Playa Blanca" means "white beach," and snowbirds flock here to swim and sunbathe. Huge yachts bob up and down at the marina, where snowbirds will also find many shops and restaurants and a lively market. Playa Blanca is situated on the south side of Lanzarote and through the years has become the third-largest tourist area on the island as well as and one of the best recreational spots in Lanzarote.
Awarded on various occasions for its beauty, this peaceful and pleasant spot is the ideal place for snowbirds to relax in. Playa Blanca has much to offer snowbirds who want to combine staying in a luxury hotel located in a vibrant area with lovely beaches and a charming atmosphere.
Once a small fishing village, the island's third-largest resort has gained a reputation as one of the premium places in Lanzarote, welcoming sun-seeking snowbirds throughout every year. It is a little quieter than other resorts in Lanzarote, which suits the visitor seeking a more laid back holiday experience.
Why should people visit during the winter?
Winter is a popular time to visit Playa Blanca because the wind drops, temperatures cool slightly and it is generally quieter than the summer peak season. Playa Blanca is a great holiday hotspot with warm weather all year round, fantastic facilities, and a chance for snowbirds to really relax and enjoy themselves. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, though snowbirds might want to wrap up warm in the evenings when it can be much cooler.
Playa Blanca is generally less windy than the rest of the island, due to its Southern location on the island. The weather in Playa Blanca is typically Canarian island weather with warm summers and mild winters, with gradual weather changes and minimal rainfall. With an average of 300 days of sunshine each year Playa Blanca is also a popular winter sun destination. The winter temperature averages around 23°C (73°F), but keep in mind that the evenings are colder. A heated pool is needed to swim during the winter.
For more climate information visit Meteoblue
Playa Blanca is extremely safe, especially the Faro Park area. The town itself is one of the safest quietest places on the island, as there are few late-night bars or clubs. However, snowbirds should still be aware, petty theft does still exist here, as it does nearly everywhere. Personal possessions should not be left unattended.
Communication, Internet, and cellphone in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain
As in the rest of Spain, in the Canary Islands, the official language is Spanish. However, there are many people who speak English, the second most spoken language, and many people also understand German. In almost all public establishments, such as stores, restaurants, hotels, etc., there is at least one person who speaks English or German.
From different parts of the beautiful island, snowbirds will be able to keep in touch with people. Snowbirds need to look out for the public telephone booths that take coins, credit cards, and phone cards (tarjetas telefónicas). When making an international call from Lanzarote, dial 00 first, then your country code (the United Kingdom 44, Republic of Ireland 353, US 1, Canada 1, Australia 61, etc), followed by the area code and then the number you want to reach. The country code for Lanzarote is 34, followed by a nine-digit number starting with 928. Of course, telephone calls can also be made from the comfort of one's hotel room. Calls are cheaper on Sundays and after 22.00 hrs.
As Lanzarote is part of Spain, European residents can use their mobile phones without any problems (roam like home). For non-EU residents, it is advised to check the rates, and if needed buy a local sim card.
Post offices are open from 09.00 to 14.00 hrs and close an hour earlier on Saturdays, and there are no phones there. However, snowbirds can buy stamps for their postcards. The postal service is quite laid-back so for important or urgent mail, snowbirds should use an international courier company.
There are a number of Internet cafés on the island and access is very cheap. Wireless access is also available in many bars, cafés, and of course, is accessible in hotels.
Things to see in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain
Playa Blanca has notable places that are worthwhile visiting:
- The Beaches: snowbirds can soak up in the beautiful beaches of Playa Blanca which are great places to lay back and chill out. The main beaches are Playa Blanca, Playa Flamingo, Playa Dorada, and Papagayo.
- Nature & Landscapes: the sheltered Playa Flamingo which is surrounded by subtropical gardens, the mountain of Montana Roja and Timanfaya National Park
Activities in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Spain during winter
- Submarine tours
- Take boat trips
- A visit to the Castillo de las Coloradas, an old watchtower.
- Visit the beaches
- Experience the first underwater museum in Europe at the Atlantico Museum
- See the mountain village of Femes and the Montana Roja volcano posing at the other side
- Shop at Marina Rubicon market
- Swim at Los Charcones
- Visit the Janubio Salt Flats
- A trip to El Golfo (Green Lagoon)- an incredible phenomenon in the cove, where seawater is trapped in the form of a lake and has turned a wonderful acidic green color, due to the algae which live and grow there.
- Attend the Playa Blanca Carnival
- Attend the Feria del Queso y la Cabra which is the Festival of Cheese & Goat. This event started back in 2013 and it has gained huge popularity amongst snowbirds and locals alike.
- Festival of Music: The festival usually takes place between January and February and is one snowbird should not miss.
Shopping + Restaurants. Are they open in the winter?
There are a number of good restaurants in the old town of Playa Blanca on the coastline that are open in the winter. Some are much better than others. There are many bars in Playa Blanca which offer sports viewing, karaoke, and live entertainment. Alternatively, snowbirds can travel to local places for a more lively atmosphere.
While meal prices in Playa Blanca can vary, the average cost of food in Playa Blanca should cost around per night €14 (approx. $16, £12, $21 CAD, $22 AUD) per person and €36 (approx. $42, £32, $56 CAD, $58 AUD) per day. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Playa Blanca is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
For shopping, Marina Rubicon, Playa Blanca- one of the biggest ports on the Canary Islands and operates every Wednesday and Saturday from 09.00 to 14.00. Around 30 stalls mostly selling clothing and general souvenirs are available. Snowbirds can find all kinds of restaurants, shops and bars along the Playa Blanca boardwalk, and the streets running parallel to it, at the edge of the old town.
For the more local markets, the Teguise Market opens every Sunday between 09.00-14.00. It is the biggest and best-known street market; busy with hundreds of stalls and thousands of people. In total contrast to Teguise, Haria market stages a laid back, small-scale market every Saturday morning, with twenty to thirty stalls set up in the shade of the towns. It operates every Saturday between 09.00-14.00.
The nearest airport to Playa Blanca is Arrecife (ACE). IC Bus Lanzarote operates a bus from Arrecife Airport Terminal 1 to Estación Playa Blanca hourly. Tickets cost €4 (approx. $4, £3, $6 CAD, $6 AUD) and the journey takes 58 minutes.
It is easy to walk the whole town on foot, so snowbirds do not need to worry about transportation. There are taxis easily available if needed.
There is a bus service every half an hour around the town. In early October 2008, Playa Blanca became the first town on the Island to have a dedicated local bus service, rather than through buses only. The price is a flat-rate €1.30 (approx. $1.53, £1.19, $2.03 CAD, $2.11 AUD) per journey for an adult, regardless of distance traveled around the town.
There are three ferry lines to choose from in which to make the journey. Firstly there is the Fred Olsen Express ferry, called the 'Bocayna Express' which makes the trip in 20 minutes. The second ferry is the Naviera Armas, called the 'Volcan de Tindaya', which makes 7 daily crossings each way, each one being of 35 minutes duration. The third is the 'Princesa Ico Glass Bottomed Boat'.
In general, snowbirds who have European health cards (the old e11) are entitled to free emergency medical care in the local health centers (Centro Salud).
Lanzarote Public Healthcare: The main hospital on the island is located just on the outskirts of the capital, Arrecife. Most of the staff here do not speak English but they will be courteous and treat snowbirds in the same way as a local patient.
Private Medical Care: Given that the main hospital is some distance from Playa Blanca, many snowbirds who need to see a doctor prefer to use one of the private surgeries that can be found in the resort for immediate attention. As these are private clinics, snowbirds will have to pay to see the doctor as well as for any prescriptions or treatments given to them. The range of treatments they can cover includes cardiology, pediatrics, general practice, and gastroenterology. Clinica Jorgani is run by a team of medical professionals, all of whom speak English. Seeing the doctor is by a previously arranged appointment at one of their clinics, but they will also make house visits if needed.
Dental: For snowbirds who need to visit the dentist while on holiday, there are several dental clinics in Playa Blanca. They are all private, as no dental care is covered by the health service in Spain – however, most treatment is still cheaper than in the UK.
On top of Lanzarote's natural appealing climate, this seaside town is home to a leading 5-star hotel which comes highly recommended by the travel experts Discount Rent A Car, Lda. The Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort is a great place to stay with top-class facilities, unrivalled personal service and guestrooms with an air of luxury. All this and more is set in lovely surroundings with breathtaking beachfront views. For more budget-friendly hotels, the following are some of the popular places with pools:
- Jardines Del Sol By Diamond Resorts
- White Suites
- Hotel The Mirador Papagayo
- Casa Domingo, Ona Las Casitas
Accommodation prices range from €88 (approx. $103, £80, $137 CAD, $142 AUD) per night, but longterm rentals will be a lot cheaper.