!

things to do in lanzarote: driving

What should I avoid in Lanzarote?

Now, just like any vacation, there are things you’ll want to be aware of! There are certainly many things to do in Lanzarote, but there are also a few mistakes I’d be careful to avoid!

Avoid getting burnt!

First of all, and likely the most obvious is to wear sunscreen! The thing you’ll most want to avoid is a horrible sunburn. The island can be really windy, so it’s not uncommon to feel deceptively cool as you lounge by the water, but remember that UV rays do not care about the wind!! Get some SPF 50 – easily available at most shops on the island – and reapply every two hours, or every time you come out of the water.

Avoid dehydration!

When you’re in heat this extreme it can be easy to underestimate how much water you’ll need. While I typically don’t recommend buying plastic bottles of water, in this case I personally made an exception.

Most of the water in Lanzarote is desalinated sea water. While this is a very cool innovation that has made what is essentially a desert island completely inhabitable, desalinated sea water does not taste good!! The tap water is totally safe to drink there – so don’t worry… just be aware that it may not be the best tasting tap water you’ve ever had.

Avoid the tourist traps!

Now, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade – if you love the tourist strips and more built up shops and beaches, by all means, do you! But personally I find them to be tiring and often take away from a trip for me. I recommend either trying to find accommodation a bit outside of these areas, or at the very least trying to eat outside of these areas. The touristy areas can definitely be nice for beaches and nightlife though, depending on what you’re after (more on that below!).

Avoid foreign transaction fees!

Lanzarote, which is part of Spain, uses the Euro. If you’re visiting from outside the Eurozone, you will need to convert your money somehow!

I know some people still like to order cash in a foreign currency before leaving for a trip, and others have travel credit cards – but both of these can be a huge hassle. Besides, many travel credit cards actually do charge foreign transaction fees, and so will your bank if you try to take out cash after arriving in Lanzarote with your normal debit card.

But guess what? It doesn’t need to be that way!!

The best way to eat and shop your way right through these things to do in Lanzarote is with the Wise multi-currency account debit card!

Wise offers a free “multi-currency account”, which is basically an account where you can securely load your own currency, but then you can pay in local currency (with Transferwise’s extremely low exchange fees) as if you had a “local” card. It automatically converts your home currency to the local one at the current exchange rate as you’re making a transaction!

There are three main reasons I think this card is your #1 must have for traveling:

  1. You are gonna save so much money. At the end of the day, it’s never going to be completely free to change currencies. But after living abroad for four years now, I can speak from experience that no other service has ever exchanged my money for cheaper than Wise has. There is literally no better way to spend in a foreign currency.
  2. This card is no thoughts, just vibes. Gone are the days of stressing about whether your bank will lock your card, limit your withdrawals, or otherwise add stress to your trip. This card is made for travel.
  3. It’s extremely secure. Your money is held with big-name financial institutions and everything is two-factor authenticated. Wise boasts that their customers move over $8 billion every month, so they know what they’re doing.

If you’re planning to visit Lanzarote any time soon, you (and your bank account) will thank yourself for getting a Wise debit card.

Learn more about how Wise can save you money:

What is the nicest part of Lanzarote?

Determining the nicest part of Lanzarote is of course subjective. However, I do think there are some places to stay that are nicer than others.

Playa Blanca can be quite touristy in some areas, but is the best home base if you’re wanting to prioritise nice beaches – the Playas de Papagayo are easily reached from this area, and these happen to be my absolute favorite beaches in Lanzarote.

Puerto del Carmen is another touristy-yet-decent option given that it’s well situated to get to other areas. We stayed here for part of our trip and found a lovely Airbnb that was in a very quiet part of Puerto del Carmen, so it’s definitely not all tourist trap!

Costa Teguise is further north but has incredible resorts. We stayed at a resort in this area and loved it – the only downside was that the beaches weren’t all that great in this area. I think it’s probably best for families or for couples looking to stay in a resort!

If I were to go back I think I would try to stay in Haria for part of the time. It’s a quiet fishing village in the north and it’s sooo beautiful and is home to all of the Cesar Manrique-related things to do in Lanzarote.

Last but not least, if it’s surfing you’re after I recommend Caleta de Famara, the best place to catch some waves in Lanzarote!

For more info about the best places to stay in Lanzarote, check out my full guide here:

Is there lots to do in Lanzarote?

I get why you might be asking this question – it’s a pretty small Island! – but the answer is YES: there are loads of things to do in Lanzarote.

I believe that the best way to experience this island is by balancing activity and leisure, so making sure you build in plenty of relaxing beach days to rest up after your adventuring is key!

If you’re not sure how to schedule your vacation be sure to keep an eye out for my Lanzarote Itinerary that I’ll be posting soon!

Now that we’ve got all our bases covered, let’s get into the 20 best things to do in Lanzarote.

Things to do in Lanzarote

Cultural Attractions

Most of these attractions are owned and operated by the Art, Culture and Tourism Center of Lanzarote (CACT Lanzarote). They sell convenient ticket bundles for several of the attractions I’ll be going over in this section.

If figuring out the best way to fit all of these things to do in Lanzarote into your busy itinerary isn’t your idea of a relaxing vacation, you can also purchase a guided tour for several of the attractions and have a bit more ease put into the experience. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Jameos del Agua

Things to Do in Lanzarote jameos del agua

One of the many cultural and design influences of the late artist Cesar Manrique, the Jameos del Agua is a lovely and relatively quick option for things to do in Lanzarote. You will need tickets for this attraction, which can be purchased either at the site or in a bundle voucher through CACT Lanzarote.

Jameos del Agua is a beautifully designed space and cafe/restaurant built into caves made by past volcanic eruptions. You can visit during the day and just explore the area and have a coffee and quick lunch, or you can book a reservation for an evening dinner when they do live music and dancing!

It’s an absolutely stunning and relaxing place – it’s also fairly cool inside the caves, so a great option when you want out of the heat!

2. Cesar Manrique House

Things to Do in Lanzarote cesar manrique house

This museum is located in Haria and is dedicated to the life and work of Cesar Manrique. The space is – like all his spaces – stunning and really has a calming mid-century feel to it. As you’ll come to learn, Cesar Manrique was an integral part of the life and soul of the island, so it feels really special to see the places he inhabited and designed.

It’s open every day from 10:30am to 6:00pm, and tickets can be purchased either at the museum or in a bundle voucher through CACT Lanzarote.

3. Jardin de Cactus

Things to do in Lanzarote: cactus garden

The Jardin de Cactus is another beautiful invention of Cesar Manrique. It’s home to 4500 cacti and succulents made up of 450 different species.

It really is a sight to see! Cacti line every inch of the space and you can walk all around the different plants – some of which are three times the size of a person! You can purchase tickets for this attraction through the CACT bundle as well.

Make sure to head to the terrace cafe under the historic windmill in order to get a birds eye view of the beautiful space – a perfect place to stop for a coffee.

4. Cueva de los Verdes

Things to Do in Lanzarote cueva de los verdes

The Cueva de los Verdes are another option in the CACT bundle, and I think they are one of the more “worth it” choices of things to do in Lanzarote from the list. They’re a series of caves and tunnels formed by eruption of the volcano. Local artist Jesus Soto decorated the caves with lights and soft music, making for a totally immersive experience on your tour.

They must be seen through guided tour, and I highly recommend coming early, because we arrived in the afternoon and had to wait upwards of two hours in the blinding sun before being able to do the tour.

I would definitely not recommend the tour for those who may get claustrophobic – while it doesn’t require you to be in any particularly tight spaces for very long (you do have to pass through some) it is a somewhat lengthy tour that takes place entirely underground, so just take that into account! It’s not at all strenuous and should be suitable for most ability levels so long as you’re able to comfortable walk up and down steps.

5. Mirador del Rio

Things to Do in Lanzarote mirador del rio

The Mirador del Rio is a beautiful and famous viewpoint in Haria, nestled up in the Famara cliffs. It’s another option of things to do in Lanzarote from the CACT bundle, but you can also just visit it yourself and pay a small entrance fee!

The viewpoint is also home to a visitors’ center and a cafe so you can spend some time here soaking up the view before heading out. I think it’s best done at sunset, or otherwise early in the morning – before the sun becomes too harsh and makes the view washed out!

Things to Do in Lanzarote mirador del rio

6. Museo Atlantico

Things to do in Lanzarote
things to do in lanzarote

The Museo Atlantic is Europe’s first underwater museum, created by Jason DeCaires Taylor, and is definitely a worthy addition to the list of things to do in Lanzarote.

There are ten different groups of sculptures that make up the museum, including a famous piece about the migrant crisis in Europe. The sculptures create a natural reef around the area. This is an incredibly unique experience and one that certainly shouldn’t be missed!

Diving tours depart from Playa Blanca, and typically include a bit of basic diving training before heading to the museum. You’ll be in safe and expert hands, so no need to worry if you’ve never dived before! The museum itself covers about 2500 meters, and you’ll be sure to see tons of beautiful sea life as well!

7. Cesar Manrique Foundation

things to do in Lanzarote

The Cesar Manrique Foundation sits in the former home of the artist Cesar Manrique in Tahiche. The Foundation exists to preserve and maintain his artistic legacy and showcase much of his work.

The villa that the Foundation is housed in is made partially from volcanic tubes that occurred during a former eruption of the volcano on the island, and the house includes several levels underground incorporating this into the design.

The space is incredibly unique and should definitely not be missed. If you’re interested in doing several of the Cesar Manrique experiences, you can book a full day Cesar Manrique tour.

Towns & Villages

8. Teguise

Things to Do in Lanzarote teguise

Don’t get this quaint village confused with the resort area of Costa Teguise – Teguise is the oldest town in Lanzarote and it was once the capital of the island! Because it’s the oldest town in Lanzarote, it also is home to the oldest building in Lanzarote: the Palacio del Marques, which is from the 1400s. The town incredibly quaint and a great way to see what local life is like in Lanzarote.

The Teguise Market on Sundays is huge and incredibly popular – it’s perfect for spending a few hours browsing, chatting to vendors, and picking up some artisanal products or souvenirs. The Church of Nuestra Senora Guadalupe sits on the main square of the village and shouldn’t be missed, and the town is perfectly located to spend some time in a few cafes before you head home.

A perfect town to visit if you want to get off the beaten path a bit while explore the many things to do in Lanzarote.

9. Arrecife

Things to Do in Lanzarote arrecife

Arrecife is the current capital of Lanzarote, and checking it out is another one of the best things to do in Lanzarote to get a nice feel for what local life is like. There’s a pedestrianized center that is great to explore, as well as a Handicraft Market every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. If you want to make a full day of it you can go to Playa del Reducto for a beach day in the capital.

If you’re wanting to add a bit of educational experience to your trip, I recommend La Casa Amarilla, a cultural center with rotating exhibitions about Lanzarote. Another great excursion is Charco San Gines – an enclosed lagoon full of row boats and dotted with cafes – lovely to sit and rest after a day of exploring.

And last but not least, if you can manage a sunset reservation, head to the top floor of the Gran Hotel for beautiful views of the island – it’s the tallest building in Lanzarote!

10. Haria

Haria is a very authentic little village on the north side of the island where a lot of the Cesar Manrique attractions are located. The beauty of Haria is that it isn’t packed with tourists – so it’s a bit of a hidden gem, and a perfect place to spend a day while ticking off your list of things to do in Lanzarote.

Haria is an absolutely stunning landscape, with beautiful white traditional buildings and palm trees on seemingly every corner. The main square is surrounded by quaint spots to get some food or drink – perfect in between attractions like the Cesar Manrique House and museum, or just to soak up the people watching opportunities.

You can also make a day of it and do a relatively easy hike while in Haria – 90 minutes on the trail will bring you to a beautiful view point of Mirador de Haria – just be sure to bring water and do this during the less hot parts of the day. Finally, if you happen to be in Lanzarote on a Saturday I would recommend heading to the Artisanal Market in Haria. So many handmade and local products to browse, and a great way to get off the beaten path of things to do in Lanzarote for a while!

11. El Golfo

Things to Do in Lanzarote el golfo lago verde

El Golfo is a lovely little fishing village on the west side of the island that is known for its calm atmosphere and abundance of very delicious seafood restaurants. This was our first stop when we visited Lanzarote, and it was so nice to arrive, take a leisurely walk along the coast and find a restaurant with a view. Although we were able to get a table without a reservation, we were almost not so lucky! I would definitely suggest trying to book a table for lunch in advance to avoid disappointment if this is a priority among your list of things to do in Lanzarote.

While you’re here you can also take the opportunity to check out Lago Verde, a natural green lagoon a bit inland from the beach. The naturally formed algae turns the water green, which makes for quite a fascinating sight contrasted with the black sand. The tour we took to Timanfaya included a stop here as well, so don’t worry too much if you can’t squeeze it in!

12. Puerto del Carmen

Things to Do in Lanzarote puerto del carmen

Puerto del Carmen is one of the areas of Lanzarote that you’ll likely see again and again on lists of things to do in Lanzarote – and for good reason!

Puerto del Carmen is one of the most popular areas on the island for people to stay while on vacation, meaning it can be a great place to find relatively affordable accomodation! In fact, we stayed in Puerto del Carmen for the first half of our trip and it was perfect! We loved how central it was, and the easy access to shops and bars was a nice addition. We also had a private pool and a parking spot – I highly recommend our accommodation.

Puerto del Carmen also gets a reputation for being the party center of the island, and I think that it’s a fair reputation! There are tons of bars lining the beach, and it does get a bit rowdy in the evening. The nice thing was that the disruption is really kept neatly to the main road by the water, so even though we were just a few blocks away it felt totally secluded and quiet.

All in all it’s a great area to stay and the beach is pretty nice as well! If you’re looking to include an exciting night out on your list of things to do in Lanzarote, it’s definitely your best bet!

Beaches & Sea Activities

13. Playa de Papagayo

Things to Do in Lanzarote playa papagayo

I personally feel that the beaches at Playa de Papagayo were without a doubt the highlight of my trip to Lanzarote and should be at the top of your list of things to do in Lanzarote.

If I were to go back I would probably plan my trip so that I could spend even more time there. You will have to pay a small fee to be allowed into the area, but it isn’t much. I did see a few people arriving in taxis, but the phone service wasn’t ideal there and it seemed like it would be hard to get a taxi on the way out – so I would highly recommend either arranging to go on a tour or renting a car.

Playa de Papagayo is near the southernmost tip of the island, hidden within some coves, creating a stunning view to take in while you sunbathe, and calm waters to swim in. While it is technically one single beach, the entrance to the area actually allows you access to several secluded stretches of beach, all of which offer different experiences.

At any of these beaches I would highly recommend bringing water, a blanket, some snacks, and most importantly something for shade (we bought an umbrella on our way to the beach, it was pretty affordable and worth the purchase!). There is a small snack bar closer to Papagayo, but that’s really the other facility around.

Playa de Papagayo itself is one of the most popular things to do in Lanzarote and therefore the most crowded beach in the area – but the crowd definitely felt a lot less touristy than some of the other beaches on the island.

Our favourite beach was Caleta del Congrio, which is technically a nude beach. Before you freak out, I should remind you that it’s really quite common in Spain for women to swim topless, and men to swim in speedos, so honestly a nude beach is barely removing that much more! But even still, plenty of people were still wearing some, if not all, of their bathing suits, so you won’t be out of place if you choose to stay covered!

We preferred this beach because it was incredibly calm, both in terms of crowds and the soft lulling waves that you could wade in for hours. The water was like bathwater, and the sand is so soft and fine, it honestly felt unreal. I dream of this beach.

14. Playa Blanca

Things to Do in Lanzarote playa blanca

The area around Playa Blanca is comprised of three beautiful beaches, making it a great spot for things to do in Lanzarote. It’s a bit quieter than Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise, with those staying in the area seeming to opt for a chiller experience. It’s also quite popular with families due to the water park in the area – another highlight among the things to do in Lanzarote!

There are plenty of shops and bars and restaurants around, which is perfect if you’re planning to spend the day at the beach. The beaches are well maintained and all have full amenities such as showers, lifeguards and toilets!

15. Try Out Diving

Things to Do in Lanzarote scuba diving

Scuba diving is one of the hugely popular things to do in Lanzarote – and for good reason! There is an amazing array of sea life including turtles and dolphins, as well as a few shipwrecks and (of course) volcanic caves to explore.

Lanzarote is also well known as a great place to learn to scuba dive for the first time. With comfortable water temperatures, relatively calm seas, and often up to 40 meters of visibility underwater, this island is the ideal place to try out diving if you’ve never done it before.

Excursions

16. Timanfaya National Park

Things to Do in Lanzarote timanfaya national park volcano vulcan

Timanfaya National Park is probably at the top of the list of things to do in Lanzarote. Named after the Timanfaya volcano, whose eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries shaped most of the island, the entire park feels a little like you’re taking a trip to outer space.

The only way you can see Timanfaya is through a guided tour. You can either drive into the park yourself and then do a tour with the park, or you can purchase a private tour which will most likely pick you up from your hotel and take you through the park – this is the one we did, and we highly recommend it.

When you get to the visitor center where the buses leave from, you’ll have a chance to see a geological demonstration – where you’ll hold a burning hot rock from the ground – and watch a geyser demonstration due to the proximity of the magma underground. There’s also a nice cafe with stunning views and an opportunity to see and eat meat that is slow cooked from the heat of the lava underground! You don’t see that everywhere!

Pro tip: it will be WINDY!! Don’t wear a dress – learn from my mistakes.

17. La Graciosa

Things to Do in Lanzarote la graciosa

La Graciosa is an incredibly exciting addition to your list of things to do in Lanzarote! It’s a small Island off the north coast of Lanzarote that’s only accessible by ferry or private tour.

The exciting part of this day trip is that the island feels like stepping into a world of the past – there are no roads or cars! The best way to get around is via bike, but you can also walk around most of the main areas.

There are great options for swimming and hiking, as well as plenty of delicious seafood restaurants and, of course, stunning views.

La Graciosa is a great choice if you want to get away from the crowds for a bit and just relax after checking out all the other things to do in Lanzarote.

18. Vineyards

Things to Do in Lanzarote vineyards wine tasting

Lanzarote has a thriving wine culture, and taking a wine tasting tour is a fantastic choice of things to do in Lanzarote. You can do it yourself by hopping from vineyard to vineyard (the best area for this is La Geria), or by booking a tour. I highly recommend a tour because more often than not they’ll pick you up and drop you off from your hotel, which is ideal when you’re drinking!

Even if you’re not a huge drinker, I think it’s worth it to at least tour one of the vineyards while exploring the other things to do in Lanzarote. Spain is famous for its wine, and the way it’s grown in Lanzarote is incredibly unique. Due to the volcanic activity and the minerals in the soil, the vines are grown in the ground and are surrounded by small horseshoe shaped enclosures. It’s unlike any vineyard I’ve visited before – and I’m from California!

The nice thing about a wine tour as well is that it means you can easily pick up a few bottles to bring home!

19. Salt Flats

Things to Do in Lanzarote salinas de janubio salt flats

The Salinas de Janubio (Janubio Salt Flats), located on the west side of the island near El Golfo, are another worthy visit on your list of things to do in Lanzarote for the photo op alone! We ate a restaurant above the salt flats called Mirador de la Salinas and got to watch the sun set right over them.

The salt flats have been used to harvest sea salt for over 100 years now, and produce between 2000 and 15,000 tons of salt per year! If this sound interesting, you can also add a guided tour of the salt flats to your plan of things to do in Lanzarote, where you’ll get to taste the salt produced there.

20. Check Out Fuerteventura

Things to Do in Lanzarote fuerteventura

Ok, so this technically isn’t exactly one of the things to do in Lanzarote because Fuerteventura is a neighboring Canary Island!

However, Corralejo (a town on the north end of Fuerteventura) can be reached from Playa Blanca by ferry in just about 30 minutes, making it a perfect day trip! You can either hop over your own for a day, or opt for a full-day guided tour that will bring you around all the best sights to see in northern Fuerteventura, including the Lobos Island bird sanctuary or the Corralejo Dunes National Park. Or, simply relax in the adorable fishing village of Corralejo itself!

If you have a bit of extra time in your Lanzarote itinerary, why not add another Canary Island to your list?! You might even spot a pod of dolphins during the ferry crossing.

Are you ready to explore all the best things to do in Lanzarote?

I hope this list has given you a great idea of what you should do in Lanzarote!

With something for everyone, Lanzarote is the perfect vacation spot this summer. It’s such a beautiful island and there’s no way you’ll have a bad time, so go forth and explore!

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