There are no official Lanzarote campsites for tourists to use, although there is one on the nearby island of La Graciosa. This is quite unusual as you would think that the weather is ideal for sleeping in tents or in a caravan. There are, however, some places on the island that are used as campsites during the summer months by locals who have either obtained the necessary permission from the local council or who are camping illegally.
There are two official Lanzarote campsites – at the Papagayo beach near Playa Blanca, and on the small island of La Graciosa. The Papagayo campsite is next to the beach and has good facilities, including toilets and showers. The El Salao campsite on La Graciosa is also at the beach, and is ideal place to get away from everything as there are no cars and limited services on the island.
At the Papagayo beach ( Beach Port of Los Muelas), near Playa Blanca, there is a site for 2000 people, split between caravans and tents. This Lanzarote campsite is administered by the Ayuntamiento de Haria and is open from 29 May to 30 September. Camping spaces have to be booked through the Cabildo of Lanzarote. Previously the camping site had 155 spaces, but for 2015 it was expanded to 230 spaces. Demand for spaces is always very high since it is the only official camp for campers and caravans on Lanzarote. The campsite is free of charge, as it is subsidised by the local Haria council.
The El Salao campsite on La Graciosa has 50 tent pitches for a maximum of 200 people, and is administered through the National Parks authority. Bookings have to be made online and booked in advance. It is open all year round. The campsite is on the beach, next to Caleta del Sebo. There is no charge for camping. The maximum permitted stay is 7 days. The site has toilets and showers. Some things are not permitted, such as BBQ’s, fires, generators and dogs.Official statistics show that an average stay on the island is 3 days, but in the winter the average stay is 5 days. The busiest camping periods are at Easter and in July, August and September. About three-quarters of the campers are Spanish, with most coming from the local province of Las Palmas. Small numbers of campers are from Germany, Italy and Britain.
There used to be a small campsite for 100 people at San Juan, Famara, which was administered by the Ayuntamiento de Teguise, and was open from June to September. However, it was declared unofficial by the Spanish Government’s Coastal Department and had to be closed.
In the past there were many unofficial Lanzarote campsites, but in recent years there has been a clampdown on such sites, such as the one at Playa La Garita in Haria and Caleta de Caballo in Teguise. This is because of concerns about cleanliness and ownership of land. However, you will still caravans parked up at some beaches. Many families take their caravan to the beach for the summer holiday, as it is a family tradition. Local people bought caravans and campervans as there didn’t used to be a problem with them.
Lanzarote campsites are, therefore, very limited. It is probably best to book a cheap hotel room or apartment in one of the resorts, and then book a pitch on La Graciosa for a few days. This will involve a short ferry ride fom Orzola to La Graciosa to enjoy a stress-free time in a ‘get-away’ location.