Sailing the Beautiful Waters of Lanzarote
The history of sailing in Lanzarote goes back a long way with the Canary Islands having been an important staging point for voyages from Europe to the newly discovered Americas. In the 15th century, galleons of the Spanish fleet would sail this far south from Spain to take advantage of the north easterly trade winds as they developed trading routes to the colonies of the New World.
Today, Lanzarote is still used as a stop-off point for adventurous sailors and transatlantic racing fleets heading for America and the Caribbean. But the island also offers excellent sailing opportunities around its beautiful, rugged coastline. The deep azure of the ocean provides a striking contrast to the whitewashed houses of the coastal villages and the varying hues of the surreal volcanic landscape.
As you sail through the crystal-clear Atlantic waters, you can see the coast with its deep ravines, small coves, towering cliffs, black sand beaches and golden shores. Keep an eye on the water and you might be lucky enough to spot one of the several species of dolphins or whales that migrate past the island. Even spectacular flying fish can be seen if you're extremely fortunate.
Places to Visit
When you take to the water, Lanzarote offers some stunning locations that should be on your must-visit list.
The several beaches of Papagayo are nestled along the isolated south eastern coast of the island and feature fine white sand with clear, emerald green water lapping at the shore. Anchoring off these sheltered beaches gives you the opportunity to enjoy some water sports, or just enjoy the scenery.
Just along the coast from Puerto del Carmen and Puerto Calero is the small village of Playa Quemada, which means burned beach. In this area, you can imagine what Lanzarote was before the arrival of mass tourism. There are more goats than people and the local restaurants on the beach serve the freshest fish.
Isla de Lobos
Located to the northeast of Fuerteventura is Isla de Lobos, which translates to Island of Wolves. This small island is named after the monk seals, also known as sea wolves, which were the only inhabitants when the Spanish conquistadores arrived in the 1400s. Sadly, the seals are long gone, but the island's special protection area status makes it a haven for many types of birds and more than 130 plant species.
Now officially the eighth Canary Island, La Graciosa lies a short distance to the north of Lanzarote. With only 700 people, very few vehicles and no tarmac roads, visiting this island is like stepping back in time. Boat access is via the small harbour in Caleta de Sebo or a sheltered anchorage along the coast.
One of the best and most fun ways to experience sailing in Lanzarote is to book a trip on the Ocean Lady, a 12-metre luxury sailing catamaran. The boat, based in the marina at Puerto Calero, hosts a maximum of 12 people, meaning a more personalised experience than larger vessels can offer.
On a Papagayo cruise, the skipper will head along the coast, under sail when possible, to give you a true Lanzarote sailing experience. After going around the southernmost point of the island, you can look out for the beautiful Papagayo beaches. The boat will anchor off one of the beaches where the fun really starts.
You can enjoy a swim and have a go at kayaking or paddle boarding if you're feeling active. If you want to get closer to the marine life, pick up a snorkel and mask. Head under the water and you'll find myriad fish taking cover in the shade of the boat. They'll part like a curtain as you swim through and recongregate in your wake.
Alternatively, stay on board, grab a cold beer and let the boat gently rock you into the ultimate state of relaxation as you soak up the sun. When the time comes, you'll head slowly back along the coast to Puerto Calero Marina.
Private Boat Rental
The Ocean Lady is also available to charter for private parties and groups for 2-, 4-, 6-, or 8-hour cruises with a choice of destinations. For an extra special occasion, you can take a cruise in a luxury Sunseeker to any of the recommended locations. If you prefer to be in control, you can rent a self-drive boat.