If you are not sure where in Lanzarote you should stay, I hope this page will help you decide. Like in the other Canary Islands, there is no single resort or place which is ideal for everything and everyone. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Although liking or not liking a particular place is subject to personal tastes and opinions, there are some universal characteristics which most people would agree on, and I will try to summarise them below.
The Big Three
There are three main tourist resorts in Lanzarote – Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca – plus several smaller places. If you have never been to Lanzarote and don’t have a specific place in mind, I recommend to choose one of the three big resorts, because they not only offer the most complete range of services, but also have good transportation options (car rentals, regular buses and package tours) for visiting the other places.
Puerto del Carmen: Big and Lively
Puerto del Carmen is the biggest resort in Lanzarote and also the liveliest. If you are looking for the widest selection of restaurants, attractions, activities and nightlife, Puerto del Carmen, or PDC, is clearly the best place to stay. It is popular with all kinds of visitors including families with small chidren, the partying youngsters, couples of all ages and pensioners. It is the mix of all these people that many consider a Puerto’s strength.
It is also a good place if you prefer an active holiday – you will find people running along the beach in the morning, and various water sports are available during the day. The beaches have generous size with white sand and there is a promenade all along the coast, which is also good for a run or evening stroll.
Nightlife is concentrated mainly in a relatively small area around Centro Atlantico (a commercial centre) and once you get a bit away from that, there won’t be much noise if that is a concern. Puerto also has a historical district, although small sized, situated around the harbour – a good area to find a restaurant and spend the evening. The area of Los Mojones, which overlooks the historical district, is known as a more upscale, exclusive place to stay, with plenty of villas for rent (it’s quite a hill to climb though).
In sum, Puerto del Carmen is always busy and has everything you expect from a tourist resort (it’s up to you whether you consider that a positive or negative). It is also big and diverse enough for different kinds of visitors to find their right place. If you need to decide and are still unsure which town, it should be a safe bet.
Costa Teguise: Relaxed and Family-Friendly
If you are coming with children, if you are an older couple, or if you generally prefer a quiter, more relaxed place without all the action that Puerto del Carmen offers, your best place to stay might be Costa Teguise, which is a purpose built resort located in the north-east of Lanzarote.
It has nice sheltered beaches for children and those who want to avoid the big waves, as well as a selection of attractions targeting mainly families with children, like water parks or aquariums. Costa Teguise is also a good place to learn some surfing, with several course providers, and other water sports.
As the easternmost of the major resorts, it is a good starting point for exploring the volcanic sceneries of north-east Lanzarote with attractions such as Cueva de los Verdes (a volcanic cave). It is still convenient to get from Costa Teguise to Puerto del Carmen (20km, with plenty of bus connections) and the western part of Lanzarote.
Playa Blanca: Space, Villas and Beaches
Playa Blanca is a relatively newer, but fast developing resort stretching along some 7-8km of coast on Lanzarote’s south-western end, facing the neighbouring island Fuerteventura (there is a ferry from Costa Blanca to Corralejo). Compared to Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise, Playa Blanca feels much more spread out, has big beaches all along the coast and is mainly composed of villas and bungalows rather than apartment complexes. It definitely feels more upmarket overall and prices tend to be slightly higher than in the other two resorts, but not always by a wide margin.
Besides the coast itself, there are beautiful surroundings with many things to visit or to take a walk. This also includes the Timanfaya National Park, although that is equally close (about 10km) from Puerto del Carmen.
In sum, unless you want a lot of nightlife and action, Playa Blanca will not disappoint and has all it takes for a relaxed holiday in nice environment.