Punta Mujeres A Lanzarote Village By The Sea

Punta Mujeres A Lanzarote Village By The Sea

Punta Mujeres is a small fishing village on the Northern East coast of LANZAROTE, not at all touristic. Very quiet and very traditional. When entering into the village you will see white houses with blue windows for about two kilometers. That’s the size of the village. All of them built close to and along the sea.

When you walk along the tiny streets in between the houses a very laid-back atmosphere is felt straight away.  Old fishing boats are lined up on some of the streets. The smell of salt and sea is filling the fresh air too. Its Flip Flop life!

The Name “Punta Mujeres” when translated into English, actually means the “The Women Spot”. There are various stories as to why the village was named like that back in the 17th Century. I was told by an elderly villager that there are some rocks near the sea that look like the silhouette of a women. That’s where the name of the village came from, he told me. How romantic!

In Punta Mujeres there are approximately 1000 habitants. Do I need to say more?

As well as being a very laid-back and peaceful village it also has some marvelous natural pools just next to the sea.  So, if you decide to visit PUNTA MUJERES don’t forget your swimming suit. And because the “Pools” are not connected to the open sea they have a lovely temperature all year along.

You will find this lovely Tapas Bar named “Bar La Piscina” just 20-foot steeps from the sea and the pools and it’s really worth while a visit. The food is very good indeed. Even sitting outside the Bar is actually quite entertaining too. Especially when the adults jump into the pools and behave like happy kids.

 Close to the SWIMMING POOLS you will see this house decorated with flowers of all sorts from ground to roof. In between as shown on the photo there are decorations that match the sea as well as decorations that will make you laugh and smile at the same time. This is a house when first seen is never forgotten!

 

Quite often, especially in the late afternoons, you will see local families with their kids standing FISHING on the volcanic rocks along the sea avenue. When the sea goes shallow, its perfect for catching octopuses. It’s one of the typically diches on the Canarias dinner table, and also one of my own favorites. See my typical Canarian recipes HERE

 

Welcome to laid back and peaceful Punta Mujeres. And don’t forget to bring your Flip Flops!

 

Haria Valley Of A Thousand Palms

Haria Valley Of A Thousand Palms

Haria Valley Of A Thousand Palms

 

HARIA VILLAGE is situated in the North of Lanzarote and is one of the cutest and unspoiled villages here. I am sure you will love the place if you visit. It received its name “The Valley of A 1000 palms” many years ago from an old tradition of planting a new palm tree every time a new baby was born. It is now the greenest village of the Island. Apart from being cute it is also very authentic, CANARIAN and delightful at the same time.

 

“Haria boasts about its peaceful and harmonious atmosphere”

       – Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote

 

When driving downhill from the Mountains of Las Valles towards Haria you will see a fantastic view of the village and all the Palm trees surrounding the white houses.

All the buildings are traditional painted in white with wooden windows, with small cute balconies most of them with Bougainvillea flowers. The streets are tiny, so one has to drive carefully and slowly. There is a small plaza with Coffie and Tapas Bars. Perfect for relaxation, and an opportunity to letting the time fly by in a non bussy VILLAGE.

Just 50 meters away around the corner you will see the Local Townhall of Haria. Well maintained with a touch of Canarian style to it, and with a little Plaza in front, and of course plenty of Bougainvillea’s flowers. That`s HARIA.

My personal favorite Tapas place in Haria is the TELECLUB “La Tegala” next to the Local Church. I have to say they got a lovely menu card, and the strongest MOJO Garlic sours I ever tried. So, if you go there to enjoy a meal or Tapas with family or friends, I suggest you all join in! There is also an Aloe Vera shop with plenty of interesting natural products of all kinds.

Lanzarotes most famous Arquitect CESAR MANRIQUE built his second home in Haria in the eighties.

The house is today a Museum and open to the public. When he bought the place, it was an old run downed farmhouse. He refurbished the old building into a traditional Canarian Arquitecture mixed with modern vision and comfort. He worked and lived in Haria until his death in 1992. It’s a very special house and must be visited to be appreciated. Cesar Manrique was an absolute genius. Don’t miss you chance if you visit Haria.

 

 

FAMARA MAGIC

FAMARA MAGIC

Famara Magic beach`s real name in Spanish is “CALETA DE FAMARA”, which means Bay of Famara.
It’s the beach where most of the citizens from Lanzarote go to during their holidays and especially on weekends. Most of the houses in Famara Village are owned by locals throughout generations and during the summer time families are often seen gathering together at the beach or even in the garages of their houses preparing PAELLA for themselves and their neighbours.

The beaches and the restaurants are full of life most of the year with people strolling around in bikini and flip flops. The smell from the ocean, fresh fish and garlic dominates the air, in a good way. The sand streets in the village are full of children playing and their grandparents letting the time fly by while keeping an eye on their young family members. 

FAMARA is situated in the North of the island, and when driving towards it you will soon get a sensational feeling that this is a different place. The rustic raw cliffs look fearless and somehow easy to reach. The light too is different, and very often the whole scenery can change from one minute to the other because of the clouds or the light from the sun passing over the huge brown cliffs.

There have been times, especially on late afternoons before the sun goes down, when the sky has had the most amazing evening colors I have ever seen.When that happens, there are no words for it, except that it looks like MAGIC.

The beach itself is nearly 6 kilometers long, and it`s absolutely perfect during summer time if you LOVE long walks as I do. It`s wonderful walking along the sea with your feet in the water while listening to the sound of the ocean and feeling the breeze in your hair. 

On extreme sunny days in the Summer and until late October the temperature in the water reaches up to 25 degrees and most of the people on the beach, myself included, stay in the sea for hours to cool down. It can actually be too HOT to sunbathe at times, believe it or not. 

FAMARA is also a paradise for surfers from all around the world. As there is a perfect wind from the north most days during the year. The waves are amazing for surfing, and there are plenty of brave and talented surfers doing it the whole year. I myself, did try years ago, and I have to admit that it`s much more difficult than it looks like. I might give it another chance next Summer though  starting taking classes with a Surfing School this time. As everybody should, because this is the best way to learn. Also, Famara beach has a STRONG undercurrent, and it’s a very good idea to be under observation by professionals while learning surfing.

If you like TREKKING too, the cliffs of Famara could be your perfect option while visiting Lanzarote. I’m sure you won’t regret it. There are two different kinds of walks. One is easy and comfortable. The other option is medium high plus, which is a little bit more rough. The starting point is from the same spot. There is little plot where you can park your CAR if needed.

To find it is easy. When coming down to Famara on the road, with the sea right in front of you,  turn to the right and then continue up the hill where you will see loads of BUNGALOWS. When the road ends up hill you have arrived at your destination and to the beginning of your adventure.

The easy option I do walk it quite a lot with friends during the weekends as often as I can. It’s a simple walk but so relaxing in all SENSES. The walkway can be seen from where you park your car. When you take the left turn, the easy option, it automatically takes you halfway up the cliff. The whole way you will be able to feel the fresh air and the loud sound from the ocean and the blue and turquoise colors will brightly fill your eyes.

On sunny days you can clearly see the two small Islands, La Graciosa, and the virgin island Alegranza. A breathtaking SCENERY imprinted into your memory forever, all though you are only half way up the mountain walk.

FAMARA

Me and my daughter did option two, the rough walk, together. The medium high plus is situated at the same starting point, but instead of turning left you walk straight on and upwards. It was the first time for both of us, which actually was in our favor. If we would have known the roughness beforehand I am sure both of us might have reconsidered. But the whole effort was worth every single bit.

Sometimes on the way up we would turn around to see how far we had got, and every time we were amazed over the beautiful views, which got better and better, the higher we reached. We reached the TOP of the cliffs in only one and a half hour and this is taking into consideration that the terrain is uneven and stony. But believe me, when we reached the very TOP of the mountain it was such a fantastic feeling. We both looked at each other and had a laugh of relief while we inhaled the fresh  cool wind into our lungs. It was a day to remember. STUNNING VIEWS.

Now, the walk down is as hard as the walk up and also you have gravity to battle with. It is a little quicker to reach the bottom though, and when we reach the bottom, both of us starving, we jump into the car and drove straight down to Famara Village and hurried into our favourite restaurant, where we enjoyed a well deserved plate of seafood paella on their sunny terrace.

I absolutely recommend you wear good walking shoes and bring water and snacks on your trekking tour.

 

 

The Papagayo Beaches

The Papagayo Beaches

The PAPAGAYO BEACHES in Lanzarote was announced by The Spanish Government as The Best Beaches of all the 8 Canary Islands this year.
It is one of my favorite Beaches during the Summer time, and I have many loving memories with family and friends there.I would classifier them as a MUST SEE. 
 
They are located in Playa Blanca – at the South in (Yaiza) You will see a PHENOMENAL SCENERY when you finally arrive to The Beaches, as there is a 15 minutes dusty road track where it’s absolutely convenient to drive slowly, and to keep the windows closed. But it’s worth the entire experience.
 
 Before reaching the Papagayo Beaches, you will automatically pass by a little Stonehouse where a Fee of 3 € has to be paid. The money is 
used to keep the area and the beaches clean.

There are seven Beaches in total. Each one of them has their own charm, and are totally different in shape and size from one another. The water is crystal clear, and the colour of the sea is Blue and Turquoise. It’s a fabulous place to SNORKEL due to the idyllic rocky bays between the beaches. Most of the year there is hardly any wind,and thanks to the sheltered location there are no dangerous undercurrents either.

 
 The entire Beach area is approximately 3 kilometers long,and from the TOP when parking your car you can walk easily down to the different beaches. The view as I mentioned earlier is phenomenal. On most sunny days you can clearly see the two neighbour Islands FUERTEVENTURA and the small Virgin Island LOBOS.
 
There are also two Restaurants at the Papagayo Beaches, and it’s an absolutely WONDERFUL experience to enjoy a refreshment or a meal there. The view is stunning, and at the same time totally RELAXING. On several occasions I have stayed the entire day at the Beach waiting for the SUNSET. As you can imagine, it’s worth waiting for!
 
The Beaches of Papagayo has a special place in my heart. It was the first beach I went to when I came as a tourist for the first time in December 1992. I remember it as it was yesterday, as hard to forget. We drove in a JEEP which at the time was the only kind of car who could handle THAT kind of roads. It was a tricky ride, and quite a few times my head boomed to the roof of the car due to the many huge holes on the road. In fact the wheel of the JEEP broke down when returning home!
 
But we had a fantastic day, and literally had all the seven beaches for ourselves. Today it’s a different matter. The road is so MUCH better. No comparison. And Rent a Car Companies do allow the tourists do drive there now.
 
Surprisingly, my first job on LANZAROTE  1 year later was as a TOURIST GUIDE on an Excursion Ship, and one of our Trips was to the Papagayo Beaches. I will never forget that Excursion. Everytime I go there I can’t help thinking of it. At one of the beaches, the one next to the Restaurant there is a small cave in the ROCK. At first sight you might not notice, but it has a small square entrance. Very discreet actually. Well, there lived a family with a BABY for several months! 
 
 So you can imagine how surprised one can get when arriving in a RIP BOAT with 15 Tourists that want to enjoy a few hours of relaxing time at the beach before lunch onboard on the Yacht, and there right in front of you stands a NAKED family with a newborn Baby in their arms in a complete Tarzan and Jane style. 
While writing this story it occured to me that the Internet wasn’t invented yet in the nineties, as I am sure that this family would have gone WORLD WIDE on the Social Media if it had happened today!
The family disappeared without any goodbye`s during Christmas time after 6 months of living in the CAVE, and no one seemed to know where they went. I have to say the little Boy looked healthy, and well taken care of!
 
The Beaches are perfect for CHILDREN. There are plenty of space to play Ball games. Don’t forget a parasol as there is NO SHADE at any of the seven Beaches. Suncream, snacks and of course plenty of WATER is a must to provide a GREAT day.. 
 
ENJOY!!  
PUERTO CALERO MARINA

PUERTO CALERO MARINA

PUERTO CALERO MARINA is located in YAIZA.  It’s a small Marina and absolutely a Must Visit Place. I myself would define it as  “The Pearl of Lanzarote”.  The buildings in the Marina respect the traditional Canarian style among the palmtrees, and the atmosphere is so peaceful even when its full of people. I simply love this place.

It was built almost 35 years ago and is privately owned by the Calero Family. Most people from the Island didn’t give the idea of building the Marina much credit, and in fact it took years before it became successful. The crises Spain and the Canary Islands suffered in the beginning of the nineties took its toll on the project and it took much longer to finish than projected.

Today it’s a completely different story. Just before entering into the area there are now LUXURY VILLAS of very high standard all over the hills and slopes surrounding the Marina. It has become the most exclusive and expensive area of LANZAROTE and frequently there are Royal visiting as well.

That might be because the Greek Princess Alexia and her husband, an architect born in Lanzarote, currently are living in Puerto Calero in a beautiful villa.

Puerto Calero also has hotels,  4 Star Hotel Costa Calero  and5 Star Hotel Hesperia Lanzarote to be more precise. 

The Marina also receives many famous YACHTS from all over the world. When that happens it is literally mind blowing. I have seen many of them and you wouldn’t believe “your own living eyes”, it’s so amazing, because they are HUGE and tall like a 2-3 storey building!

Not long ago there were two very impressive yachts in the Marina at the exact same time. Both of them were something like 60 meters long and 10 meters wide. They had Gym, Pool and Spa installed onboard and the cost of renting one for a week with 14 private crew members was the neat sum of 215.000 US Dollars per week!!

Once a year in SEPTEMBER the Puerto Calero administration organizes a serious Fishing Competition and it’s a real big deal for many locals on the island. There are visitors from the neighbouring Islands too, competing in who gets the heaviest and largest Fish.

Besides from being a very relaxing place to chill out, there are many lovely restaurants with all sorts of different Cuisines. One might think that its overly expensive, but the answer is NO. It’s priceless to be surrounded by the beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. So go for it, and SPOIL yourself a little bit.

I have my personal favourite places in the Marina: 

If you would like to try local Spanish food and tapas go for restaurant “El Tomate” . El Tomate was actually the first Restaurant, that had the courage to open, and the only restaurant that was actually open down here for the first 2 years. Most of my family and friends from Denmark dine there at least once when coming to visit, because they like so much.

If you like SUSHI as I do, restaurant Minato is really worth giving a try. This is where I get my favorite Sushi in Lanzarote.

Because I have lived in ITALY, I am really a great fan of The Italian Cuisine and If you are too there are several Italian Restaurants down here and they have all very nice food.

Restaurant PAPARDELLA is my personal favourite, as it has a wonderful view directly at the marina and it’s many boats and also it has plenty of space outside where you can enjoy the sun and a soft breeze from the ocean.

If you feel like trying a meal “Like at home” I suggest you to go to MC SORLEY`S Bar & Restaurant and ask for a Chicken & Curry. You will not regret it. You will also get a full and plenty plate. Just like at home. I am not a Football fan, but they’ve got some good television screens in there if you don’t want to miss out on your favorite football team playing

When visiting The Marina you naturally also have the possibility to go shopping. There are quite a few FANCY clothes shops if you need to renew your wardrobe for some special occasion.

Puerto Calero Marina also has it’s own interesting Market on TUEDAYS and FRIDAYS. From 10:00 – 14:00 AM and car parking is FREE, believe or not.

There is a Parafarmacia with opening hours from 

10:00 – 14:30 and 18:00 -21:00 (Summer time)

MORE USEFUL INFORMATION:

Go to The TOURIST TICKET Office where you can buy Excursions and Tours around the Island. The opening hours are from 09:30 – 17:30 every day. 

There is a Waterbus from Puerto Calero to Puerto del Carmen. The trip is just 25 minutes. You can buy the tickets “On the Spot at the Tourist Ticket office too.

The Waterbus Time Tabel is:

From Puerto Calero: 10:00 – 11:15 – 12:45 – 14:15 – 15:45 – 17:15 *  o`clock

From Puerto del Carmen: 10:30 – 12:00 – 13:30 – 15:00 – 16:30 17:45 * o`clock

If you like WALKING bear in mind there is a lovely walkway from Puerto del Carmen (Old Town) along the coast line towards Puerto Calero Marina. The walk is 4.5 km long. I wrote a blog post about that walk last year, it’s called “I Love Fridays” and you can read it RIGHT HERE.

Oh, and by the way, last Month Puerto Calero Marina recieved the Blue Flag of Excellence!

 

The Secrets Of Playa Quemada

The Secrets Of Playa Quemada

The Secrets Of Playa Quemada

It was such a beautiful day. The sky had the right colour of blue, and the fields where green due to a few days with hours of soft rain. Its amazing the difference the rain brings to the landscape of LANZAROTE. Most of the year our surroundings are totally black and brown. So when it finally rains, and we get some green grass on our fields and volcanos it’s HAPPY times.

Me and my friend Digna decided that we would do a long Day Walk. A walk without having to look at the watch. Just enjoying the green fields and Lanzarote`s nature during winter. And so we did!!

We parked our cars down at the harbour of Puerto Calero and continued by foot on the Avenida, towards the local village of PLAYA QUEMADA. Within less than half an hour walking reaching the green field we meet a shepherd with at least a 100 pregnant sheep. How adorable. The shepherd noticed my enthusiasm and asked me if I wanted a photo with one of the sheep. Of course. I couldnt say no. It was my first time scratching a sheep behind the ear. She must have liked it, because she didn’t want to turn around and follow the herd when I left.

Digna and I continued our walk along the seaside, while we enjoyed the view of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean next to the slopes of the green fields. We passed by the BEACH of Playa Quemada, which mostly consists of small stones all the way through. The village of Playa Quemada PLAYA QUEMADA itself is very small and very much Canarian. There we met this very relaxed looking fisherman, who seemed to not have a care in the world.

 

When passing the village of PLAYA QUEMADA the walk started to get pretty tough going up and down the fields all the time on a hard slippery terrain. So we really had to concentrate and focus on where to step to avoid slipping down the cliff.  We reached our first stop ,which was a tiny stone beach. That beach is called PLAYA DEL POZO. Right in the center of the beach someone has constructed a what looks like a water well, only with no water in it.

And also a bus stop look-a-like   construction of stones and rocks.

Lanzarote has several of those sorts of constructions scattered around the island. No one seems to know who build them.

When standing right there looking up to the field I saw a huge drawing, at least 50 by 5 meters,  of what looked to me as an ANCHOR.. It was the first time I saw it that close up. I have only seen it from the seaside from a boat, when sailing by. There are many stories to that “drawing”, and it has been there for many years!! One day I will definitely tell some of those stories!

After a well deserved break on the Beach of Playa del Pozo and having sipped a half liter of water we continued our walk along the fields. The high temperature started be noticeably. That is why everyone, who lives here permanently knows that when exercising, early morning is the best option.

Our next and last stop that day was the arrival to what is called “The Secret Garden Of Playa Quemada”. It’s a very special place I have to say. I wonder if such a garden  exists elsewhere in the world? It’s situated close to the sea and as you can imagine the access to it is difficult, because of it’s location and watering those plants in the secret garden is anything but easy.

There is a huge gap in the cliff, where children’s toys from many different countries are used as decoration, as well as all sorts of lost buoys from passing boats.

However, it’s obvious that the plants growing there are being well taken care of by someone and so is the “decoration”. Everything looks so tidy and clean. And inside the cliff we even found a Visitors book! When I opened it I was amazed to see the different comments from other visitors from all around the world. Funnily, I noticed that the book itself was just about 3 years old. I took the time to write a comment, in which I promised that my next blog post would be about this walk to The Secret Garden of Playa Quemada!

This walk is medium to high. It`s a 15 km long walk. Good shoes are strongly recommended. Plenty of water and a sandwich or two. Sun cream and a hat are a must!
From Puerto Calero Marina to The Secret Garden there is 7.5 KM each way.

 

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