Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Travel Review - Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

This years family holiday destination took us back to the windy isle of Lanzarote. With its dramatic volcanic moon like landscape and easy, typically laid back spanish way of going about things, I've always had a soft spot for Lanzarote.

We've been to Playa Blanca before but this year we went the other side, the Marina side. If you're looking for a small holiday resort, with lots of great restaurants within easy walking distance, the Marina end of Playa Blanca is for you.

Accommodation
We rented a three bedroom villa from Ocean Dreams Marina and Spa Villas. The villas are located opposite the Hotel Volcan and you can use all the hotel's facilities, pool etc. Both the hotel and villas are really great. On our arrival we were offered an upgrade (for a small extra cost) to one of the more newly refurbished villas, and it was worth every penny. Although I have to say that our original villa was the same size and perfectly adequate and homely, the upgraded villa had the WOW factor. And unbeknown to us, the addition of an inside/outside room with bi-fold doors was fully utilised on what turned into quite a few very cloudy days!
The villa had a large, freezing cold pool. Our last couple of days, when the clouds had finally moved on, did mean we all braved the pool but it was like an iron man challenge. Maybe we were used to pools that have been heated or had the summer season sun on them but a freezing cold pool is no use to anyone is it?!

There were enough sun loungers and, in our villa, a really lush day bed.
So the weather.. I'm not going to go on about it because it's not Lanzarote's fault! We were there for ten days from 10 June, so a little early in the holiday season and apparently the thick cloud was not usual, and it was still warm, it was just not what you want on your annual holiday is it.

Resort
As I said the end of Playa Blanca we were in was lovely, quiet (very when we were there), clean and pretty. A less than ten minute easy walk from our villa took us to the Marina area, which has lots of restaurants, bars to sit and look at the beautiful yachts whilst enjoying a jug of sangria and quite a few shops. There is a small supermarket, enough to get snacks and fill your fridge if, like us, you decide to go self catering. But equally the quality of food at all the restaurants we ate at (some repeat visits) was top notch.
The marina area is nicely laid out, and you can see that careful consideration has been given to the look and feel of the area.  Access is easy as well for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Beaches
If beaches are your thing, or you fancy a change from being poolside, a pleasant and flat walk along from Playa Blanca to Playa Dorada takes about twenty minutes. There's a really nice sandy beach with plenty of beach side bars and restaurants. And walking along the paved promenade you can see all the love locks.

Just up from Playa Dorada beach there is a shopping area, full of your usual holiday tat shops and (praise the lord) a Mango!
In the opposite direction to Playa Dorada is the island's famous Papagayo beach. We walked along the promenade, which was nice and flat until we were met with a very steep (I would say sheer!) cliff face. I'm sure there must be an easier way to get up on the cliffs to walk along to the beaches, and you can drive there, although they are rough tracks so you have to take it steady. As me and my sisters treated this walk as a training hike, we climbed up the steep cliff and once up there it was a very undulating walk along the coast line past two nice sandy beaches, one quite large and then the last beach is Papagayo. It is pretty and certainly from our high vantage point the beach and the sea looked stunning. But I would certainly not have wanted to walk to it carrying a day's worth of beach stuff, which you will need as it's only the last beach which has a small cafe.
Holiday reads
Sadly I only seem to find the time and concentration to read on holiday and thanks to the clouds, this holiday I read three books, all of which I can highly recommend.
This is going to hurt by Adam Kay - a real life diary of an A&E Dr. This is a must read, not just because it's funny, sad and well written but it makes you really appreciate our national health service and all who work within her!

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman - this wasn't what I thought it would be but in a good way. I thought it was going to be quite a dark story in to someone's mental health. It is about that but there's much more and the character, Eleanor, is heart warming.

Good me bad me by Ali Land - a similar premis as Eleanor Oliphant as in it features screwed up mothers! This novel is a bit darker but a great story and read.

xx

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