The locals call it Playa Grande instead of Playa Blanca, its other name, to avoid confusion with another Playa Blanca, the tourist resort at the Southwestern tip of Lanzarote. It is found at the southern middle part but of Lanzarote Island, in Puerto del Carmen, a fishing village with a picturesque harbour at its southern end. Today, Puerto del Carmen is tourist centre that is buzzing with visitors, water activities, and nightlife all year round.
Playa Grande is one of the longest and most visited playa in the area and it graces this part of Lanzarote with a long stretch of sea and shore, stunning skylines, and unobstructed views of sunrise and sunsets.
Long, large, and ready for more
Aside from a seascape that make you want to watch the world go by, Playa Grande (or large beach in English) has more than one kilometer of soft, golden sand, and waters teeming with marine life. No matter how many tourists come in to sunbathe, swim, or play on its sands, Playa Grande always has more than enough room for another group of sand-loving visitors, and we mean really lots of space. There are also several dive spots in the deeper portions, and snorkeling-worthy company by the shore. You’ll also be surprised at how this beach is always kept spotless clean.
Close to everything
In contrast to the isolated, rural beaches of Isla Graciosa up North, Playa Grande is an urban beach where everything you need is a stone’s throw away: free amenities like toilets, showers and changing places, parking space; lifeguards on duty; lots and lots of sun beds and parasols for hire; and hammocks, sunshades, boats and water sports equipment for rent. It also stretches along Las Playas Avenue, a long waterfront promenade that buzzes with countless shops, restaurants, bars, and every other thing a tourist needs to keep entertained and gastronomically satisfied.
Before you head over to this most-visited playa in Puerto del Carmen, here are some tips and thoughtful recommendations.
#1 If you want shelter from the sun and the breeze...
Although Playa Grande sounds like one too popular a beach, its grandness does have room for everyone, even loungers who want a piece of shade and quiet some distance from other sunbathers. Yup, just head over to end of the beach where there are palm trees and gathered stone that form circular hedges, near the stairs. This area is also a great place to shield yourself from the sun and strong winds because it can get windy to the point where sand gets blown at your face.
#2 Beware of hot sand
Yes, the sand can get pretty hot and whereas the idea of digging in your feet in the soft, golden powder while walking to the beach sounds very therapeutic, you might want to reserve this for very early in the morning or late at night. Sometimes, the sand remains warm until evening so unless the day’s particularly cool, we advice wearing beach sandals or slippers.
Have a good serious adult swim, and a fish snorkel party for the kiddos
Some say the waters of Playa Grande are relatively calm but perhaps not perfectly still! There are prevailing north and northwestern winds because you are still on one of the Canary Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. That said, the waters can get a bit choppy. Nonetheless, it is calm enough to swim in with a fun enough for serious swimming. Do check the forecast to better predict the temperature and weather.
- The sea might not be for very young children due to slight shelving. Note the rocky areas too. That is not to say that the shallow areas are not child-friendly. Take the kids snorkeling and buy something to feed the fish (a bag of Wot-Sit crisps from the shops)…
- “Our girls had snorkels and before you knew it hundreds of beautiful coloured fish were around you feeding… Great cheap day out.” (Trip Advisor review)
- “…my little boy age thre loved it. Went out on the paddle boats and loved seeing the fish swimming around him. Also like the rocks were he found pools of water with fish in and little crabs spent hours looking in the rock pools.” (Trip Advisor review)
#3 Run in the morning, stroll by the shops, chill out at night
Do you love a good jog along the beach or a good bicycle ride beside a windy beach? You can do this for miles by passing through the neighboring resorts and adjoining beaches. If you’ve heard, this island was the venue for Ironman races. There are bicycle routes too along Avenida de las Playas, the road that runs beside the beach and do check out Ironman bicycle routes for some serious cycling.
- Take a hearty breakfast at a seaside café at the promenade after your morning run.
- Don’t feel like running but more like window shopping or just sunset gazing? Stroll by the walkway above the beach. It’s beautiful there at sunset.
- Bound by the Avenida de las Playas promenade, the area on Lanzarote with the greatest variety of restaurants and shops, this strip is also a great place to watch some shows or chill out at night.
#4 No shortage of paracraft water sports here
There are several shops that rent out equipment or offer lessons. For sure, you’ll find at least one that interests you, from paddle boats, to jet skies, diving, or surfing, to name a few.
Try the floating play gym for the win
To the left of the beach, there is a large, inflatable water attraction that is quite a hit among kids, teenagers and perhaps, the teenager at heart. It has various large water floats and slides which you can enjoy at €5 per hour.
#5 Take note of the wheelchair and PWD access
This beach is known for efforts to make it more accessible to seniors and persons with disabilities. It’s not perfect yet though as some ramps tend to be a bit steep. But do look out for those and special areas for wheelchair users. It has yet to be confirmed but there are supposed to be special customised carts to take you down into the sea and amphibious wheelchairs in you request at the municipal office.
#6 Watch the world go by
Then again this beach, even minus its many special attractions, is spectacular for its breathtaking seascape, and an excellent views of Los Ajaches. Despite the busy nearby streets of Puerto del Carmen, you can take refuge here. Find a seat, a good spot (or a sunbed), drift away, and watch the world go by while sipping a tropical fruit shake.
“Sunbathing on this beach was very good with wind shield around the sun beds, it is an excellent beach for walking on and enjoying the sunshine.” (Trip Advisor review)
Tip: Just a bit of warning, hiring sunbeds is on the higher end on this beach at around €5 per day. For two sunbeds and a parasol cost €12-20.
#7 Getting there
Puerto del Carmen, where Playa Grande is, is about a 10-minute drive from Arrecife Airport. It is an ideal place to stay at if you want to explore the rest of the island. A taxi is the most ideal mode of transport, although airport shuttle services are also available. If you want to take public transport, hop on the Bus: Línea 161.
#8 Where to stay
Being the main tourist destination, there are countless options for accommodation in Puerto del Carmen. Do determine if you prefer to stay in an apartment complex, hotel, or villa.