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Welcome To Lanzarote Home Page

Welcome To Our Guide To Puerto del Carmen

Originally a small fishing village in the municipal district of Tias along the southern east coast of Lanzarote, Puerto del Carmen has grown over the last 30 years to become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Canary Islands, attracting visitors from all over Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany as well as from Scandinavia and Spain.

Geographically Puerto del Carmen is approximately 10 miles south of the capital Arrecife, and around 5 miles from the Arrecife International Airport, making it possible for one of the shortest resort transfers on the island.

Realistically it should take no more than around 10 minutes from leaving the airport grounds to be "somewhere" in Puerto del Carmen, although clearly for those visitors who have paid the additional supplement for a tour operators coach transfer, the actual time of arrival at your chosen accommodation will vary upon the route taken and the number of prior stops made on the day.

For most people visiting Puerto del Carmen for the first time, this unscheduled tour of the resort isn't really an issue, as it gives them an early opportunity to get their bearings, along with a general feeling as to what the area has to offer visitors.

If however, you have visited Lanzarote before, and feel that after already spending the last 7 hours or so either sitting in an airport departure lounge, or cramped Boeing 747, you now wish to take the most direct route to your chosen accommodation, there is always a multitude of taxis waiting outside of the arrivals hall.

Although these taxis do all operate on a fixed price basis, this "fixed price" can, and often does, vary slightly depending upon the number of suitcases, the time of day or night of the journey, and of course the number of passengers carried, however, as a very general guide the short trip should normally cost somewhere around 7€.

Taxis on Lanzarote can instantly be recognised as being the eggshell/white cars with a large red stripe on each front door. However please be aware that a standard taxi on the island is only licenced to carry a maximum of 4 passengers plus a "reasonable" amount of luggage, so for larger groups of travellers, or those with special needs, it is our recommendation to make provision for a pre-booked taxi to be waiting for you at the airport, and clearly specify at the time of booking that a larger, or specially adapted, vehicle is needed for the journey.

For those visitors who have pre-arranged for the collection of a hire car from one of the numerous agencies based at the airport, driving over to the resort is also very straightforward.

The shortest and most direct route would be, as you leave the airport grounds to join the main LZ2 heading south, before then quickly joining the LZ-40 and LZ-504, passing through the resort district of Matagorda, and Playa de Los Pocillos, before arriving in the centre of Puerto del Carmen.

If needed, a more detailed version of this route, complete with links to maps where appropriate, is available from the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page.

Although the close proximity of Puerto del Carmen to the airport does have the benefit of a very short transfer time, it does however also mean that some visitors are likely to experience some degree of aircraft noise during their holiday here, and it will certainly be worth while checking the comments of previous visitors to the resort before making your final choice of accommodation.

Both Puerto del Carmen and Playa de los Pocillos are very popular with British visitors, and in recognition of the high numbers of private holiday villas' and self catering apartments in the area, the resort does have a good selection of shops and SPAR type supermarkets, and these should certainly cater for the everyday holiday essentials with most also stocking a wide selection of UK recognised branded goods, albeit at slightly higher prices than you would expect to pay back at home in the UK.

The underlying principle of consumer choice was once explained to me by a local shopkeeper as "if you don't like the price, you don't have to buy". However, the reality is that unless you have access to your own transport, and are prepared to travel out of the resort, "you do have to buy", which of course the shopkeepers are only too fully aware of.

Puerto del Carmen has almost 6 kilometres of golden sandy beaches, with everything on hand to part you from your money, including watersports, glass bottom boat trips, as well as countless shops, bars and restaurants located along the Avenida de Las Playas.

For those on self catering breaks, you will never be more than a few hundred yards from either a McDonalds, Wimpey, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut etc, and you will never starve as long as you have money in your pocket. If you do ever tire of fast food, and in all fairness to the resort, you'll also find a number of more traditional cafes and restaurants along the seafront.

The original fishing harbour and Puerto del Carmen "old town", still exists towards the southern end of the resort, where you can spend a very relaxing afternoon watching the fishing boats come and go and the few remaining locals playing boules in the nearby square.

All this however, is overshadowed by the newer and more modern tourist resort, most of which was only developed in the early 1990's to accommodate the increasing demand for holiday accommodation on the island. Building work is still going in some parts on the outskirts of the town, and undoubtedly at some time during their stay, visitors will certainly witness some degree of construction works going on, although in all fairness much of this is now low key and should not spoil a holiday.

In recent years development funds from the European Union have also been used to create a wide traffic free promenade connecting the Puerto del Carmen resort centre to the Matagorda district, some 5km away to the north.

During the day, or early evening after dinner, it is a very pleasant stroll through Playa de Los Pocillos towards Matagorda, although for those with mobility problems, or simply wishing a night out, a taxi ride is obviously much quicker and costs around 3 - 4€ each way.

Puerto del Carmen is widely recognised as being the most lively resort on the island, with numerous bars, clubs and restaurants centred around the Centro Atlantico area of the sea front "strip" Avenida de las Playas, and this is certainly the place to make for if you wish to dance 'til dawn.

Although less than a mile away from the action, Playa de los Pocillos is however far quieter and more relaxed than its neighbour, which in turn is then reflected in its popularity with families with children who prefer to sleep before dawn.

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This website was launched on 1 May 2002

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