As one of Europe’s top tourist attractions, Lanzarote has plenty to offer visitors. Even with a limited budget, Lanzarote is filled with attractions and sights and free things to do in Lanzarote, that will not compromise your holiday experience. Lanzarote, a volcanic island, has stunning, rugged views, beaches, art, exciting towns and villages, markets, and nightlife.
We have put together the ultimate guide of free things to do in Lanzarote.
Take a stroll around beautiful boats and yachts in this stunning Marina. The Marina is built to represent an island village, with enticing alleys, fountains, artistic bridges, a wooden boardwalk and amazing manicured gardens. You can enjoy people-watching in this unique nautical environment or maybe take a picnic and enjoy it on one of the many wonderful shaded terraces. Why not walk off your meal with a stroll along the sea wall? And take in the views across to Fuerteventura.
The Marina has a very upmarket feel, emphasised by the wide range of boutique and designer shops offering jewellery, shoes, leather goods, perfumes, and nautical items.
Remember though, it is window shopping only. If you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday, there is a delightful market with the opportunity to browse through local arts and crafts.
With just a pair of trainers and a bottle of water, a walk to the top of a volcano has to be on your “free” to-do list. The hike is not challenging but will take around an hour in each direction for those less mobile and around 30 minutes for fitter individuals. The walk is well signposted and is suitable for children as long as they are old enough to walk the 3km long trail.
You will also need to allow time at the top to take in the magnificent views of Playa Blanca and Papagayo.
While at the summit, walk around the volcano’s crater and enjoy Fuerteventura and Playa Flamingo views. How about the unique experience of climbing a volcano and exploring the crater, all for free.
Playa Dorada Beach
No trip to Lanzarote is complete without a day at the beach. With over 100 beaches to choose from, we decided upon Playa Dorado. Although Papagayo is more popular, there is a fee to pay to enter the national park, and for that reason, I can’t include it in this list.
Playa Dorada has everything you would want for a day at the beach. It has fine golden sand perfect for sandcastles, clear, calm waters with fish swimming around you whilst you paddle. It is a very family-friendly beach, and although you have to pay for sunbeds, there is plenty of space to put down your towel on the beautiful sand.
Unusually for most of the beaches in Lanzarote, Playa Dorada has a complete set of facilities except for public toilets. However, the local café is very accommodating. The additional safety of lifeguards and flag safety system inspires confidence that you will have a great free time at Playa Dorada.
Casa Museo del Campesino
This museum is inspired by Lanzarote’s traditions and pays homage to the farmers who brought life to the island. You will discover the way of life of the island’s farmers and their traditions.
Located in the geographical centre of Lanzarote, it consists of a series of buildings built in the traditional architectural style of houses of Lanzarote. All around, you will find fantastic artwork by Spanish artist César Manrique.
There is an opportunity to experience traditional crafts, such as pottery, making mojo sauce, and other activities, with workshops run by local craftspeople. The market and workshops all use sustainable methods and are an honest reflection of Lanzarote’s traditions.
Lanzaloe Aloe Vera
Located in the north of Lanzarote, the 6 hectares of aloe vera are said to be the best in the world. I’m no aloe vera specialist, but maybe it is something to do with harvesting every week, which must be exhausting.
You will be immersed in nature whilst surrounded by incredible volcanic views. During your visit, you learn interesting information about aloe vera, including details regarding the origins and how they grow.
The knowledgeable and friendly guide will show you how to cut the plant correctly, and you will be given a chance to drink the raw juice. They have a small shop selling products made from their plants and often have free samples for visitors, and there is no pressure to purchase anything.
Just north of the famous Playa Blanca is an incredible natural phenomenon, Los Hervideros, The Boiling Waters. These cliffs hide a labyrinth of underwater caves formed from lava and coastal erosion.
As the waves are funnelled into the caves, their power increases and seawater can be forced many metres into the air with a loud noise accompanying it. You can wander around cliffs on pathways and view the sea bubbling and gushing below. If you go at sunset, the experience is highlighted by the backdrop of the sun going down, which makes it even more unearthly.
If you enjoy natural wonders, then this spectacle is not to be missed, especially for the budget-challenged, as it is free, as is the parking.
Charco de Los Caicos
Next to El Golfo, you can find Charco de Los Caicos, a bright green lagoon on the western coast. The crater was formed after the volcanic eruption in 1730 and is partially buried in the ocean. Algae in the water give the lagoon a bright green colour, which looks like an alien landscape when contrasted with the black sand and red rocks. I’m sure you will think mother nature was showing off when this was created.
You cannot get close to the lagoon, which is a dedicated Nature Reserve. Still, you can access the viewing platform by following a rope lined path and a short walk from El Golfo.
Timanfaya National Park
Feeling adventurous? There are free guided walking tours in the Timanfaya National Park. There is a choice of routes depending on your walking abilities and which sites you prefer to see. The informative tour guide will tell you about Lanzarote’s volcanic past and how the volcanos impacted and still impact locals of the island. The tour lasts around three hours and is approximately three kilometres in length, although the tour is deemed low difficulty.
Take the opportunity to walk amongst the landscape of an active volcanic site. With a sea of red and black and only the sparest vegetation, you could be on Mars if it were not for the blue sky. The free guided walking tours can be booked online.
The Salinas del Janubio
Another free attraction worth the visit is the Salinas del Janubio are salt flats about nine kilometres away from Playa Blanca. The flats were constructed to provide salt for the preservation of fish before refrigeration took over. It is the only commercial salt producer on Lanzarote.
The saltpans are made up of shallow pools of water in white, grey and pink hues. The differing colours are due to the varying salt concentrations in pools due to water evaporation. A sizeable green lagoon adds to the kaleidoscope of colours, making this a romantic spot for couples. A great selfie is pretty much guaranteed. Oh, and it is free!
Haria – Valley of the Thousand Palms
Haria is a quiet traditional Canarian whitewashed village surrounded by palm trees. The area has always had an abundance of palm trees, and their demise came about when pirates set fire to them all in the 16th Century. Since then, the villagers began planting one tree for every girl born and two for every boy. Once again, it is the Valley of the Thousand Palms.
The village comprises narrow streets, traditional houses, art galleries, craft shops and museums.
There is a lovely town square lined with bougainvillaeas and geraniums. Thankfully tourism has yet to impact the lifestyle here.
The famous artist César Manrique made Haria his final home and was also buried here.
Museo Aeronáutico del Aeropuerto de Lanzarote
I know this is number eleven, but I couldn’t finish this list without including it. The museum is in the old Arrecife airport building, and it is entirely free. Even if you are not an aviation geek, there are still things here to interest you, and the kids will find it fun too. The museum gives you an immersive experience of the early days of commercial aviation. Marvel at the check-in procedures and the luxury of boarding lounges from times when air travel was only for the wealthy minority. It is definitely worth visiting to go into the original control tower and imagine these old planes landing and taking off.
There are artefacts, photographs and aviation paraphilia everywhere, including model planes from the bygone eras. A great way to understand the development of aviation in the Canaries.
The Final Word
Although the lack of money excludes you from certain activities, it does not detract from a fantastic holiday in Lanzarote. A tight budget might mean a little more planning, but ultimately there are some great free things to do in Lanzarote. Why not try them out anyway, and blow the money you saved on a cocktail in the evening.