Located just 10 minutes drive from the Airport, Puerto del Carmen is Lanzarote’s busiest, oldest and liveliest resort.
Once a small fishing village, tourist developments now stretch for 7km along the coast to within a few hundred metres of the Airport runway. These developments have remained mostly low-rise, and painted traditional white, thanks to the efforts of the late local artist, Cesar Manrique.
Restaurants and Nightlife
The main beach-front strip (Avenida de las Playas) runs along Playa Grande and is lined with bars, restaurants, ice cream parlours and shops, though the best restaurants are mainly to be found in the Old Town and Harbour.
Puerto del Carmen is Lanzarote’s busiest resort for nightlife, though you may be disappointed if you are expecting a wild Club 18-30-style experience – especially outside the busy summer season. Nightlife is centred around the Old Town Harbour (for thirty-somethings) and the Disco-bars in Centro Atlantico on the main strip (for the younger crowd). There are also numerous Irish Bars scattered around the resort.
There are four main beaches to choose from;
Playa Grande: The busiest beach, located on the main strip, complete with pedalos and sun beds, is Puerto del Carmen’s raison d’etre. Once the best beach on the island, the sand quality has unfortunately become quite degraded in recent years. Nevertheless its shallow waters mean that it offers some of the warmest sea temperatures and best bathing conditions on the island.
Playa Chica: Popular with locals, this small beach, sheltered by volcanic reefs offers great snorkelling and diving.
Playa Pocillos: a tidal lagoon means that there is a large patch of sand to walk across to get to the sea.
Playa de Matagorda: another good beach and usually quieter than Playa Grande.
The Biosphere shopping centre is located at the entrance to the Old Town on Calle Juan Carlos 1, and offers many high street brand shops, cafes and a children’s soft play area. A relatively new installation is an open air cinema on the roof – great in the summer. There is a Lidl supermarket further along Call Juan Carlos I, on the outskirts of town and a reasonably big Superdino Supermarket on the nearby Calle Reina Sofia. There are many smaller Hiperdino Express tourist supermarkets located throughout the resort, though these are more expensive.
Getting there and around
For details on how to get to Puerto del Carmen from the airport, please click here.
Taxis are relatively cheap when used for short journeys in and around Puerto del Carmen, but become pricey when travelling to another town.
The number 161 bus runs from the airport through Puerto del Carmen, stopping along the main strip and at the Biosfera shopping centre. Bear in mind that it takes a different route on the way back, so plan accordingly. Buses to Costa Teguise, Arrecife and Tias can all be caught from outside the Biosfera shopping centre. For more information on the buses in Lanzarote, click here.
As Lanzarote’s oldest resort, Puerto del Carmen has a large proportion of Aparthotel complexes as well as 3 and 4 star Hotels. There are currently no 5 star hotels, though there are some smaller luxury boutique hotels. Fariones Hotel, the oldest in Puerto del Carmen, is in the process of upgrading to five stars and another 5 star Hotel is planned for Matagorda.
Private Villas are concentrated in the salubrious neighbourhood of Los Mojones, located behind the Old Town.