Lanzarote with kids: the perfect winter holiday escape

Are you planning a visit to Lanzarote with kids? It’s a fantastic winter sun destination in Europe with breathtaking volcanic landscapes and beaches.

Our second family holiday to Lanzarote this December wasn’t just a return to its year-round sunshine. With only a 4-hour flight from Paris, it’s become our new go-to for winter holiday escapes. It isn’t every holiday where you beach-hop, hike, and wine-taste in landscapes born millions of years ago. It’s also one of the best places I’ve been to for sunset watching, and I LOVE watching sunsets.

After Lanzarote we hopped on a ferry with our rental car to explore the neighbouring island, Fuerteventura. Read “How to spend 3 days in Fuerteventura with kids” for more ideas on places to visit in Canary Islands.

volcanoes in the timanfaya national park,

Lanzarote isn’t your typical Mediterranean island, and that’s precisely what makes it so unique. When you arrive on this island, your senses are astounded by its harsh yet strikingly beautiful topography. It has a lunar-like surface, and although some areas may seem stark and devoid of greenery, it boasts fertile volcanic ash soil and a majestic range of towering volcanoes.

The pioneering legacy of artist-architect César Manrique has left an indelible mark on this island—a stark white architecture set against a harsh volcanic backdrop, born from Manrique’s need to preserve Lanzarote’s visual identity. Timanfaya National Park’s lunar-like landscapes and unique beaches reveal adventures waiting at every nook. Lanzarote ensures no two days are alike.

If your family is all about nature, adventure, and the sun, let our unforgettable experience on this island inspire your next family holiday.

Read on for my top recommendations for things to do in Lanzarote with kids, curated from our personal experiences. And we still haven’t covered everything on the island – saving some activities for our next trip there!

Where to stay in Lanzarote with kids

We opted to stay in southern Lanzarote, close to Playa Blanca, at Sun Grove Villas & Spa. Our villa was clean, comfortable, quiet and very cost-friendly. Each villa has a private pool (which can be heated on demand), air conditioning, and a well-equipped kitchen. There was an outdoor table with chairs so we could have breakfast outside, and we even made BBQ on the terrace a few times. The beaches are about a 10-minute drive from the villa, and it was a very convenient location to be on the island.

If you prefer to stay at a hotel, the top pick for a luxury hotel for families on the island is the five-star Princess Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort. It was chosen as Best Family Resort in Spain for a good reason. The hotel’s Kikoland is a real adventure paradise for kids with sports and activities for children between 0 and 18. There are drawing sessions, playground time, a games zone, a soft play area, sports and even a cinema. Parents can unwind at the exceptional Thalasso spa or enjoy one of the many on-site restaurants.

Getting around Lanzarote

Renting a car during your stay in Lanzarote is highly recommended. The roads are well-maintained and the cost of car hire is very affordable. With public transportation being limited on the island, having a car at your disposal allows you to stop at scenic spots on your own time. RentalCars is a convenient platform to let you compare prices and book a rental car in Lanzarote.

What to pack when travelling to Lanzarote with kids

Opting for a winter sun getaway in Lanzarote with kids comes with mild temperatures, ideal for younger children and those who prefer not to face the scorching summer heat. During our visits, I recall only one or two windy days. All days were mostly sunny, with cloudless skies and temperatures averaging 22°C during the day and 15°C at night.

Remember to pack:

  • Wetsuits for children, like these ones on Amazon. It will keep the kids warm when splashing about in the sea/pool
  • Sun cream, at least SPF 50, and sunglasses
  • Insect repellent (for evening/night time use)
  • Layers: Short sleeves for daytime (shorts, T-shirts) and long sleeves, light jacket/cardigans for evenings
  • Sandals for the beach and trainers for walking/hiking

What to do in Lanzarote with kids

Here are my top recommendations for kid-friendly activities in Lanzarote.

1. Days on the beach

The island of Lanzarote offers many different beaches, but the small beaches in the Playa Blanca area are the best to head to with kids. Our favourites were Playa Flamingo and Playa Dorada.

The small but lovely Playa Flamingo is perfect for younger children. Protected by two breakwaters, it offers safe and calm waters to swim. Just behind the sandy beach are cafes, restaurants, and a supermarket. There are no sun beds or parasols on this beach. Go there when the tide is out in the morning and head out by mid-afternoon. The tide comes in, and before you know it, the beach is a quarter the size you arrived at. Besides swimming, kids can try out stand-up paddle boarding and other water sports.

The scenic Papagayo and Famara beaches are indeed beautiful and tend to be less busy with people. But they were the least fun to go to with kids as there was just so little to entice them compared to the Playa Blanca area. Also, the beaches were not suitable for swimming with kids, given the occasionally strong undercurrents.

2. Visit Timanfaya National Park

lanzarote with kids, road leading up to temanfaya national park

Timanfaya National Park is a must-visit on your trip to this island. Volcanic eruptions between 1730 and 1736 and, most recently, in 1824, moulded the park’s landscape. The result is an almost lunar-like surface and sprawling lava fields, offering a stark reminder of the powerful forces that formed the Canary Islands. Despite the volcano being dormant, interestingly, there is still geothermal activity. Temperatures of up to 610ºC are recorded at a depth of only 13 m and between 100 and 200ºC at surface level.

Access to the park is strictly regulated, and only certain areas can be visited. The admission price includes parking, geothermal demonstrations and a tour of the Volcano Route by bus. The tour bus lasts 30-40 minutes, with pre-recorded audio in several languages. Take the window seat for the best views. You can take photos through the windows, but the bus does not stop during the tour to let you go outside.

I recommend coming to the park in the morning and having lunch at El Diablo restaurant, located next to the departure point for guided buses. The restaurant uses geothermal heat to cook chicken on a large grill over a pit. To be honest, it tastes like any other chicken, but it’s really cool to know a volcano cooked your meal! The restaurant has a large bay window, offering panoramic views of the park with its volcanoes.

Don’t miss the heat demonstrations, which are fun for kids and adults to watch. The guide pours water into a hole, and the water comes out in a powerful geyser.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Timanfaya National Park, you can take a guided tour and combine the visit with other Lanzarote attractions.

3. Visit Cueva de los Verdes

Having explored many caves during my travels, Cueva de los Verdes stands out as one of my favourites. Carved by ancient lava flows, this exceptional cave system showcases intricate rock formations, expansive chambers and winding lava tubes.

The tours are on the hour, each hour, and the entry is only with a guided tour. Our youngest was four years old at the time of our visit there and had no problem navigating the caves. We lifted her occasionally, but the cave was generally easy to walk through.

The highlight of the cave for me was a jaw-dropping view with a surprising twist at the end of the tour. We’ve all promised not to reveal the surprise – you’ll have to visit to find out!

There is an auditorium inside Cueva de los Verdes where live musical performances sometimes take place. Witnessing them must be such a magical experience. Perhaps next time!

4. Visit El Golfo village and El Lago Verde (the “Green Lagoon”)

el golfo, lanzarote with kids, view onto the village

To the east of Lanzarote is a small fishing village called El Golfo, surrounded by lava. Just a 5-minute walk from the village, you’ll find a green lake within a volcanic crater, forming a small bay of emerald green water due to the high concentration of algae. Algae turn the water bright green against the black sand beach, and you can discover some fabulously dramatic coastline in this part of the island. Follow the designated path to reach an observation platform, from where you can see the lagoon, the black sand beach and the volcano.

cueva de los verdes, green lagoon, lanzarote with kids

There are several seafood restaurants in El Golfo serving local fish. Have lunch right on the waterfront and enjoy magnificent scenery.

If you have older children, go on a short hike on the opposite side of the village to the green lagoon. There, walk along the stones to admire rock formations and watch the waves crash against the rocks. If you’re visiting in the late afternoon, stay to watch the sunset near the green lagoon.

A few minutes’ drive from El Golfo are “Los Hervideros”, translated from Spanish as “boiling pots”. Stop here to watch the turbulent waters as waves crash against the rocky coastline. There is a footpath you can follow towards the coast and it’s safe to visit with children, assuming they can stay close to you. It’s completely free and you can stay for as long as you want to admire the power of the sea.

lanzarote with kids, los hervideros

5. Visit Rancho Texas Park

A visit to this animal and water park is a must when staying in Lanzarote with kids. You can easily spend the whole day here. Start the day with the zoo, and finish the day in the splash zone!

Why Texas? It is not a well-known fact, but in 1731, 16 families from the Canary Islands (including from Lanzarote) arrived and established the first civil government in San Antonio, Texas, in the USA.

We drove to the park in our rental car, but complimentary bus service is available from bus stops in Teguise, Playa Blanca, and Puerto del Carmen. You can find further details on the Rancho Texas Lanzarote‘s website.

The kids enjoyed exploring the animal enclosures and observing fascinating creatures such as tortoises, snakes, crocodiles, and even a rare white tiger. The park schedules several animal shows throughout the day, including remarkable performances by dolphins and sea lions, our favourites. Although these shows are included in the ticket price, interactions with the dolphins or sea lions for souvenir photos come at an additional cost. For a more up-close adventure, for an additional fee, you can have a unique experience swimming with a friendly sea lion.

Our family and friends spent most of the day at the water park. With pools of varying depths and giant water slides, it was a hit for young and older kids alike.

We purchased our tickets on the day of arrival, and there were no queues at all at the ticket desk (in December). The zoo was relatively calm, but the water park became busier as the afternoon approached. Remember to bring your swimsuits and towels if you plan to visit Rancho Texas Park.

6. Take a ferry to La Graciosa Island

la graciosa, lanzarote with kids, playa la francesca

If you want to get off the beaten track in Lanzarote, consider visiting the island of La Graciosa. Nestled just north of Lanzarote, this compact island stretches out over 8 km in length and 4 km in width. Click here to purchase your return ferry ticket from Órzola (north coast of Lanzarote) to La Graciosa. The ferry takes about 25 minutes to reach the island. It gets pretty windy on the boat, so take an extra layer of clothes to keep yourself warm.

There are no paved roads on this island, and only 700 people live here. There are three ways to get around the island – on foot, by bicycle and by 4×4 Jeep. Given that the nearest beach is about a 45-minute walk away from the harbour, this is not an ideal setting for young children to navigate on foot. While our 8-year-old could walk around for a few hours, we ended up carrying our 4-year-old on the way back to the port because she was exhausted from all the walking. Therefore, I’d advise hiring a bike upon arrival if your child can cycle. You will see several bike rental shops as soon as you step off the ferry, with children’s bikes and bikes adapted for baby seats on offer.

Although you can’t rent a car on the island, a taxi Jeep service is available for touring La Graciosa. You can tour the island in about 1 – 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ask the driver to take you to a  specific destination and schedule a convenient pick-up time beforehand.

7. Find scenic spots to watch sunsets

In December, the sun lazily dips below the horizon around around 18:10. As such, every day, promptly at 17:40, I’d usher my family to accompany me in exploring new vistas on the island from which to appreciate the day’s spectacular curtain call. Whichever viewpoint you choose on the island, I assure you the vibrant hues of the sunset-painted skies will leave you in awe.

At times, we’d watch the sunsets with the kids from the waterfront. On other occasions, we’d settle onto a restaurant terrace, savouring a glass of cava while basking in the golden twilight before making our way to a cosy indoor spot for dinner. Our top town locales in Playa Blanca for the sunset drinks were Restaurante Casa Emiliano and Restaurante Balcón de Femes, as well as waterfront restaurants in Marina Rubicon area such as Restaurante Casa Carlos and La Taberna.

Thanks for reading!

I hope this Lanzarote guide has been helpful. If you’ve been to Lanzarote, hearing your best tips in the comments would be awesome. If you plan to travel to Lanzarote and have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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