We all associate Lanzarote with great beach holidays, volcanoes and banging nightlife, but Lanzarote has a serene side. As part of the Largest Marine Biosphere, it has some genuinely magnificent snorkelling sites that can be viewed with just a mask and snorkel.
One of the rarely mentioned aspects of snorkelling in Lanzarote is how safe it is. There are very few “nasties” in the water. Lanzarotes’ location means it doesn’t have jellyfish, and the sharks will be harmless Angel Sharks. They do have teeth, though, so don’t annoy them.
VERIL DE PLAYA CHICA
This is Lanzarote’s premier site for snorkelling and scuba diving. It has plenty of shallow areas due to a sandy platform, “the Veril of Playa Chica”, which makes it perfect for beginners. Close to the shore, the depth is around 10 metres. The water is crystal clear and calm, thanks to the barriers that block the waves. This gives you a unique opportunity to see crustaceans with brightly coloured shells, octopuses, cuttlefish and even sharks. If you venture towards the moored boats, you may find seahorses living within the ropes.
EL MUELLITO Y LA PLAYA
Everywhere around El Muellito (The Little Pier) and the two quays at Playa Chica (Small Beach) are magical places to enjoy snorkelling. Being shallow, it is perfect for novices and those having their first snorkelling experience. This is an excellent spot for family time underwater and a chance to see some harlequin crabs, spider crabs and octopuses.
Playa Flamingo is in the municipality of Yaiza and is the beach of the tourist-based town of Playa Blanca. The 250 m long beach is protected by breakwaters making it an ideal spot to snorkel, especially for little ones and novices. There are plenty of fish to see inside the breakwater. Still, if you venture outside, you may encounter a barracuda, tuna or sardines.
PLAYA DEL JABLILLO
The Playa del Jablillo is a protected artificial bay with safe and gentle waters, ideal for learning to use a mask and snorkel. You can see several shoals of dreamfish, bream, seabream, tiny damselfish, exotic and brightly coloured wrasses. Also, spider crabs, wide-eyed flounder, and stingrays seek refuge in this sheltered bay.
The exotic name of this site does not disappoint. Within a few metres of depth, dense rock formations teeming with fish and wildlife. With the stunning white sand on the beach and the clear waters, you could be in its namesake in Hawaii.
You can access the waters of La Pared from the shore using an installed metal ladder. The access is not easy, so best to not have youngsters on this trip. Snorkelling here is only possible when the weather is good and calm. You can also jump right in at high tide, but be careful, as, at low tide, it is only about 1.5 metres deep. Even at low tide, you can see barracuda, moray eels, lobsters and octopus, making this an excellent spot for snorkelling.
VERIL DE FARIONES
Head towards the rocks of the little Fariones pier, and you are practically in an aquarium; the marine life here is abundant. It is perfect for snorkelling and has easy access directly from Playa Grande or via a boat if you have access to one. You might be one of the lucky ones to see dolphins, turtles or whales, all are possible here.
Although getting to the beach is a bit tortuous because of the access road, it is worth it. With amazing sand and calm waters, this cove is a snorkeler’s delight. There are four main beaches at the southern end of the Island. Playa Mujeres, Playa de Papagayo, Playa del Pozo and Playa Puerto Muelas and another four smaller coves. Without needing to go out far, you should be able to see ornate wrasse, colourful parrotfish and strange spider crabs clinging close to the cliffs.
A symbolic place in La Graciosa. Montaña Amarilla (Yellow Mountain) has its’ unusual colour due to the specific type of eruption which created the volcano when the magma (liquid rock) hit the ocean. This is a superb place to dive with masks and snorkels, and you may catch a glimpse of a manta or bull ray.
CHARCO DEL PALO
Charco del Palo is situated on a rocky shoreline close to the village of Mala, Haria, in the north of the Island. There is plenty to explore within the sand and lava tubes. Go between March and May, when you will have a much higher chance of seeing stingrays, octopuses, giant anemones and angel sharks.
VERIL DE COSTA TEGUISE
This area is exceptional for diving. It is located in the northwest of Lanzarote and is a popular local snorkelling area. There are ledges and cavities alive with sea fauna. Keep your eyes peeled, and you will meet up with red hogfish, grouper or triggerfish.
Initially sailing under the name Temple Hall, it was later renamed Telamón by its Greek crew in honour of the Argonauts. In 1981 it ran aground with its’ cargo of wood from the Ivory coast. It is now split in two and the stern projects towards the shore, creating the landmark that it is today. An ideal point to snorkel for beginners or experts, and this is the only wreck that can be visited with a mask and snorkel.
Arrecife, or “reef” as it translates, is a superb place to snorkel and has a fabulous coastline. The marina has species unique to the area, and the underwater scenery is spectacular. A phenomenal starting point for anyone snorkelling for the first time is in Playa del Reducto. There are lagoons of safe, calm water to explore and easy access from the shore.
PECIOS DEL BARRANCO DEL QUÍQUERE
In the depths are three wooden fishing boats built during the last century. The three boats are between 20 and 30 metres below the sea, making them inaccessible for snorkelers to investigate. Still, with good conditions, you may be able to see the eerie shapes. But due to marine life loving a good shipwreck to live in, there are plenty of opportunities to spot schoal of fish.
Snorkelling in Lanzarote is a huge pastime for tourists and locals alike. The small cost of essential equipment makes it accessible to everyone’s budget, and all family members, young and old, can enjoy it. There are immeasurable places to get in the sea and investigate what is happening under the waves. Still, the 14 listed are considered the Best snorkelling spots the Island has.
If you don’t fancy going it alone, dozens of companies offer snorkelling tours with all the equipment included. They also come with the added security of a PADI-trained instructor.
There is no excuse if you are in Lanzarote; go snorkelling; it may just be the best thing you have ever done on holiday.