Land, sea and air: the three elements that make up Lanzarote’s sporting paradise
Its exceptional wind, wave and temperature conditions and the warm, friendly atmosphere of its sporting communities attract thousands of surfers, divers and trail runners from all over the world.
Land, sea and air are the elements of nature that define Lanzarote’s sporting experience. Its three thousand hours of sunshine a year and unbeatable wind and wave conditions, especially between September and March, are unique and make the island one of the world’s greatest nautical playgrounds.
On land, the extraordinary volcanic landscapes and constant temperatures attract thousands of triathlon and trail running amateurs and professionals, who train or take part in the many sporting events held throughout the year.
The island is particularly committed to sports tourism through the European Sport Destination project, and the professionalism and experience accumulated in this field have made it a world benchmark as a sports tourism destination.
But the island offers much more than its incredible natural training grounds and tracks and gives visitors the opportunity to become part of a warm, open community of which they will always be a part, because those who experience the waves, the seabed and the landscapes of the island with the people of Lanzarote will be forever connected to its inexplicable magic.
Famara, the infinite playground
The beach of Famara and the village of La Caleta, in Teguise, are an international reference point for the surfing community, who come back time and time again to this impressive aquatic stage within the natural park of Chinijo.
The surfer who one day long ago learned to balance on the beach’s consistent rollers now returns with his or her young children, introducing them to this community that’s almost family, where sportsmen and women from the island share moments of emotion with those from outside: from the same van, while they prepare their equipment, watching the waves presented by the sea that rise before them; flying over the water lifted by their kite or on the peak of a wave, waiting for the series, mesmerised by the impressive grandeur of the Risco. When they come out of the water, so reluctant to leave paradise that they end up improvising a barbecue outside their house in La Caleta, the village that welcomes them with its sandy streets, barefoot, happy and tired after a day of paddling and rolling in the water.
This magic can also be felt in La Santa (Tinajo), which has one of the best spots in the world, El Quemao, giving those who surf its mythical left side a bit of the free, wild spirit that local sportsmen and women are always willing to share with their fellow surfers. This area is home to the world’s largest sports hotel, Club La Santa, where it is common to meet up, for example, in a yoga session, with one of the sports stars who train for their international events in its facilities.
The meeting point for the windsurfing family is the beach of Las Cucharas, in Costa Teguise, where there are schools for all levels and where the regulars, many of them professionals, share pleasant sporting days under the protection of the island’s gentle breezes and trade winds.
The bay of this spot that features on the PWA freestyle world circuit is a hive of activity from early in the morning, where, before preparing their equipment by the beach, they have a coffee with their islander friends and others from all over the world, in one of the bars next to the schools in the area.
The atmosphere in Las Cucharas is particularly lively and, in the evenings, after swimming, the social ritual continues with a craft beer or a glass of wine with the Lanzarote denomination of origin, while sharing plans or progress in the new manoeuvres that have been practiced during the day or following live the championships that are held annually in the Canary Islands, on the screens placed in the establishments themselves.
Las Cucharas is also a good choice for combining sport and holidays, as it is located in the tourist centre of Costa Teguise, where you will find the Club Santa Rosa and Sands Beach Resort sports accommodation, both of which are leaders in active tourism. All of this, without forgetting the inexhaustible leisure and restaurant offer in the area.
Immersion in aquatic paradise
If Lanzarote’s sea surface is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts, its seabed mesmerises with its marine and geological biodiversity. On the island there is no excuse for not trying weightlessness, at least by using a snorkel. This simple breathing mechanism allows the diver to blend in with the waters that maintain a temperature of eighteen degrees in winter and a transparency that allows visibility down to thirty metres. For the experienced diver, a Lanzarote dive is like no other.
Through the access points distributed between Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and La Graciosa, it is possible to enjoy golden sands with rocks full of life at a depth of only six metres; ghostly boats, submerged at between 10 and 30 metres, black coral landscapes, veriles (rocky cliffs that drop away underwater), hanging gold coral, multi-coloured sponges and caves at between 25 and 35 metres, or a night dive under the full moon from Playa Chica.
Proud of their seabed, the people of Lanzarote pamper their marine heritage under the motto of fun, safety and respect for the environment, a philosophy shared by the schools and clubs that include Lanzarote professionals in their ranks who have become exceptional guides to their underwater paradise.
A walk on the moon
Firm ground is always a winning option in Lanzarote, whose stunningly beautiful nature welcomes cyclists, triathletes and trail runners.
With perfect temperatures for outdoor exercise, the island offers the direct experience of a walk on the moon, although it is a pleasant warm-up or training route with club mates, usually joined by some of the professionals who are training on the days before the competitions held on the island, or simply with friends.
There are few places where you can enjoy such an exquisitely conserved range of landscapes as on the island of volcanoes. Prepared with the right bike or footwear, runners and cyclists get up early to make the most of the day and start the route almost at dawn, but they do so with great pleasure.
It’s thrilling to discover the spontaneous springtime caused by a few drops of rain, with flowers growing everywhere, travel the malpaís (badlands, or volcanic lava terrain) and the jable (volcanic sand) or enjoy the magnificence of the Atlantic along the cycling route that follows the coast.
In these moments, sharing the upcoming sporting projects or simply a local enyesque (snack) with fellow cyclists, oblivious to the daily routine and enveloped in the grandeur of the island’s nature, it is possible to feel completely happy.