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Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Guide

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Elle1971Elle1971 Forumite
349 posts
Ok guys... I said I'd do it - so here we go!

I lived in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote for many years (until end of 2012) and still have very strong links with the town via clients and family. I am fiercely proud of our little town and still consider it "home". I hope this guide whets your appetite - and that you come and visit!

Elle xx

Playa Blanca is the most southerly town in Lanzarote. Once a small fishing village, Playa Blanca is now the Island’s fastest growing resort. The stunning promenade along the sea front reaches from Faro Park where you can view stunning sunsets, right across to the beautiful white beaches of Papagayo in the east. Across the water you will see the Island of Lobos, and beyond that the white sand dunes of Corralejo, Fuerteventura.

East to west on foot/bicycle
The beaches of Papagayo are considered amongst the finest in Spain, and are frequented by residents and visitors alike. They are part of a National Park, and are protected fiercely. You can enter them by foot for free… or a car will cost just €3. If you are planning to go a few times - then keep your entry tickets... as they will let you in for free once you have been in more than 3 or 4 times. Do take provisions too… such as drinking water, and something to eat, as the facilities are very very limited here. There is a cafe, but it's pricey.

Coming towards the town from Papagayo, you will first happen upon the luxury Rubicon Marina, which contains various designer shops, a number of restaurants and bars, as well as an array of sea vessels, as you would expect. The shopping centre opened in June 2007, and boasts a bowling alley, a Max Coop supermarket, and various other shops. There is a perfume shop in there - haggle hard for your favourite smellies, they will do deals. The bowling alley is extremely cheap, and the drinks and food are also extremely reasonable.

Markets are held at the Marina every Wednesday and Saturday mornings. You will find endless bargain opportunities here. Leather goods, sunglasses, souvenirs, clothes, and much much more - all nestled amongst the bars, and along the marina walkways. Do treat yourself to a bottle of Bermejo wine from the old chappie in the market's centre. This is produced locally... and is a more than a bit special! Yum!

Carry along the promenade towards the centre, and you will reach Playa Dorada, the most popular (and largest) beach in Playa Blanca. Here you will find the typical rows of bed-chairs, water-sports galore, such as parascending, flying fish ride, inflatable banana ride, jet-skis, and of course snorkeling - which is one of the resort's most popular sports. The beach is protected by a man-made cove, which makes the shallow waters quite safe for young children. There are also lifeguards present during the busier times, to ensure safety of the beach’s visitors.

Just behind the promenade at Dorada beach is Centro Comercial Papagayo, often referred to as the Burger King Complex. In this centre you will find various bars and restaurants. There is also a variety of shops here, such as a swimwear shop, an art gallery, a chip shop, Cafe Aroma for takeaway lunches, sandwiches etc, and a small supermarket. There is also a private Doctor (German) here. The parking here now is a little more difficult since they blocked access to the waste ground adjacent to the centre... but you can usually squeeze in somewhere... even if it's up by the Princesa Yaiza Hotel. There is a crafts market here now too, I believe on a Friday early evening.

Leaving the complex now, and continuing into the town centre along the seafront - look out for the local children jumping off the sea walls into the waves below. We challenge you not to cringe with horror as these unfearing youngsters body slam into the water. I cringed even more when my eldest stepson moved over... and got involved himself! You will often see the local fishermen on the rocks along here, catching the fish that are so prevalent in these waters. Apparently a fistful of bread wrapped around a number of hooks is great for catching fish (so hubby tells me... but he's not the best at catching supper!). Behind that bend is Fund Grube - a newly opened (2012) perfume shop. It is the flagship store in the Canaries for the owners. It is also one of the cheapest places to go for trusted branded tobacco.

If you have left the Papagayo complex from the other side, you will be on the main shopping street in the town. Again, it is flanked on both sides by shops, bars, and restaurants. Here is where you will find a number of car hire companies, banks, supermarkets, the taxi rank, the pretty church, and many cigarette, alcohol and perfume shops for those duty free bargains. Part of the High Street is pedestrianised, and contains countless souvenir shops for those presents for people at home.

Please please please avoid the electronic shops... and don't think you can haggle a bargain. These guys are extremely experienced and have hoodwinked cleverer people than us. It ends in tears... so please just steer clear!!! You are not cleverer than they are - you are simply a funnier game to them. You have been warned!! Just buy electrical goods at home. If you are still unsure, have a read of some comments on this article - this is serious stuff: Camera shop scams in Lanzarote

Also please be very careful before using credit cards in jewellery stores in the resort. There is one store in particular that is charging extra amounts (we're talking hundreds of pounds here) to credit cards. People aren't discovering this until they get home. I can't name the shop... but please only pay cash if buying these items. Update: All quiet since summer 2013, but still be on your guard

The boardwalk from CC Papagayo towards the town is lined by dozens of restaurants, most with terraces overlooking the sea. From typical Canarian fayre to Chinese, Mexican and Italian - whatever takes your fancy is available here. Take a moment to chat to the 2 parrots, on a stand outside Brisa Marina Restaurant… but join the queue, because they are very popular. You can get your hair braided, have caricatures done... and occasionally we see a lady set up a stall doing henna tattoos too.

You will now see the “Town Beach”, a smaller version of Playa Dorada - again with lifeguards. This beach is not quite as sandy as Dorada, which appeals to many because it doesn’t get quite as busy. Arriving here in the evenings, you may be lucky to see loads of kids being trained in Canarian wrestling. When we arrived in 2006 it was Spanish only... but now it is great to see other nationalities being included too.

Behind that beach is a games arcade - there is internet access in there. €1 for 20 minutes last time I looked.

There are many shops along this stretch of the seafront too. From souvenir shops, to clothing stores and jewellers. Haggling is very acceptable in Playa Blanca, and there are many bargains to be had here.

Just past this point, you will come across the ferry port. This was the original centre of Playa Blanca, and you will still see a large number of fishing boats moored here. From here you can book excursions on a subcat, as well as catching the ferry across to Fuerteventura. Fred Olsen and Armas supply this route. Fred Olsen runs a free bus service from Puerto del Carmen (opposite the Biosfera) to Playa Blanca. If you ARE going over to Corralejo, then it's a real bargain to go on the Glass Bottomed boat. It's €20 return for adults as of July 2012. Obviously that's foot passengers only though. If you are expecting to see wildlife through the base of the boat, you may be disappointed, as it goes at some speed. But a bargain's a bargain right?

Close to the port is Punta Limones, another commercial centre. Here you will find more bars and restaurants, as well as a number of shops, including a Spar supermarket. Here you can hire bikes and cars, visit the bank, or get your hair cut. This Spar is good for a cheap but very palatable wine called Tochuelo for around a couple of euros - it's a nice crisp dry white... but please leave some on the shelves for me!! It may sound chavvy.... but the Supersol carton wine from Hiperdino is actually more than drinkable if ice cold, and is usually less than a euro a litre. Yes we were shocked too... but now have it quite often. Don't try the carton wine from MaxCoop or Spar unless you like vinegar.

Carry along the sea walk, and you will come to Playa Flamingo. Unfortunately a storm in 2005 destroyed much of the sea wall here, so it is not as sheltered as Playa Dorada. However, it is still a beautiful beach, and is very popular. Update: Work started on this at the end of 2009... and completed in 2010! The concrete blocks have some serious weathering to do... but it's still a lovely sheltered beach. There are opportunities for catching barracuda and octopus here, and many of the locals swear by this spot for it. Just past the beach is another commercial centre - La Mulata. Here you will find a diving college, and various restaurants. Bar Marea is a must visit for chilled comfort and drinkies - very pretty setting. Sebastyan's restaurant here is excellent. Greek food and more than a bit nice! The Argentinean steakhouse gets rave results too. I never ate there as I was happy with steak closer to home, but friends and family rave about the place.

Continuing further along, you eventually reach Faro Park, and the Playa Blanca Lighthouse. Mainly residential, this area is still frequented by visitors who prefer their stay to be in a quieter part of the resort. There is a stretch of shops here that include a couple of supermarkets, and a small number of bars and cafes. Le Moka is famous for its French pastries (baked fresh every morning) and "Lumpy Bumpy Cake". The Snug is frequented by friendly locals and has various things going on in the evenings. Lighthouse Cafe is my personal favourite for a "Credit Crunch Breakfast". Their Friday Fish & Chips nights are extremely popular, as are their Sunday Roasts... so pop in a day or two before and book if you want those. Port of Call's Sunday Carveries are fab, and very popular, so do book a day or so ahead if you want one of those too. You must catch at least one sunset from the actual Lighthouse when you are here - it's breathtaking!

You will find various supermarkets throughout the resort... Spar, Hiperdino etc - but the cheapest of the lot is Hiperdino. Not to be confused with Hiperdino Express (a convenience supermarket) To get to the larger one... head from the port towards the town centre by car. As you pass the port on the right, the road splits into 2. take the right hand fork, and then the first left. that takes you to the underground car park. Get your ticket stamped at the till, and the first hour is free. Do get your fruit and veg from the fruteria just outside the main entrance. It is better quality and well priced. The other decent Hiperdino is just across the road from the Iberostar Papagayo hotel... about 3 mins drive from Marina Rubicon. Come out of the Marina and turn right at the roundabout that joins the main road. At the next roundabout, turn right (brown stone clad homes on that roundabout if you need a landmark). Next roundabout after that, turn right and Hiperdino is on the right so park where you can. Netto has rebranded (end of 2009) to Hiperdino Express... however it has tourist prices and is more expensive than its similarly named Hiperdino sister supermarket. Congelado Ropers is in Los Coloradas (far eastern end of Playa Blanca)... and is definitely worth visiting for your meat/fish/frozen goods - especially if you're having a barbecue. (See map link below for directions to the supermarkets). I can't sing Ropers praises enough. We do our weekly shop there now. It's no Waitrose or Asda - but it's a lot better than the others... with Hiperdino coming a close second.
Click for map of supermarkets

Please do show some respect and don't wander around supermarkets in bikinis or swimming togs - it's not polite, and does not go down well here.
The locals find it offensive. Would you bimble round Waitrose in your bra and pants? NO - so don't do it here. If I catch you, I will embarrass you in front of a shop full of people as I (and others) have done so before - you have been warned!!!

It isn't always easy to get a space in the actual town centre... but there are plenty of car parks on the edges - with only a 2 or 3 minute walk to get into town. Those areas offer free parking. As mentioned before... if you park under Hiperdino, you get an hour free when you get your ticket stamped (spend over 6 euros in Hiperdino I think)... and it is still very cheap if you go over that hour. Don't moan that you have to pay €0.20 or so for that extra 10 minutes - they'll only shrug... and rightly so! We couldn't believe recently how rude a lady was after being asked for €0.20. She was practically spitting at the poor girl behind the counter!

Wheelchair access
Lanzarote still has a long way to go in order to make itself more accessible for wheelchair users. However, Playa Blanca is leading the way. There are plenty of ramps - and as most of the resort is fairly flat, you shouldn't have too many problems getting about. Might just mean wheeling a couple of minutes further in a particular direction.

Public toilets
These are located at the eastern end of the taxi rank. They're much as you would expect.

Airport Transfers
These are available by bus as of August 2012. Number 61. It goes via Puerto del Carmen.

That's almost it folks
And so ends your mini tour of Playa Blanca. This has only just scratched the surface… and you will find that Playa Blanca has so much more to offer. So what are you waiting for? Come on over! I'll see you at the bar... and mine's a large dry white wine thank you very much!

Useful websites and Links
Fred Olsen - Online booking with Fred Olsen for a trip across the water to Corralejo
Marina Rubicon - The official website for the beautiful marina at Playa Blanca
Bars and Restaurants in Lanzarote - This website has bars and restaurants featured that offer discounts when mentioning the website. Plenty to choose from in the Playa Blanca section... and a map showing the venues that are on the site (Declaration of interest: owned by me and hubby)
Bus Timetables - exactly what it says on the tin. No 30 is the town bus, number 60 gets you to Arrecife where you can change for Costa Teguise etc. Number 61 gets you to Puerto del Carmen. They don't go very late back from the other areas though... so stick to daytimes, or grab a taxi (they're not cheap between resorts)
Cheap Flights via MSE - Hurrah for cheap flights!
Playa Blanca Map - pinpoints supermarkets, police stations, petrol station and a couple of other bits and bobs. Zoom in and out for more details.
Free WiFi in Playa Blanca - as well as wifi in the other resorts too. Regularly updated

Useful telephone numbers
Local Playa Blanca Taxi- +34 928 524 222 - they speak Spanish... but can understand a little English too. Don't book your taxi until you're absolutely ready... these guys are fast! Generally about €3-€4 between 2 points in the town... and up to €6 if outskirts at either end.
Emergency Services - 112 - yes they speak English too!
Chemist - +34 928 518 473 - The prices are a lot cheaper here for many medications. By law they can not give you antibiotics without a prescription but some drugs are available without one, such as Ventolin for asthma
Deutsch Britische Klinic - +34 928 592 125 - German private clinic - they speak fluent English.
Arrecife Airport - +34 928 846 001 - just in case you lose the [strike]plot[/strike] luggage! :rotfl:

Last thoughts
I am very happy to answer any and all questions. PMs are fine of course... but if you have a question... someone else probably does too... so please do stick it on this thread for others to benefit from also. If I have not answered your question within a few hours of you posting it in here... then please send me a PM, and just point me to the thread as I do not always spot the notifications.
I'm not easily distracted, I just... ... ... oh my god it's a puppy!!


  • Great guide!

    I second everything the OP says, me and my boyfriend stayed in Playa Blanca in Sept last year... best holiday to date!!
    OU Student! - ED209, SDK125, DSE212, SK124, DSE141, SD226, DXR222, DD303, DD307 = BSc Psychology
  • Eagle_1Eagle_1 Forumite
    8.5K posts
    Why oh why did I look at this thread, its making me want to be back there on holiday :D
  • Elle1971Elle1971 Forumite
    349 posts
    Thanks guys!

    So stop pining... and come back!

    It's a little breezy tonight, but still lovely and warm. the ligjhts of Corralejo are twinkling on the water - the moon is a bright yellow crescent... and I'm just about to sit outside in the balmy air, and sip cool drinkies.

    Jealous yet?

    Elle xx
    I'm not easily distracted, I just... ... ... oh my god it's a puppy!!
  • FitzioFitzio Forumite
    2.2K posts
    Sooo jealous. I loved Playa Blanca. It's exactly what I am looking for in a European sun holiday. If I had the money and the time, I would go back this week. If anyone is looking for a relaxing place with plenty of nice restaurants, I would definitely recommend it.
  • davetrousersdavetrousers Forumite
    5.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks for the info. am looking at Lanzarote for next year (2009)

  • Thanks you may have convinced me - any idea on late prices for february half term this time lastyear anyone?
    pennyprincess - getting more for less:p
  • loveabargain13loveabargain13 Forumite
    941 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    I love Playa Blanca, especially staying at Timafayan Palace on numerous occassions, actually if they had an indoor pool I definitely stay there at Christmas, Playa Flamingo is a lovely beach and the supermarket sell the best donuts just behind...
  • Elle1971Elle1971 Forumite
    349 posts
    Thanks you may have convinced me - any idea on late prices for february half term this time lastyear anyone?

    Where are you flying from hon?

    Elle xx
    I'm not easily distracted, I just... ... ... oh my god it's a puppy!!
  • Elle1971 wrote: »
    Where are you flying from hon?

    Elle xx

    Helloo a reply from the expert!!!

    I live on southcoast so Gatwick is best me thinks ( i ahve a sister who livvers there too+ free parking)

    because of half term we would have to fly Friday /Sat or Sun

    I just really want to know i suppose if it's worth trying to book a late deal- with the talks of reduced capacity and the fact it being half term etc

    I am thinking I may be able to get a one bed self catering apartment with flights for 2 adults one child for around say £850 nearer the time but i have no idea if this is realistic or not .. the current prices ofthe stuff i am looking at is £1000-£1400

    Am i kidding myself ???

    C x
    pennyprincess - getting more for less:p
  • Elle1971Elle1971 Forumite
    349 posts
    I used to live on the South Coast before we moved here (I'm a Pompey lass really). So yeah - Gatwick should probably be best for you.

    Not sure when the half term quite falls... but a search on has only shown the flights to be about £900 total for the 3 of you - then you have accommodation on top. Eek! I can't help with a 1 bed apartment... but do have a jabber to my pal Angela at - they have access to just under a hundred villas. Closest to town is Parque del Rey. I used to live there, and it's a lovely area! I think their prices start at about £350 for a week... but don't quote me.

    Cheapest I can find for you as a package deal, is a little over a grand. That's flying out from LGW on the 15th (Sunday) for 1 week, and staying at the Corbeta in a bungalow. That was via

    I don't know whether it's worth waiting or not honey - depends how bad you want to get here.

    Incidentally friends of mine have just stayed at the Corbeta and loved it, despite me having heard bad reviews of the place. It's also only a 10 minute walk across some waste ground to get into town (not at night though... it's pitch black and you might fall over). It's probably a 20 minute walk the long way round.

    Good luck whatever you decide honey - and give us a wave when you arrive! We'll be milling about with a small black labrador in tow. :j

    Elle xx
    I'm not easily distracted, I just... ... ... oh my god it's a puppy!!
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