[At the bottom of this description you will find links to information about the places mentioned in the text.]
Originally a small fishing village Playa Blanca has grown into a high quality tourist destination. On the southern edge of Lanzarote it enjoys the most sunshine and least rain on the island. On the far side of the town, from the villa, there is thriving port with regular high speed ferries to the other Canary Islands. The nearest island of Fuerteventura, is about 45 minutes on the ferry, and makes a good day trip.
The seafront, about 10 minutes’ walk from the villa, has a wide paved promenade that stretches for about four miles. Turning right (going West) along the promenade provides sea and cliff views plus access to the award winning Marina Rubicon (a further 10 minutes walk), a safe sandy beach (Playa Dorada) with sun-beds, water sports and a host of café and hotel facilities. Further along the seafront you pass the original Playa Blanca beach backed by Playa Blanca town until you come to the ferry port. Beyond this, continuing West, are more cafes and hotels until the promenade ends at the lighthouse. The seafront promenade can be walked or cycled (with care) and a variety of bikes are available from a shop in Los Colorados (see below), near the villa.
Within five minutes’ walk of the villa are two good supermarkets (one local and one English) and free recycling bins. About 10 minutes’ walk East from the villa is “Los Colorados” a small development of shops, cafes and a playground for young children. Walking beyond Los Colorados, via tracks through the National Park, a further 20 minutes’ walk takes you to the first of the stunning natural sand Papagayo beaches. These inset bays are part of the National Park and are largely undeveloped. They can also be reached in a 10 minute drive via a dirt road through a toll booth (€3 per car) with free parking by any of the beaches. Tip – for a day trip there take everything you need – there is a cliff top café on the furthermost beach but otherwise there are few facilities.
The Marina Rubicon deserves special mention. Parts of the old village have been carefully incorporated into this development of first class cafes, shops and restaurants built around an impressive Marina filled with fabulous yachts and boats. There is a modern airconditioned shopping Mall to one side, including a supervised children’s play area. The cafes and some of the open outdoor areas regularly provide live music. You can hire boats and take ferries from here. There is public swimming pool with shower and changing facilities. A colourful outdoor market is held there on Wednesdays and Sundays until 2pm. There is a small exhibition of the Museo Atlantico where you can book to go on sub aqua tour of underground statues placed just off the coast and where the coral and fish life are beginning to establish themselves.
EATING OUT IN & AROUND PLAYA BLANCA
Playa Blanca offers a wide range of cuisines including local, Spanish, Italian, Asian, French, English, Irish and Fusion. It is difficult to recommend restaurants that will suit everyone, partly because individual tastes vary so much and partly because restaurants wax and wane as chefs and owners come and go. With these reservations here are a few that we have enjoyed:
Casa Carlos – this is the best restaurant within easy walking distance of the Villa. It offers consistently good food and service and is fairly expensive. Best to check they will be open and book in advance.
El Mirador – the first of four in the Marina Rubicon area. This is a place for a “posh” (expensive) night out – book in advance and ask for a table by the window – try to arrange it on a clear evening whilst the sun is going down.
Casa Bridgida – our second in the Marina (and you are spoiled for choice here!). Good food and service – reasonably priced – a family atmosphere.
Blue Note Café – our third in the Marina – good food, great atmosphere and often with live Jazz – the perfect place to chill out and let the world go by.
Lani’s Snack Bar – our final suggestion for the Marina – a good place for breakfast, a quick snack or lunch, basic inexpensive food. The big attractions here are it’s location in the Marina (great views) and the glass flooring – kids love it and especially the huge fish that swim around and under the place.
Restaurante La Romantica – this is the first of three restaurants that we recommend in Playa Blanca – for evening dinner out book in advance and ask for a table by the window looking out over the sea:
Avenida 55 – our second recommendation in Playa Blanca – an authentic Italian restaurant serving great freshly prepared food at reasonable prices – good service and a lively atmosphere – opens onto the street:
Cappuchino Grand Café – in the centre of Playa Blanca close to the taxi rank. Our favourite place for breakfast or a snack. Very healthy ingredients (with a shop selling organic food and local produce) – popular with locals – indoor and outdoor seating
About 15 minutes’ drive from Playa Blanca is the fishing village of El Golfo. This stretches for about a mile along the west facing coast and has a host of good fish restaurants. It is the perfect place to go and watch the sun go down as you enjoy a fresh fish meal. Two of our favourite restaurants are, one on the right as you enter the village, and the other at the far end on the right. Tip – park at the beginning of the village, buy an ice cream, and walk the strip!
Restaurant Del Mar – on the right as you drive into El Golfo. A great selection of fresh seafood good for lunch and dinner – book in advance for dinner if you want a table with a view.
Restaurant El Caleton – at the far end of the strip – worth the walk – choose you own fish and how it will be cooked. Good food and service.
OTHER THINGS TO DO & FURTHER AFIELD
A very good review of 25 of the best things to do in Lanzarote:
General Information about Lanzarote:
Bike Hire Los Colorados
Based on the feedback from our guests one of the most popular “days out” for families with children of all ages is the Rancho Texas (35 minute drive from the villa) – don’t be put off by the name – there is plenty to do:
About 10 minutes’ drive from the villa is the Aqualava Water Park. Guests have given this mixed reviews – certainly the children must be a minimum height of 1.2m and it is quite expensive so probably best for older children who love the water and want to spend the whole day there and you may want to think about bringing lunch?
In the last 15 years or so boutique wineries have developed considerably in the Geria valley (about 20 minutes’ drive from the Villa) so that they produce excellent wines and provide great tours with tastings. Here is a Trip Advisor overview – we found it best to choose one and telephone to book a tour in advance:
A great place for snorkelling and scuba diving is Playa Chica – about 15 minutes’ drive from Villa Astra: