Written by Ophelie
Published 6th June 21
Will take 5mn to read
Best places in Lanzarote, you’re looking for it? Just thinking of my trip to this island makes me happy. If you want a Spanish destination different from the typical Mallorca holiday, you’ll love Lanzarote! For explorers, photographers, beach lovers: I show you my fav’ places on this Canary island!
Where are the best places in Lanzarote?
- Best non touristy beaches in Lanzarote
- Playa Quemada
- Costa del Papagayo
- Playa de las Malvas
- El Golfo
- La Santa
- Where to do hiking and walking
- Los Hervideros
- Ye + Camino de los Gracioseros
- Where not to go: crowded places
Best places in Lanzarote - Non touristy beaches
I selected the best beaches in Lanzarote I went to, based on this: non touristy places that you can have for yourself or almost!
Playa Quemada – To hike and do photography
It’s the first spot I visited in Lanzarote. Nothing like a resort place. Nothing fancy. Natural and rustic charm. That’s how I like a place to be. Playa Quemada is one of the best places in Lanzarote, because it’s really authentic. And empty! On the edge of a small village, the cliffs there are impressive. It’s very calm, since tourists usually stop at Puerto del Carmen.
What to do at Playa Quemada, Lanzarote?
Do hiking and nature photography -This hidden place seems to me to be perfect to do hiking and practice landscape photography. I spent 1 – 2 hours there, walking on the cliffs and taking photos. The path along the sea leads to a remote black sandy beach. I wouldn’t say it’s a good place to swim. But it’s definitely great to go down to the beach and enjoy solitude, Nature and the wilderness of surrounding cliffs, with no one around!
Costa del Papagayo – Yellow and turquoise beaches
Next stop, following Lanzarote’s coast towards the West: Costa del Papagayo. This name means the parrot’s coast in English. And like a parrot, it’s full of bright colors. This region is one of the best places in Lanzarote, for good reasons.
On the touristometer, we are still in the green zone. La costa del papagayo is located between the two tourists hubs of Puerto del Carmen and Playa blanca. It’s not a totally empty zone but it’s still preserved from the crowds.
Contrary to Playa Quemada, the beaches here are of a bright yellow sand and adapted to sunbathing and swimming. Waters are turquoise, and the cliffs are brown chocolate.
What to do at Costa del papagayo?
Beach, sunbathing and photography – It’s the right place to do sunbathing, but also to do photography. Playa del papagayo, playa Caleton san marcia and playa del pozo are pretty calm and remote beaches. Perfect hidden places to take a break! To do landscape photography and get a good view on the whole coast, head towards the viewpoint of papagayo. I took the below picture somewhere in this area.
Playa de las Malvas – Best place in Lanzarote… to see no one!
This hidden gem is for real a hidden one! I discovered it very at random, at the end of a (long) dusty path. Driving there is quite challenging with a car, so please, drive carefully. But it is worth it.
You arrive at a deserted black sandy beach. No cliffs at Playa de las Malvas, but a black lava landscape. It’s petrified lava indeed, untouched, and very not much visited. I was the only one there and it was an impressive moment.
What to do at Playa de las Malvas?
Cool photography spot – The black sandy beach and the overview above is a great photography spot in Lanzarote. To capture bright contrasts between the black lava and the deep blue waters. And to take photos undisturbed. You can also do hiking at this secret place of the island.
El Golfo – Boats and green lagoon
El Golfo will deserve its rank in the best places in Lanzarote. Even if I’ve to admit, it’s kind of a touristy place. Still, it’s not as packed as Puerto del carmen o playa blanca. And above all, El Golfo is a natural gem full of authenticity. There are a viewpoint, two beaches and even a cafe. One of the beaches has got a cute green lagoon – a natural wonder.
What to do at El Golfo?
If you’re looking for laying down on the beach and do sunbathing, it’s not the right spot. It’s rather one of Lanzarote’s best places to do hiking, taking walks, and doing photography. The boats on the first beach make the place a cool photography spot on Lanzarote, also for beginners. And the green lagoon of course deserves a visit.
La Santa – Waves and surfers
It’s one of my favorite places in Lanzarote, away from tourists. La Santa is rather a local spot, frequented by experimented surfers and photographers. Waves there are super cool to watch! And of course, surfers riding them make an impressive scenery. The best is to go at sunset, melt into the photographers and locals, and take out your camera or just watch the spectacle.
The best places in Lanzarote to do hiking and walking
Lanzarote is really not a common “beach, farniente, drinks” destination. And that’s why I liked it so much. Lanzarote has actually more places to go hiking, walking and photographing, than just sunbathing on the beach.
Famara beach – more than the “famous surfers’ beach”
I feel happy just thinking back of Famara… Indeed, this spot is listed as one of the best places in Lanzarote on all blogs and travel guides. Meaning, it’s a touristy place. But not only! In summer, it’s probably quite crowded, I admit.
Since Famara is THE place to be for enjoying fiestas near the beach, surf all year long, beautiful sunsets and sunrises (also for the motivated photographers among us). I used Famara as my home during my 3 weeks stay. And I couldn’t have enough of it!
The beach is huge. You can go hiking up to the hills and on the magnificent cliffs overviewing the bay. Note that you’ll be best equipped with a car if you want to move around, from Famara. Bus connections are a nightmare.
Los Hervideros + Playa del Janubio
For me, and as a beginner photographer, these places were good photography spots in Lanzarote. Also very nice to take walks and see natural gems unique to the island. Though, be aware: these places can be packed with people! Plan to go either early morning or late afternoon.
What to see at Los Hervideros?
It’s a curiosity from Mother Nature: a cave under water, on the volcanic coast. A landscape of black lava surrounds the cave, where turquoise waters rush into. Colors and contrasts are intense.
Playa del Janubio: what is it? Nope, not a beach!
Playa del Januio, unlike its name, is known for its Marais salants. Shades of pink and blue pastels, very cool to photograph at sunset.
Timanfaya – the volcanos’ route, avoiding the tourists’ tour
You can’t travel to Lanzarote without visiting Timanfaya. I mean, you definitely would miss what makes the character of Lanzarote island if you don’t give some time to the volcanos’ national park. The main volcanos of the Canary island lay in Timanfaya. All sleeping, except for the one visited in mass by tourists.
Where to go in Timanfaya? My personal tested tip is to give up on the tour – expensive, packed with tourists, enclosed in a bus without experiencing the volcanic landscape with your own feet. The good alternative: prefer early mornings or late afternoons, rent a car and drive across the park to some non-touristy places. Or stop at random to hidden gems you’ll find along the way.
My favorite place in Timanfaya was Caldera de los Cuervos. I went there one morning before 10 am. No one there. I had a whole volcanic crater for myself. It was completely silent and absolutely cool!
Exploring the Northern East of Lanzarote
The colorful village of Haria
Some best places in Lanzarote are located on the less touristy Northern part of the Canary island. And they are very worth the trip if you’re looking for photography spots in Lanzarote, but also for off-the-beaten-track routes. The North is made of windy roads going through cliffs and peaks.
First stop: Haria. It’s a very quiet village, with bright colors. Houses are white and green. Even the cementary is colorful! The Cesar Manrique foundation is also there. There is a very nice spot at an end of the village, with a stunning view on the sea ahead and a gorge made of terrasses, between volcanos’ flancs. There are little cactus everywhere.
To find the nice spot: From the cementary, drive up to Calle Vista del Valle on your right-hand side. You’ll arrive at the end of a narrow street. There is little space. If you have a big vehicle, better to leave it at the parking down the road and walk up.
Ye and Camino de los Gracioseros: for hikers
If you liked it so far, push your luck even more up North. The little village of Ye will give you another great insight into the real Lanzarote. You’ll get views on volcanos’ versants, the small island of La Graciosa. For the hikers reading this, head to Camino de los Gracioseros. It’s a hiking trail, leading to remote beaches like Playa del Risco. You can park at Las Rositas. Allow at least one hour for the walk.
Caldera de los Cuervos, Timanfaya
As said above, this place inside Timanfaya national park is perfect to take some cool photos. Go early in the morning, to have the spot all for yourself. Colors are impressive, and the textures of lava stones and the crater in the background give a nice playground for beginner photographers.
Where not to go in Lanzarote – The touristy places to escape from
If Lanzarote has got a fair list of best places to visit, there are also some spots to avoid. If you’re not into loud crowds of holiday makers and resort places with no charm at all. Personally, I do my research about touristy places not to go to, when I prepare my trips.
Touristy places you might want to avoid:
Puerto del Carmen, Playa blanca, playa mujeres, playa Honda (so many touristic resorts!)
Arrecife (the capital. Is ok to spend a time and take a walk to the harbor though), Costa Teguise
Curiosity makes the awesome traveler you are.
Check out other travel and photo blog posts!
Check out other travel and photo blog posts!
I am made of photography,stories from the road and a good dose of passion. I am Ophélie, French-born traveler always on the go. My travel photography blog is about my travel experiences, tips and my addiction for adventure. To help you explore countries on your own… as an independent and curious traveller.