Considered one of Lanzarote’s jewels, Playa de Famara is a six-kilometer long beach at the foot of Risco de Famara, a spectacular mass of 600-meter cliffs. The unique stretch of toasted sand has become a popular playground for windsport enthusiasts. Here, they can harness the power of tradewinds and relax in the small fishing village of Caleta de Famara after or in between sessions. Not only for wind-riders, the year-round sun of this scenic coastline is also for bathers, joggers, and even naturists.
Why Visit Famara Beach
As picturesque and tranquil as it is rugged, the sea currents and winds in Playa de Famara may be strong, but they also create a calm ambiance. The beauty of this unique combination can be seen in the film “Broken Embraces” by the famed director Pedro Almodóvar starring Penélope Cruz. These same conditionsmake the beach feel cooler, creating an oasis for escaping the summer heat and humidity. On the other hand, when visiting in winter, gear up with a windbreaker because it’s going to be cold and a lot windier.
A Beach for Everyone
Despite being quite a popular destination, Playa de Famara is huge enough that it never feels crowded. It has a space for everyone—swimmers, sunbathers, joggers, naturists, windsport fans, and even football games. More importantly, wherever you are on the beach, the moving sea and the cliffs of Risco de Famara serve as an impressive backdrop to your travel experiences. So spread your towel on the sand, let the sun pour its warm light into your skin, and start making travel memories.
The long, curved beach has some semi-circular stone walls for some privacy and a bit of protection from the strong wind. As the waves come pounding into the shore, the red flag perpetually hoisted at this paradise reminds all visitors to use caution and actively supervise children.
If you prefer to go au naturel, there’s a small section at the northern part of Playa de Famara, along the dirt track known as C. Bellas del Risco, for laying bare.
Water Sports and Other Leisure Activities
Playa de Famara changes with the tide. When the sea rises, it eats up the strip of sand, allowing the waves to reach the weather-beaten volcanic rocks. As the waters fall to a lower level, the view becomes increasingly dramatic, with the sun reflecting on the puddles that appear in the sand. These shifts influence the seascape but won’t stop visitors from having fun as the beach has some of the most consistent waves in Lanzarote.
The air and sea conditions in Famara beach made it a popular place for surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, hang gliding, and paragliding. Other leisure activities commonly enjoyed in this maritime paradise include yoga, diving, hiking, and mountain biking. If you’re looking to add a new hobby or enhance your proficiency in some of the disciplines mentioned, the area houses several schools offering basic and intensive lessons or courses that can help you. Amongst the highly recommended ones are Red Star Surf and Yoga Camp, ZooPark Famara Surf, SUP and Kite School, Epic Lanzarote Surf and Kite School, and Alohayolas Surfschool. These centers have the best instructors, equipment rentals, and attractive promotional packages that may include accommodations.
The exhilarating waves and swells of Playa de Famara bring surfers of varying skill levels to its shores. In fact, it is now home to a good mix of locals and surfers from different countries. If you love riding waves (or strong wind), this beach is worth getting to know better. It’s split into the five sections listed below, starting with the one nearest to the village.
El Codito. This small section of Famara beach is also known as the “Little Elbow.” It’s just outside the town and has surfable waves that are typically smaller.
The Main beach. This portion of the bay is the busiest for several reasons. Visitors can park on both sides of the access road that is precisely alongside it. Additionally, it is near the lifeguard hut and has stone shelters, which are useful during windy days. Vacationers can swim and surf here. Plenty of surf schools also use this section.
The Bunker. Around 400 hundred meters from the main beach is an abandoned WWII bunker. In front of this dugout is a section with the same features as the main beach but with fewer people. This is a surfing and swimming spot as well. Just remain cautious of the sea current as lifeguards do not monitor this area much.
The Track. This section is the quietest and offers the best waves to ride. Here, the water reaches the rocks during high tides, while little bays and swim holes appear on low tides. Apart from surfers, kite surfers frequent this area as well.
Papalios. The farthest section is for surfers who can handle some forceful waves.It is also an excellent place for lovely walks.
The closeness of the beach to Caleta de Famara means plenty of gastronomic choices and dining on a terrace with spectacular views. This fishing village’s relaxed ambiance blends perfectly with everything around it—the bay, sea, cliffs, and barefoot people walking on volcanic sand. While taking in the breathtaking panorama, vacationers can explore the traditional Canarian plates, regional cuisines across Europe, and the freshest seafood.
Read on to discover three dining options around Playa de Famara that will add a salty tang to your seaside holiday.
Restaurante El Risco
Pedro and Marco created a culinary paradise in the little town of Famara. In the entire Lanzarote, there is nothing like El Risco, a true 5-star, Michelin-listed restaurant that brings a touch of elegance and a taste authenticity in every dish. It’s also in a superb location with a terrace looking on giant cliffs, the beach, and the Chinijo Archipelago—just what you need to relax and recharge.
El Risco has a team of professionals that makes diners feel at home with their excellent service. Plus, the restaurant only uses local products. This means all dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients, but the menu may vary depending on the day’s catch.
When dining in El Risco, vacationers must not miss the morena frita (fried moray eel), pulpo a la plancha (grilled octopus), gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp), Gambas de La Santa (shrimp from La Santa), cherne steak (rock grouper fish steak), and entrecôte steak (beef steak cut from between the ribs). We went for a couple of bottles of Bodega Los Bermejos dry whites, and they paired perfectly well with our lovely meal of assorted meats, along with the goat cheese cheesecake and lemon sorbet to, which are absolute must-try desserts. If you’re not into dry whites, the restaurant has a wide selection of sweet wines as well. The staff can recommend one based on your taste preferences.
After hitting the beach, we spent the rest of the day wandering in the little fishing village. It’s picturesque and overlooks the sea, so why not. We found Restaurante Sol while strolling and stopped in. As we walked in, my group was immediately welcomed by the very friendly Juan and the smell of freshly cooked seafood with herbs and lemon. Choosing from a tempting menu was quite difficult, but a few dishes won us over in the end.
We started with a Lanzarote salad (a mix of avocado, tomato, dried fruit, nuts, and goat cheese) and fish soup, followed by a humongous platter of parrillada pescado y marisco (grilled fish and seafood). Truthfully, the serving size here is too big, but we were a group of foodies in a beachside cafe extremely popular for its seafood offerings, so eat away we did, and there was zero regrets. Everything was cooked to perfection and, with a glass of El Grifo white wine on hand, the experience was too.
El Sibarita was recommended by some surfers we met, and we’re glad we went. It’s a simple restaurant with pleasant staff, a cozy atmosphere, and tasty food prepared fresh on order. While it’s at the farther end of Caleta de Famara and not exactly by the beach, this dining option is undoubtedly a must-visit for its excellent and moderately priced offerings.
My jolly group shared, which allowed us to order more and have a bit of everything the El Sibarita kitchen sends to our table. A place for various palates and preferences congregate, the menu had a good selection of plant- and meat-based options, as well as some Asian-fusion food. We split the salad, garlic bread, teriyaki chicken, lentil burger, and quinoa falafel. For dessert, I decided to get greedy and enjoy a slice of chocolate cake by myself.
All were an example of the happy marriage of freshness and flavors. My friends and I are no veggie burger experts, but we’ve tried a couple and the one from El Sibarita is undoubtedly the best. In fact, it was the highlight of our dining experience here, and that’s saying a lot coming from a group of meat-lovers.
How to Reach Famara Beach
The most convenient option to reach Famara Beach is by car or taxi, especially in the busy summer season. From Arrecife, go through LZ-20, LZ-30, then LZ-402. You’ll reach your destination in more or less 30 minutes.
If you decide to go by public transport, it usually takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes from the island capital (bus line 20) or Costa Teguise (bus line 31) to Caleta de Famara. Vacationers can check the updated bus timetables on intercitybuslanzarote.es.
Not Your Regular Beach
Playa de Famara is not your regular tourist-heavy beach. It boasts breathtaking views of the Risco de Famara and is a surfer’s paradise. With exhilarating waves and strong winds nearly all year round, it’s the ideal destination for watersport fans and experienced swimmers. If rip-roaring adventures in rugged waters aren’t for you, the sandy stretch is also perfect for long strolls, yoga, and other more relaxing recreational activities. Plus, several of the best restaurants in Lanzarote are located in its neighboring fishing village.