When it comes to searching for some much desired sun, it’s no secret that the Canary Islands is a favourite holiday destination for us Brits.
With its stretches of pristine beaches and mesmerising coastlines, Lanzarote is one of the more popular Spanish islands and attracts over one million tourists each year – with celebs including Penelope Cruz,Helen Skelton andformer Love Islander Chloe Crowhurst all flocking to the sun-soaked location.
And thanks to its rocky hiking trails, relaxing beachfront hotels and incredible array of markets, Lanzarote has something for every kind of traveller, making it the ideal choice for families of all ages. Don’t believe us? We sent a mum in desperate need of some of relaxation to quite literally test the waters…
Sipping a daiquiri by the pool, all life’s stresses melt away. I’ve been in Lanzarote two hours and already, this frazzled mum is in paradise. In a parenting life normally filled with endless mundane decisions, here, there’s nothing to think about. There’s no “are the kids warm enough?” (it’s 29°C); no “are they hungry?”; no “what are we doing next?” So park your preconceptions about Brits Abroad package holidays – because this could be your ultimate chill-out break, too.
With its volcanic landscapes, bustling Sunday market, rocky hiking trails and cultural attractions, there’s more to Lanzarote than you’d imagine. It’s also a mere four hours’ flight from the UK and offers sunshine year-round.
Where to stay
The recently renovated Seaside Los Jameos is one of the best beachfront hotels in Puerto Del Carmen on the south-east side of the island, just 10 minutes from the airport – warding off moans of, “Are we nearly there yet?” We shared an airy family room with a sea view balcony, giving us a vista across the sub-tropical gardens to the beach.
The elegant four-star hotel was designed by students of Lanzarote’s most famous artist, César Manrique. And there are plenty of palm trees to take shade under and pools to splash in, plus a mini golf course.
There’s no need to venture outside the complex in search of good food. Every night at the resort, there’s a different themed buffet with dishes from around the world. Like your tuna steak rare? No problem – the chefs cook it in front of you, so they can cater for your exact tastes.
The lunchtime salads are imaginative and kids will adore creating their own omelettes for breakfast or loading up on fresh pancakes. Your biggest challenge might be prising them (and you) away from the dessert station each night. World’s largest-ever pudding, anyone?
On your doorstep
Ask the hotel to help you hire a car, or do as we did and get adventurous with the local buses. The island is worth exploring.
Visiting the César Manrique Foundation – the studio-home-turned-museum of the island’s famous artist and architect – in Taro de Tahiche is a must-do. The same is true of an excursion to Timanfaya National Park, which is just 20 minutes drive from Los Jameos. There, you can admire the spectacular volcanic landscape that featured in classic sc-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Like shopping? The town of Teguise has a sprawling Sunday market, packed with arts, crafts and jewellery stalls. There are boat trips to see dolphins, too, but book early as these don’t run every day. Lanzarote mainly has black sand beaches due to the volcanic grains, but if you crave golden yellow sands, Papagayo beach to the south is a 40-minute drive.
With two proper pools plus a kids’ pool, there’s plenty of space – and even enough sunloungers without setting a 6am alarm. There’s a kids’ club on site, so I got to read three books during our week’s break, more than I’ve done in the past three years.
The resort also has four tennis courts and a beach volleyball court to wear out energetic teens. There’s a gym and beauty parlour – perfect if there’s been no time for a pedicure and a wax at home. And if you bundle the kids off to the arcade room for an hour, you can make use of the blissfully peaceful (adults-only) spa area with steam room, indoor and outdoor sauna, and plunge pool, which will ensure you cool down again pretty sharpish!
How to book
Seven-nights at four-star Seaside Los Jameos including flights from London Stansted, one checked bag per person, coach transfers and accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis, based on two adults and two children (under 12) sharing a family room costs £718 per person, or £2,154 per family, including one free child place. To book, call 0800 408 6264 or visit jet2holidays.com. Check out the hotel at los-jameos.com
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