A Lanzarote livewire
Puerto del Carmen is on the southeast side of Lanzarote. It first got going in the Sixties and since then it’s upped the tempo from its fishing village roots to become a very lively holiday hub. The waterside promenade doubles up as the main strip – it’s packed with bars, clubs and restaurants, and it also looks out over a trio of beaches. You still get a bit of Puerto del Carmen’s former charm, though, as you’ll see from the authentic eating places in the old town.
Triple beach action
Puerto del Carmen comes with 3 sandy beaches. The main one, running along the promenade, is Playa Grande with its sunloungers, umbrellas and gently shelving shoreline. Walk for about 10 minutes and you come to Playa Chica in the old town. It’s a bit quieter and secluded, and the diving centre makes it popular with snorkellers and scuba divers. And to the east is Playa Pocillos – a huge swathe of sand with windsurf-ready waves.
Daytrips to the capital
Lanzarote’s capital, Arrecife, is a 30-minute drive away. Just off its coast is the 16th-century Castillo San Gabriel, a sea fortress reached along a stone bridge – today there’s a small archaeological museum inside. A short stroll away is the Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in the 18th-century Castle of San José. It was renovated by famous local architect Cesar Manrique – you can see his iconic windmill sculpture 30 minutes away in Arrieta.