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Awesome Lanzarote

A collection of useful links for digital nomads & expats in Lanzarote


Work | Live | Enjoy

Lanzarote TL;DR:

Lanzarote is the third most populous Canary Island, after Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

Decades ago its target was low-cost all-inclusive mass tourism, but the island went through quite a bit of gentrification in recent years, due to its stunning UNESCO-protected natural gifts and vast cultural heritage of its famous sculptor/architect Cesar Manrique.

It's not the best choice if you are on a budget (go to Fuerteventura) or if parties are your main focus (go to Tenerife or Gran Canaria). Lanzarote is perfect for couples that value a healthy lifestyle and want to spend time outdoors. Especially if you have small kids: it's incredibly safe, clean & convenient.

Work

Internet

Canary Islands have long been a hub for submarine telecommunications cables running from mainland Europe to Africa and South America. Due to good geography they are home to a number of observatories producing heaps of data every night. These two facts combined mean that the archipelago has suprisingly good internet connection, all things considered. The main limitation to get fast speed are the local providers.

On Lanzarote, most developed areas got fibre in recent years. Which forced the 4G providers to remove GB limits and modernize their networks. While it was somewhat tricky to get good broadband ~5 years ago, today unlimited broadband is everywhere where there are tourists. The vast majority of villas and apartments have either FTTH or fast 4G, some are still on slower ADSL. Check before you book.

If you are a EU citizen, you can probably use your SIM without major charges. Alternatively, you can get a prepaid SIM card at one of the four main providers:

  • Movistar (20€: 75GB, valid for one month)
  • Vodafone (20€: 70GB, valid for one month)
  • Yoigo (20€: 16GB, valid for one month, 30€: 150GB)
  • Orange (20€: 35GB, valid for one month)

All four use the same infrastructure, so there are no major differences in speed and coverage. They all have multiple shops around the island, use your favorite mapping software to find them. If a shop tells you a "NIE" (foreigner identification number) is required to buy a SIM, find a different shop. Most shops will gladly sell you a SIM by just showing them the EU ID card.

Coworking

2020 saw a huge influx of remote workers coming to Lanzarote. The local Digital Nomads & Remote Workers Facebook group is bustling with activity and recommendations and they keep an updated list of digital workers friendly places. Join their Telegram Group to see where people are meeting up this week.

There are two coworking places: The Square in Arrecife and Coworking Lanzarote in Playa Honda. There was another one, Lanzarote Coworking, that sadly had to close. Even though there are no official coworking places in Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen, most bars and restaurants have gotten used to tons of expacts working on laptops, so it's easy to find a place to work. The local government is working hard to make it easy to work remotely.

Most villas and appartments provide ADSL or 4G broadband Internet, 100+ Mbps fiber is increasingly common.

Events

Live

Three main resort areas

The first and the biggest resort town on Lanzarote. Lots of hotels, villas, restaurants, shops. Very touristy feel. Long beachside promenade. This is a good default choice if you can't decide where to stay. A bit further West there is Puerto Calero, a fancy marina with upmarket villas, but no beach(!) and not much to do if you don't have a car.

Even more resort-y than Puerto Del carmen, and also quite far away from everything so not ideal if you plan to explore the island. Still, has everything you need if you don't plan to wander around. Gets the most sunshine on the island.

Smaller than Puerto del Carmen ("PDC") but much better local vibe. Its smaller size makes it very convenient, if you stay in the central Las Cucharas area, everything is walkable: beaches, supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, playgrounds, international school, etc. Recently renovated beachside promenade with outside gyms and playgrounds. Great central location to explore the island. Lots of options for doing various sports. Higher chance of being windy than the other two, which is somewhat mitigated by the buildings being oriented in a way to block the wind.

Less mainstream areas

A surfing village with a huge sandy beach. Bohemian vibe, sandy streets, lots of young people learning to surf in numerous surf schools. Definitely an interesting experience, but could be too much for families with small kids, especially for longer stays. Often windy and somewhat cloudy.

Two small fishing villages, absolutely beautiful, amazing scenery, good local restaurants, but somewhat non-central location so not great for exploring the island. Often windy and gets some clouds.

Arrecife

The capital of the Island. Busy narrow streets, very local and authentic feel. Great for young single people wanting to learn Spanish.

Getting around

Rent a car for as cheap as 100€ per week -- gasoline is cheap too. From most parts of the island, most things to do are 20 to 30 minutes of driving away. Roads are good, the locals drive slow. Payless, Autoreisen and Plus Car are the most popular local providers of rentals, with much better prices than global brands.

There is also an OK bus network on lanzarote.

Groceries

International chain stores such as Spar, Lidl (best for dairy products), Mercadona (best for fish products) and IKEA are on the outskirts of Arrecife, 10 minutes drive from Costa Teguise, 20 minutes from Puerto del Carmen and Famara. A budget-friendly Hiperdino store is never more than a few minutes away.

There are two local supermarket chains also work visiting: Roper and Chacon. Both have a wide selection of high-quality local meat & fish products, cheese, beers wines, etc.

Even though Lanzarote is a semi-desert, the soil is very fertile and local farmers grow amazing vegetables all-year-round. If you have a car, the best place to buy local produce is Fruteria Los Molinos and Lanzafruit. Alternatively, you can order home delivery with Huerto Canario -- they drive to the farms to collect everything and drop a box of goodness at your doorstep.

People with dietary restrictions will enjoy the selection of gluten-, milk-, egg-free and similar products offered in Herbarium.

Weather

Lanzarote is called the island of eternal spring.

2021-06-28-200955_699x489_escrotum

The usual attire all-year-round are flip-flops, shorts and a good hoodie. The Atlantic ocean acts as a temperature regulator: the water temperature is always around 20°C which makes sure that the air temperature is stable too: it oscilates between 18°C in the winter and 25°C in the summer. It's rarely cold or hot. Most days of the year, it's "just right" for light clothes and no need for heating or A/C. That said, you need a good hoodie or a hat to block the wind.

The general approach to getting the best weather conditions every day is to look at the wind direction. Wind from the North? Go to places in the South, such as Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca. Wind from the South? Perfect to explore the beaches on the North side. Double-check the current conditions via webcams:

Dangerous animals

There are none.

No snakes, no venomous spiders, no predators, no big game. The occasional annoying mosquito, but nothing compared to summer in mainland Europe. No malaria or zika. Very little bees, wasps even rarer. Few people ever use repellents here.

The ocean is teeming with wildlife, watersports enthusiasts regularly see dolphins, whales, flying fish, turtles, even sharks. Most areas around the island are UNESCO protected and cannot be fished. This seems to keep the wildlife happy and humans safe. There hasn't been a shark attack in over 50 years.

Some years a fleet of jellyfish floats by the island, keeping swimmers on land for a few days.

By FAR the most dangerous thing on the island are ocean currents. DO NOT GO INTO THE WATER if there are no lifeguards on duty. Serisously, do not. People die every year. The ocean is very strong, and waves come in groups. One minute you can be totaly fine, walking knee-deep in the water on a beautiful sandy beach and the next thing you know you get knocked over by a river of whitewater and sucked out into the impact zone. Again, people die every year, even whole families, when parents run in to save their kids. Please be careful, only go near the ocean on lifeguard protected beaches (Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen, Famara, ...).

More info:

Health

Take care of your skin, use sun screen with a high factor. The Sun is very strong here, even in the winter months.

Drink plenty of water. Tap water is not drinkable. Ice cubes in bars are OK, since they are provided by specialist local companies using clean water. If you are staying longer, it's best to arrange weekly delivery of bottled water from a high-quality spring in Tenerife: https://canariasadomicilio.com/comprar-agua/.

Bring your EU health card, all emergencies, big and small, are handled free of charge in many local clinics. Costa Teguise has a brand new public clinic with an amazing team of pediatricians. Remember to bring your EU health card.

There are also a number of private clinics:

Enjoy

The first thing you do is find a recent edition of the Gazette Life magazine. They have it in most shops and touristic places, the information office even gives it out for free. Inside you get an up-to-date list of cultural events, trip ideas, weather forecast, dining recommendations. Alternatively, an online list of events is available on https://whatson.lanzaroteinformation.co.uk/events/today/.

Dining

Popular with locals:

Lanzarote produces internationally renowned Malvasia, visit to one of the wineries is a must. If you happen to be in Lanzarote in November, do not miss the Gastronomy Festival, a two-day event where you can taste the best offering from the best restaurants and local producers.

Sights

Sports

Lanzarote is a European Sports Destination. It seems like everyone is into cycling, running, triathlon, surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, swimming, mountain biking, paragliding, yoga and more.

There are a number of international competitions happening every year:

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