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What to do in Lanzarote in 3 days ? Itinerary from the road

– By Ophelie. 5mn reading –

What to do in Lanzarote, the Canary island with volcanic vibes? Perfect to visit on a weekend trip or on a longer road trip, there are things to do in Lanzarote which are absolutely impossible to find somewhere else. Making it a very worthy off-the-path destination. Because I liked it so much there, I share with you my itinerary to try and adapt to your own needs.

3 days in Lanzarote – Perfect getaway to see the best places

What to do in Lanzarote in 3 days - Itinerary at a glance

Day 1
  • Car rental pick up at airport Arrecife
  • Playa Quemada – Walks on the cliff and photography
  • Playa del Papagayo – Sunbathing on the beach, walks
  • las Salinas de Janubio – Lookout and photography
  • Los Hervideros – short walks and photo
  • Sleep at Famara
Day 2
  • Timanfaya national park – Hikes
  • Las Malvas – walk and photography
  • La Santa – Sunset watching and surf
  • Sleep at Soo or Famara
Day 3
  • Famara – Sunrise watching, hike to the hill, chill on the beach or take a surf lesson

What to do in Lanzarote during a weekend? Itinerary step by step!

Even if Lanzarote is small, 3 days won’t be enough to see everything. But you’ll get a great taste of Lanzarote’s spectacular landscapes, by exploring the Southern part on a weekend road trip. Must-seen of Lanzarote are right here. Here, 3 days out of my full itinerary, adapted to a short road trip with Lanzarote’s best places.

Terraces_Haria Photography

Day 1 in Lanzarote

When landing in Lanzarote, you’ll get amazed already by the volcanic landscape you see straight at the airport’s exit. It’s a small airport, so it’s no difficulty to find the car rental companies’ desks.

What I did straight after picking up the car: I drove to the shopping area next to the airport, to do groceries, to buy a prepaid Spanish simcard, and set up the first landmarks on Google maps on my smartphone. Because once you leave Arrecife’s airport, you’re basically in the countryside, surrounded by the volcanos. And supermarkets or simcards will become rare!

Playa Quemada – Walk along the cliff

First stop: Playa Quemada, non-touristy village where you can explore the cliffs and go down to a secluded black sandy beach. The drive to Playa Quemada is really nice, going through valleys and lava fields. When I got there, it was cloudy and grey, giving kind of a mystic aura to the place, with no one except a cat, volcanos and the brown cliffs.

Papagayo – the beach of pastel colors

One of the first stops after arriving at the airport, Papagayo beach is the ‘off-the path’ version of its resorts neighbors Playa blanca o playa Mujeres. And that’s why I put it in this 3 days itinerary in Lanzarote. More beautiful, quieter, with space to walk and do photography: Papagayo is a little gem on the coast, with contrasting brown, turquoise and yellow colors.

Papagayo beach, Lanzarote - Photography from above
Las Salinas de Janubio – Colorful stop-over on this 3 days Lanzarote’s trip

On the way to Los Hervideros, Las Salinas is a quick and easy stop to make. Salt marshes with shades of pink and blue. Take photos from the lookout, when the sun starts going down at late afternoon.

Las-salinas-del-Janubio-Lanzarote Photography
Los Hervideros

In 3 days in Lanzarote, you can’t really miss this iconic spot: a natural sea cave, where turquoise waters rush inside the natural excavation made by black volcanic rocks. Be aware: it’s one of these touristic places where you really want to avoid the crowds! Best is to go early morning, or late afternoon. Perfectly on this Lanzarote’s 3 days itinerary: the last stop before arriving at your hotel!

Famara or Soo - sleep-over

In a 3 days trip in Lanzarote, I definitely suggest to not miss sleep-overs at Famara… my favourite spot on the island. I myself spent the first nights at Soo, also a beautiful place in front of a volcano’s crater. And shifted for the rest of my 3 weeks stay in Lanzarote to Famara.

Day 2 of Lanzarote's road trip

What to do in Lanzarote in 3 days itinerary - Timanfaya park exploration
Timanfaya – Lanzarote’s star

If you don’t plan coming back to Lanzarote, exploring Timanfaya should definitely be on your bucket list. Mentioned in all touristic guides, Timanfaya’s park is entirely made of volcanic soil. And if the last eruptions happened in the 1900s, the volcanic activity is still to be seen – at the famous geyser of steam visited by all tourists.

Timanfaya national park Lanzarote - view of a volcan from the road

I admit: it’s a touristic must-see in Lanzarote, especially in summer. So, what to do in Lanzarote’s national park without the crowds? Drive on the accessible road and admire the lava fields. Go for uncommon hikes to the two desolated, impressive craters Caldera de los Cuervos and Caldera Blanca. Impressive, just by the fact that you can get them only for you if you go early in the morning. It gets hot and more crowded in the afternoon, so best time is before 10.30 am in summer.

Travel tips about Timanfaya

Fee: 12 euros adult – 6 euros child

Opening time:

7 days a week 9:00 – 16:45 (last tour through the volcanos at 17:00)

Hikes accessible via main road (no fee): Caldera Blanca (largest crater), app. 4h, at one end of the national park. Caldera de los Cuervos : easy walk around the crater and easy path go down into the crater, app. 40mn return

Off-the-path at Las Malvas beach

I discovered this place totally at random… and like always, random places are the coolest ones! Driving on the road Tenesar, from Mancha Blanca and Tinajo, you should see a sign ‘playa las malvas’. It’s the unsealed path starting at the curve on the main road Tenesar. Unsealed and full of holes path. I drove on it with a little and low car… I got scared a few times. So, drive slowly!

But the destination will brush the uncomfortable driving part away: a black-sandy beach away from everything, surrounded by black lava stones. I took this picture from the path above the beach – you’ll see when arriving at the end of the path, leading to “costa las malvas”.

Las Malvas beach, Lanzarote Spain - view from the road above the beach
Sunset and surfers at La Santa

If you still have energy to drive, head up to La Santa at sunset time. Surfers and locals gather there, either to tackle the ‘professional’ waves of Lanzarote or to watch and try taking photos, for those who prefer the camera at the surf board. I was happy to experience an evening at La Santa, because of the ambience there – people happy to chill and surf here, with a stunning sunset on the coast. And it’s really not a touristy thing to do! The surf spot La isleta is a bit hidden: drive to the sport complex and take the road along the coast.

Day 3 - Famara beach, Photography, surf and sun

Let’s end these 3 days in Lanzarote at my favorite place in Lanzarote: Famara! A beautiful remote beach, guarded by an impressive cliff. I really liked Famara for its relaxed community of travelers, surfers and locals. In summer, the cool fiestas are definitely here. 

What to do in Lanzarote’s surf hotspot? If you’re a beginner photographer, sleep over at Famara to enjoy sunrise and sunset with your camera. For the hikers among us, there are several tracks to try. Famara cliffs or Mirador Risco give you a stunning view from above on the cliffs and the sea. And obviously, if you’re into surfing or want to learn, it’s the hotspot to find nice waves and surf teachers.

Famara in 1 day stay

Hike Mirador Risco – app. 3h return, intermediate level

Airbnbs, hostels, groceries’ shop in the village

Grill La Posada with yummy and affordable sea food plate, on the main road

Tips to travel Lanzarote in 3 days – quick and easy

How to move around

In 3 days in Lanzarote, you won’t have time to mess around with transportation. Let’s grab some practical travel tips to prepare your road trip on the island and save time once there. Bus connections are pretty much a nightmare, so I highly suggest to rent a car to make the most of your 3 days in Lanzarote. Pick the car up at the airport and enjoy the island with freedom. In high season, better book online in advance if possible! 

Car rental in Lanzarote for a 3 days stay

Prices: from 65 euros for 3 rental days, without insurance. From 100 euros for 3 days with insurance.

Comparator: Rentalcars.

Companies: Interrent, Sixt, TopCar (the one I tried with no issues), Budget

On this tourism website dedicated to the island, more info about rental companies, bike or moto rentals.

Where to sleep

For a 3 days stay in Lanzarote, I’d recommend to sleep at Famara. It’ll be the perfect stop over on the itinerary, at good distance of the best places to see – Timanfaya and surroundings. Because there isn’t a huge choice of places to sleep in Lnazarote, it’s definitely not the cheapest island in terms of accommodation.

Before Covid, hostels at Famara village were very nice spots to meet travelers. At this moment, there are still a good choice of guest houses and cottages at Famara. As alternative, Soo has got also Airbnbs and guest houses with view on a volcano, 10mn drive away.

My favourite hostel in Famara: Yokomo Surf. From 55 euros in a dorm, and 85 in private room for 3 nights. Simple but so friendly, and with everything you need.

My tested and recommended guest house in Soo: Oasis surf house – 179 euros for 3 nights. With swimming pool, kitchen, comfi bedrooms.

How much for 3 days in Lanzarote?

Car rental: from 35 euros per day (incl. basic insurance), at airport.

Accommodation 3 nights: from 60 euros  in dorm. From 100 euros in private room.

Food: bit pricey, because you’ll find mostly small groceries shops in villages. Supermarkets at Arrecife, with shopping mall. Around 20 – 35 euros, when eating out too.

Total: count around 250 – 300 euros for 1ppl, without flights.

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