This week, Matthew Hirtes examines moving to Lanzarote – the sunny Canary Island that was formerly home for the owners of Spain Buddy.
The hotspot that’s great to chill out in
Moving to Lanzarote: Ups
The great outdoors, including a dramatic volcanic landscape, can be enjoyed all year round with Lanzarote’s reliably warm weather. The island’s temperate climate’s also good news for asthma sufferers and those with bone/joint issues. And it’s no more than one hour from one end of Lanzarote to the other, making the island one of the more accessible places to live.
There is a well-established English speaking community, especially in the coastal resorts. You’ll never feel alone if you’re prepared to make the effort to make friends.
Moving to Lanzarote: Downs
Because Lanzarote’s an island, prices for everyday items can be more than the mainland or larger neighbours Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
Political corruption led to a explosion of property development. Whilst this has been clamped down on in recent years, it’s sadly left a number of areas with partially-built housing estates/hotels. Court cases related to corruption and property issues have been to-ing and fro-ing for years.
Moving to Lanzarote: In and out
Lanzarote airport (ACE) is approximately halfway down the island’s eastern coast and enjoys links with a large number of British, Irish and mainland Europe airports, as well as Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Arrecife also has ferry links to Cadiz, and the larger Canaries. The bus service in Lanzarote has improved somewhat in recent years – with all the resorts now accessible from Arrecife, and all containing their own municipal service.
The state schools, both primary and secondary, in Lanzarote have a great reputation. If you are looking for an English-speaking education however, you will need to go private. Try the British School of Lanzarote and the Colegio Hispano Britanico.
Shop until you drop
Shopping choices are no longer so limited in Lanzarote, because things have improved consistently. Head to Playa Honda (Deiland Shopping Centre) for clothing stores, as well as the large furniture or outlet stores.
Do visit the Biosfera in Puerto del Carmen too. This is a stylish shopping centre with oodles of shops and cafes – a great place to while away half a day.
The largest supermarkets on the island are Mercadona, Eurospar, Lidl and Hiperdino/Superdino (not to be confused with Hiperdino Express which are much smaller). There is also a large IKEA on the outskirts of Arrecife, heading towards Costa Teguise and a large branch of Decathlon (sporting goods) to the north of Arrecife, next to the hospital.
WARNING: Be aware that some of the electronics shops in Lanzarote have a horrific reputation for scams. These people have it honed to a fine art – read HERE for more information. However, there is a very large ‘electronics supermarket’ called Electron, about 300m or so from IKEA.
Moving to Lanzarote: Property types
The capital of Arrecife is predominantly made up of apartment buildings. The resorts all have a mix of apartments and villas. Heading out of the tourist and city areas, the rural properties can be very charming – and there are a number of converted fincas and cortijos in the small villages sprinkling the valleys.
One-three bedroom apartments, €35,000-€320,000.
Detached Villas, €180,000-€2,500,000.
Country fincas/cortijos €100,000-€265,000.
- Click to view property for sale in Lanzarote
Trusted Estate Agent for those considering moving to Lanzarote
Sue Cox has been selling property on the Island of Lanzarote since 2008, and we have known her since that time. This family run Estate Agency offers properties for sale in the Canary Islands with a special focus on the island of Lanzarote.
Their portfolio of sale properties includes apartments, villas, rural houses, land and commercial premises along with fantastic business opportunities. If you are thinking of buying or selling in Lanzarote they would love to speak to you.
- Moving to Costa Teguise, Lanzarote
- Moving to Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
- Moving to Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote
- Things to do in Lanzarote
- Lanzarote news
- Late night chemists in Lanzarote
- Costa Teguise
- Playa Blanca
- Puerto del Carmen
- Bus times in Lanzarote
- Places to eat and drink in Lanzarote
In Praise Of
“What’s great about living in Lanzarote? Where to start? There are so many great things about living here, it’s hard to choose. However, to avoid the obvious (weather!), I would say the people. There’s a fantastic eclectic mix of folk residing here. All for very different reasons but more often than not, with a common goal…. to achieve the perfect balance in life. Living alongside people of so many different nationalities really gets you out of the expat bubble that many people imagine here. Canarian, Spanish, German, British, Irish, Italian, Dutch, South American… the list goes on.
Because of its size, Lanza is very much a community rather than an island. When needed, complete strangers rally round and show huge support and strength. Always ready with advice, whether asked for or not! People are also incredibly friendly (a bit of a shock for a Londoner!) It’s so easy to meet people here without any of the constraints of UK living.
My other favourite thing about The Rock is that there is no class system here. Someone who in the UK was a highflying managing director’s just as likely to be a barman or villa cleaner here. And no one cares! People very rarely ask what you did ‘back home’. Neither does anyone care what car you drive, what brand your handbag is or where you do your shopping. People here live for the now… and like most, I’m grateful for every day spent on this friendly little rock we call home.” – Cathi Hart (Bliss Lanzarote)
“We love living here in Lanzarote, mainly because of the all year round warmth. We’d investigated other islands in the Med and the Canaries, but Lanzarote wins hands down. The influence of Cesar Manrique on the art and architecture means the island is unspoilt by high rise developments and it fully deserves to be recognised as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. We have all the amenities and standards you could expect from anywhere in Northern Europe with the added advantage of a consistently warm climate” – Marilyn Brindley (Hanging on my word)
“To find a non commercialized Island is such a rarity these days which makes it an ideal place to live or holiday. I love the family values which emanate from the Spanish locals and the traditions still adhered to from the Carnivals and Fiestas to the Dolores Pilgrimage which take place every year. I wake up every day and know that the sun will shine at some point during the day, even in Winter. I decided to invest in my own business and became a local Estate Agent so I now get the pleasure of helping people who want to either buy a holiday home or permanent home on this lovely Island .” – Sue Cox (Grupo Estupendo)
Are you living on Lanzarote? Or are you considering a move there? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.