Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote
Until the 1960s, Puerto del Carmen was a small fishing village in the southeast, which only had a few houses on today’s port area. In the direction of the airport there was a salt plant and otherwise only free area where it was difficult to grow fruit or vegetables. What the famous Playa Grande looked like in the 1960s can be seen very impressively here. Today Puerto del Carmen is the largest and most important tourist centre on the island of Lanzarote, with over 960,000 tourists a year (as of 2017, source tourismodeislascanarias.com). If you want the beach and nightlife as close to your door as possible, you should choose a holiday home in Puerto del Carmen. On a length of approx. 6 km you will surely find the suitable beach, in the evening the right restaurant and at night the best disco or bar. The largest beaches are Playa Grande, Playa de Los Pocillos and adjacent to the airport is Playa de Matagorda. There are various sports facilities, such as windsurfing, diving, sailing, deep sea fishing, boat trips and much more. Near the harbour is the beach Playa Chica, especially suitable for children, with diving school and boat trips next door. Slightly hidden, opposite the La Penita area, between Playa Grande and Playa de Los Pocillos, there are some other bathing opportunities that are not so easy to discover from the road and which are best explored on foot from Avenida de las Playas. On the Avenida de las Playas, one restaurant practically alternates with Centros Comerciales – Shopping Centers. In between you will find boutiques, supermarkets, amusement arcades, car rentals and of course also various souvenir and often rather junk shops. The Sunday market in Teguise or Saturdays in Haria are much better places to buy souvenirs. Above the Avenida, near the port, there is one of the largest and most modern shopping centres in Lanzarote, the “Biosfera-Plaza”, with free underground parking. At Zara, Mango, Bershka, Foot Looker etc. you can shop here to your heart’s content or visit the open air cinema with English and Spanish movies. . You can satisfy hunger and thirst in numerous restaurants with great views of the hustle and bustle and the sea. The port of Puerto del Carmen, also known as La Tiñosa from former times, is 5 minutes’ walk from Biosfera to the south. Here you will find fishing boats and excursion boats, numerous authentic fish restaurants and, especially at the weekend at late hours, lively bars invite you to linger. The restaurant Casa Roja, which was built in 1850 and served as a harbour camp until the 1950s, is particularly outstanding. From the port, a footpath leads along the cliffs of Puerto del Carmen towards Barranco del Quiquere and on to Puerto Calero, the nearest town further south with its marina.
The Ironman Lanzarote takes place in Puerto del Carmen in May every year. A must see event if you are on the island during the second half of May.