Are you planning on visiting Lanzarote in winter? The Canary Islands are one of the best winter destinations in Europe, primarily because they have year-round warm temperatures.
That’s right, if you’re freezing at home and want to escape somewhere for a week or two of sunshine, Lanzarote is perfect for you in December, January or February.
But that’s not all that the island has to offer. With beautiful beaches, volcanic rock, fascinating attractions and delicious food and wine, you’ll love visiting this Canary Island for your winter trip.
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Where is Lanzarote?
Lanzarote is one of the main Canary Islands.
This group of islands is located off the west of the coast of Africa.
They are part of Spain and are therefore in Europe, but unlike Mallorca and the Balearic islands, they are much closer to southern Morocco.
This gives them an enviable climate, making them perhaps the best place to visit for winter sun in Europe.
Reasons to visit Lanzarote in winter
If you need swaying, here are some epic reasons to visit Lanzarote in the cooler months!
- Warm temperatures: The weather in Lanzarote stays warm throughout the year, even in the winter months.
- Fewer crowds: Although it’s a fabulous winter destination, most tourists visit in the summer. That means much less crowds!
- Ideal hiking weather: In the warmer summer months, most people avoid hiking in the middle of the day. You don’t need to worry about this as much in the winter.
- Great surfing conditions: The winter has some of the best surf, and the sea temperature is comfortable!
- More vegetation: There isn’t much rain in Lanzarote in the winter, but there’s more than the summer. This means that you’ll see more vegetation and natural life.
- Year-round destination: Unlike other seaside resorts in Europe, nearly everything in Lanzarote stays open year-round.
Places to visit in Lanzarote in winter
There are lots of options for winter Lanzarote attractions.
Remember, because the temperatures are warm during the winter months, you can still visit the beaches and have lots of outdoor adventures!
You might not be spending the whole day sitting by the pool sunbathing in Lanzarote in the cooler months, but you won’t be short of things to do.
Here are just some of the incredible places to visit in Lanzarote over the winter!
Arrecife is Lanzarote’s capital, a small city with about 30,000 inhabitants. If you fly into the island, you’ll arrive here!
Many travellers just pass through the airport, but there are a few things to do in town too.
- Arrecife Market: This isn’t the biggest market on the island (see the entry on Teguise for more details about that!), but it’s a local favourite and an interesting place to walk around, buy some handmade souvenirs and try local cuisine.
- Castillo de San Gabriel: This castle was built as a defensive fortress in the 16th century, and has been rebuilt and adapted over the years.
- Castillo de San Jose: In contrast, this castle houses the International Museum of Contemporary Art, which was created by Cesar Manrique and Cabildo.
- Charco san Gines: This is a lagoon in the middle of the town, a lovely place for a stroll.
- The Old City: The old city has some historic buildings and a pleasant pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants.
Located in Nazaret in the centre of Lanzarote, Museo Lagomar was a private property made out of the epic volcanic rocks that surround it.
It’s a sight to behold and is worth stopping off at while you’re exploring the island.
Nowadays, there is an art gallery and restaurant on site.
Starting from the south of the island, Playa Blanca is a small tourist village. It’s famous for its hotels, many with all-inclusive options, but that’s not all that it has to offer!
In Playa Blanca, there are golden sands where you can sunbathe and look over crystal-clear water with a view of Fuerteventura, another Canary Island.
In addition, there are plenty of restaurants where you can sample typical Canarian food. Also, there’s a pedestrian avenue along the coast so you can enjoy walks by the sea and watch the sunset.
You can also dive at the famous Atlantico Museum, which is a fascinating museum under the water!
All in all, it’s the perfect place for a beach day!
Near Playa Blanca, you’ll find one of the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote: Playa de Papagayo!
In fact, Playa de Papagayo is not just one beach but many, collectively known as Papagayo Beaches.
Papagayo is surrounded by an undeveloped landscape, so it’s easy to forget that civilization is only 10 minutes away.
Papagayo Beach is a protected area famous for having peaceful and crystal-clear water. In order to help preserve it, there is a 1€ fee to visit.
Timanfaya National Park
In the south-central part of Lanzarote, you’ll find the unspoiled Timanfaya National Park.
This national park is the result of historic volcanic eruptions, so it’s an overwhelming sight of volcanic soil covered by dried lava. It looks otherworldly – like you’ve suddenly been transported to Mars!
You can’t really walk or drive through the park independently, as it’s protected and some parts are dangerous. But you can book a tour to see the highlights or drive to the reception and take a bus.
In the reception of Timanfaya National Park, you can also enjoy a geyser, which is geothermal heat from volcanic activity.
It’s hard to fathom that after so many years from the eruptions there’s still activity!
This landscape makes Lanzarote a fabulous island in winter. It’s well worth taking a day trip here!
Lanzarote is also well known for its delicious wine, which is made in a rather unique way.
La Geria where the wine is cultivated.
But it is cultivated in a very particular way indeed. As it doesn’t rain much in Lanzarote, volcanic rocks keep the water on the ground.
This area, in particular, can be quite windy, so walls around the vine are built up to keep it safe.
Volcanic grapevine is unique and gives way to an exceptional wine, whether white to enjoy on sunny days, or red for evenings and the few cloudy days there are in winter in Lanzarote.
You can visit wineries in La Geria, where it’s possible to learn all about the bottling process and the unique industry of Canary Island wine.
If you are an outdoor sports lover and want to enjoy them even in winter, don’t worry!
Thanks to the good weather in winter and to international-standard sports in the village of La Santa, this is possible.
La Santa Sport has outdoor Olympic pools, a running track, aerobic areas, rentable mountain bikes and tennis, paddle and squash courts.
This sports complex is also in charge of organizing one of the most famous events: the IRONMAN.
You can also visit El Quemao, a world-famous place to practise surfing throughout the whole year.
Puerto del Carmen
Puerto del Carmen is a village on the coast, just ten minutes from the airport.
It’s the most touristy village on the whole island, not only for foreigners but also for Lanzarote locals who want a few days to escape their routine and enjoy Christmas in the sun.
Puerto del Carmen has of the largest beaches on the island, with a pedestrian avenue alongside, surrounded by shops, restaurants and pubs of all kinds.
It’s a dream come true for those who love time outdoors in winter!
Teguise is a historical village in the northern area of Lanzarote and has the most famous market on the island.
This market is full of items made by material straight from the island such as volcanic rocks or olivine, a mineral resulting from volcanic eruptions.
This market is open in the streets of Teguise on Sundays from 9:00 to 14:00.
Even if you don’t want to buy anything, it’s very lively and the village is really beautiful and pleasant to walk around in winter.
There are many places to have breakfast and a lot of unusual corners.
Teguise has also a lot of history related to pirate attacks on the island.
For history enthusiasts, there is a castle museum, and here you can find a lot of information about pirates’ assaults and the conquer of Lanzarote, which took place in the 16th century.
Famara La Caleta
Famara La Caleta is a small settlement, with white houses typical of Lanzarote. It has some restaurants near the beach, perfect to have a drink while tasting traditional tapas.
Next to the village (no more than 2 minutes walking), you’ll find the biggest beach on the island.
This is situated just next to a cliff, and has a breath-taking landscape of mountain and beach, with views of La Graciosa, an island next to Lanzarote.
Famara is a perfect beach for surfers, but also there are parts suitable for swimming and is this beach is notable for its sunsets.
Also, during low tide, the sand is wet and reflects the colours of the sunsets. These are at their best at the end of autumn and beginning of the winter.
La Graciosa is a small Canary Island that is really close to Lanzarote. It’s actually part of it, administratively speaking.
Is also part of the Archipelago Chinijo, composed of small islets and two rocks, protected as Biosphere Reserve.
To get to La Graciosa, you can take a 30 minute boat from Orzola, in the north. It’s an easy day trip from mainland Lanzarote.
This island has just two villages and no paved roads!
When you get off the boat you’ll find a few restaurants on the beach, and two supermarkets, for those who don’t have a big budget.
In order to explore the island, you can walk around, rent a bike, or pay a taxi to take you to the main spots.
This is an island perfect for going to the beach, and therefore it’s a must when travelling in winter to Lanzarote.
Its beaches have crystal-clear water, with golden sand and views of Lanzarote and the rest of the Archipelago Chinijo.
You can also paddle surf and rent a kayak in the main village!
Haria is a small village close to the north of the island. It is famous for being where Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote’s most famous architect, lived.
As soon as you arrive on the island, you’ll notice how unique its white houses are. These were all designed by Cesar Manrique, giving Lanzarote a unique style that you won’t find on any other Canary Island.
There are loads of places to learn about Cesar Manrique, but potentially the best is his preserved studio and house museum in Haria. He lived here until his death in 1992.
Here, you’ll read more about his work and its impact on Lanzarote. The airport is even named after him!
Another place that you can visit with an association to Cesar Manrique is the Jardin de Cactus (Cactus Gardens).
El Mirador del Río
El Mirador del Río is a viewpoint in the north, from which you can see La Graciosa.
It is called El Mirador del Río (the viewpoint of the river) because there is a river in the sea that separates both islands.
As you can imagine, the panoramic views from this viewpoint are phenomenal!
There is also a restaurant there, and it is a lovely spot to eat with such a great view with a clear sky.
The entrance for adults is only 5 euros, and you can enjoy the building, which is built within the cliff of Famara, surrounded by volcanic stones and vegetation.
La Cueva de los Verdes and Jameos del Agua
Two popular tourist spots are La Cueva de los Verdes and los Jameos del Agua. They are really close one to another, and the entrance fee is 10 euros for each spot.
La Cueva de los Verdes is a grotto resulting from the eruption of the Crown Volcano.
Los Jameos del Agua is a sunken area where a volcanic conduit opens to the surface.
In the Cueva de los Verdes, you are able to go through the grotto and see its open and narrow spaces, and in the Jameos del Agua it is possible to see a volcanic jameo from the inside, where little white crabs live, native to Lanzarote and therefore, protected internationally.
These crabs are really one of a kind! And thanks to the stable weather, they have survived there for hundreds of years
Of course, there are dozens of other beautiful beaches to check out while you’re in Lanzarote!
- Playa Dorada: Lined with palm trees, this gorgeous beach is in the Playa Blanca area and is popular with windsurfing.
- Playa Chica: This is a small but immensley popular beach for wild swimming.
- Playa de la Madera: Near the Mirador del Arco, this beach is a small cosy spot.
- Playa de las Conchas: This is an epic beach with white sand and incredible views.
- Playa Quemada: Situated on the south of the island, this is a popular spot with restaurants and bars.
- Playa de la Cera: This is a beautiful beach and is one of the Papagayo Beaches.
There are a variety of other beaches in Lanzarote. Depending on the weather, you might visit these beaches for hiking, swimming or sunbathing! Here are some of the best:
Cruising around the island
One of the best ways to see Lanzarote is by boat.
You can do this on a catamaran cruise which will take you around the whole island. You can do these at any time of day!
Alternatively, a sunset cruise will enable you to enjoy the coastline of Lanzarote at a really special time of day.
How to get around Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a considerably small island, so it’s easy to get around!
However, public transport on the island is not amazing, so renting a car is the best option.
If you do decide to try out the public transport options, buses cost about 1,70€ depending on where you are going.
Driving in Lanzarote is amazing since you properly get to see the landscapes, and establish your own schedule without relying on the buses.
As the weather is warm, you shouldn’t experience any difficult driving (i.e. no fog, ice, snow or heavy rain!). It rains only about 20 days per year.
Some places can also only be reached by car!
You can book your car rental with Europcar or other rental companies.
What to pack for Lanzarote in Winter
Apart from a few layers for the flight, you won’t need too many warm clothes for Lanzarote in winter.
Just pack a pair of shorts, t-shirts, some nicer outfits for dinner and drinks and, a must in the Canary Islands, your favourite pair of flip-flops.
Trust me, people in the Canaries wear flip flops all the time.
You’ll need a cap too, and don’t forget to wear suncream!
If you’re used to warmer weather, pack a few layers, as the temperature is usually 18-22 degrees.
It’s best to pack a light sweatshirt and waterproof jacket too, just in case you’re unlucky and get a windy or rainy day.
What is the weather like in Lanzarote in winter?
Lanzarote is a popular destination for summer holidays, but what’s it like in the winter?
It’s a desert island, so you’ll enjoy warm weather and very little rain.
Being a Canary Island, Lanzarote has an average temperature of around 20 degrees in the winter.
Daytime temperatures can even reach up to 25 on particularly hot days!
The island has 6-11 sunshine hours every day. While July and August are the sunniest months, there isn’t all that much variation throughout the year, and the average hours of sunshine in January and February are still plenty!
You’ll also enjoy around 11 average hours of daylight each day, which is much more than Northern Europe during the winter.
This means it’s the perfect holiday destination to brush off those Christmas cobwebs and enjoy some heat!
What to eat and drink in Lanzarote in Winter
As an island, there are many seafood dishes in Lanzarote, but there are also lots of options to eat almost any kind of food.
One of Lanzarote’s staple dishes is papas arrugadas con mojo. These are salted boiled potatoes with mojo, a red or green sauce made of vinegar, garlic and pepper.
Another delicatessen is gofio, which is a kind of flour and is the basis of the gofio escaldao, usually served with fish broth.
If you’re a seafood fan, grilled limpets with mojo verde are delicious!
Caldo de millo is a traditional dish from Lanzarote consisting of stock with corn, noodles and usually ribs.
Do not worry if you’re looking for vegan options, because some of the traditional dishes are plant-based, and there are plenty of restaurants with vegetarian and vegan options.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, there are traditional desserts too! Remember the gofio? Well, there’s a mouth-watering mousse made of it.
Also, the polvito uruguayo, which comes from South America, is a fit for a king’s dessert: sweet, crunchy and creamy all at the same time!
Lanzarote is also well known for making superb and delightful wine too. You can sample this at any of the restaurants or at the wineries themselves!
Can I swim in the sea in Lanzarote in winter?
Yes! It won’t be as warm as it is in some destinations in the summer, but most keen wild swimmers will find the temperatures of Lanzarote’s waters fine to swim in the winter.
Some pools are closed in the winter, such as the Aquapark Costa Teguise, but the sea temperature is usually around 19°C, which is warmer than a lot of Northern European destinations in the summer!
What is Lanzarote like at Christmas?
If you’re visiting in the holiday season, there’s plenty to do in Lanzarote.
If you’re visiting this Canary Island in winter, most things stay open apart from the 25th December, 1st January and 6th January (which is King’s Day).
There are festivals and processions throughout the period, particularly on King’s Day.
Hotel restaurants should stay open throughout the time!
You’ll see lots of festive decor, although it’s a bit too warm here for fir trees!
What is Lanzarote like on New Year’s Eve?
On New Year’s Eve, lots of places open up for dinner. In Spanish style, dinner is often later and firework displays are after.
There is a tradition in Spain to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for every time the bell tolls.
Where to stay in Lanzarote in winter
There are lots of luxurious hotels to stay at such as Kamezi Boutique Hotel Villas, a luxury selection of villages with private pools (heated for the winter!) and kitchens with luxury bathrooms. There is also a spa on site. Click here for more information.
If you’re looking for inclusive options, Sandos Atlantic Gardens (adults only) has plenty of facilities including tennis courts, a heated swimming pool and a buffet and snack bar. You can choose from all inclusive, full board, half board or bed and breakfast. Read more information here.
Hotel the Mirador Papaygo is a great option for those travelling with kids. It has a kid’s club and three swimming pools. Click here to read more.
There are also lots of privately-owned villas to stay around the island, such as the beautiful Villa Jaira in Arrecife. Click here for more information.
Beautiful Lanzarote in Winter!
Whether you’re doing a full-day tour of Timanfaya National Park, scuba diving the Atlantico Museum or any of the other amazing destinations in Lanzarote, lazing back on one of the many beaches or enjoying the island’s gastronomy, we think that it’s the perfect place for a winter trip.
Lanzarote is the ideal place to get away from the cooler weather elsewhere in Europe and enjoy the sunshine hours with lots of time outside, plenty of restaurants and of course, epic beaches at every turn!
Your winter trip to Lanzarote is waiting for you!