El Golfo in Lanzarote is a charming old fishing village surrounded by a breathtaking volcanic landscape. The southwest of the island was profoundly impacted by the Timanfaya eruptions in the 18th century, which created the most unique color contrast and captivating formations that you won’t find elsewhere.
While enjoying local gastronomy is one of the best things to do in Lanzarote, there are also other attractions on the island that deserve your attention. We have visited Lanzarote several times, and we always rent a car and save a day to visit El Golfo; not just for how beautiful is this village but also for all the exciting places around El Golfo, Lanzarote.
If you haven’t yet planned your itinerary for visiting El Golfo, worry not! In this guide, I will provide you with all the information about the best places, restaurants, and hotels to make the most of your time while exploring its dreamlike landscapes. Let’s get started!
1. Charco de los Clicos, one of the best places to visit in El Golfo, Lanzarote
Charco de los Clicos is undoubtedly the highlight of the island. The El Golfo green lagoon in Lanzarote has gained popularity across the world due to its color which is caused by a species of algae that lives within it, and to the high sulfur content of its waters.
The lagoon formed within the crater of a volcano, giving rise to a landscape with extraordinary features and a mesmerizing contrast of red, black, and green hues that you can’t find just anywhere. Over hundreds of years, erosion by the nearby Atlantic Ocean has sculpted captivating shapes in the surrounding relief.
To visit the green lagoon in Lanzarote, follow the path starting from the town of El Golfo, where you can park your car. Along the way, you will enjoy a panoramic view and a fantastic vantage point to appreciate the lagoon’s beauty from above. From there, you can continue along the same path and get down to the beach for a closer look.
2. Visit the village, the best thing to do in El Golfo
El Golfo, Lanzarote is a charming and picturesque destination for many visitors who prefer to avoid the bustling tourist areas of the island. El Golfo maintains its fishing tradition and offers a serene atmosphere and great weather all throughout the year. With a handful of streets, white houses, and fishing boats, the village provides a captivating view of the sea and a glimpse into the local way of life.
Taking a leisurely stroll along the promenade is one of the best things to do in El Golfo, Lanzarote. The walk becomes even more magical during sunset when the town offers a stunning display of colors in the sky.
You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most recommended restaurants in Lanzarote, where you can savor fresh fish dishes while enjoying the ocean view. But if you want to fully immerse yourself in the local culinary culture, make sure to try traditional Canarian cuisine like wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce.
3. Playa del Paso, the best beach to visit in El Golfo, Lanzarote
El Paso Beach in El Golfo is a black sand beach, an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts. To get to this beach you need to hike the Ruta del Litoral, one of the best hiking routes in Lanzarote, where you can enjoy a tranquil environment away from the tourist crowds.
If you’re up for a lazy day at the seaside, we suggest you pick one of the other beaches in Lanzarote, because El Paso Beach is known for its strong waves. While it may not have lifeguards or state-of-the-art facilities, the beach rewards visitors with breathtaking volcanic landscapes, especially during sunset.
4. Hike the Ruta del Litoral, a fun thing to do in El Golfo, Lanzarote
The Ruta del Litoral is a hiking trail in El Golfo that takes you through the breathtaking Timanfaya National Park. This route starts from the parking lot at the end of the town, heading north, and leads you to Playa del Paso, which I mentioned earlier.
The hike is approximately 4 miles long and takes around 3 hours. It’s the perfect choice for your afternoon plan, especially just before sunset. Of course, you’ll want to add some extra time for taking photos and appreciating the beauty of these unique landscapes.
The trail is relatively easy and pretty flat. Every few miles you will see informative signs to guide visitors, making it a great activity to enjoy with family or friends. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning turquoise waters, black sand terrain, and impressive cliffs that will leave you speechless.
While you can go on the hike on your own, we recommend booking a spot in advance for a guided tour on the park’s official website. This way, you can join a knowledgeable park ranger who will share interesting details about the area’s geology and the unique species that inhabit it.
For instance, throughout the hike, we learned from our tour guide that this is one of the few places where the critically endangered Cory’s Shearwater nests. And the best part is that the tour is completely free.
5. Playa del Charco de Los Clicos, the most beautiful beach in El Golfo
Charco de los Clicos beach is one of my favorite beaches in El Golfo and it should be part of your itinerary. It sits right next to the famous green lagoon in Lanzarote known as Charco de Los Clicos, which has become a popular attraction.
This 1,000-foot-long beach boasts black sand, similar to others in the area, but with an extra special feature; it is surrounded by volcanic rock formations with vibrant red tones, creating a stunningly picturesque landscape.
It’s a good idea to take some time to relax in this tranquil environment and admire the striking contrast of colors in the surroundings. And if you’re a photography enthusiast, you absolutely can’t miss capturing the beauty of this beach. Keep in mind that if you’re looking to swim, it’s better to opt for another beach since the strong waves here can be quite dangerous.
6. Montaña Bermeja Beach, a unique place to visit near El Golfo
Montaña Bermeja Beach is a hidden gem near El Golfo comprised of several small coves surrounded by a stunning volcanic setting. No matter when you visit, the beach is typically quiet, offering a peaceful atmosphere where the sound of crashing waves prevails.
Keep in mind that the beach doesn’t have any facilities or shops, so make sure to bring everything you need. Luckily, there’s a convenient parking lot near the beach entrance, and it’s just a short 0.3-mile walk from the road to reach the beach.
So, if you want to experience this dreamlike landscape with its black sand, turquoise waters, red reliefs, and the striking silhouette of Bermeja Mountain overlooking it all, head to Montaña Bermeja Beach. Just remember, if you plan to swim or surf in El Golfo Lanzarote, be cautious as the currents can be strong and unpredictable.
7. Los Hervideros, something different to see in El Golfo, Lanzarote
El Golfo village in Lanzarote offers tons of natural attractions that will leave you in awe, and one of them is Los Hervideros. This remarkable natural phenomenon has been shaped by the relentless pounding of waves against volcanic cliffs, resulting in intricate cracks and caves of various sizes. It’s a captivating spectacle that draws many curious visitors to El Golfo.
With each advance of the sea, the cavities fill with water, causing explosive bursts that can reach several feet in height. The sound produced by these impacts is thunderous and creates an exciting sensory experience like no other.
This magical site is located in Yaiza, south of El Golfo, and is part of the Volcanoes Natural Park. It’s easily accessible from the road to El Golfo, so don’t miss out on these breathtaking views.
8. Visit Timanfaya, a famous place to visit near El Golfo, Lanzarote
Timanfaya National Park is an absolute must-see near El Golfo and one of the most renowned national parks in Spain. Within this protected area, you’ll encounter awe-inspiring geomorphological formations that were shaped by powerful volcanic eruptions spanning over 7 years.
Exploring Timanfaya feels like stepping into another world, where the relief showcases a stunning array of red, black, ochre, and orange hues, resembling a vibrant painting. You can explore the park by taking a bus tour, which is one of the best excursions in Lanzarote, and visiting the magnificent Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains).
Alternatively, you can opt for a guided walking tour. We’ve tried both options on separate trips and really enjoyed them both. Another option is to take a camel ride, although we don’t recommend it. It is possible to fully enjoy the park without relying on animal rides.
If you visit Timanfaya, you should also try one of the most curious restaurants in Lanzarote, El Diablo Restaurant. Here, they cook using the volcanic heat from underground, offering a truly exceptional dining experience. If you’re unsure about planning your trip, check out the best Lanzarote volcano tours to Timanfaya and make the most of your time there.
9. Salinas del Janubio, another incredible attraction near El Golfo
One of the fascinating sights to explore near El Golfo is the Salinas del Janubio, a protected natural area where some of the finest salts in the world are extracted. The salt flats offer a captivating view with their intricate patterns and vibrant colors, showcasing the harmonious blend of natural elements.
This site held great significance for the island’s economy, particularly in preserving fish during the marketing process. That’s why it has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
If you’re planning to visit Los Hervideros or Charco de los Clicos, make sure to include Salinas del Janubio in your itinerary. It’s close and totally worth the visit. Also, don’t forget to check out this place at sunset, as the flooded salt flats create beautiful reflections and offer a cinematic effect that will last in your memories forever.
10. Visit Los Charcones, something to do near El Golfo with children
Los Charcones is a fantastic spot for families to cool off and enjoy a swim. This gem near El Golfo is not as crowded with tourists as some of the other beaches in Lanzarote, and it is primarily known to locals.
The natural pools in Lanzarote form when the tide recedes, so be sure to check the tide schedule before heading there to ensure there will be optimal conditions for sightseeing. At low tide, you can witness volcanic formations getting filled with water, creating an ideal space to have fun with the little ones.
Los Charcones is situated between El Golfo and Playa Blanca, although the path may lack clear signage. To get there, locate the abandoned hospital near Red Mountain, west of the Pechiguera lighthouse, and follow the dirt path alongside it. The journey might be a bit challenging, but rest assured that it’s well worth the effort.
Where to stay in El Golfo, Lanzarote
El Golfo may be a small town, but you don’t have to worry about accommodation. Here are some great places to stay in Lanzarote that are worth considering:
- El Hotelito del Golfo: A charming and elegant hotel where you’ll feel right at home. This place is one of the best hotels in El Golfo, Lanzarote that offers guests lots of features like a large terrace with sun loungers and umbrellas, an outdoor pool, and stunning views of the Lanzarote mountains.
- Casa Rural Caletón del Golfo: These apartments, located in the heart of El Golfo, Lanzarote, offer kitchens and living room facilities. Guests can enjoy a private beach area and cool off in the outdoor pool on hot days.
- Mana EcoRetreat: Considered one of the best rural hotels in Lanzarote, Mana EcoRetreat is situated in the small town of Las Breñas. Its location is perfect if you’re interested in visiting the beautiful Playa Janubio.
- Timanfaya Casa Rural: Located in Yaiza, this accommodation is ideal for exploring La Geria as well as other attractions in town. The rooms are simple but offer mountain views, and there’s a terrace where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic vistas.
Where to eat in El Golfo, Lanzarote
El Golfo is renowned for its excellent dining options. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in El Golfo, Lanzarote:
- Casa Rafa Restaurant: Known for its extensive menu of starters and dishes to suit all tastes, Casa Rafa specializes in an excellent variety of rice dishes. You can also indulge in their grilled fish or seafood, all while enjoying the beautiful sea views from their lovely terrace.
- El Caletón: Situated right on the beachfront, El Caletón offers a rustic ambiance and a spacious panoramic terrace. Don’t miss their seafood and fresh fish, which are always a hit. We personally loved the mussels and Galician octopus, but they also offer four tempting types of paella.
- Bogavante Restaurant: Bogavante is one of the best restaurants in El Golfo, Lanzarote that offers a wide variety of fish and shellfish at affordable prices. They also boast an extensive selection of wines from the La Geria wineries. If you’re unsure which one to choose, the Malvasia Seco is always a safe bet.
Map of El Golfo, Lanzarote
Below is a map of El Golfo where you can locate the attractions I mentioned earlier. If you’re curious about the rest of the island, you can also take a look at our Lanzarote tourist maps.
And that wraps up the best things to do in El Golfo, Lanzarote. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience of traveling to one of the best Canary Islands, feel free to leave a comment below. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
Have a wonderful time in El Golfo!