Playa Blanca On a BudgetLocated on the southern tip of the Canary Island of Lanzarote, Playa Blanca is a resort area popular with families and couples seeking a quieter vacation alternative to the lively neighbor resort of Puerto del Carmen. The resort's white sandy beaches are peaceful and sheltered from the higher winds found on other parts of the island. Timanfaya National Park is also nearby, as well as a number of other spectacular volcanic features.
SightsPlaya Blanca is home to three beaches. The largest beach, from which the town takes its name, is especially good for families with children. Also known as the central beach, it is renowned for cleanliness, pristine waters, and excellent facilities, and is conveniently located close to the harbor where you will be able to find a good selection of restaurants, cafés, and bars. A lovely promenade connects the beaches along the seafront. Following it to the west of the town, will bring you to Playa Flamingo-another attractive, golden, sandy beach with beautifully calm, warm waters with plenty of shops and facilities nearby. To the east of town you will find the third beach, Playa Dorada-another hotspot with clean, white sands attracting sunbathers and swimmers.
Just a few minutes from town is Timanfaya National Park, one of the island's top attractions. A volcanic landscape that has barely changed since its eruption in the 1730s, the park covers about a quarter of the island's surface. Some highlights of the park are the Montañas del Fuego (or Mountains of Fire), as well as the Timanfaya National Park Visitors' Centre which features a permanent display explaining the origins of the island, the recent volcanic activity that formed the park, and the surprising flora and fauna to be found in the seemingly barren landscape.
Other nearby spots worth visiting include La Geria, Janubio salt flats, El Golfo (the green lagoon), and Los Hervideros which offers an amazing spectacle of cliffs and underwater caves formed by lava and erosion.
NeighborhoodsMost amenities are concentrated around the main hotels of the resort area. All kinds of restaurants, shops, and bars are located along the Playa Blanca boardwalk and the streets running parallel to it, at the edge of the old town. Another area that is worth a visit is the recreational port, complete with high quality facilities, including a new shopping center. For an escape away from the commercial and an experience closer to traditional Lanzarote, try visiting the nearby village of Yaiza. Narrowly escaping streams of lava and pirate raids due to its high elevation, the charming little town's historic white washed buildings and squares have been largely preserved intact over the centuries. Las Breñas is another well-known village, best known for is panoramic views of the ocean and the neighboring island of Fuerteventura.
ActivitiesIn addition to exploring the sights and attractions mentioned above, Playa Blanca's beaches are hotspots for swimming and sunbathing as well as watersports like snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking, and canoeing, amongst others. You might wish to spend the day shopping along the waterfront, or taking a daytrip to one of the nearby villages. Plenty of excursions, on both land and sea, can be organized (some of which include diving trips, hiking, sailing, and group tours-to name a few).
Food and DiningThe local cuisine of Lanzarote is a fare typical of the Canary Islands. Main dishes are simple, usually with some kind of meat or fish as a base, and are often accompanied by a sauce called mojo. The sauce made mainly of oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, red pepper, thyme, oregano, coriander, and several other spices. There are two varieties of mojo: rojo (or red, often served with meat) and verde (or green, often served with fish). Another kind of local dish is papas arrugadas (or "wrinkly potatoes"), which are cooked unpeeled in salt water then baked dry. Gofio is another common ingredient. Served as a side dish in a moist patty or as a base for pastries and pies, gorfio is a flour substitute milled from a variety of cereals like wheat, corn (maize), and barley, or a mixture of them. In addition to traditional fare, there are also a number of non-traditional restaurants especially in the resort areas. Visitors will be able to find a wide variety of dining selections including Greek, Chinese, Indian, and Mexican. For Playa Blanca, most dining options are located near the hotels and beachfront.
TransportationThe island's only airport is located about 5 kilometers to the west of the town of Arrecife. Charter flights serve Lanzarote from Northern Europe. There are also scheduled flights to some of the other Canary Islands, to the Spanish mainland, and to a few international locations (notably London).
Some of the airlines serving Lanzarote (ACE) include Iberia, Air Europa, EasyJet, British Airways, Monarch, Thomsonfly, Thomas Cook, Hapag Lloid, Air Berlin, Jetair, Lauda Air, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, and Jet2. Two local companies, which mostly offer flights between the Canary Islands, are Islas Airways and Binter Canarias.
The LZ2, a main motorway, links the resort to the airport.