The perfect winter sun holiday in Lanzarote with kids
Pre pandemic, we would never have considered travelling short haul in the February or October half term holidays. However, after a long eighteen months of being grounded, we were desperate for some winter sunshine.
As February half term came into sight, and travel restrictions began to ease, we opted to book a package holiday to Lanzarote. As a family with two small children, the benefit of a short 4 hour flight to guarantee a milder climate for a week appealed. Spain also offers fuss-free travel for UK vaccinated travellers, just a pre-arrival locator form to be completed within 48hrs of arrival (correct at the time of writing).
The perfect winter sun holiday in Lanzarote with kids
Although in February, weather across Europe is not a given, Lanzarote’s position off the coast of North Africa guarantees a mild, temperate climate year round. The Canaries are however famous for their winds, and stronger storms called Calima; unfortunately, these can badly affect temperatures and are hard to predict.
Having little experience travelling to the Canaries, we spent time researching the best island for us and opted for the resort of Costa Teguise in Lanzarote. For a week’s holiday, the prerequisites were a short transfer time from the airport (just 20 minutes), a sandy beach and a family friendly vibe. Costa Teguise is one of a few resorts offering similar options in Lanzarote, others include Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen.
Living close to Manchester Airport, an EasyJet package worked well, and we felt confident knowing we could remain flexible up to the travel date and would be covered by ABTA and ATOL protection. Another key document for peace of mind is good travel insurance that covers for Covid disruption.
Travelling with confidence post-pandemic
Having just returned from our winter sun holiday in Lanzarote with kids, my advice for anyone considering it, would be to do it! Although the weather is not completely guaranteed, you have a much greater chance of mild and sunny days compared to the rest of Europe.
The resort of Costa Teguise is a fantastic family-friendly place and perfect for entertaining small children. We loved our stay at the Galeon Playa; although not 5* luxury, our room was modern and clean, facilities plentiful and it represented great value for money. If you love to sample local food, I suggest booking B+B and eating out in the evening - there is so much choice within a couple of minutes walk of the hotel. Cocktails at Vali, are also a must!
Lanzarote is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts; runners, cyclists, swimmers and scuba divers are all well catered for in Costa Teguise and on the island as a whole. The coastal resorts have flat an accessible promenades, dotted with cafes and playgrounds, making it the perfect place to both exercise and relax. Top tip - close to the Toledo Restaurant, just off the promenade near Playa Bastian, is an amazing children’s playground, make sure to visit.
Where to stay in Lanzarote - the Galeon Playa Apartments
Costa Teguise, and the Canaries as a whole, offer a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. From adult only hotels to family-friendly self-catering apartments; there's something to suit everyone.
For a week’s winter sun holiday in Lanzarote with kids, we chose to stay at the Galeon Playa Apartments in Costa Teguise. This mid-size apartment complex features junior suites, with a separate twin bedroom, and 1/2 bedroom apartments with full kitchenette.
The complex also has a heated pool and a kid’s club, essential for a winter sun holiday with kids. A short walk from two wonderful beaches, and the main resort centre; the Galeon Playa offers both Bed + Breakfast and Half Board options. The kid’s club accepts children over 4 years and there is also a baby and teens club in peak season. Our children loved the kid’s mini discos every evening and the ever-changing night time entertainment in the bar.
For ease, we chose to pay the small supplement to go Half Board, and feel it represented great value for money. Our Junior Suite included a microwave, small fridge and kettle but would not have been suitable for a full self-catering holiday. The 1/2 bedroom apartments however, featuring a kitchenette, would be a great choice for this.
Day and night time entertainment in Costa Teguise is plentiful; a short walk from the Galeon Playa will bring you to an excellent pirate ship playground, a small amusement arcade, shops, bars and restaurants. The central square is a 10-minute walk away and a hub of activity. Hosting a weekly market (Sunday), a whole host of restaurants and cocktail bars, together with a modern shopping area.
Authentic Spanish cuisine is still possible to find among the many European restaurants offering everything from British fry-ups to BBQ ribs. A great source of information for entertainment, dining and activities can be found on the Costa Teguise community Facebook group.
Food and drink in resort is reasonable; a cocktail will set you back between €5-7, large beer €3, breakfast €5-7 and a main evening meal €12-15. As a family with two young children, the decision to go Half Board allowed us to please even the pickiest of eaters!
What to expect from a winter sun holiday in Lanzarote (and what to pack!)
Temperatures in Lanzarote in January and February reach 23-24 degrees in the daytime but night time temperatures drop to 12-14 degrees.
Although chilly after sunset, the days can feel very pleasant, and it is possible to enjoy pool and beach days. My advice would be to do your research thoroughly and book a hotel with a heated pool, this will make all the difference. While the sea water is very chilly in February, a wetsuit is a great way to still experience it. For keen swimmers, be sure to pack your snorkel - the sealife, particularly around the lagoon at Playa del Jablillo is incredible.
The benefit of a winter sun holiday in Lanzarote with kids is of course, the mild temperatures, perfect for younger children and those that do not enjoy the blistering heat of the summer months. You will still need factor 30 suncream for children and plenty of light layers. The wind in the Canaries is well known and can take the edge of the heat, so it is advisable to pack warmer clothes especially for the evenings, plus a thin raincoat in case of rain.
Sensible footwear is a must when travelling to Lanzarote. As the weather won’t be sunny all the time, you will be tempted to walk further and explore more. There are plenty of walks within the resort of Costa Teguise itself; along the waterfront, to the Aquarium and even as far as the Waterpark. Due to the volcanic nature of the island, the beaches can be rocky in parts and good shoes are recommended for all the major tourist sites including Timanfaya National Parks and the Caves.
Costa Teguise, a great base to explore Lanzarote
While it is possible to spend the whole holiday enjoying just the resort of Costa Teguise; it’s Sunday market, beaches and resort centre, the island of Lanzarote is worth exploring too.
Although small, just 37 miles by 10 miles, Lanzarote packs a punch and the influence of the Island's famous architect, Cèsar Manrique, has shaped what we see today. From the 1960s, until his death in 1992, Manrique designed many of the resorts' and their buildings along with quirky art installations, and now popular tourist attractions.
The roads on the island are good, and it easy to navigate Lanzarote in just a day. Car hire can be pricey however, and maybe worth organising in advance, to guarantee a cheaper rate than booking in resort. Instead of hiring a car on this occasion, we chose a full day tour of the Island with Lanzarote Guides, which incorporated the main highlights of the Island, at a cost of £175 for a family of four.
Our tour was by air conditioned coach with an English speaking tour guide; we were collected from our accommodation at 8.45am and dropped back at the apartments at 4.30pm. We booked the tour the day before, as the weather didn’t look great, and found this easy via the Get Your Guide online booking system, with vouchers issued via their app. We found the whole process smooth and efficient, it represented great value for money, and we were able to efficiently see most of the island sights without having to queue at attraction or argue about directions!
Lanzarote is the fourth largest island in the Canaries, just 80 miles from the coast of North Africa and is home to over 200 extinct volcanoes. It’s moon-like surface can feel stark and desolate in parts with its rich, volcanic ash soil and towering chain of volcanoes shadowing the coastal resorts.
Our tour took us to most of the major sights including the lunar landscape of the Timanfaya National Park, the Valley of a Thousand Palms, and the incredible cave system at Cueva del los Verdes and Jameos del Agua. Although this tour would not be suitable for those with children in prams or those with walking difficulties, due to the nature of the underground cave systems, there are other day tours and boat trips that can accommodate.
My tips when visiting Lanzarote
- Pack for all weathers! The days can be mild and warm but also wet and windy. A light waterproof coat/jacket for the evening is essential, as well as plenty of layers.
- Although the sun isn’t as strong in February, still pack factor 30 for kids and at least factor 15 suncream for adults.
- Do your research and pick a hotel with a heated pool, it’ll make all the difference. The sea water is very chilly in February, so a wetsuit maybe a great way to still experience it.
- Sensible footwear is a must. As the weather won’t be sunny all the time, you’ll be tempted to walk further and explore more. There are lots of great playgrounds for kids dotted along the seafront and cafes to stop for coffee/ice cream.
- Consider hiring a car in advance for the duration of your stay, with collection from the airport. It will no doubt work out cheaper than booking an ad hoc day in resort. Alternatively day trips are a reasonable alternative as well as bike hire.
- Check your paperwork! UK passports must have 6 months from the date of expiry (within 5/10 years of being issued). For those double vaccinated, Spain only requires a passenger locator form to be completed within 48 hrs of arrival. Print this off for ease. Always check the FCDO website for current information on travelling and entry requirements, based on your vaccination status.
- In Spain (at the time of writing - Feb 2022), all ages must wear a mask in shops, bars and restaurants until seated. This rule also applies to children and strictly enforced in our complex, especially while in the restaurant.
• On arrival at Arrecife, we had our passports checked before our passenger locator forms, then we had our temperature taken and I was also pulled to the side for a random check of my vaccination status. We had printed all paperwork for ease and this certainly speeded up the process.
• Consider your board basis, room type and entertainment programme when booking accommodation. There really is somewhere for everyone! Choose your accommodation based on your family requirements and priorities. Check ahead for age requirements and opening times of kid’s club before booking.
Fancy reading more?
If the Canaries appeals, and you'd like to hear more from Girl About, why not read Tori's fabulous and information-packed guide to enjoying a family holiday on the island of Tenerife.