With summer on the horizon, now is a great time to start planning your first summer sun holiday as there is no better way to embrace the best season by jetting off to somewhere glamorous. If you are anything like me, then you will want to find a new destination that is somewhat of a hidden gem – this always ensures for the best adventures and will create plenty of great stories to make your friends envious upon your return.
If this sounds like your kind of break, then I highly recommend Playa Blanca – the most southerly resort on the fantastic island of Lanzarote. This is the fastest growing resort on the island and a tremendous amount of building work has been completed in recent times. It is now a peaceful, upmarket and beautiful area with plenty of opportunities for sun worshipping, shopping, celebrity spotting and indulging in a superb food and drink scene once the sun goes down. Perfect.
Fancy island hopping? Read up on the variety of the Canary Islands here.
The picturesque yacht marina is one of Playa Blanca’s main attractions and it is easy to see why. This is an area that exudes elegance and glamour with huge yachts, boutique shops, gourmet restaurants, cool lounge bars and plenty more luxury.
The marina is the perfect space for chilling out in one of the many alluring cafes and simply people watching (you may well spot a celebrity or two!). Café del Mar has a wonderfully relaxed and friendly atmosphere and offers sublime views out to sea – it also plays a variety of music that helps to set the mood. Whether it is an morning coffee or early evening Martini, you are sure to feel very peaceful here.
Walking down the marina is a terrific experience at any time, but I suggest that you try to get there on Wednesday or Saturday if possible. This is when the popular market takes place, where you can pick up all kinds of local delicacies and natural products – be sure to keep your eyes peeled for traditional homemade soup, which is an important part of Canarian culture. Leisurely strolling through the market is also the best way to see the beating heart of Playa Blanca and learn about life out here.
Of course, one of the main reasons for heading to Lanzarote in the summer will be to catch some rays. Playa Blanca is the best place on the island due to its location at the southernmost point; this ensures that you get the hottest temperatures and the beaches here are outstanding.
Playa Blanca – The beach from which the resort takes its name, this translates to “the white beach”. It is a superb area for people watching as it is at the heart of the resort, plus it also has a Blue Flag for cleanliness so expect inviting white sand and clear waters. Due to its central location, you are also just a short walk from a handful of cheerful bars, cafes and restaurants.
Playa Dorada – “The Golden Beach” has beautiful honey coloured sand and can be a quieter spot than Playa Blanca. The sea is very calm at Playa Dorada, so head here if you fancy a dip in the ocean or want to join the locals for a morning swim. There are also several shops and cafes nearby.
Papagayo – A famous national park that consists of a collection of small beaches separated by high cliffs, Papagayo is a stunning part of Lanzarote where you can find your own slice of paradise in one of the sheltered bays. For a special experience, pay a (small) charge to use the coastal pathway to access the national park. This will provide sublime views of the dramatic landscape. As a heads up, there are no services nearby, so stock up before heading off.
Food plays a huge part in any holiday experience and the dining scene is magnificent in Playa Blanca. There are dozens of great restaurants to choose from, serving up all kinds of tantalising cuisine. Here are three of Lanzarote’s finest:
Casa Brigada – This superb establishment along the marina allows you to try delicious fish dishes with the sounds, sight and smell of the ocean as a backdrop. The menu is extensive and diverse, but most head here for the fresh seafood and relaxed atmosphere, which is established with the rustic furniture, ocean views and cool background music.
El Mirador – An upmarket restaurant on the marina, El Mirador offers panoramic views of Playa Blanca that are majestic at sunset. When this is combined with a unique blend of modern and traditional styles with the use of glass and wood, this creates a fantastic and unique atmosphere. The excellent and varied menu is heavily inspired by Mediterranean cuisine prepared in a traditional manner, but served artistically.
Restaurante Playa Blanca – Located by the gorgeous Playa Blanca beach, this marvellous open-air restaurant allows you to dine surrounded by palms, with the ocean as a backdrop and with a gentle sea breeze through the air. It has a tranquil ambience at lunchtime and an electric atmosphere at night, but it is the comforting Dominican cuisine that really makes this a wonderful place for a bite to eat and a drink or two.
How to Get to Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a great destination as it boasts the type of climate and backdrop that you expect to find in the Caribbean, but it is just a 4-hour direct flight from London. The flight is also made regularly by budget airlines, including easyJet, British Airways and Thomas Cook.
Lanzarote (ACE) airport is located to the south-east of the island, so a private or shared transfer with Shuttle Direct will take a 30-minute scenic drive to reach Playa Blanca.
Where to Stay:
Rubicon Palace – A stylish hotel overlooking La Mulata Beach, this accommodation has everything you need for a memorable stay. This includes a lovely lagoon-style pool area complete with poolside bar, a fully equipped spa, fitness centre, spacious rooms with satellite and a whopping 10 bars and restaurants to choose from. From American classics at The Steakhouse through to fusion-oriental cuisine at Sakura, you do not have to stray far for a terrific meal.
Hotel The Volcán Lanzarote – Brilliantly situated next to the marina and a short walk from the beach, this excellent hotel is in the heart of Playa Blanca so you can easily get out and explore each day. You may be tempted to lounge around the premises though, as it features comfy rooms, a spa with hot tub and water bubble bed, an outdoor pool and pool bar and 5 inviting restaurants serving all kinds of tempting dishes to choose from.
H10 White Suites – This luxurious adult only collection of suites has a cool ambience with whitewashed walls, a stylish pool area and attractive gardens where you can participate in Tai Chi or Pilates. The modern suites come with a private balcony, LCD TV, Nespresso coffee maker, minibar and iPod docking station. You can spend your days lounging by the pool, indulging at the beauty centre, relaxing in one of three bars (amongst which a shisha bar) or sampling the cuisine on the terrace at the onsite restaurant. It is also just a three-minute walk to the beach.
About Shuttle Direct:
Get your vacation off to a great start by booking a private Shuttle Direct transfer from the airport to your hotel. Shuttle Direct are Europe’s number one choice for transfers thanks to their reliable, affordable and efficient service.
Use their online booking system today and a friendly local driver will be waiting at the airport to take you to the destination, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.