Saturday 1 October 2016

Lanzarote: Roz Purcell's top tips for Ireland's favourite Canary Island

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Roz Purcell

Published 15/11/2015 | 02:30

Roz Purcell
Roz Purcell
The turquoise beach at Papagayo, Lanzarote
Papagayo beach, Lanzarote
Try the sizzling prawns at El Chupadero on Lanzarote

Model, food blogger and Lanzarote-lover Roz Purcell shares her tips for Ireland's favourite Canary Island.

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Why Lanzarote?

I love that Lanzarote is only a short trip from Ireland and that sunshine is guaranteed. You can get good deals on flights and accommodation if you book in advance, and the island suits all different types of holidays - from active to relaxing. I love cycling and Lanzarote offers some of the best with its amazing volcanic views and challenging routes.

What should I pack?

The weather is great in Lanzarote. It can get quite windy, however, so bring a jumper! Sunscreen is a must - even if the sun is not always shining, I wear a high factor to protect my skin. If you're a tea drinker like me... bring some Barry's Tea!

First thing I should do?

I always soak up the sun by the pool and look at the timetable of classes at the resort to plan what I want to do during my stay. I'm also a big foodie, so straight away I'm planning what places I want to visit and try out. It's worth getting a car rental over there, the roads are great and the island is very small to navigate around.

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Best place to stay?

I've stayed at Club La Santa sports resort (clublasanta.com) in La Santa village and Sands Beach (sandsbeach.eu) in Costa Teguise - I would recommend both. CLS is a place to go if you want an active holiday; there's fitness classes on all day, bike rental, swimming and tennis courts (to name a few!) Sands Beach is great if you want a more relaxing stay, but you can get active with its fitness centre, pool and bike rental too. Both have good on-site restaurant and cafés.

Best food and drinks?

I love La Bohema in Costa Teguise; it's amazing. I'd highly recommend the mixed grill if you plan a visit. Jonnie Bakes café is also a must-try for baked goods. I always work in a stop there when I'm cycling.

What should I avoid?

Do your research when it comes to eating out. You can find amazing food for reasonable prices, but I've also ended up paying a lot for a really average meal. Don't just stick with the really touristy spots - I always try to look for local recommendations. Also, maybe avoid drinking as much as you would at home... the drinks and cocktails are much stronger over there!

What should I bring home?

Apple Mentos! I haven't come across these anywhere else and am addicted! I usually pick up numerous packs when leaving for a supply when I am at home. I also try to stock up on pure aloe vera extract when I'm in Lanzarote - it's hugely popular and I think it's a great product, especially if you're looking for gift ideas.

Reader recommendations

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"Every Saturday, there are lovely markets at the marina in Playa Blanca from 9am until 1pm. Great selection of hand-crafted items." - Sharon Duane

"The Island Bar and Gallagher's Sports bars in Puerto Del Carmen for drinks and entertainment... Timanfaya is a must-see!" - Aoibhin Kenny

"Papagayo beach is stunning..." - Kate Morrissey

"La Delicatezza Cocktail Bar in PDC new town! Fantastic homemade cocktails... none of that syrup or rubbish from a carton." - Niamh Moylan

Pól's Pick

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Lanzarote has its Irish bars and English breakfasts, but it has its foodie surprises too. Try El Chupadero (el-chupadero.com), a beautiful little bodega set between Yaiza and Teguise. White walls, vibrant art and sizzling garlic prawns. Worth a detour.

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