Lanzarote – A Stunning Easy Coastal Walk For Everyone To Enjoy
Here’s an easy to follow step-by-step hiking guide for an easy to moderate coastal walk of about 2.4 miles along the rugged yet beautiful volcanic clifftops of Lanzarote’s southern coastline. The coastal path runs from Puerto del Carmen to the more laid back fishing village of Puerto Calero. For more information on Puerto del Carmen and Lanzarote, where to stay & eat and what to do, please keep reading.
Puerto del Carmen - Lanzarote
The beach resort of Puerto del Carmen baffles your senses. On one hand, its sprawling seafront is busily lined with Irish bars, Asian restaurants and bars offering jugs of Carlsberg and all-day full-English breakfasts. On the other hand, it’s flanked by a glorious sandy beach, small, more secluded horse-shoe coves and hides some excellent restaurants that would satisfy any genuine foodie.
Accept the tourist attractions for what they are, convenient pieces of home comfort, then scout out the countless treasures this seaside hamlet has to offer. It’s a perfect base for touring the volcanic landscape of this island paradise.
Disclosure: Some of the links provided will take you to affiliate websites. I have used or tested each product or service and recommend only the very best. This blog is independently run and the opinions expressed here are my own.
Scattered amongst Carmen’s two-mile row of hawkish gift shops, if you carefully look, you’ll discover a selection of innovative chefs plying their trade at seafront fine-dining restaurants. There are trendy cocktail bars, from vintage to contemporary, rustic to tropical, and for the savvy shopper, a more than ample suite of high-end boutiques and craft shops.
Turn your back on the kitsch tourist strip for a moment, and you can’t help but admire the neat and tidy promenade that overlooks a wide beach of golden sand, dotted with clutches of cacti and palms. Wander down onto the smaller, quainter beaches at either end of the beachside town, and you’ll find yourself sitting on palm-fringed horseshoe bays that wouldn’t be out of place in the Caribbean.
In the warm evenings, meander the wide promenade amongst the carefully planted tropical landscaping, under palm trees that gently sway, brushed by the welcoming, cool sea breeze.
Find one of the many bench seats, crafted from hefty chunks of jet-black volcanic rock or marble and sit and people-watch. Enjoy your quiet corner of tranquillity and watch the sun fall behind the distant range of volcanic peaks of the Femes trail. The lights of Puerto Calero and Playa La Casa twinkle like blinking torchlights as the day drifts away.
There’s definitely more to Puerto del Carmen than holiday brochures profess. For one, it has every convenience you could want from a base to tour this barren yet fascinatingly beautiful volcanic island.
An Easy Hike from Puerto Del Carmen
This post provides just one option for an easy-moderate hike along the clifftops to the smaller, quieter harbour village of Puerto Calero. I’ll follow up with further posts about other things to do and see on this wonderful Canary Island, mere miles off the Moroccan coast of Africa.
At the end of the post, I’ve also provided some information on where to eat, what to do and where to stay on Lanzarote.
Puerto del Carmen - A Great Base to Explore Lanzarote
Puerto del Carmen is a long, strip of mainly sandy beaches about 12 minutes drive to the South West of the airport and the island’s capital town of Arrecife. Like most of the Canary Islands, strict planning regulations mean there are none of the high-rise monstrosities overlooking the sea, as you may find in many Spanish mainland resorts.
The main seaside street is lined with an array of bars, restaurants and shops that cater for all tastes. There is a selection of higher-end restaurants either in the better hotels (like Lanis Suites or Hotel Fariones) or set down on the seafront (Sebastian’s Atlantico Lounge) or in the side streets behind the main drag.
If you venture to either end of the long promenade, on foot or using one of the easy to rent eScooters or eBikes, you’ll find quieter, white-washed residential districts, and four and five-star hotels and a much more laidback feel.
The Western end of the town brings you to the short peninsula of Fariones, where a new glitzy shopping centre is taking shape and a large suite hotel is being refurbished. Beyond these is the luxurious Hotel Fariones, a five-star hotel boasting lush tropical gardens and heartwarming sea views.
Keep walking and you’ll soon arrive at the “old town” where a handful of tempting restaurants and bars sweep around the marina, very quiet and peaceful by day – a hive of activity, bright lights and happy chatter by night.
Puerto Del Carmen to Puerto Calero Trail
If you look across the marina, let your eye follow the broad pine-wood boardwalk along the edge of the harbour, and you’ll see a path zig-zagging its way to the top of the cliff. This is the start of the Calero hiking trail from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero.
The hiking route is fairly straightforward, just keep the sea to your left (or right obviously, if you’re walking from Calero). However, to help you ensure your walk is an enjoyable one, and to entice you to leave the hubbub, beaches and tapas of Puerto del Carmen behind for an hour or so, this post provides a detailed route for this walk.
About the Hike - Practicalities
First some practicalities…
This walking route isn’t particularly challenging (I’d say easy to moderate), though there are several sets of steps that would, alas, prevent someone with mobility issues from completing the route. There are also one or two sections where the path is a little steep and covered with loose scree, that needs a firm foot to navigate. For this reason, and that the paths are very dusty, I’d recommend you wear trainers or at least sturdy pumps.
However, if you’re relatively stable on your feet, this is an enjoyable walk with some wonderful sea views and plenty of places to sit and stare at the deep blue of the ocean, maybe even spot a dolphin.
Take plenty of water as there are no facilities (or toilets) once you’re on the path, though there are plenty of refreshments available once you get to Puerto Calero. There’s little shade upon the clifftops, so a hat or head covering would also be useful and ensure you apply plenty of sunblock.
You also have the option of walking to Puerto Calero and then catching the regular water taxi back (or catching the taxi to Calero and walking back). The latter would be an ideal solution if you want to catch the sunset as you reach the highest point of the clifftops before you begin defending down to Calero. Catching the water taxi would save you from having to walk back in the dark. Please check the water taxi timetable before setting out as it doesn’t run late all year round.
There are also plenty of road-based taxis in Calero, and a regular bus should you not wish to take the water taxi or walk back.
Starting the Hike - Puerto del Carmen
I’ll assume you’re walking from Puerto del Carmen to Puerto Calero, rather than the other way. If you are staying in Calero, simply reverse the route.
We started the walk from the Hotel Fariones on C. Roque del Este which is just off the end of Av. de las Playas (the main promenade in Peurto del Carmen. I recommend having a wander around Hotel Fariones, maybe even a drink on one of their terraces. The lush tropical gardens, with the scents of fresh herbs, pine and fragrant flowers and the chirp of bright-green parrots in the palm trees above. The hotel gardens also provide some great sea views and an oasis of tranquillity from the busier main promenade.
Turn left as you leave the Hotel Fariones and then left again down C. Harimagueda. When you get to the Safari Diving building, head down the slope or steps and along the paved path behind the pretty little half-moon Playa Chica.
At the end of Play Chica are some public toilets, and the last ones before Calero.
Puerto Del Carmen - the Port & Old Town
After the beach, take Av. el Varadero, keeping the sea to your left. After a short while, you’ll come to the old town and a collection of restaurants and bars looking out towards the marina.
Follow the path through the bars, past the children’s playground and then walk along the wooden boardwalk of the marina, keeping the boats on your left.
Admire the pretty cactus gardens of the houses along the marina waterfront. When you come to the end of the boardwalk, look for the steps on your right, leading up to C. Los Infantes.
Take the narrow road on your left until you come to more steps. Climb these then take the path on the left heading back towards the sea. You are now officially on the Sendero Hasta Puerto Calero – the hiking trail to Puerto Calero.
You’ll soon come to what is possibly the steepest climb of the whole walking route, called the Treppe. It’s a strange zig-zag of tiled paths, with chainlink handrails. I can imagine this path being very slippery in wet weather so take care.
The route should now be pretty evident all the way to Puerto Calero, with just one fork as you arrive at Calero. Otherwise, just follow the path, keeping the sea to your right. Until Calero, the path doesn’t leave the cliff-tops, so if you find you’re heading back inland too much, check you’re still on the right path.
Walk Along the Cliff Tops
There are some paths leading down to the sea at various points on the walk, but take care as the volcanic shale can move underfoot if you stray from the main path.
There’s also a wonderful garden, where the volcanic stone has been built into little square pens to protect grapevines and tomato plants from the harsh sea breezes and the glare of the sun. The pens also help keep precious water in this arid part of the world where it’s needed, around the roots of the plants.
Look out for various vantage points where you can look for dolphins leaping out of the water, or watch the Water Taxi shuttle backwards and forth on the sparkling ocean.
Arriving at Puerto Calero
You’ll see the marina of Calero when you’re nearing the end of the trail. Down to your right, you’ll see a large warehouse with a car park to its right. Follow the path that leads down to the car park, not the path that leads away from the sea at a right angle as this will take you to the main road and it’s then longer to walk back down into Calero.
Skirt through the warehouse car park and then you will have arrived on the pretty harbour side of Puerto Calero.
Here you can find a few bars and cafes as well as a gift shop, supermarket and information hub. There are also some public toilets here.
If you’re catching the Water Taxi back, head to the far end of the harbour where you’ll spot the little shop selling ferry tickets.
If you’re walking back, after enjoying some refreshments just follow the same route in reverse.
Places to Stay In Puerto Del Carmen
If you’re also considering using Puerto del Carmen as a base, we stayed at the high-end Hotel Fariones, which is advertised as a 5* hotel but probably more realistically a 4*, but still very good and recommended if your budget stretches that far.
I’ve done another post that focuses on Hotel Fariones, including a video walk around the gardens and setting.
Another recommended place to stay is Lani’s Suites. We ate there one evening, looked around the hotel and spoke with the manager and a few guests. It looked another stunning hotel and came highly recommended.
There are lots of other hotels or Aparthotel complexes in Puerto Calero, and many Airbnb or villa/apartment rentals are available. Bookings.com has lots and is quite reliable with their guest ratings, unlike some other hotel search websites.
Getting to Puerto Del Carmen
Many airlines fly direct from the UK to Lanzarote, including most of the budget airlines. You can also get connecting flights from any of the main Spanish airports.
We booked with Jet2Holidays about 5 months before we travelled and paid £1700 for 5 nights B&B, including flights from Stansted with extra-legroom seats, and an upgrade to a sea view room. I checked by the time we travelled, and the same holiday was then over £2500, so worth booking in advance if you can.
The flight from the UK takes about 3 and a half to 4 hours. The airport at Arrecife is bigger than you might expect for a small island, and outside of school holidays has a relaxed feel, with plenty of seats and relatively short queues for check-in and security.
There are plenty taxis outside arrivals, and these will cost around €22-25 to Puerto del Carmen (about 12 minutes drive). They’re cheaper if booked in advance, and some sites were offering discounts if you booked a return trip. Many hotels offer discounted transfers so check their websites too.
You can also get the bus from the airport into Puerto del Carmen (and most of the other main resorts) which will cost about €1.50 each way (as at the time of writing). Look for buses numbered 161 or 261 which run every 30 minutes on weekdays, until 10:30pm.
Where to Eat In Puerto Del Carmen
If you want cheap, convenient food you’ll be spoiled for choice if you choose Puerto del Carmen as a base. You can find food from almost every continent along the main strip, and there are several offering take-aways and delivery to your accommodation. You’ll also find a range of common brand takeaways like Burger King, McD’s etc.
If you want to experience something more traditional, then you’ll need to seek these out. Visit the cafes and bars in the residential areas, ideally where the locals live, on the edges of the town, rather than the ex-pat areas. There are also plenty of supermarkets, including larger ones (Lidl etc) a short walk behind the main promenade you want to eat more upmarket local dishes, then there are plenty of those too, just a little more tricky to find. I ate at Sebastyan’s, Lanis Gourmet Restaurant and the restaurant at Hotel Fariones. All three served delicious local food, Sebastyan’s with a Greek twist. Two courses (starter and main) with a glass of wine and water for the table, cost us about €60-80 (I told you they were high-end). Lanis and Sebastyan’s have tables with stunning sea views – a perfect romantic location.
I did my usual diligent research and shortlisted a number of local restaurants that ex-pats or locals recommended. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time (or money) to try them, but you might want to take a look yourself.
What to Eat on Lanzarote
So that’s a list of places to eat at, but when you’re sitting at your sea view table what should you order?
To get the best experience from any destination, I always try the local food. Here are some local specialities you should try:
- Mojo (a spicy local sauce served with bread, potatoes or fish)
- Pulpo a la Parrilla (grilled octopus and if cooked well is delicious)
- Papas arrugadas (delicious wrinkly potatoes)
- Pella de Gofio (a kind of sliced dumpling eaten as a side/bread substitute)
- Puchero Canario (a wholesome stew with pumpkin, cabbage, sweet potatoes and either pork or beef)
- Ropa Vieja (a bit like pulled beef)
Places to See On Lanzarote
There’s a lot going on on this island geared up for holidaymakers, but hikers, cyclists and adventure-seekers are also amply catered for.
Lanzarote is ideal for hiking and the temperatures are relatively stable year-round so you’ll rarely find it too hot to walk, or too cold to enjoy. Take plenty of sunscreen as the cooling sea breeze can often disguise the fact you’re being exposed to the very hot sub-tropical sunshine.
In addition to the relatively short and easy Puerto Calero trail outlined above, you can also find stunning scenery on trails all over the island.
I used this excellent post by the This Expansive Adventure blogger to find some must do, albeit more challenging trails. You’ll find some stunning volcanic landscapes on these hikes, including being able to peer down into the (long dormant) craters. Here’s a summary of their blog post, but do visit their site as they have some stunning photos of the island:
- Montana Tinasoria
- Montana Los Rodeos
- Montana Colorada
- Montana Cuervo
- Caldera Blanca
- Timanfaya Coastal Path
The Best Beaches On Lanzarote
The best beaches on the island can be found as follows:
- Playa Chica (great for Snorkelling or Beginners Diving Lessons)
- Playa de Papagayo (take a boat trip from your base resort)
- Playa de Famara
- Playa de las Conchas (remote and unspoilt)
- Caleton Blanco (pure white sand and obscure lava formations)
- Charco de los Caicos (weird green algae patches in the water – better than it sounds!)
Places to Go On Lanzarote
If all of the above isn’t enough to keep you occupied, here’s a list of other places to visit on the island of Lanzarote. Click on the links to book organised tours with my preferred partner GetYourGuide.com: