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Family Trip to Lanzarote '19

Updated: Mar 13

Our 2019 adventures have kicked off with a week spent on the fascinating island of Lanzarote. Lanzarote is one of the seven main Canary Islands, located at the most southernly region of Spain, and for us brits looking for some winter sun they are only around a short 4 hour flight from Bristol airport.

We are not normally the spontaneous types, as I do love a good list and lots and lots of planning, but I just happened to be on the Tui website a few days before Christmas and found an absolutely steal for a holiday for five people, now if you are a family of five or more, you will know that deals for holidays aren't easy to come by, so impulsively we booked it then and there.


Our flight out with Tui was seamless and a short and sweet 3.5 hours, the children as always were super, they read books, ate their weight in packed snacks, listened to music and raced Mario style on a Nitentdo switch.

On arrival to Lanzarote the sun was shining and the warm air hit our skin as we walked off the plane, I had been worried we would be disappointed with the weather, I but leaving behind the chilly morning air in England and arriving to some afternoon sun soon changed out minds. We love exploring and are happy to venture anywhere but there is nothing better than stepping of the plane and into sunshine, especially when its cold damp and grey back at home.

We checked into our accommodation for the week which was Cinco Plaza located in Puerto Del Carmen, the oldest tourist resort on Lanzarote and only 15 minute drive down the coastline from Arrecife AirPort.

The accommodation at Cinco Plaza was much cleaner and fresher than we were expecting for the price and the facilities of the accommodation and resort we an additional surprise. Our apartment was located next to a children's splash pool, which was ideal for early morning fun or an afternoon relaxing depending on our days adventures. The resort also had an online children's club, two pools and a small toddlers pool. Even in the colder months of January there we struggled to get a bed around the pool, so I can imagine that the peak season would be involve a very early morning bed reservation if you intended to spend your days lounging around the pool. However for us, we tended to use the pool later in the afternoon when lots of families had headed of to get ready for their evening out.

As beach lovers and the fact that on arrival to our accommodation we realised we were only a short 5 minute walk to the beach, as soon as we arrived, we dumped our cases int the apartment and headed off in search of the quickest route to the beach.

The children couldn't believe their luck on arrival at the beach, the volcanic formations meant the beaches were the perfect place climbing, exploring, rock pooling as well as the traditional sand castle building and wave jumping.

In hindsight we should of grabbed swimming costumes but we were so desperate to feel the sand beneath our toes they were the last thing on our minds, the children went swimming non the less, so after our walk and play in the sea we headed back to our apartment for a quick change before heading out in search of a restaurant for tea.

Puerto Del Carmen, has no shortage of restaurants and you could probably eat somewhere different every night of the week for a year. We settled on a little Italian style restaurant that had a clear view of the ocean, after all that is the best tea time view you could ever wish for.

Although there is no time difference in Lanzarote over our winter, the children were exhausted after their day of travelling and the excitement of finding a new beach, so after tea we headed back up the hill to our apartment.

We spent the majority of our down time either in the splash pool outside of our apartment or in the large on site pool, the children can all swim but aren't particularly confident and the pool is a adult pool which meant they were out of depth all the times, so either, one of us was in the pool with them or stood at the edge on high alert. To be honest it was easier to be in the pool, there was also an onsite lifeguard however we 'are those parents'.

I am really proud of my ability to pack considerably lightly for a family of five and quite quickly, however I also manage to always forget something of quite high importance. A couple of years ago I forgot to pack all of Billy's shorts, and this year I forgot to pack Chris' swimming shorts. Although for some reason he spent more time in the pool on this holiday than he ever has before, just in his normal shorts. As you can imagine I have earned some serious packing brownie points for my little error.


After our a couple of hours in the splash pool on our first morning, we packed up and headed off to explore Puerto Del Carmen, I had big ideas for exploring this holiday, however I always forget I have slightly older children and a husband in tow which means there are now 5 of us with opinions on how we want to spend our holidays.

Last year we cancelled both of our family holidays abroad which were a week exploring Brussels and Amsterdam and a two week Californian coastal road trip. This was obviously a hard decision to make as we lost quite a bit of money on prepaid accommodation and flights however, last year it was simply a financial spend we could justify, so this holiday the children simply wanted to make up for lost time and spend as much time enjoying the sun, sea and sand as they could possibly squeeze into a week. With this in mind we decided to walk along Puerto del Carmen sea front, taking in the shops and surroundings on the first leg of our afternoon and after lunch we walked the couple of miles back along the beaches and coves, climbing over rocks and splashing in the sea.

Christmas in the sun is a new family tradition I would quite like to explore. The children found it really exciting to see all the Christmas decoration around the Island and to see how different cultures celebrate the same festival as us but in very different ways.

One thing we did discover on this trip to Lanzarote is the Canary Islands know how to make a good milkshake! They were slightly on the expensive side, just over 5 euros each, but the Ducklings insist they were worth every cent and were the best milkshakes they have ever tasted ANYWHERE!!!

Everywhere you look in Puerto Del Carmen, the railings lining the beaches are full with love locks, a few hours were pleasantly wasted looking through them and listening to the Ducklings make up imaginary stories of the adventures these couples and families made to get to Lanzarote or while over here on holiday.

I found the landscape really barren to begin with but there is something quite breath taking about a volcanic landscape, it puts everything into perspective no matter what we do or what path our lives are on, Mother Nature is working in her own way and with her own methods to create and mould the planet we call home. to think these islands are literally the outcome of volcanic eruptions from millions of years ago, and that we simply don't know when or if the volcanos will erupt again , let alone imagine what effect it will have on the landscape or lives of the people that live here is so strange, as someone who suffers with anxiety, I found it quite peculiar that I didn't find this at all scary, in fact I found it extremely fascinating and oddly comforting.

After our little exploration we headed back to our apartment for a tea of Lanzarote produced cheese and bread, I did purchase some of our old faithful favourite Wyke cheese too, which was a blessing as the children weren't particularly taken with Lanzarote Cheese. After tea, I headed out with the Ducklings for an evening stroll and and we stumbled upon a seemingly derelict shopping percent, from here we watched the sunset behind the volcanos in the distant while they played hide and seek, exploring every nook and cranny.

As the weekend approached we released that things were running as they would say normally on the Island, now if you are going to book a last minute deal, it might be worth looking into the countries calendar and maybe finding some time to do some research before you jump on the plane, what I failed to realise is that our stay on the Island fell over the 12th day of Christmas which is in fact the Spanish Christmas. The 12th day of Christmas is celebrated as the day that the three kings arrived at the stables in Bethlehem after following the star and arrived bearing gifts for baby Jesus and this day has much more significance the the people of the Canary Islands than our traditional Christmas Day, this is they day they shut shop and celebrate with loved ones and the day they exchange presents.


So for us our Saturday started as would any other day on holiday, we spent a few hours letting the children play in the splash pool and then rather than heading out we headed to the pool for some swimming practice.

After swimming practice we decided to explore the other direction in Puerto Del Carmen, heading towards the airport in Areeclife, there are so many, many shops, little hidden cafes and so much to take in, it looks us hours to venture along the sea front, obviously with a stop to take some family selfies. We even managed to get Daddy Duck in front of the lens.

Mollie found a beautiful unicorn shop, full of sparkly trinkets and the biggest unicorn inflatable we have ever seen, even the boys spent a good ten minutes inside dumbstruck by all the sparkle!


We also stumbled upon a little ice cream shop, to be honest I would off completely missed it, it looked run down and a little unloved, however the children needed the toilet and so Chris ventured in to ask if we could use the loo. However this little pit stop answered my 'how do their milkshakes taste so good question'! The ice creams were delicious, so creamy. Lucky for us, we all have very different tastes which means we all get to try 5 different flavours when we buy ice creams.

Whilst sat in the sun savouring every last lick, we watch a couple go for a swim in the sea, as do so many couples over here, the seas are fully of people swimming in the afternoon sun, and above our heads we could hear some squawking, upon gazing up we realised four green parrots were flying between the palm trees.

Obviously after all that walking and ice cream eating, the children were in desperate need of a beach, so back down to the sea we ventured.

What do they say!?!? Never work with children?!? I gave up trying to get a snap of Harry actually looking at the camera1 ;-)

Always leading his brother into a new adventure!

Just as the sun was beginning to set we found an another deserted building, this time a beach front bar, we sat for an hour planning a remodel and new business plan, (picture a bustling cocktail bar, with sea views and a chilled out tropoical bohemian feel.) while the children practised their jumping of wall skills (highly essential for holiday memoirs) and building volcanos out of sand and rock.

There is one thing I will really remember abut Lanzorate and that is its captivating sunrises and sets, in Puerto Del Carmen, the sun sets over the back of the volcanic landscape giving a breathtaking display of pinks, reds and oranges every evening. I wish I had packed my tripod so I could have spent some time capturing the beautiful skies.


Daddy decided we should walk to the furthest beach we could this morning, the boys were in high spirits and found every excuse to stop and clamber over every rock.

It soon became apparent that this morning the Ducklings weren't really in the mood fo walking or exploring, especially as they had missed their morning splash pool session, so after preserving for an hour or so, we back tracked and settled on the lovely little cove Playa Chica which was just around the corner from the Old Harbour.

Today the seas were far to rough to venture out for a swim so we had to make do with the sand, which is never a problem . The children spent hours digging holes, filling them in, building volcanos and watching them wash out to sea. while we spent a few hours people watching, I was surprised by how few English people were enjoying the Lanzarote winter sun, we were joined by lots of Irish and German families all making the most of the beautiful little Island. We also got front row seats of the local lifeguards constantly running into the sea to remove holiday makers, I guess some people think they are invincible over Mother Nature.

We had read on reviews that Playa Chica is the perfect spot for snorkelling, but unfortunately our visit coincided with unfavourable sea conditions, but if you are ever popping by make sure you pack your snorkels.

Only when every one started to get hungry did we decide to head back in search of somewhere to eat for an early tea.

I personally think visiting this Island during their winter months is perfect if you are wanting to do a little bit of exploring and aren't fussed about spending hours around a pool. The weather was warm, not hot, infant we found it cold on occasions, and winches as the children played in the pool, but it meant that walking wasn't stressful as it would be in the summer heat and it meant the resorts were relatively empty meaning we got to enjoy our holiday at a leisurely and relaxed pace.

Chris had also done a spot of research for best places to eat in Puerto Del Carmen over the past few days and he had reliable information that an Irish restaurant called Shenanigans was up there with the best. The food was lovely and the staff were really attentive but I am also assuming that the reviews were left by English tourists as yes it was nice to be served by someone where there are no language barriers and who knows your home town and can make chit chart with the children, however I love going away and exploring local restaurants with a more traditional menu and atmosphere, however the children and Chris are mush less adventures with their food and so it was a welcome treat to be able to order chicken nuggets and a burger, which can served as it would from a local restaurant here in the uk.

I can not grumble because the food was delicious and the service impeccable, it did make a change for all the waiting staff to have smiles on their faces, though again they were all from England and throughly enjoying the Lanzarote sunshine and more relaxed way of living and not working over their Christmas period.

After tea today Mollie was a little out of sorts, so Chris headed back to the apartment with her, while the boys and I headed back to the beach, we climbed over some rocks until we found a little cove, where we were completely alone, they hunted through rocks pools and splashed in the sea as it started to come in, I tried to get them to stand still for a couple fo photographs but they just wanted to run around like headless chickens.

Once back at the apartment, we discovered Mollie asleep so we grabbed some games and books and headed back out to the pool, the sun had already begun to set so it was a little to cold to be running around in the splash pool, so instead we sat and played snap, coloured and read books before bedtime.

Evenings like this are my favourite part of holidays, when part of your normal routine and structure, such as simply winding down for bed can be done in new and exciting ways, like lounging out next to a pool with none of the normal daily distractions, meaning you truly get quality undisrupted time with those you love.

We had also tried to hire a car today but again with my lack of pre thought about local holidays we didn't have much luck, so we decided to check the Tui excursions as I desperately wanted to see some more of the island, however our rep was away on holiday. As the children settled into bed I looked online and found a few tour companies based on the island, we wanted to do something that would interest the children so decided to book a trip on a Submarine for the following day., meaning we had to set our alarm clocks for the first time.


Our pick up for today was a little walk up the road which is a direction we hadn't previously ventured. Up the hill, a little further from the coast it is really apparent how barren and not green the island is, it is such a stark contrast from the scenery and surroundings we are used to in England.

Chris was completely smitten with the island and was already talking about coming back in a few years for a long weekend to see the places we now knew we wouldn't get round to seeing this time. On the other hand I still wasn't convinced, the rocks as beautiful and captivating as they are aren't quite the same as the smell of freshly cut grass or having woods to explore.

We used the Excursions Lanzarote website to book our Submarine Safari, we did try to book direct, however they need 72 hours notice, by which point we would of been back home, but luckily for us there was room on this excursion. we were collected from outside a hotel a few minute’s walk from where we were staying, the tour guide welcomed us aboard and gave us a ticket with our return bus time on and off we headed for the famous and stunning marina of Puerto Calero. On our arrival the tour guide lead us directly to the submarine Safari premises, where we were greeted and advised we had 30 minutes of free time before the safety video. The marina was beautiful, we sat watching the boats bob up and down

Mollie was a little apprehensive and to be fair as we submerged under the water I did have a fleeting omg what if its not sealed moment, however as soon as the bubbles clear and you start to see fish swimming past your window and along the sea bed you instantly forget yourself. In fact I was so immersed in the event I forgot to take many pictures, but you have our word for it, it is definitely an experience that is worth doing. I honestly felt like The Little Mermaid and it ignited my life long desire to learn to dive. I find it simply fascinating, exploring under sea, it really is like its own little world down there with shelves in the sea floor, rock formations and even on our short dive we past three shipwrecks, its a little window into life under the sea and into history.

The submarines have been designed and built specifically for opening up under water adventures to tourists, with each passenger getting their own seat and window to the ocean and passing marine life.