Whether you’re seeking total seclusion, the best surfing on the island, or calm waters and sandcastle-building opportunities, there are Lanzarote beaches for you. Take a journey with us to the best beaches in Lanzarote, from the golden-sand southeast to the rugged northwest and the mysterious isle of La Graciosa.
Caletón Blanco is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Lanzarote for white sand. The contrasts are what make it truly beautiful: sugar-white sand, jet-black volcanic rock, striking green seaweed and vegetation, and an opalescent sea. Stake your claim to a patch of sand surrounded by jagged, fort-like rocks and spend your day pootling in the rockpools that form at low tide. Besides parking, you won’t find any facilities here, but if you bring a picnic and a snorkel on a calm day, you’ll be in heaven.
Possibly the best known of Lanzarote’s beaches, Playa de Papagayo is actually a string of coves separated by volcanic rock. The main beach is the last one before Punta del Papagayo, the island’s southernmost tip. This golden-sand crescent is loved for a reason: it’s lapped by azure waters, backed by rugged hills, and sheltered from the wind for tranquil swimming conditions. The spacious beach has no organised umbrellas or loungers, but you’ll find parking and a few bars/cafés at the top of the hill for refreshments between swims.
With the soaring cliffs behind taking on pinkish hues at golden hour, Playa Famara is a stunning spot for photography. A walk along this three-mile beach is guaranteed to wow you thanks to the beautiful backdrop and often-dramatic breakers. Surfers and watersports enthusiasts are drawn to the beach for its windy conditions, and it’s relatively far from the main resort towns, so there’s plenty of space on the sandy shore for a peaceful picnic. Even if you’re not plunging into the surf, watching others soar or tumble is just as fun.
On the famous Papagayo coast, Playa de Mujeres is possibly the best sandy beach in Lanzarote, and one of the busier ones, as it’s the closest to Playa Blanca. That said, you’ll still need to bring everything with you, as you won’t find shade, restaurants or loungers here. What you will discover, though, is a glorious sea: calm and shallow, it’s perfect for snorkelling, swimming or simply floating. The shore itself is a sprawling soft-sand expanse, with ample room to peg out and enjoy the sunshine to the sound of gently lapping waves.
While not one of the best beaches on Lanzarote for sunbathing, Playa del Charco de los Clicos is a natural phenomenon where you can truly appreciate the volcanic majesty of the island. Bright blue sea laps against jet-black sand backed by red-rock cliffs, and behind the beach is a surreal, monster-green lagoon coloured by sulphur and algae. You can walk along the beach and marvel at the geology of the now-extinct volcano, but it looks best from the viewpoint at the top of the hill (accessible on foot).
Lanzarote’s wave of mass tourism forgot to sweep up the sleepy village of Playa Quemada, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful and authentic getaway. The beach here is a rockpool-speckled strip loved by locals, backed by a string of low-lying white houses. When the sun is high, retreat to one of the seafood restaurants perched at the back of the shore. It’s also not far from Playa de la Arena, a secluded spot accessible only via a short hike to the red-and-black sandy shore.
Palm trees swaying in the breeze, sugar-soft sand, aquamarine sea and a pretty promenade to boot – Playa del Reducto has earned its place among Arrecife’s best beaches. The reefs out to sea make this Blue Flag bay calm, shallow and perfect for swimming, especially for children and families. You’ll find lifeguards, beach showers, loungers… it’s all perfectly set up in terms of facilities. In the evening or at lunchtime, you’re steps from restaurants and bars to suit all tastes.
As well as being one of the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote, Playa Chica is certainly one of the smallest. The petite, 100-metre stretch is a postage stamp of paradise. Delicate waves lap at the soft sandy shore, sheltered by two rocky protrusions (formerly lava flows), effectively forming a pool that’s perfect for little ones and families. Offshore here is a popular dive spot, but if you don’t fancy donning the gear and joining an instructor, you’ll see some pretty and colourful marine fauna with just goggles or a snorkel.
Playa de las Cucharas is a charming beach with everything you could wish for nearby. This yellow-sand bay is backed by stubby Canarian palms, with a sheltered sea and lifeguards on duty too. You can rent loungers and umbrellas, and it’s easy to nip up for a seafood lunch at one of the beach bars or cafés clustered at the corner of the cove. There are also watersports options, and you can rent a bike from nearby to cycle along the promenade that backs the beach. Head down early to avoid the crowds.
Those seeking the best beaches in Lanzarote might well want to make the short ferry trip to the magical and remote isle of La Graciosa. Lanzarote’s pint-sized neighbour is home to some stunning scenery, including the pristine shore of Playa de las Conchas. It’s a bit of a trek to get to – which is why it’s so beautifully untouched and unspoilt, of course – and not recommended for swimming, but if you like to walk, take photos or simply sit and drink in the epic scenery, you’ll enjoy the tranquillity here.