What to buy in Lanzarote? A day of shopping on the island
In addition to its unique scenery, its attractive heritage and outstanding cuisine, Lanzarote has shops for all tastes. Once you’ve explored the whole island visiting its main sites and relaxed on its gorgeous beaches, perhaps it’s time to go shopping so you can go home with a souvenir from Lanzarote. What’s more, it is well known that the Canary Islands has very low VAT, which is why many tourists make the most of their stay on the archipelago to update their wardrobe or get their hands on specific items. That said, it is worth bearing in mind customs restrictions, so that you don’t get an unpleasant surprise on your way home.
So… What is there to buy in Lanzarote?
Whether you’re thinking of getting a present for a loved one or if you simply want to take a special souvenir from the island, a good option is to head to Lanzarote’s artisan shops in search of a traditional item. In this regard, lace and rag dolls decked out in traditional dress particularly grab the attention, as well as idols made from ceramic.
Jewellery made from local materials such as volcanic lava, one of the elements that best exemplifies the history and distinctiveness of Lanzarote’s geography, also stand out. Likewise, the island boasts earrings, bracelets and necklaces made from olivine, a mineral notable for its highly attractive greenish tones.
Some opt to take home one of the island’s traditional sombreros conejeros—also called sombreros de Lanzarote—identifiable by their brim, which, instead of being straight, is more slanted to keep the sun off your face. The local custom is to wear it with a handkerchief tied beneath the chin. If you’re set on buying some of Lanzarote’s crafts, possibly the best place to do so is at the Casa Museo del Campesino, as a visit to this Centre of Art, Culture and Tourism in Cabildo will also help you to get a better understanding of the production, construction and artisan traditions of its people.
Likewise, the island’s cosmetics, especially those made with aloe vera, are renowned for their quality while being affordable. The same can be said of gastronomic produce, which we can share with friends and family upon our return in order to continue savouring the authentic flavours of the island’s cuisine. Among them are exquisite wines, different varieties of mojo—the Canary Islands’ most famous green sauce—tasty cheeses and even more exotic specialities, such as cactus jam.
Finally, many shops sell objects related to Lanzarote’s most famous artist, the mythical César Manrique. Nevertheless, the best place to buy books, posters or souvenirs of this celebrated artist hailing from Lanzarote is without a doubt the shop at the César Manrique Foundation, a must-visit institution for grasping his important legacy, located in the town of Tahíche.
What are the main shopping areas on the island?
Most of Lanzarote’s commerce is located in its capital, Arrecife, and in the coastal towns with the highest influx of tourists. A great way to discover the island’s shopping options is to head to the Arrecife Tourist and Craft Market, held on the central Plaza de las Playas next to the parish of San Ginés and the city council, on Saturday mornings between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. What’s more, once you’ve wandered around the countless stands, you can have a beer or soft drink on the terrace of one of the bars in the centre. Beyond this, the best shops in the capital are found in the area around Calle León y Castillo, Calle Fajardo and Calle Canalejas.
The other great weekend market is held on Sundays in Teguise, a beautiful town in the centre of the island with more than 400 stands occupying a large part of the urban area. At the Teguise market you can buy everything from food to jewellery, as well as clothes, shoes, electrical gadgets and much more.
In addition to this, the following towns offer something for tourists:
- Costa Teguise. The majority of the shops are in front of Las Cucharas beach, although they mostly sell swimming costumes and equipment for water sports.
- Puerto del Carmen. Most of its shops are located along the lengthy Avenida de las Playas. In terms of its size the shopping here rival that of Arrecife, however, shops in Puerto del Carmen are more geared towards tourism than in the capital, where they have been able to preserve their character.
- Playa Blanca. Situated in the south of Lanzarote, the town also has a wide variety of shops in front of the sea, the majority found on Calle Limones and the street that it runs into, Avenida Papagayo.
Looking for a shopping centre in Lanzarote?
Below is a list of some of the options that you will find on the island if you’re after a shopping centre:
- Marina Lanzarote. This modern complex is the best option for tourists in the capital, as it is close to the centre of Arrecife. Its location is largely due to its developers’ plans for it to be a gateway to the island from the Atlantic Sea.
- Biosfera Plaza. 15 minutes away from Arrecife by car, in the tourist area of Puerto del Carmen, is this completely open-air shopping centre. In fact, it also has the first open-air cinema on the island.
- Deiland. Next to Lanzarote airport, just 5 kilometres away from the Arrecife, it houses over 60 establishments, including the biggest fashion brands in addition to eateries, cinemas and supermarkets.
As you can see, the volcanic island has shops for all tastes and all budgets. What souvenir are you going to take away with you?