Postcards From . . . Lanzarote '19
Updated: Jan 30, 2020
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.
DAY ONE - TRAVEL DAY
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.