Activities & Attractions
Holiday perfection in Puerto del Carmen
What makes Puerto del Carmen so accessible is that it’s actually split up into different, distinct areas. So if you like loud British bars and a bustling atmosphere head straight for The Strip, whereas the Old Town has a more relaxed, authentically Spanish style. As a third option, Matagorda has a similar look to The Strip but it’s a little less busy.
The activities available during your holidays in Puerto del Carmen are enough to keep you occupied for well beyond two weeks. The Rancho Texas Park is proof of this fact alone – it’s so large it actually includes several different types of attractions in one! So whether you want to visit the zoo, wander in a beautiful botanical garden or splash around in a huge pool, you only need come here. But go-karting tracks and even a unique wine museum ensure that there’s something to suit every type of tourist.
Beaches give you a similar level of variety too, with three of them in the area awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for cleanliness and safety. Although it would be perfectly understandable if you choose the main Playa Grande beach throughout holidays in Puerto del Carmen. It’s a mile long stretch of golden sand and is impressively flat and straight for very comfy sunbathing. So whether it’s beaches, bars or attractions you’re looking for, Puerto del Carmen delivers holiday perfection.
“Make sure to visit the old town in Puerto Del Carmen and walk along the new harbour walkway and visit some of the restaurants. It is my favourite part of Lanzarote.”
Wondrous sights and activities for all ages
Holidays in Puerto del Carmen are famed for the beaches and the nightlife, but there are some great sights and family-friendly activities nearby too. One of the most popular days out for family holidays in Puerto del Carmen is a visit to the Rancho Texas Park. Based just a little to the east from the centre of the resort, this entertainment park has a huge zoo with crocodiles, sea lions, tigers and more. Your entry ticket also includes 3 different animal shows and entry to the wave pool and lush waterfall gardens. With restaurants at the park too, you could easily spend your evening here as well.
Another fantastic family activity can be enjoyed at Go-Karting Lanzarote just one mile inland. This track used to be for professionals only, and it shows, as the tarmac is kept very clean and super smooth. The track has great facilities with huge floodlights and a large digital race clock that counts laps. However, just because it was once a professional course, it doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for youngsters. In fact, there are three different tracks here, with one specially dedicated for children from six to ten and one for adults and children over ten. They even arrange children’s birthday parties with food and pool tables all set up inside.
After all that family fun, here’s an attraction that adults will love – the El Grifo Wine Museum. It is housed around 8 miles inland from Puerto del Carmen in a wine-making cellar that dates back to 1775, after the two major volcanic eruptions on the island in 1730 and 1734. Touring the museum, you’ll be able to see the old presses and pumps that were used for making wine. Plus the best part is you get free samples of wine and you can even buy full bottles that were made on-site!
If you fancy keeping up with your sports during holidays in Puerto del Carmen, handily there’s a golf course just five minutes away. Lanzarote Golf Resort is an 18-hole, 72-par course and it is extremely well tended with trim greens and neat rows of palm trees. The rising fairways place you at spectacular viewing points of the Atlantic Ocean and Lanzarote’s famous dusky brown terrain makes an appearance too.
Whilst you are in Lanzarote, it is also worth travelling to see the numerous works of the native late artist César Manrique. His home, the Fundación César Manrique, is just 13 miles from Puerto del Carmen. Here you’ll see how he created 5 liveable caves out of natural volcanic bubbles. But his artistic originality also stretched to creating a cactus garden (Jardin de Cactus), El Diablo, a volcanic restaurant at Timanfaya National Park, and an underground nightclub venue at Jameos del Agua.
Puerto del Carmen invites many different tourists to its shores every year, and for this reason there’s an incredibly eclectic variety of cuisines here. International flavours are even easier to find than authentic Canarian dishes, with top Mexican, Irish and Caribbean restaurants all readily available within the resort. Plus, when you consider that sushi bars, Italian, French and Chinese restaurants are all packed in to just a few main streets in the centre of Puerto del Carmen, you’ll understand why it’s considered to offer a world of cuisines.
That’s not to say you won’t be able to find British favourites here though. The all-day cooked breakfast makes an appearance at many of the British bars, but then it’s not surprising it sells so well as you can enjoy a tasty fry-up without worrying about the washing up!
As with the rest of the resort, your dining experience in Puerto del Carmen can be neatly divided between the three districts. In the New Town, also known as The Strip, you’ll come across most of the British cafes and all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, whilst the Matagorda area (on the side closest to the airport) also has a great line of international restaurant. In contrast, the Old Town offers much more authentically Spanish eateries, although you may have to look around to find them as some are hidden away on small side streets. Plus, travel just a little further to the west (three miles to be exact) and you’ll be in Puerto Calero. The elegant harbour here has suitably elegant bars and restaurants where you can sample ultra-fresh seafood and fine local wine.
And whilst traditional Canarian restaurants certainly aren’t as common as the international eateries, you’ll still find a few in Puerto del Carmen where you can try local delicacies such as papas arrugadas (wrinkly, unskinned potatoes), which are often topped with a delicious sauce named mojo that is made up of olive oil, vinegar and herbs.
Of course, if you’d like to take it totally easy on your holidays in Puerto del Carmen, your best option will be to go all inclusive. The THB Flora Apartments are located close to the Old Town in Puerto del Carmen and their all inclusive board basis represents great value when you book with Jet2holidays.
“Visit as many small, local restaurants as you can and try the local cuisine. It's well worth the effort.”
Enjoy a huge golden beach within the resort
The largest beach in Puerto del Carmen is also the most conveniently located. Playa Grande is a mile long stretch of wide, golden sand. One of the most notable aspects of this beach is that it is very flat and straight, but then that makes the ideal conditions for laying out your towel and sunbathing! Being a popular beach in a popular resort, you’ll also find that Playa Grande is very well supported by beachfront bars and restaurants, as well as all the facilities you’d expect, such as showers and toilets. Out to sea the fun continues as watersports range from wild (and often highly skilled) windsurfing and kite surfing to easier activities such as banana boats and doughnuts. As long as they are accompanied by an adult, children will certainly enjoy paddling out on the swan-shaped pedalos too.
Here’s a top tip – there’s a tiny beach named Playa Chica at the coastline of the Old Town in Puerto del Carmen. It’s less than a 100m long, but the sight of the unique black volcanic rocks that lead into the sea more than make up for it. They also create little rock pools that shelter schools of fish, so it’s a great place for snorkelling. Sunbeds are spread across the beach and nearby concrete, so you don’t necessarily have to get sand in your shoes!
Moving on to the east, Playa de los Pocillos still has similar dusky golden sand to Playa Grande but it differs from the larger beach in that it arcs on a gentle curve. This makes the water somewhat calmer and more shallow, so it will be safer for younger children’s swimming. It’s also a quieter beach, as it is further away from The Strip.
The easternmost beach in Puerto del Carmen is Playa de Matagorda. This golden shoreline is certainly smaller than the other two beaches in the resort, but then it’s less busy too. However, the noise from the nearby airport is generally what keeps the crowds away, so if you don’t mind hearing the roar of the aircraft, the extra space here will be perfect for you!
Relaxed drinks and a pretty marina
Lanzarote isn’t particularly known for its liveliness, but Puerto del Carmen certainly offers the most action-packed nights out you can have on the island. Most of the loudest bars and clubs are centred on The Strip, which is part of a long coastal street named Avenida de las Playas that stretches over 2 miles in total. The best bars here include those that aim for the British tourist market, such as Charlie’s Bar, which has some top live music that you can listen to for free whilst you drink. Grasshoppers and Arthur’s are both highly rated too. And it’s not all about the bars either, as Paradise nightclub stays open till late playing chart classics and the latest dance tunes.
For an entirely different, more relaxed vibe, the Old Town is the place to go. Some of the bars and restaurants in this area are so quiet and understated, you may not even realise they’re there! Authentic bars are tucked away on the less busy side streets too, but it’s definitely worth hunting for them if you want to drink in a place with true Canaraian character. You’ll find the rustic wooden furnishings and soothing guitar music is a world away from the action-packed atmosphere on The Strip.
Picking up on this pretty, more traditional look, the surroundings in nearby Puerto Calero are just as soothing. A fully functioning harbour, wander by the seafront at night and on one side you’ll see glossy yachts glistening under the stars whilst on the other you’ll see sophisticated cocktail bars and seafood restaurants. The scrupulously clean promenade makes people watching with drinks at an outdoor terrace an inviting proposition.