Renting a Car in Lanzarote: 12 Key Things to Know Before you Hit the Road!

a car on a road in lanzarote driving off into the distance towards a viewpoint in the background

With views quickly shifting from pitch-black lava fields dotted with green grape vines to the cerulean coastline, Lanzarote has so much landscape diversity that it’s hard to fathom.

This island of just 326 square miles — just a hair larger than New York City — offers so many different types of landscapes on this little speck of an island in a wild ocean.

Renting a car in Lanzarote is the best way to reach all corners of the island, as nothing is really that far apart.

playa janubio, a black sand beach in lanzarote wtih blue ocean next to black volcanic sands

In fact, you can do Lanzarote road trip in just a few days and cover its most important sights, though of course, more time would always be welcomed.

Having rented a car in Lanzarote to explore it in-depth, I’m here to share the ins and outs of driving in Lanzarote, as well as a few insider tips from my experience.

Do You Need to Rent a Car in Lanzarote?

Endless road through the lava fields of Lanzarote, Canary Island, Spain

Of all the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is probably the one where you’ll need the car the most.

While public transportation is available, many places worth seeing are impossible to visit if you don’t have a car.

Although the island is not very big, especially compared to neighboring islands, renting a car in Lanzarote is extremely helpful.

If you’re renting a car in Lanzarote, you can easily explore all of Lanzarote’s key sights in three days (and if you have more time, add on a trip to La Graciosa).

Plus, having a car gives you more flexibility: you aren’t constrained by bus timetables or guided tour schedules.

As another perk, you can visit well-known spots outside of peak hours, especially if you can be an early riser on vacation (it’s tough, I know).

Is Driving in Lanzarote Hard?

Lanzarote. Beach by the ocean. Landscapes of the Canary Islands. Traveling around the Canary Islands. Travel photography. Holiday atmosphere.

Lanzarote is probably the easiest island to drive in, given the mostly flat terrain.

Forget about the winding roads in Tenerife and Gran Canaria!

Lanzarote has long, straight roads crossing the volcanic landscape and providing a relaxing driving experience.

The only problematic part about driving in Lanzarote is that a few areas don’t have paved roads.

These areas are more limited than in Fuerteventura (where renting a car is a little trickier), but still, you need to be mindful of this since rental agencies don’t allow driving on unpaved roads.

Can You Bring Your Lanzarote Rental Car to Other Islands?

volcanic landscape of lanzarote road with view

Even though the ferries connecting the Canary Islands permit the transportation of cars, rental companies do not allow their vehicles to be taken to other islands.

For example, if you plan to visit both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, you should book a car rental in each location.

In this instance, it would make sense to pick up your Fuerteventura car rental from the town with the ferry terminal, Corralejo — not the Fuerteventura airport or the island capital.

The good part is that rental prices don’t differ significantly from one island to another, so there’s no real benefit in renting a car on one island and attempting to take it to others — it’s just a minor inconvenience that is offset by the fact that you don’t have to pay the toll for bringing a car on a ferry.

Where to Rent a Car in Lanzarote

Yellow 4-wheel drive car on narrow street with white and blue buildings in Corralejo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

With the island being so small, there are fewer locations where you can rent a car in Lanzarote than on other islands.

The most popular places to rent a car are two different spots, and they’re quite close together: namely, the capital city of Arrecife, and the airport, located just a few kilometers south of the capital.

Nevertheless, you may find rental agencies also in Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen, and Costa Teguise.

You can expect to pay roughly the same for a rental car across the island, although the airport tends to have more options, especially for last-minute rentals.

That said, unless you plan on spending an outsized amount of time in Arrecife where having a car can complicate matters a bit, it’s easiest just to rent a car at the airport so you have it for the entire duration of your stay.

Cost of Renting a Car in Lanzarote

Lanzarote, Canary islands , Spain, Europe.Drone aerial view of asphalt street car road in volcanic landscape Travel in road trip immersed in Timanfaya National Park, green bushes grown volcano lava

The cost of hiring a car in Lanzarote fluctuates, but it mostly depends on the time of year, the type of car you’re reserving, and how far in advance you book.

Rental prices can range from $25 per day to over $100 per day, with the largest factor being the kind of car you rent.

In comparison to other European locations, the season that you visit Lanzarote has a lesser impact on price.

Given the consistently pleasant weather throughout the year on the islands, you can anticipate that winter prices will likely be on par with summer prices, if not higher.

The kind of car is the factor that most significantly affects the price.

Smaller, compact and economy vehicles tend to be more affordable, while bigger cars, convertibles, and SUVs come with a higher price tag.

Added features like an automatic transmission can also bump up the cost.

Generally speaking, early booking often leads to savings, as there will be more options and availability in the inventory, especially if you are looking for a specific type of car.

Key Tips for Renting a Car in Lanzarote

Get the right documents in place.

An international driving permit and car keys
Some countries need an IDP to drive! Check before renting a car.

To hire a car in Lanzarote, you’ll need a valid driving license, and sometimes an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be necessary as well.

Citizens from EU member states have the ability to drive in the Canary Islands without needing any supplementary documents.

Americans and many other citizens of countries outside of Europe are required to have an IDP as well as their regular driving license.

Typically, you’ll need a credit card as well, as it’s usually required for the deposit.

Debit cards may work sometimes, but are usually charged a very large deposit that may take a while to get refunded, vs. with credit cards, it’s typically just a hold that is placed and pending.

Of course, you’ll also need your passport or ID card if you’re from the EU (but you’d need that to get to the Canary Islands, anyway — so that’s hardly an ask).

You should also note that while legal driving age in Spain is 18, in the Canary Islands, you must be at least 21 to rent a car.

Additionally, if you are under the age of 25, be prepared for the possibility of an added young driver fee.

Be aware of what insurances you want and need.

Empty road in Lanzarote sign about cow crossing and 60 kilometer per hour speed limit with volcano in background

In Spain, including the Canary Islands, all rental cars are equipped with unlimited third-party liability insurance, as mandated by law.

Most rental vehicles also offer CDW (Collision Damage Waiver).

The CDW that comes standard usually includes a fairly substantial deductible, but there’s an option to pay more for a zero-deductible CDW and protection against theft.

While not obligatory, another insurance many people purchase is Third Party Liability, which covers damage to other people’s vehicles.

Though not an insurance per se, sometimes you may want to pay extra for roadside assistance, which provides support for non-accident-related issues such as a flat tire, lost car keys, or other mechanical problems.

If you own a credit card that extends international rental car insurance, you should carefully investigate the conditions of that particular coverage. Often, it demands that you reject specific insurances offered by the rental agency. Make sure to carry evidence of this, as rental companies might challenge it.

I usually opt for full coverage insurance when booking my rental, as it’s an affordable add-on when pre-booked (commonly around $7 per day with providers like Discover Cars) and it handles minor incidents that are more apt to occur during the rental.

Severe car damage or collisions may be rare while renting, but minor mishaps like scratches while parking, dents, or windshield cracks are more common occurrences.

Investing in full coverage insurance is a minor expense that ensures peace of mind during your travels.

Pick the right car type (and right roads).

view of the mirador del rio road with a SUV in front of you and beautiful views

Picking the appropriate car type for driving in Lanzarote is key to minimizing the stress of renting a car abroad.

First, think about the number of passengers and the how much luggage you will have.

Opting for a compact car solely to cut costs could lead to a cramped experience that you’ll want to avoid.

Given that Lanzarote’s terrain is predominantly flat, there’s no necessity to go for a particularly powerful vehicle.

Size here can actually be a disadvantage, especially when navigating narrow roads in some of the small villages and towns.

Note that driving off of any paved road has the potential to void your rental car insurance, so be careful when given the option to take a dirt/gravel road.

That said, if you choose to take any unpaved roads, a car with higher clearance can help… though, that’s at the expense of making city and village streets a little tougher to navigate!

Have an offline navigation system as backup.

stairs leading down to the playa papagayo one of the most famous golden sand beaches in lanzarote

It’s common to encounter areas with limited or no phone data while driving in more remote parts of Lanzarote.

As a result, relying solely on online maps and navigation apps might not be viable at times.

To prevent getting lost, make sure to download an offline map before your trip, or as soon as you land.

Even though navigating through the islands is generally uncomplicated, having an offline map on hand can be an invaluable aid.

Additionally, it serves as an effective method to conserve both data and phone battery life — which you’ll need to take pictures of all the beautiful scenery you’re seeing, after all.

Know a few basic rules about parking.

empty market place in Yaiza, Lanzarote, showing the parking places marked with white lines

Parking regulations in Lanzarote are fairly straightforward, consistent with the rules across the Canary Islands.

Most of the time, you won’t face difficulties in locating free parking spaces.

There are exceptions, such as highly popular tourist destinations and major cities, but generally, you’ll still have options available.

Concerning specific parking rules, look for lots marked with white lines; these are free to use.

Blue lines indicate paid parking areas, while yellow lines mean that parking is prohibited.

By keeping these three basic rules in mind, you should find parking across the islands hassle-free.

In really popular spots like Playa del Papagayo, arriving early in the morning or later in the day is typically your best bet!

Be careful with drinking and driving.

hand holding a glass of wine while looking over the volcanic terrain of lanzarote's vineyards

Lanzarote — as well as the rest of the Canary Islands and Spain as a whole — enforce strict regulations concerning drinking and driving.

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.05% — a notable difference from the American legal limit of 0.08% BAC.

As a general guideline, having one alcoholic drink with a meal and taking your time to eat can keep you within the legal limits.

If you want to drink more, do so at the end of the day once you’re ready to park the car for the night, or consider taking a guided tour like a Lanzarote wine tour so you have a designated driver.

Know the best spots to go with a car.

the landscape of timanfaya with volcanic soil and colors

Renting a car in Lanzarote allows you to drive through the impressive volcanic landscapes and otherworldly sights of Los Volcanes Natural Park, Timanfaya National Park, and La Geria.

These places are only reachable by car or with guided tours — and while there are some instances in which a guided tour may make sense, like if you’re taking a Lanzarote wine tour, it’s nice to have the freedom to not need one.

Timanfaya National Park is enclosed within Los Volcanes Natural Park, and together they offer some of the island’s most spectacular views.

You can drive through part of the parks, join guided tours, and hike up some of the ancient calderas.

La Geria is a small town known for its wine production, but what you must visit is the whole area around it, covered in unique vineyards grown on the black volcanic soil.

view of the wine fields of lanzarote with black volcanic sand and mountain and scenery

A geria is a cone-shaped hollow created in the volcanic soil to plant the vine, protecting the plant from the wind.

The endless lava fields dotted with these grape-bearing vines are a memorable sight on any Lanzarote road trip!

Lastly, you must have a car in Lanzarote to reach one of the island’s most picturesque viewpoints, Mirador del Río.

The scenic viewpoint stands at roughly 475 meters above sea level and offers a panoramic view of the coast and the small island of La Graciosa off in the distance!

Renting a Car in Fuerteventura: 13 Things to Know Before You Hit the Road!

landscapes of fuerteventura seen with road detail

With iconic landscapes quickly shifting from sand dunes like the Sahara to volcanic terrains like Hawaii to Caribbean-esque beaches, Fuerteventura is an intensely varied island with so much crammed into a small little patch of land.

Though it’s possible to visit without a car, I’m adamant that renting a car in Fuerteventura gives you the most freedom.

⌛ Planning your Fuerteventura trip in a hurry? Here are my quick picks.

🏝️ Best Fuerventura Tours & Experiences
1. Cofete Natural Park 4X4 Jeep Tour (helps you not damage your rental car)
2. Catamaran Tour of Lobos Island (cannot get there by car)
3. Dolphin & Whale Watching Tour (drive to Morro Jable first!)

🛏️ Best Fuerteventura Hotels
1. Hotel El Mirador de Fuerteventura (mid-range beachfront hotel)
2. El Olivar (epic villa for families and large groups)
3. Casa Rosy (central apartments with kitchenette)

🚘 Planning to travel around Fuerteventura independently? Look into car rentals in Fuerteventura.

This way, you’ll have those wild beaches, Martian-esque landscapes, and picturesque remote villages all at your fingertips and on your own schedule.

Having rented a car in Fuerteventura to explore the island, I’m here to share the ins and outs of driving here.

I’ll share both the rules of the road as well as a few insider tips from my experience.

Curvy road through the dunes of Corralejo, Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, Spain.

I’ve compiled all my tips for renting a car in Fuerteventura to share with you before your trip, including tips on driving in Fuerteventura (and places to watch out for!)

Ready? Let’s get started!

Can You Explore Fuerteventura Without a Car?

aerial view through the dunes of playa alzada on one side

Traveling around the Canary Islands without a car is possible, but renting a car in Fuerteventura has a few advantages.

First, you can drive to places that can be hard or impossible to reach by bus, like certain hiking trails in Fuerteventura.

Although the island generally has decent public transportation, buses can’t get everywhere — and they’re also slow to do so.

Secondly, having a car allows you more flexibility — it’s what makes shorter trips like this 3 or 4 day Fuerteventura road trip possible.

You don’t have to stick to bus schedules and can reach popular places at times like sunrise or sunset when they are free of crowds.

Lastly, you can book unique accommodations in more remote places, rather than being stuck in city centers.

a remote part of fuerteventura near tindaya volcano

In short: yes, you should rent a car in Fuerteventura if you want to venture outside the few big cities and explore anything inland, to the south, or on the western coast.

Although public transportation works well along the eastern coast, buses rarely reach the inland and southernmost part of the island.

Renting a car in Fuerteventura allows you to explore remote places, be more flexible with your schedule, and even spend the night in areas you couldn’t reach by bus.

Cost of Renting a Car in Fuerteventura

White off road vehicle in the outback of Fuerteventura Canary Islands exploring the country site.

The price of renting a car in Fuerteventura can vary greatly depending on a few factors, but primarily A) seasonality B) car type you’re booking and C) how far in advance you’re booking.

To give you a range, a rental car on Fuerteventura can cost anywhere from $25 per day to even over $100 per day. And yes, that’s a wide range, but it accurately reflects the different car types and variance in season.

I use Discover Cars for rentals in Fuerteventura since it allows me to check a variety of rental car prices all at once, because it looks at over 500+ companies (including small local agencies with better prices and terms) to find the cheapest price.

As a general rule, you will usually save money by booking early when there is the most inventory and choice, although there is a chance you may find good last-minute deals too.

The season you visit matters less in the Canary Islands than in other European destinations.

Since the islands have pretty excellent weather year-round, you can expect the prices in winter to be the same as in summer… if not higher!

The thing that makes the most difference in price is the car type.

Compact and economy cars are the cheapest, while large cars, convertibles, and SUVs are more expensive.

Features like automatic transmission will also increase the price — sorry, Americans who can’t drive manual cars, you’ll have to eat the price difference here!

Can You Bring Your Fuerteventura Rental Car to Other Islands?

Asphalt road running through the picturesque landscape of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Although the ferries that connect the Canary Islands allow boarding cars, rental agencies don’t permit taking the vehicle to other islands.

What that means for travelers is that if you plan on visiting multiple islands, say like visiting both Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, know that you must rent a car separately on each island.

In that case, you’d rent a car on Lanzarote separately, perhaps picking up near where the ferry drops you off.

The good news is that rental costs don’t vary much from one island to the other, so there is no advantage in renting the car on one island and taking it to the others.

If anything, it’s just a slight hassle, but you’ll probably save money overall, considering that you don’t need to pay the car toll on the ferries.

Tips for Renting a Car in Fuerteventura

Be sure you have all the right documentation.

Road in Morro Jable town with palm trees growing nearby, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

To rent a car in Fuertventura, you will need a valid driving license and sometimes an International Driving Permit (IDP) as well.

EU member state citizens can drive in the Canary Islands without additional documentation.

However, the majority of outside-the-EU citizens, including US travelers, must have an IDP alongside their license.

You will also likely need a credit card; though some rental companies may accept debit card payments, most will require a credit card for the deposit.

You will also need your passport or national ID (for EU citizens) — be sure the names match on the passport/ID and the credit card.

Lastly, although the driving age in Spain is 18, you must be 21 to rent a car in the Canary Islands.

Furthermore, you can expect to pay an extra fee (a young driver surcharge) if you’re under 25.

A higher minimum age may apply for some cars, so always double-check before booking.

Be aware of what insurances you want or need.

Road passing through rough landscape of Fuerteventura, Canary islands, Spain.

All rental cars in Spain, including the Canary Islands, include unlimited third-party liability insurance, which is required by law.

In addition to this, most rental cars come with CDW (Collision Damage Waiver).

The included CDW usually comes with quite a high deductible, but you can always pay extra for zero-deductible CDW and theft protection.

Third Party Liability is another type of insurance you can buy but is not mandatory. This covers material damages caused to other people’s vehicles.

Lastly, though not proper insurance, you can add roadside assistance, which covers issues like a flat tire, losing the car keys, or other problems with the car not caused by an accident.

Note that if you have a credit card that provides international rental car insurance, you’ll want to research the terms of your specific policy, as it almost always requires that you decline certain insurances that the rental agency offers.

Be sure to have documentation about this to back it up, as it’s my experience that rental agencies often push back on this.

Typically, I buy full coverage insurance when I’m booking my rental, as it’s a small added amount when you pre-book it (usually around $7 per day if booked with Discover Cars).

Why full coverage? Well, it covers the little things that are a lot more likely to happen during your rental period.

It’s rare that you’ll severely damage your car or have a collision while you’re renting, but things like scratching a car while parking, denting your car, getting your windshield cracked, etc. are a lot more likely.

Having full coverage insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Also, keep in mind that car rental insurance covers your car, not your health or any trip interruptions that may happen as a result of car issues.

For that, you’ll want your own personal travel insurance, which luckily can be gotten for an affordable price and gives you invaluable peace of mind.

Choose your car type (and what roads you drive!) carefully.

View on difficult to access golden sandy long Cofete beach hidden behind mountain range on Fuerteventura, Canary islands, Spain

Choosing the right car type for Fuerteventura is key to stressing less during your trip.

Firstly, you need to consider the number of passengers and the amount of luggage. You don’t want to be squeezed into a compact car just to save money.

Next, the car type you choose depends on the activities you want to do. Since Fuerteventura is mostly flat, you don’t need an incredibly powerful car.

However, there are some unpaved roads in Fuerteventura, namely in the Cofete area.

If you read the fine print of your rental agreement, many specify that you can’t take your rental on unpaved roads… which would include reaching Cofete Beach.

That means that any damage you incur during your trip may not be covered by insurance or roadside assistance.

While generally the road is in good enough to drive a typical car so long as you’re careful, you might want to consider a higher-clearance car, like a large car or even an SUV.

4x4s are generally prohibitively expensive so I wouldn’t suggest that.

If you’re particularly prone to worrying, you can always not take the car all the way to Cofete.

Instead, park at Morro Jable and take the Line 111 bus to Cofete — find the schedule here — or you can take a guided 4×4 Jeep tour that includes Cofete.

Use offline navigation tools.

Road passing through Jandia peninsula at Fuerteventura, Canary islands, Spain.

Driving through areas with little to no phone reception is not unusual in Fuerteventura.

This means that online maps and navigation apps may not always work. Download an offline map as soon as you get Wi-Fi access to avoid getting lost.

Although directions are straightforward across the islands, having an offline map can be a lifesaver. Plus, it’s a great way to save data and phone battery.

Rejoice — there are no road tolls!

Scenic mountain road with volcano view near Tuineje village, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

The great news is all roads in the Canary Islands, including those on Fuerteventura, are toll-free.

Although this is not the case for mainland Spain, where highways have tolls, in the Canary Islands, you can drive on all kinds of roads for free, including highways.

Just one less thing to worry about while driving in Fuerteventura!

Know a few things about parking rules.

car parking lot near the road in desert, aerial top down view landscape from drone

Parking rules are pretty easy in Fuerteventura, as with the rest of the Canary Islands.

You will usually have no problem finding free parking spots in most places.

Exceptions include extremely popular attractions and big cities, but even there, you usually have options.

As far as rules go, if you see parking lots marked by white lines, they are free.

Blue lines mean paid parking, while yellow lines signal you can’t park there.

Remember these three simple rules, and you’ll have no problem across the islands.

Lastly, if you’re visiting popular spots like the Corralejo dunes, getting there early or late in the day is usually the way to go!

Don’t drink and drive.

two glasses of wine clinking cheers in a volcanic landscape

The Canary Islands (like all of Europe in general) are relatively strict about drinking and driving.

The legal limit is 0.05% BAC — by contrast, in America, the legal limit is 0.08% BAC, which is actually a fairly significant difference.

As a rule of thumb, having one drink with food allows you to stay within the limits, so long as you have a leisurely meal.

If you plan on drinking more, do so after you’re done driving for the day to stay safe and avoid legal issues.

You can also take a tour, like one of these wine tours of neighboring Lanzarote — there are even wine tours that depart from Fuerteventura like this one!

Pick up your rental car in the right spot.

Traveling along the most spectacular road in the island of Fuerteventura on a motor home, Canary Islands, Spain

The three most popular places to rent a car in Fuerteventura are the airport, the capital of Puerto del Rosario, and Corralejo.

Corralejo is the northernmost city on the island, as well as the the harbor for ferries to Lanzarote and Isla de Lobos (which you can’t take your car to).

You can also rent a car in the south of Fuerteventura, mainly in Costa Calma and Jandía, but you typically won’t find the best prices here.

Renting your Fuerteventura rental car at the airport provides the most diverse options, including last-minute rentals.

The prices tend to be similar throughout the island, although you may need to book in advance in less popular locations where available cars tend to be rented out fast.

Unless you plan on spending a significant amount of time in Fuerteventura’s cities, it makes the most sense to simply rent the car from the Fuerteventura airport in the first place, saving you time and energy.

Be aware of the varying road conditions.

Deserted landscape with ground road on Jandia peninsula on Fuerteventura island in Spain. A white car rides along the road to the beach with surfboards on the roof. Canary Islands.

Fuerteventura has one highway running along the eastern coast from its northern tip, in Corralejo, to the south, in Las Gaviotas.

Driving along this road is a pleasant and relaxing experience since it’s mostly straight and flat — with gorgeous views throughout to sweeten the deal.

The secondary roads reaching inland are smaller, but still easy given the lack of altitude across the island.

However, the southern tip of Fuerteventura and the western coast have virtually no paved roads.

Some small towns along the coast like Ajuy, Puertito de los Molinos, and El Cotillo, are connected by paved roads… but none are running along the coast, so you might have to backtrack quite a bit between these towns to stay on paved roads.

Playa Puertito de Los Molinos with darkish orange brown sand and white washed houses on the shore

The same is true for Parque Natural Jandía as well as some other areas inland.

While the roads in these remote areas are not necessarily difficult, it can be a little legally tricky to drive here with a rental car since driving off of paved roads is not permitted.

How much risk you’re willing to accept in terms of potentially invalidating your rental insurance is up to you, but I generally recommend staying on the paved roads as much as possible.

Know the best places to go with a rental car in Fuerteventura.

Jandia park road Fuerteventura on the Spanish canary islands with a paved road

If you rent a car in Fuerteventura, you should spend some time exploring Betancuria Rural Park, Parque Natural Jandía, and the beaches in the northwest of the island.

These areas are difficult, if not impossible, to reach by bus, so having a car to explore these parts of the island is a must.

One of my favorite parts of the island, Betancuria Rural Park is among the most spectacular places in Fuerteventura.

This park’s impressive landscapes are defined by its spectacular reddish mountains, towering volcanic cones, stunning rock formations, and gorgeous little villages like Betancuria — which was once the capital of Fuerteventura.

Parque Natural Jandía is a wild and unspoiled area in south Fuerteventura, home to spectacular, remote beaches and impressive nature.

Unfortunately, most of the park has no paved roads, but there is still much you can explore even if you don’t want to venture off-road.

persons hands holding small rock formations that look like little pieces of popcorn

Lastly, the beaches in the northwest of Fuerteventura, just a short drive from Corralejo, are impossible to reach by public transportation.

The famous Playa El Mejillón, also known as Popcorn Beach, is just a 10-minute drive northwest of Corralejo.

However, this area too is mostly served by unpaved roads, so venture here at your own risk. 

You can also walk from Corralejo, which takes about an hour, if you’re unsure about the drive.

Gran Canaria Itinerary: Your Perfect 4 Day Road Trip Itinerary [2023]

Gran Canaria is one of the eight Canary Islands, located off the Northwest coast of Africa, not far from Morocco. 

Although it’s less popular than Tenerife, Gran Canaria is an incredible destination for hiking, spectacular beaches, and great cuisine, all in a rich variety of gorgeous landscapes.

I spent two wonderful weeks in Gran Canaria on one of my trips to the Canary Islands, where I also visited Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote.

During that time, I explored the lively capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, relaxed on beautiful sandy beaches, hiked the trails in the heart of the island, visited charming little towns, and sampled tasty Canarian cuisine.

Tejeda village at Gran Canaria, Spain, on a sunny day with old-fashioned architecture and cactus

If you don’t have two weeks for your stay in Gran Canaria, don’t worry!

I’ve distilled the best of the best into this 4-day Gran Canaria itinerary combining relaxing beach time and great food with hiking, cultural visits, and a few hidden gems. 

Get ready for a packed Gran Canaria road trip itinerary allowing you to discover this island’s stunning nature and gorgeous towns.

But first, let’s quickly talk a few logistics: getting into Gran Canaria and where to stay!

Getting Into Gran Canaria

Photo of the wonderful island of Gran Canaria summer vacation, driving on a road, car rearview mirror and windy road on the coast

The Gran Canaria airport is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from the island’s capital, Las Palmas (where I suggest you stay in this itinerary).

This Gran Canaria itinerary is quite quick-paced, so it only works properly if you’ve rented a car — I suggest picking it up at the airport right away.

Plus, Gran Canaria is an easy island to drive on, so it’s even more ideal for renting a car than Fuerteventura or Lanzarote, which are more rugged.

I use Discover Cars to search for the best price on my rental cars whenever I’m traveling Europe (and beyond). 

They search through 500+ rental companies, large brands and small local agencies alike, to give you the best possible price on your rental.

They’re also very upfront with all the terms and conditions — what insurance is included, what mileage policies are, how to filter out the kinds of cars you want, etc. — and there’s no bait & switch in their pricing.

Plus, Discover Cars has their own internal rating system for all the different rental companies, so you can check past customer experiences easily, which can give you peace of mind when renting from an unfamiliar local company.

I suggest picking up your car from Gran Canaria airport for the best prices and the smoothest start to this itinerary.

Where to Stay in Gran Canaria

Las Canteras Beach (Playa de Las Canteras) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary island, Spain. One of the top Urban Beaches in Europe. 3 km stretch of golden sand is the heart and soul of Las Palmas

Las Palmas is an ideal place to base yourself, since it’s well-connected to most spots around the island.

Plus, it’s close to the airport, making this short 4 day Gran Canaria itinerary all the more convenient.

Here are a few accommodation recommendations, depending on what kind of trip you’re planning:

5 STAR STAY | The lovely Santa Catalina is designated a Royal Hideaway Hotel, part of the Barceló Resort chain. You’ll definitely feel like royalty with its regal-inspired architecture and interior design, stunning outdoor pool, rooftop bar with excellent views, and its wellness center complete with hot tubs and Turkish baths!

MID-RANGE BOUTIQUE | For a charming and elegant hotel that’s more refined than resort-like, look to Boutique Hotel Cordial Malteses. With just 27 rooms, restored to their original architecture as much as possible while being given all the modern comforts, you’re guaranteed a quiet and intimate stay. A short walk from Plaza Santa Ana, it has an incredible location too!

BUDGET-FRIENDLY BEACHFRONT | Just across from Playa de Las Canteras, you’ll find the stunning and surprisingly affordable Hotel Aloe Canteras. The rooms are minimalistic and well-designed, a little on the small side but very recently renovated so they feel modern. Some rooms even have lovely balcony views of the sea!

Day 1 of Your Gran Canaria Itinerary: Las Palmas

Spend the morning exploring Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Photo of the colorful houses in the town of San Juan, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands

Spend the morning of your first day exploring the island’s capital. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city in the Canary Islands, so there’s plenty to do. 

With its long sandy beaches, museums, walking trails, and many traditional restaurants, Las Palmas would require several days to explore fully — but we’ll make the most of what we have!

You can start the morning off right by strolling along the seaside promenade at Las Canteras Beach and stopping for a delicious breakfast.

Las Canteras Beach at Gran Canaria, Canary islands, Spain, with mountain peaks and city skyline in the distance and just a few people walking on the beach

Un Lugar Café serves great coffee and delicious baked goods, while LUWAK is the place for smoothies, bowls, and toasts.

If you want to escape the crowds, go for a walk around Playa del Confital

While this may not be the best beach to relax and swim, it’s a beautiful spot for a stroll and usually not too crowded.

From the beach, you can also go on a short and easy coastal hike to Lomo de los Dos Morros.

Small pedestrian cobblestone street with colorful facades of houses in old district Vegueta in the city of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

Another area to explore in Las Palmas is Vegueta, the city’s historical center and the first area to be developed. 

It’s one of the most colorful parts of the city, with colonial architecture and brightly painted houses, so it definitely shouldn’t be missed!

Here, you can visit the beautiful Catedral de Canarias in the lovely Plaza Mayor de Santa Ana and the Patio de los Naranjos.

Cathedral de Santa Ana de Canarias on Gran Canaria island, Spain. Historic cathedral on the Saint Ana square in Las Palmas.

If you’ve got time for a couple additional stops, check out the history museum Museo Canario, and Casa de Colón, a museum set in a former governor’s house about Christopher Columbus.

Be sure to check out the lively Mercado De Vegueta too, and stroll through the quaint Parque San Telmo.

If you stay in the area for lunch, try the tasty tapas at La Travesia de Triana or the unique dishes at Triciclo.

Visit Arucas.

the historic town of arucas with a modern sign that says "arucas" with a heart symbol on a sunny day with the town in the background

After lunch, you can spend some more time exploring Las Palmas and visiting one of the museums or get in the car and drive to Arucas

The small town is less than a half-hour drive to the west and is best known for the imposing Church of San Juan Bautista towering over the small houses of the historical center.

Given the awe-inspiring size and magnificent architecture of the church, it is often referred to as the Arucas Cathedral.

However, the church is not actually a cathedral or a basilica — just a really impressive plain old church!

Church of San Juan Bautista, Gothic Cathedral in Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain.

After admiring the beautiful church from the outside, check the inside too. Entrance is free of charge — score!

After visiting the church, explore the small town and the charming Jardín de la Marquesa, a small botanical garden with exotic plants. 

Lastly, if you’re curious about the history of rum in the Canary Islands, take a tour of Destilerías Arehucas

(Quick note for scheduling: the distillery is only open in the afternoon on Fridays. If you’ll be visiting on any other day, you may want to switch the itinerary and visit Arucas in the morning if this is something you want to do.)

Drive back to Las Palmas for dinner.

Lit up building of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at twilight, after the sun has set in the Canary Islands.

Once you’ve explored Arucas, drive back to Las Palmas in time for a sunset stroll before dinner.

In my two weeks there, I found many gorgeous sunset spots — one of my favorites is the area around Alfredo Kraus Auditorium!

For dinner, you have several options for both traditional Spanish food and international cuisines.

Head to Bochinche El Chato or Restaurante Tasca Galileo for tapas (pair it with local Lanzarote wine if you can!), El Novillo Precoz for traditional Uruguayan food, or Trattoria Pizzeria Calabrè for delicious Italian dishes.

Day 2 of Your Gran Canaria Itinerary: Dunas de Maspalomas & Puerto de Mogán

Drive to Maspalomas. 

Begin your second day of this Gran Canaria itinerary by driving south for about 40 minutes to the resort town of Maspalomas

Here, you can explore the nature preserve Dunas de Maspalomas, a vast area of over 400 hectares of dunes extending towards the coast, making you feel like you’re in a giant desert.

Before you explore the dunes, you can stop by the nearby town of Playa del Inglés to fuel up with a coffee or late breakfast. 

The town is spread along a sandy beach bearing the same name and has plenty of bars and restaurants.

I suggest stopping by Cappucino House or Calma Café, then going for a walk along the Paseo Costa Canaria, a lovely coastal pedestrian walkway.

Lastly, before you set off to actually explore the nature preserve, enjoy a gorgeous view of the dunes from Mirador Dunas Santa Mónica.

Explore Dunas de Maspalomas.

the sand dunes of maspalomas on the island of gran canaria with the ocean in the background

The easiest way to explore the impressive nature preserve is to simply walk around!

You can start near Hotel Riu Palace and meander through the dunes to Playa de Maspalomas.

The walk can take anywhere between half an hour and over one hour, and at times you will truly feel like there is nothing other than sand around for miles. 

Be aware, there are trails and you should stay on them, as walking on the dunes is no longer permitted as of 2020. 

Gran Canaria camel ride with a person guiding you through the dunes

Another exciting way of exploring the area is by joining a camel tour. This half-hour guided camel ride is a unique way of exploring the dunes (and you are just off the coast of Morocco, after all!). 

However, be sure to book ahead of time, as tours tend to sell out a few days in advance.

If you want to skip the camel ride, another great activity to try in Maspalomas is joining a surf lesson.

The area, like all of the Canary Islands, is very popular for water sports and surfing in particular, so you find plenty of surf schools around. 

You can also book this 2-hour surfing course for a fun morning activity.

Visit Puerto de Mogán.

Traditional Colorful Buildings With Boats In Front And Mountain In The Background in Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria.

After exploring Maspalomas, it’s time to visit one of the most charming seaside towns in Gran Canaria, Puerto de Mogán

To get there, you’ll just have to drive for about 20 minutes west.

Tip: If you add Puerto de Mogán on Google Maps, it may lead you to a place inland, so you’ll want to double-check that it’s the coastal spot, or type in Playa de Mogán to be sure.

The town is absolutely adorable, with its white-washed houses with brightly colored trim, a delightful marina, and a couple of small beaches. 

Romantic streets of Puerto de Mogán with white houses with colorful trim and pink flowers

As if all that wasn’t enough, Puerto de Mogán is also the ideal place to stop for a delicious seafood lunch.

Try the cozy Taberna Mar Azul or the beachfront El Pescador.

After lunch, wander around the narrow alleys filled with colorful flowers and lovely souvenir shops. It almost feels like being on a Greek island! 

If you want to spend some time at the beach, you may find that the ones close to town are a little (or a lot!) more crowded than you’d like.

For bigger beaches, drive back toward Maspalomas.

Relax on the beach at Playa de Amadores.

Picturesque Playa del Amadores) near famous holiday resort Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria on Gran Canaria island, Spain on a sunny day

You’ll notice plenty of wonderful beaches between Maspalomas and Puerto de Mogán. 

This area is very popular among Northern Europeans, so big chain hotels and resorts are all over.

Despite being such a tourist hotspot, the beaches are truly spectacular, so it’s worth spending a few hours basking in the sun, even if you have to weave through some large groups.

One of my favorite beaches in the area is Playa de Amadores.

With stunning turquoise waters, light golden sand, and a mix of beach clubs with their iconic yellow-and-blue umbrellas and free portions of beach, there’s something for everyone. 

While you’re there, you can either rent a sunbed or lay your towel on the sand and go for a swim.

Nearby, you’ll also find plenty of bars and restaurants if you get hungry or want to cool off with a refreshing drink or some ice cream.  

Have dinner in Las Palmas.

Wrinkled potatoes with mojo picón, typical dish of Canarian food, accompanied with beers, Gran Canaria, Spain

Drive back to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in time for dinner before enjoying a good night’s sleep.

I gave you a bunch of my favorite spots above for the first night, but other great restaurants worth checking out for dinner include Rincón de Triana and Amigo Camilo.

Day 3 of Your Gran Canaria Itinerary: Pico de las Nieves & Roque Nublo

Drive to Pico de las Nieves.

View from the Pico de las Nieves to the west of Gran Canaria, left Roque Nublo, behind Tenerife island with Teide volcano.

At the very center of Gran Canaria, you can reach the island’s three highest points: Morro de La Agujereada, Pico de las Nieves, and Roque Nublo

Since you’ll be traveling along winding mountain roads to get there, you should have an early start to the day. Also, be sure to bring water and food!

Start by driving from Las Palmas to Pico de las Nieves. This is the easiest peak to reach by car, roughly one hour from the capital. 

Several walking trails are also available, like the gorgeous one connecting Cruz Grande to Pico de las Nieves.

However, this trail requires nearly a full day out and back — not something you really have time for on this Gran Canaria road trip.

Pico de las Nieves is the second highest peak in Gran Canaria, after Morro de La Agujereada, which you can see from the viewpoint.

Panoramic view from the Pico de los Pozos de las Nieves. View of the city of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, in the island of Gran Canaria.

Be sure to also drive to Pico de los Pozos viewpoint for a spectacular view over the Riscos de Tirajana protected area.

You can also do the short hike to the nearby Ventana de Morro if you’re in the mood to really soak up the natural beauty of this gorgeous landscape!

To save a bit of time, I recommend driving to Pico de las Nieves, then do the shorter hike to Roque Nublo.

Hike to Roque Nublo.

Wild plant in bloom and small pine next to Roque Nublo, one of the many summits of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

After exploring the area around Pico de las Nieves, it’s time to get back to your car and drive to the Degollada de La Goleta parking lot, roughly 15 minutes away. 

This is the departure point for the 1.5-km hike to Roque Nublo, the third-highest peak in Gran Canaria and probably the most iconic one.

Roque Nublo translates to Rock in the Clouds, and it’s a 67-meter-tall volcanic rock formed by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago!

The total hike to the peak and back takes just over an hour, but you can also do a circuit trail around Roque Nublo, which takes around 45 minutes and skips the elevation gain.

Ventana del Nublo, Natural Monument Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

If you want to skip the extra hike around Roque Nublo, you can do another short but beautiful hike from Ventana del Nublo.

This hike takes roughly an hour (read this guide from my friends’ Sabrina and Kati here!), and the trailhead is only five minutes away, just before the trailhead to Roque Nublo as you drive from Pico de las Nieves.

If you choose to do the Ventana del Nublo hike, you can do it before or after Roque Nublo since you can drive back the same way to reach your next destination, Tejeda.

Drive to Tejeda.

Panoramic photograph from a park in Tejeda, one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. In the center the Church and in the background to the left Roque Bentayga and to the right Roque Nublo

Roughly half an hour from the Degollada de La Goleta parking lot, you’ll find the beautiful town of Tejeda

There are two ways to get there, circling around Roque Nublo by driving either east or west.

Choose the road you prefer depending on the sequence of the hikes you choose to do.

Tejeda is a charming town surrounded by Gran Canaria’s peaks and offers spectacular views over the mountainous area.

The historical center is small but delightful, so be sure to wander around for a while and enjoy the views.

Typical canarian house with wooden balcony in the mountain village Tejeda, Gran Canaria, Spain

When in Tejeda, you absolutely have to stop by Dulceria Nublo to buy local pastries.

The historic bakery is a popular spot among visitors, so you may need to stand in line for a bit, but it’s worth the wait. 

If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, or just want to have a late lunch instead, Tasca Bar La Dorotea serves delicious tapas.

Visit the historic town of Teror.

City street - Beautiful colorful typical spanish colonial architecture, Teror city, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

On your way back from Tejeda to Las Palmas, you can stop for a short visit to Teror, about 45 minutes from Tejeda. 

The town is among the oldest on the island, known for its colorful colonial houses and gorgeous churches.

Religion played a big part in the town’s foundation following the reported miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary in 1481, and Teror is still a popular pilgrimage spot.

Basilica Nuestra Senora del Pino and traditional houses at the main street of Teror at Gran Canaria, Canary islands, Spain.

While you explore the beautiful historical town, be sure to visit the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, and check out the lovely shops selling souvenirs and local products. 

The town boasts a variety of bars and restaurants if you want to have a coffee break or even dinner, depending on the time you get there.

However, most places are only open until late afternoon, so plan accordingly!

If you want to stay for dinner in Teror, try the tapas at La Gaveta de Cristo or Bar Nuevo Iris.

Alternatively, you can drive back to Las Palmas for a more varied choice, since the drive back only takes roughly half an hour.

Day 4 of Your Gran Canaria Itinerary: Agaete & Parque Natural Tamadaba

Drive to Agaete.

Old living houses with terraces in Agaete, Gran Canaria, Spain

After your last day spent hiking in the mountains, it’s time to relax by the sea!

Start your day by driving to Agaete, a coastal town in northwest Gran Canaria, roughly a half-hour drive from the capital.

Agaete is better known for the Puerto de Las Nieves, the harbor that connects the island to Tenerife… and better yet, its stunning natural swimming pools. 

Natural pools Las Salinas de Agaete in Puerto de Las Nieves on Gran Canaria, Spain.

The town is fairly small, so you can drive straight to the natural pools and find a good spot. And great news — access to the pools is free!

Just south of Agaete, you can explore the Tamadaba Natural Park, an area dominated by lush pine forests, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — that’s up next.

Before exploring the natural park, have lunch in Agaete or buy some food to carry with you.

If you choose to have lunch in Agaete, try the tapas at Bar Salsamora Boutique or grab a quick sandwich at Meson del Bocadillo Agaete.

Explore Parque Natural Tamadaba.

Playa de Guayedra beach, Tamadaba Natural Park on the coast of the ocean near Agaete, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

The stunning Tamadaba Natural Park extends over almost 20,000 acres between the western coast and the highlands, offering beautiful hiking trails, stunning viewpoints, and remote beaches.

You can choose between two routes to explore the area, the GC-200 running along the coast and the GC-216 in the highlands.

From Agaete, the GC-200 is the fastest and most convenient.

However, the GC-216 drives through the highest points and boasts spectacular viewpoints. 

Gran Canaria, landscape of the mountainous part of the island in the Nature Park Tamadaba, hiking route to Faneque, the tallest over-the-sea cliff of Europe

Given the limited time available on this Gran Canaria itinerary, I recommend exploring the area along the coast.

Another option is that you can also spend less time in Agaete (or wake up earlier) and do both… because why choose if you don’t have to?

Begin by driving along GC-200 from Agaete. 

The first stop is Playa de Guayedra, a remote rocky black sand beach backed by mountains.

Gran Canaria, dark volcanic sand beach Playa de Guayedra in Agaete municipality

You can climb down to the beach, only accessible on foot, or stop by Mirador de Guayedra to enjoy the view.

Keep driving south to reach one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the area, Mirador del Balcón

You can drive along the winding road GC-200 for more panoramic views or take the faster highway GC-2.

Mirador del Balcón looks over a rugged portion of the island’s coastline known as Dragon’s Tail, for, well, obvious reasons!

View of volcanic cliffs and Atlantic ocean from the lookout terrace Mirador del Balcon on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain.

From here, you can either drive back the same way to get back to Las Palmas or continue to La Aldea de San Nicolas de Tolentino for a short break before exploring the highlands of the natural park.

Grab some delicious churros at Cafetería Churrería Mis Niñas before you drive to Mirador Llanos de La Mimbre.

Along the way, you’ll pass by several stunning viewpoints, like Mirador del Molino.

Mirador del Molina at Presa del Marralillo, Artenara, Gran Canaria, Spain

The drive from San Nicolas to the parking lot near Mirador Llanos de La Mimbre takes roughly an hour, but it’s absolutely scenic the entire way. 

From there, it’s a 1.5-kilometer walk to the viewpoint.

The sunset from here is probably the most spectacular one you’ll see on the island, so I’d try to time your arrival to line up with sunset if possible.  

Lastly, drive back to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for one last dinner before ending your trip!

5 Best Lanzarote Wine Tours & Wine Tasting Experiences for 2023

A scorching hot, volcanic landscape in the middle of the ocean doesn’t seem like the most hospital landscape for winemaking — and it’s not — yet somehow, Lanzarote winemaking perseveres and endures.

The fury of past volcanic eruptions have cooled, creating a unique mineral-rich volcanic landscape that gives all its wines a unique terroir, distinct and complex.

It’s true that the island’s volcanic soil and ash have imparted something ethereal to the wines, shaping their character and flavor in a unique way that combines the fruity and floral of the grapes with the sharp minerality of the soil.

It’s one thing to try to explain it, but it’s another to taste it.

sunset in the canary islands while a person holds a glass of white wine looking out onto the unique grape fields  with a white building in the distance

Taking a Lanzarote wine tour will not only explain it but have you experience it, where you can see just how unique this island’s wines are.

The tradition of winemaking on Lanzarote is centuries-old, and it stands as a testament to the skill and creativity of the winemakers.

These creative farmers have turned the island’s geological adversities (volcanic soil, strong winds, high heat) into an advantage with some unique methods.

But what exactly are those? Let’s get into it below!

Why Is Lanzarote Wine So Special?

lanzarote wine landscape with beautiful shapes and geometry

Wine geeks will have a blast exploring the volcanic history of Lanzarote’s wine region and how that’s impacted its winemaking traditions.

Due to the harsh conditions on the island, Lanzarote’s winemaking stands out as one of the most unique vinicultural practices in the world.

Nestled in the Canary Islands (known for its harsh trade winds), this volcanic terrain is the birthplace of a viticulture that showcases human ingenuity in making the most of the island’s remarkable but challenging geological characteristics.

Of course, Lanzarote wines are special for its volcanic soil, which is mostly a mixture of ash, lava, and pulverized rock that resulted after some devastating eruptions in the 18th century drastically changed the island’s landscape.

Landscape of vineyards cultivated on volcanic soils, La Geria wine region in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

Yet that was also for the better in the long term, as the resulting volcanic soil proved surprisingly rather fertile for grape growing, with its minerals enriching the soil and imparting distinctive flavors to the grapes.

However, Lanzarote is hardly the only volcanic wine region — think of Mt. Etna and Santorini, for example, who other excellent winemaking regions that also have volcanic origins.

Where Lanzarote is unique is in its specific agricultural techniques that were developed in response to the harsh conditions, namely strong Atlantic winds and scarce rainfall.

Farmers, as always, were ingenius here: planting vines in funnel-shaped holes called gerias, with small semi-circular walls built around them to help collect the limited dew and moisture in the air and let it go to the vine’s roots.

up close detail of a geria where wine grows in a small hollow with a stone wall to protect it

The shape also protects the vines from the wind, and in general, while the practices developed independently of one another, the principle is similar to the Santorini style of grape-growing, the kouloura.

Another unique aspect of Lanzarote winemaking is that the wine producers use a form of dry farming called “enarenado”, since there’s not really any natural access to water.

But volcanic ash is very porous, retaining moisture and gradually releasing it, so somehow, despite the limited water conditions, winemaking in Lanzarote was able to drive.

Lanzarote has a handful of indigenous varietals that have adapted to the island’s harsh climate, including malvasia volcanica, a subtype of the popular malvasia grape.

From this, Lanzarote can produce all types of wine, from dry white wine to rich red wines to lusciously-sweet dessert wines.

The 5 Best Lanzarote Wine Tours and Wine Tastings

La Geria Vineyards Hiking Tour

woman walking through the volcanic landscape of lanzarote and its grape growing fields

  • 5 out of 5 stars, 70+ reviews

With a perfect rating from all who have taken the tour, it’s hard to think of a better way to try wine tasting in Lanzarote than to combine it with some light hiking around the area.

This 4-hour Lanzarote wine and hiking tour combines epic views, history, and delicious wines all in one go, bringing you to the heart of Lanzarote’s celebrated La Geria wine region.

This unique small group Lanzarote wine tour combines a guided hike through the island’s stunning volcanic scenery with a delicious exploration of flavors.

Plus, it’s tailored to be an intimate experience for a small group of just 8 participants maximum — which is great, as the hiking portion of the tour can be well-paced to suit the group’s speed.

Your journey begins with the convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off, which is great as you don’t have to consider having a designated driver — it’s all sorted for you (great if you’ve rented a car in Lanzarote).

As you hike, you’ll learn about La Geria’s vineyards, where the so-called “miracle of Lanzarote” is unveiled to you: a unique agricultural technique, born from the ashes of 18th-century eruptions that ravaged the island. 

Local farmers developed a method to cultivate vines in the volcanic soil, overcoming the challenges of scarce water resources.

The 9-kilometer guided hike through the area is nothing short of spectacular!

view from the top of the hike with landscape of lanzarote wine region all below you

Walking through the unusual vineyards, you’ll see the unique crescent-shaped stone walls that harbor the precious vines from both sun and wind.

Seeing this, you’ll begin to understand how challenging winemaking in Lanzarote is — and how spectacular it is that it exists at all. 

Climbing to the 3rd-highest peak of Lanzarote, your efforts are rewarded with panoramic views that stretch across the region.

Better yet, you can tuck into a little snack of fresh fruit and cookies, to help you re-energize for the hike back down.

But the tour’s real peak (heh!) arrives when you descend from the heights and the wine tasting begins. 

Cheers with red and white wine shining glasses in middle of volcanic vineyards in La Geria during beautiful day on spanish island Lanzarote

The dry Malvasia, a floral varietal that plays nicely with the harshness of this volcanic terrain, is the perfect way to reward yourself for a hike well down, the effort only making the wine’s crisp notes even more delightful. 

Paired with local cheese, you’ll be able to distinguish the unique tasting notes of the wines as your guide tells you more about the distinct characteristics you’ll find in a Lanzarote wine tasting.

And luckily, you can snooze off a bit on your drive back to your hotel, since the wheel is out of your hands!

2-Hour Sommelier-Led Wine Tour and Museum Visit

landscape of lanzarote wine making region with a view of a large hill in the volcanic landscape
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars, 15+ reviews

For a unique wine tasting in Lanzarote experience, indulge in a guided tour of the El Grifo Bodega led by their head sommelier!

Located close to Arrecife and the airport, this historic winery in San Bartolomé is a wonderful place to tour because it’s not only a winery but also a museum.

History is important here, after all, as it’s the oldest winery in the Canary Islands (and the fifth-oldest in all of Spain!)

This 2-hour tour is the perfect way to experience the best of Lanzarote’s wines, led by someone who lives and breathes wine — and of course, knows the local wine better than anyone else.

With nearly 250 years of winemaking history under their belts, El Grifo is one of the longest continuously-running wineries in all of Spain, with no interruptions in that entire time period.

While now a much larger operation, you can see the old winery that dates back to 1775 at the Wine Museum, giving you a true sense of how much winemaking in Lanzarote has evolved over the years. 

a view of the gerias of the landscape and a barrel and vines growing in unique formations

You’ll learn about the origins of this bodega, back when camels were the main method of transporting and harvesting grapes — nature’s tractor, I suppose!

Winemaking traditions changed drastically in the 1990s as technology became more advanced.

You’ll learn about how the winery stepped forward in some ways, while keeping its foot in past tradition for the methods that have always worked, such as its unique grape-growing techniques.

This blend of historic and modern brought Lanzarote’s wines to a new level (and made them far more accessible to the rest of the world).

After learning about the history of the winery, you’ll be led through five of the most prized wines in El Grifo’s wine catalogue, including volcanic malvasia and the unique listán negro, a Syrah grown in volcanic soil. 

Of course, what’s wine without some cheese pairing — local, from other island producers, of course!

And if you want to bring anything back with you, a discount is provided for those who take the tour (or a similar tour listed below) — and shipping is available.

1-Hour Wine Tasting and Museum Experience

volcanic landscape of lanzarote with specific style of grape growing
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars, 30+ reviews

For a budget-friendly Lanzarote wine experience, skip the full-on guided tour detailed above and take this 1-hour tour and tasting that is also hosted at Bodegas El Grifo.

You’ll learn about how winemaking has changed on Lanzarote through a tour here, and learn how traditions that were carefully nurtured over centuries saw a remarkable transformation in the 1990s. 

A visit to the El Grifo Wine Museum is a highlight of this tour. Exhibits and artifacts tell the story of how the island’s unique volcanic landscape shaped a unique winemaking landscape, growing grapes that are unlike others. 

But of course, what’s talk without something to back it up? The proof is in the tasting!

Glass bottles with white volcanic wine - malvasia, standing on vintage wooden barrels against the backdrop of the winery, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

You’ll see just how the impact of volcanic soil and ash have impacted the grapes here as you you savor three of Lanzarote’s finest wines (whereas the premium tour above lets you taste five). 

This winery is known for its malvasia and muscatel varieties, two delicate and floral varietals that flourish in the island’s volcanic soil, balance beautiful flowery aromas against a metallic minerality.

You can also try the sparkling wine unique to Lanzarote, prized for its effervescence and complexity.

And since you’ll likely want to bring some bottles home with you, luckily for you, taking this tour gives you a unique discount (and shipping is also available!) 

1.5 Hour Lanzarote Wine Tasting with Chocolate Pairing

vineyard in lanzarote with beautiful landscape around it and volcanic soil
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars, 25+ reviews

What’s better than wine? Well, wine and chocolate, of course!

This Lanzarote wine tour brings you to the vineyards of one of Lanzarote’s best wine producers, Bodegas Vega de Yuco.

You’ll take a tour of the grounds of Finca Testeina (the farm that produces the grapes), which sits right at the foot of the Testeina Volcano.

On this 1.5-hour tour, you’ll learn all about the history of Lanzarote winemaking, including the how the eruptions of Timanfaya impacted winemaking by comparing the methods before and after the eruptions.

You’ll get to stroll through the vineyards to see the peculiar but effective techniques that go into making wine in Lanzarote — the method behind the madness!

tasting of lanzarote wine with a mountain view

And of course, a Lanzarote wine tour wouldn’t be complete without a tasting, and you’ll get to try two  unique wines that are produced here, like malvasía volcánica and listán negro. 

(Note that this is less than some other tours, which include up to 5 tastings, so if variety is important to you, this may not be the best Lanzarote wine tour!)

However, on the plus side, these wines are being paired with delicious artisanal chocolates, and all the wines you’ll taste are organic!

You’ll also learn the history of the manor house on the site, which dates back to the 16th century and is an important part of Lanzarote history.

All this with epic volcano views — it’s hard to beat!

Note that this tour does not include transportation, so you’ll have to have a designated driver or limit your drinking. However, with only two tastings, it’s easy to hold back and not overindulge.

Timanfaya National Park & La Geria Tour

the landscape of timanfaya with volcanic soil and colors
  • 4.2 stars out of 5, 70+ reviews

This 5.5-hour tour is a great way to combine the chance of seeing all the sceneries of Timanfaya National Park with some wine tasting in Lanzarote, all on one tour!

You’ll learn about the geothermal activity that still defines this park while your guide shows you Hilario’s Plateau. 

Then, you’ll take a bus tour, the famous “Volcanoes Route”, accompanied by a guide who can tell you all about how the different volcanic eruptions of Timanfaya and other of Lanzarote’s volcanoes have impacted the geology and agriculture of the island. 

You’ll visit several gorgeous parts of the park, so this is a great tour for those who want to take landscape photos as well as have a wine tasting experience.

white building stark against a black volcanic landscape in an exercise in contrast

After exploring the park, you’ll visit the wine region of Lanzarote, La Geria, where you can visit a winery typical of the region to taste its delicious wines, and learn the unique agricultural history of the region as you taste.

Note that the tour includes all transportation (great as there’s no need to worry about having a designated driver!).

However, it does not include lunch, so plan to bring something along or have money set aside to grab lunch along the way. 

Lanzarote Itinerary: How to Plan a 3 or 4 Day Lanzarote Road Trip

volcanic landscape of lanzarote road with view

Out of all the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is probably the most unique and striking.

This is due in part to its arid, volcanic landscape and in other part to the impressive work of artist César Manrique, who designed several magnificent works aimed at creating harmony between nature, architecture, and art.

I spent over three months visiting nearly all of the Canary Islands, and Lanzarote is the one that stands out the most in my memory for its impressive landscape and gorgeous artwork!

cactus garden in lanzarote

Plus, there’s a good reason why the entire island was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, as the island is a great example of promoting sustainability and conservation of biodiversity!

If you ask me, you could spend well over a week exploring the spectacular landscapes and incredible museums on a Lanzarote road trip.

However, the island is a great destination also for a short trip, as it’s relatively compact and easy to visit.

The Lanzarote itinerary below is ideal for a three or four-day trip, with the fourth being an optional trip to the nearby La Graciosa Island, the smallest and, in my opinion, most delightful of the eight Canary Islands.

This itinerary for Lanzarote is designed with a road trip in mind.

Although most places are able to be reached by public transport, that would take longer, meaning less time for you to actually enjoy the sights if you have a short stay in Lanzarote! 

Getting Around Lanzarote

Long empty street between lava fields leading from Yaiza to the volcanic territory of Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

The Lanzarote airport is just 5 kilometers away from the island’s capital, Arrecife (where I suggest you stay in this itinerary), in the town of San Bartolomé.

This Lanzarote itinerary is quite quick-paced, so it only works properly if you’ve rented a car in Lanzarote (read my tips here!)— I suggest picking it up at the airport right away.

I use Discover Cars to search for the best price on my rental cars whenever I’m traveling Europe (and beyond).

They search through 500+ rental companies, large brands and small local agencies alike, to give you the best possible price on your rental.

They’re also very upfront with all the terms and conditions — what insurance is included, what mileage policies are, how to filter out the kinds of cars you want, etc. — and there’s no bait & switch in their pricing.

Plus, Discover Cars has their own internal rating system for all the different rental companies, so you can check past customer experiences easily, which can give you peace of mind when renting from an unfamiliar local company.

I suggest picking up your car from Lanzarote airport for the best prices and the smoothest start to this itinerary.

Where to Stay in Lanzarote

Coastal view of Arrecife , capital of Lanzarote,Canary Islands,Spain. Arrecife landscape background.

This Lanzarote itinerary has you staying in the capital and centrally-located city of Arrecife.

This city has a wide variety of accommodation options suitable for every kind of traveler — here are a few of my suggestions!

5-STAR SPA LUXURY | A stunning beachfront 5-star hotel, the Arrecife Gran Hotel & Spa is the ultimate place to relax, with an excellent spa (additional fee to access) with a Turkish bath, sauna, hot tub, and massage rooms. It also has an indoor pool and a gorgeous 17th floor restaurant with amazing views — it’s the tallest building on the island!

MID-RANGE HOTEL | Recently renovated last year, the mid-range Hotel Lancelot offers spacious, clean rooms with excellent views at an affordable price, with amenities like an outdoor pool, roof terrace, and fitness center. It’s also right across from Reducto Beach, so the location couldn’t be better!

SEAFRONT APARTMENT | If you prefer apartment-style accommodations, Apartamentos Islamar Arrecife is a great choice with gorgeous design. The vibe feels very boutique hotel-like, but then you have the comforts of home, like a well-equipped kitchen. The balcony views are epic and there’s even a shared hot tub!

Day 1 of Your Lanzarote Itinerary: Arrecife & César Manrique’s art

Have breakfast in Arrecife.

Beautiful quay with historic architecture and boats on blue water in Arrecife, Lanzarote, on a sunny day with just a few clouds in the sky and a spectacular view of the white-washed old town landscape

The perfect way to start your first day in Arrecife is by having breakfast at one of the many lovely coffee shops scattered throughout the old town.

Check out the charming Lemon Love or try the specialty coffee at Cafetería ANTIPØDA

You can also explore the old town for a while, but get in the car early to get to your first stop of the day.

You’ll have another chance to explore more of Arrecife in the late afternoon and evening, so don’t worry about trying to see everything right away!

Visit César Manrique’s Foundation.

volcano in background with white-washed architecture and green succulents against a volcanic landscape with a sunny day and blue sky

What really sets Lanzarote apart from the other Canary Islands is the breathtaking work of César Manrique. 

The artist and nature activist was born in Lanzarote and dedicated his life to enhancing and honoring the island’s beauty through impressive works of art and buildings.

In fact, many of the most important landmarks on the island are his creations.

Dedicate your first day of this Lanzarote road trip itinerary to discovering César Manrique’s legacy!

From Arrecife, drive to the César Manrique Foundation in the small town of Tahiche, just 15 minutes to the north.

The foundation houses the artist’s former residence along with some of his sculptures and paintings.

Manrique’s artwork seems to blend in with the surrounding nature, a characteristic you will find in all his creations. 

Visiting the foundation will give you the perfect introduction to the artist’s life and art and help you better understand his other works as your Lanzarote road trip continues.

Admire the wonderful Jameos del Agua.

After you leave the César Manrique Foundation, drive north for roughly 20 minutes to reach Jameos del Agua, another of Manrique’s creations. 

Manrique transformed this series of lava caves into a unique place where nature blends seamlessly with art for a truly striking effect.

Beautiful facilities like the auditorium, the restaurant, and the bar all work together complete this natural-meets-manmade effort.

Fun fact: Jameos del Agua is also home to a unique species of squat lobster called blind lobsters!

water in the lava cave in jameos del agua a lava tube with water in it

You can see these tiny white crustaceans in the water that partially fills the lava caves, which were formed thousands of years ago after a series of volcanic eruptions.

You can get an entry ticket exclusively for Jameos del Agua or save by getting a combined ticket for some of the island’s other attractions. 

There are six CACT centers (Centros de Arte, Cultura y Turismo) in Lanzarote, including Jameos del Agua, Jardín de Cactus, and Mirador del Río. You can buy tickets for three, four, or all six attractions.

Have lunch in Punta Mujeres.

Lanzarote scenic places. Charming Punta Mujeres traditional fishing village with floral streets and white houses

Next up, it’s time to visit Punta Mujeres, a delightful little town just south of Jameos del Agua.

You can stop here for lunch and to stretch your legs a bit before continuing your trip back to Arrecife. 

A gorgeous coastal path connects Jameos del Agua to Punta Mujeres and takes less than 30 minutes to explore.

Since you’ll likely travel by car, you can check out the trail after lunch instead of walking it all. 

Natural pools of Punta Mujeres (Lanzarote) with two people swimming in the pool next to the ocean with its waves and boats

Punta Mujeres is famous for its beautiful natural pools and lovely whitewashed houses.

If you’re looking for that perfect Instagram photo opportunity, you couldn’t ask for a better location!

Wander around town and stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants.

Try the tasty local dishes at Restaurante Tahoyo or grab a quick sandwich at Bocatería Las Salinas.

Visit the Jardín de Cactus.

 Amazing view of tropical cactus garden (Jardin de Cactus) in Guatiza village and windmill behind the cactus garden

For your last stop before going back to Arrecife, visit Jardín de Cactus, another CACT center courtesy of Manrique.

Succulent lovers will be in heaven: the garden houses an incredible 500+ species of cactus from all over the world!

Manrique chose a former landfill in an area known for its cactus plantations and transformed it into a stunning garden, combining beautiful plants and decorative elements.

The space received multiple awards for its unique mix of architecture, gardening, sculpture, and design.

Check out the first cactus planted in the garden, the Euphorbia Candelabrum, and don’t miss the little pond with its quirky sculptures and cute orange fish!

Have dinner back in Arrecife.

Arrecife Lanzarote Castillo San Gabriel castle and Puente de las Bolas bridge

End the day by driving back to Arrecife and exploring the city. 

Park the car for the night, and walk around the small historical center to soak in any sights you missed this morning.

Stroll along Parque Jose Ramirez Cerda and cross the river to Castillo de San Gabriel to watch the sunset.

If you have any time left before dinner, check out the Church of San Ginés and the wonderful art collection at Casa De La Cultura Agustín de la Hoz, which stays open until 8 PM. 

For dinner, try the tapas at Bar Andalucia 1960 or the tasty dishes at Restaurante El Nido.

For vegan options, head to The V Factor.

Day 2 of Your Lanzarote Itinerary: Parque Natural de los Volcanes and Timanfaya 

Volcanic landscape at Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote Island, Canary Islands, Spain

Parque Natural de los Volcanes is a spectacular hiking area with unique landscapes. 

The park is free to access and surrounds the Timanfaya National Park.

The latter is accessible exclusively on foot, by camel (yes, really!), or on organized bus tours and has an entry fee.

If you don’t want to explore the natural parks by yourself, you can also join a guided tour.

Several tours are available year-round, like the half-day Timanfaya National Park Volcanic Craters Tour or the full-day Tour of Timanfaya National Park Area.

Follow the Ruta de los Volcanes.

Timanfaya, Volcanic Landscape in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain. Scenic road

The Timanfaya National Park gets its name from the Timanfaya volcano and was designated a national park following the volcano’s last eruption in 1824.

Other major eruptions occurred in 1730 and 1736 and were responsible for shaping the stunning landscape of Lanzarote as it exists today. 

In the middle of the surreal volcanic landscape, you’ll also find the Manrique-designed Restaurante El Diablo.

Like all the artist’s creations, it aims to combine nature and man-made design effortlessly, so that one flows right into the other without breaking form. 

The unique thing about this restaurant is that the food is cooked using volcanic heat inside a grill chamber!

Chicken legs on the grill grill over the natural heat of a volcano in the El Diablo Canary Islands National Park. Spain Lanserote

While admittedly, the restaurant isn’t known for the best food in Lanzarote, it still offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

From the visitor center, you can set off on the Ruta de los Volcanes bus tour. 

This bus tour will take you through the impressive volcanic terrain so you can admire craters, old lava flows, caves, and otherworldly landscapes.

You will also see Manrique’s iconic statue El Diablo, the symbol of the national park.

Camels at the famous Echadero de Camellos of the Timanfaya National Park on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.

If you want to explore the Timanfaya National Park by camel instead, you’ll need to drive to the Echadero de Camellos.

The camel ride lasts around 30 minutes and will allow you to see the stunning landscape up close on camelback!

The landscape here is all sorts of colors, ranging from reddish-brown to gray to yellowish-beige, creating a unique rainbow palette of colors.

Marvel at the beautiful Charco Verde.

Beautiful view of Los Clicos Beach and Green Lake from Charco de Los Clicos viewpoint, El Golfo - Lanzarote, Canary Island - Spain

After exploring Timanfaya National Park, you can drive around the Parque Natural de los Volcanes to check out more stunning landscapes.

One spot you shouldn’t miss is Charco Verde, an emerald-green little lake shining like a gem  against the background of black sand on Playa El Golfo.

Drive to the small town of El Golfo and hike the short trail to Mirador del Charco de los Clicos.

From this viewpoint, you can admire the impressive landscape and a stunning contrast of colors: the green lake, the black sand, the reddish mountains, and the deep blue ocean.

You can also stop for lunch in El Golfo if you haven’t packed any food for the day.

This area is known for its tasty seafood, so try it at Restaurante El Caleton or El Pescador Casa Barriguita.

Take in the stunning landscape of La Geria and its vineyards.

A beautiful contrast between the black volcanic soil of Lanzarote and the greenery of the vines

You may think that wineries are a bit out of place in such an arid, volcanic landscape.

Well, you’ll be surprised to know that Lanzarote is known for its locally-produced wines, made from grapes grown in lava fields, specifically in the protected landscape of La Geria.  

Driving back from Charco Verde, you can pass by the stunning landscape of La Geria and admire the unique vineyards. 

A geria is a hole excavated in the volcanic gravel where the vine is planted. A short half-moon stone wall protects the vine from the wind. 

The thousands of gerias create a spectacular landscape where the bright green plants stand out in the charcoal black of the lava.

lanzarote vineyards with some cactus in the front

In the small town of La Geria, you can also visit family-owned wineries offering tours and tastings.

The two main wineries in La Geria are Bodegas Rubicón and Bodega La Geria

A little further afield, you can also visit the famous El Grifo Bodega and take a sommelier-led wine tasting and tour.

Hike Caldera de Los Cuervos.

Landscape near El Cuervo volcano at Lanzarote island. Canary Islands. Spain.

If you have any time left before heading back to Arrecife, stop by the Caldera de Los Cuervos for a short hike. 

You can follow a short loop trail across the volcanic terrain and around the impressive volcano crater.

The hike takes around an hour, so it’s not a huge commitment to add to your Lanzarote itinerary if you’re making good time today.

Return to Arrecife for dinner.

In the old part of town Arrecife, with a belltower, whitewashed buildings, palm trees, long shadows in the middle of the day

End your second day in Lanzarote by driving back to Arrecife in time for dinner.

The city offers so many restaurant choices, so you can try different places each evening. 

Barbacana Bar & Grill is a great option for meat-lovers, while Bar Strava is a small and cozy place for local cuisine.

I suggest you try the traditional Canarian papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with the typical sauces (mojo rojo and mojo verde).  

Day 3 of your Lanzarote Itinerary: Playa Blanca and Surroundings

Wander around Las Grietas.

Unusual canyon like rock formations Las Grietas "The cracks" of Montana Blanca

On your way to Playa Blanca, make a quick stop to explore Lanzarote’s unique little canyons.

Grietas translates to cracks, and these are, in fact, cracks in the side of the volcano! 

To reach Las Grietas, drive toward Montaña Blanca, then turn left at the roundabout just before the town and drive in the direction of Tías.

You can stop at the Parking Grieta Volcanica and explore the area on foot. 

There are several cracks in the side of the volcano, and you can walk for several meters inside some of them, similar to some slot canyons you’ll find in other parts of the world.

There aren’t any directions or signs, so you’ll have to find them on your own, but searching for them is half the fun!

Take a Salinas de Janubio tour.

Janubio salt flats in Lanzarote with different hues of white, beige, and pink salt waters

From Las Grietas, continue driving south until you reach La Hoya.

Here, you can stop for a visit to the salt mines at Salinas de Janubio.

First, head to the Mirador Salinas de Janubio to check out the panoramic view of the colorful salines — it’s a great photo spot.

You can then join a guided tour of the salines to learn about the sea salt-making process, walk around the salines, and even sample the local salt.

Fun Fact: The Salinas de Janubio is the oldest continuously active salt mine in the Canary Islands since its foundation over a century ago!

Make your way to the town of Playa Blanca for lunch.

beautiful clear blue waters of playa blanca in the town of the same name with whitewashed buildings and yellow sand beach

Next, it’s time to drive to Playa Blanca, a town at the southernmost end of Lanzarote. 

The town’s name is pretty accurate, given the thousands of whitewashed houses built all along the coast.

While the town is quite big, the main area of interest is small and revolves around Playa Blanca Beach.

Once you get to Playa Blanca, you can stop for lunch before exploring the town and nearby beaches.

You’ll find that the area offers plenty of dining options, from Spanish restaurants to international ones.

Try traditional Spanish dishes with a sea view at Restaurante la Cuadra or the tasty burgers at Chacho Fresh Burger.

For a change of pace, Avenida 55 serves tasty Italian food if you’re craving pizza or pasta.

Have some beach time at Punta Papagayo.

Wooden sticks fence line leading to exotic Papagayo beach in Lanzarote on sunny day. Dirt path with people on secluded bay on background by turquoise water

The beautiful Playa de Papagayo is one of the most popular and stunning beaches in Lanzarote.

The beach is part of the Los Ajaches National Park and sits below the Punta del Papagayo sea cliff. 

Being such a popular spot, you can expect it to get crowded. Nevertheless, it’s worth visiting for the beautiful scenery!

You can easily get to Punta Papagayo from Playa Blanca, either by car or on foot.

By car, you can access the dirt road that leads to the parking spot for a small entry fee (€3 as of 2023). 

I went there on foot from Playa Blanca, and highly recommend it. The hike offers wonderful views of the ocean and the gorgeous volcanic landscape!

Take in the sunset at Punta Papagayo or visit the natural pools.

beautiful sea landscape - sunset over a rocky ocean cliff.Punta Papagayo, Lanzarote, Spain

As an added bonus, Punta Papagayo is one of the best sunset spots in Lanzarote. 

If you don’t mind driving back to Arrecife in the dark, I recommend staying for the sunset!

Head to Mirador de Papagayo and find a spot to sit and watch the sun sink into the ocean.

Los Charcones area with beautiful green and blue pools of sea water

If you choose not to stay for sunset, you can also take a small detour on the way to Arrecife and stop by the Piscinas Naturales Charcones.

The natural pools are just a 20-minute drive northwest of Playa Blanca.

You could also work this in between some beach time and the sunset if you don’t mind doing a bit of a detour in order to also visit these special pools!

Day 4 of Your Lanzarote Itinerary: La Graciosa Island 

If you have an extra day to spend in Lanzarote, I highly recommend visiting the smaller island of La Graciosa, just off the northern tip of Lanzarote!

To get there, you can catch a ferry from Órzola that takes less than half an hour.

Take in the views at the lovely Mirador del Rio.

Graciosa island seen from Mirador del Rio viewpoint on Lanzarote Island, with turquoise sea overlooking a small volcanic island

Before heading to Órzola to board your ferry to La Graciosa, make a quick stop at Mirador del Rio.

This is another of César Manrique’s works, so you may even have it included in the combined ticket, if you bought one earlier.

The spectacular viewpoint offers sweeping views of Lanzarote’s coastline and the small island of La Graciosa.

Check out the view from the parking lot or enter the café to enjoy a coffee with a gorgeous view!

Walk around the pedestrian-only La Graciosa.

La Graciosa island in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, with whitewashed symmetrical and geometrical houses and a volcanic landscape

Fortuantely, La Graciosa is a car-free island, which means you can enjoy pure, unspoiled nature.

The island is small and easy to explore on foot, but you can rent bikes to cover more ground. I chose to walk and enjoyed admiring the stunning landscape at a slow pace.

Nevertheless, while you can’t take your car to the island, you can join one of the available Jeep safaris.

You’ll notice immediately that the island is not very populated.

Sandy streets in Caleta del Sebo, La Graciosa, Canary Islands

You will get off the ferry in the small town of Caleta de Sebo to notice there aren’t even proper streets, just sand and rocks.

Even the town’s streets are all made of sand!

One place worth checking out on La Graciosa is Casas de Pedro Barba.

House, Pedro Barba village, graciosa island, a small white stone house with cactus and desert landscape

This small village in the northern part of the island consists of just a handful of whitewashed houses built around a small bay with delightful little gardens. 

You can walk there from Caleta de Sebo in just over an hour. Walk along the coast and return inland or the other way around.

When walking inland, you’ll pass by La Aguja Grande and La Aguja Chica, two volcanic peaks offering panoramic views of the island.

Sandy road and inactive volcano Las Agujas Grande with with multi-colored hillsides. La Graciosa. Canary Islands

Along the coast, stop by the beautiful beach of Barranco de los Conejos.

If you rent a bike instead of walking, check out the views from the impressive Montaña Bermeja and the marvelous Playa de las Conchas with its white sand and turquoise waters.

After completing the island tour, which can take anywhere from four hours to a full day, catch the ferry back to Lanzarote.

End your trip in Teguise.

Costa Teguise village square with a church and a brick tower surrounded by streetlights Palm trees and little White Houses on a Sunny summer day.

Before concluding this Lanzarote itinerary, one last place worth checking out is Teguise.

You can stop by the small town on your way back to Arrecife from Órzola. 

Teguise is best known for its Sunday market selling everything from fruits and vegetables to arts and crafts.

If you’re in Lanzarote on a Sunday, you may want to check it out then!

Even if you don’t go to the market, Teguise is worth a visit. The town is one of the oldest on the island and its former capital!

Wander around the charming old town and pay a visit to the curious cemetery with its surreal statues.

The 5 Best Montserrat Wine Tours from Barcelona for 2023!

view of a winery in the penedes wine region with delicious cava

Barcelona is a lively city with so many incredible sides to it, but if you have extra time, I strongly suggest getting out of the city and exploring a bit more of the Catalonian surroundings.

Whether that’s taking a day trip to lovely Girona or Besalú or exploring the mountainous area of Montserrat and its proximity to Penedès wine region, you’re sure to enjoy a break from Barcelona when its small town and countryside is this beautiful!

area of montserrat with picnic tables and good view

If you’re a wine fan, I strongly suggest combining a tour of Montserrat with a wine tour of Penedès for the best possible day out.

These combination Montserrat wine tours make an easy day out where you tick off two of Catalonia’s most iconic experiences in one easy day trip.

You’ll have time to explore this mountainside monastery with 1,000 years of history and enjoy a taste of Catalonia’s iconic wine tradition, the bubbly, effervescent sparkling wine called cava.

Salut!

Top 3 MontSerrat Wine Tours

I’ll go into more detail in the full post, but here are my top 3 picks in case you’re pressed for time and just want to the quick details!

#1 TOP PICK

winery in penedes region with grapes on the vine

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Montserrat Wine Tour with Lunch
✔️ Cogwheel train ride up to Montserrat
✔️ Winery visit & choice between tapas lunch and 3-course meal

↳ Book it

#2 PICK

winery field with grapes on a sunny day in the beautiful weather in summer in barcelona wine region

VIP Montserrat Wine Tour
✔️ Private tour that follows your pacing
✔️ Winery visit with three tastings & tapas included

↳ Book it

#3 PICK

grapes in a field in spain

Half-Day Montserrat Wine Tour
✔️ Best budget option
✔️ Includes monastery visit, tasting, tapas

↳ Book it

The 5 Top Montserrat Wine Tours from Barcelona

Montserrat Wine Tour with Cogwheel Train Ride & Tapas or 3-Course Lunch – Book Here

montserrat area with a cogwheel training coming up the mountain
  • 5/5 stars with nearly 1,500 reviews!

This unique Montserrat wine tour is one for the bucket list!

Train lovers will be in paradise, since you get to take the cool, old-fashioned cogwheel train all the way up to the mountaintop, where you’ll find the stunning Montserrat Monastery.

In addition to exploring the beauty of this mountain and its surroundings, you’ll also get to try some local treats and liquors, like coca de Montserrat and Montserrat liquor.

Afterwards, you’ll pay a visit to one of Catalonia’s most beloved wine cellars, Oller del Mas Château, a pioneer in organic Catalan wines.

You’ll get a tour of the cellar, get the chance to explore the vineyards, and of course, be led through a wine tasting by one of the experts at the winery, tasting at least three different wines.

view of a winery in the penedes wine region with delicious cava

You can either have a tapas brunch at the château for something a little more finger-food-y or you can have a more belly-busting 3-course meal at a nearby restaurant. 

You’ll enjoy everything in a small group of less than 20 people, knowing that this full-day tour won’t disappoint as it’s won the Viator Badge of Excellence.

Note that the tour does not include pick-up and drop-off, but you will meet at an easy-to-find meeting point at Estación del Norte.

Private Montserrat and Cava Winery Tour – Book Here

an aerial view of the montserrat monastery and countryside and the mountain
  • 4.5/5 stars, 15+ reviews

Prefer to avoid larger groups and have a more personalized experience? This private Montserrat wine tour is an excellent choice to skip the crowds!

Since this tour is limited to your group only, you can be assured you won’t be rushed from spot to spot and that you are able to get individualized attention from your guide throughout the entirety of the tour.

This tour follows a similar itinerary to most Montserrat wine tours, but at a more leisurely pace. You’ll get to visit the Montserrat monastery where you can see the Basilica, the statue of the Black Madonna, and the Holy Cave as well. 

You can also attend the choir performance of the famous La Escolania de Montserrat, one of the oldest boys’ choirs in all of Europe!

winemaking area of spain called penedes wine region which makes cava

After touring Montserrat extensively with your guide, you’ll make your way over to the Penedes wine region, famous for its delicious cava wine.

There, you’ll get to taste 3 delicious regional wines and cavas, all paired perfectly with local tapas to maximize your tasting experience.

You’ll get picked up and dropped off in a private car, so it couldn’t be easier: just show up ready to explore and taste! 

All fees, except any additional food or drinks you want to buy outside the tasting, are included.

Half-Day Montserrat Wine Tour From Barcelona with Tapas – Book Here

view of the monastery area of montserrat with the mountain and the monastery juxtaposing against each other in beautiful harmony on a cloudy day
  • 4.8/5 stars, 750+ reviews

This express 7-hour tour is one of the most budget-friendly options when it comes to picking a Montserrat wine tour from Barcelona.

This tour is in a bit of a larger group capped at 20 people, which helps lower the cost, but it still includes all you’d want in a Montserrat wine tour.

You’ll get transported to Montserrat in an air-conditioned bus, where a local guide will give you a 1-hour tour of the monastery before letting you have an hour of free time to explore as you wish.

tasting wines and cava which is a sparkling wine served in a champagne flute style glass

After that, you’ll visit a winery specializing in Catalan regional wines like cava, where you’ll get to taste three wines paired alongside tapas — and dessert, too!

Note that hotel pick-up and drop-off is not included in the base price but can be added on for a fee, or you can meet at the meeting point to save money.

Montserrat & Vineyard Tour From Barcelona – Book Here

interior of the montserrat basilica with beautiful arches and lighting
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For an exciting two-for-one day trip that combines mountains and wine tasting, taking this Monserrat & Penedès wine tour from Barcelona is right up your alley.

The best part? It’s just for a small group of 8 people, so you won’t be lost in a huge group, feeling like you’re being herded from spot to spot.

First up, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in a fancy minivan with A/C, and off you go to the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat.

It’s an awe-inspiring place, and you might even catch the boy’s choir if they’re performing that day.

And let’s not forget the Montserrat mountain itself – a real jaw-dropper!

Next, you’ll visit the nearby Penedès wine region. Here, you’ll learn from the winemakers themselves on how they make the delicious wine the area is famous for.

wine cellars in montserrat wine tour area of penedes

Champagne fans, rejoice, because this area is particularly known for its own style of sparkling wine called cava.

You’ll visit a winery, explore a wine cellar, and get all the information so you can feel like a true wine connoisseur by the end of it. Fancy a taste? You can, but it’s extra, so keep around 18 euros handy if you want to indulge.

So if you’re into culture, nature, and a little bit of bubbly, this Monserrat & Penedès wine tour might be just the day out you’re looking for. Cool, right?

Montserrat Visit and Cava Wine Tour – Book Now

region of montserrat with the monastery and the mountain next to each other in harmony
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For a taste of something beyond the city’s busy, buzzy vibe, this Montserrat wine tour has a bit of everything: history, religion, art, nature, and of course, wine!

First thing’s first, you’ll want to set that alarm because this tour kicks off bright and early. Why? To beat the crowds to Montserrat, that’s why!

This tour guarantees you have some quality time with La Moreneta, the famous Black Madonna, a famous 12th-century wooden statue that is kind of a big deal and has been the star of countless pilgrimages for its supposed healing powers.

Beyond the statue, there’s a lot more to explore the basilica and monastery grounds, and your guide will give you all the background information on this millennia-old religious site.

After that, you’ll have some free time to explore the area. You could hit up the art museum packed with masterpieces by Dalí and Picasso, hike to a gorgeous viewpoint, or just chill at the café with a delicious cup of coffee.

Next, it’s on to the Penedes wine region, where you’ll visit a small family-run cava winery that’s going to welcome you with – what else? – a glass of bubbly.

fields of a wine tour from barcelona

After you’ve finished your welcome drink, you’ll hop into a 4×4 to explore the vineyards. If you’re visiting during pruning or harvest season, you can even get your hands dirty!

Hungry after all that hard work? The winery owner’s got you covered with a homemade lunch that’s all about local flavors, accompanied by the winery’s best wines.

You’ll also get to see how they bottle and label the wines, finishing the journey from grape to bottle.

One thing to keep in mind: hotel pickup isn’t part of the deal, but the meet-up spot is at a central place on Passeig de Colom.

Plus, all entrance and tasting fees are included, so all you need to do is show up and have fun.

How to Spend One Day in Madrid: Your Perfect Mini-Itinerary (2023 Update)

Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, and if you’ve allotted yourself only one day in Madrid, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

As the capital of Spain, Madrid is home to innumerable unique neighborhoods, countless dining opportunities, endless culture.

In a word, Madrid is inexhaustible, and you’ll always find more to do in this magical city.

Planning your trip to Madrid at the last minute?

Here are my quick picks on what to do & where to stay!

💃 Top Madrid Experiences:
1. Flamenco Show at Torres Bermejas (with dinner and drinks)
2. Royal Palace Skip-the-Line & Tour (#1 attraction!)
3. Prado Museum Skip-the-Line & Tour (the Louvre of Spain)

🏨 Best Hotels:
1. Hotel Riu Plaza España (21st floor rooftop pool!)
2. Hotel Regina (central & budget pick)
3. Only YOU Boutique Hotel (in a restored palace!)

✈️ Flying in? Book an airport transfer with Welcome Pickups — they’ll greet you at the airport, help with bags, & bring you into the city, all pre-booked!
The Puerta de Alcala is a monument in the Plaza de la Independencia ("Independence Square") in Madrid, Spain. It was commissioned by King Carlos III, with construction beginning in 1778.

But since you only have one day in Madrid, concessions must be made so that you see the best of what the city has to offer in a limited time.

I’ve collected all my highlights of my many days in Madrid to create a perfect one day itinerary for you to follow.

If you have two days in Madrid, I also have a guide for that!

How I Planned This One Day in Madrid Itinerary

Madrid, Spain cityscape above Gran Via shopping street, with lots of cars and pedestrians in a busy intersection on one day in madrid

Consider this post your plan of attack for seeing as much of Madrid in a day as you possibly can.

Whether you’re just in Madrid for a quick layover before your Mallorca itinerary or Madrid is one of many cities on a whistle-stop one-week tour of Europe, this Madrid travel guide will help you see as much possible given the time constraints.

I’ve specifically created this post to have you traveling around Madrid as independently as possible without sacrificing the context and enrichment that the occasional paid experience can provide.

If planning your day in Madrid starts to stress you out, you could always book a full day Madrid sightseeing tour.

I personally always have a lot more fun when I mix and match fortuitous wandering, guided activities, and lots of walking while I’m sightseeing.

Old Luxury Residential Buildings In Madrid Salamanca district, with rounded red architecture on corner

For this one day in Madrid itinerary, I nix hop-on, hop-off buses and guided city tours in exchange for long but purposeful walks through the city which make a point of seeing key architectural and historical gems.

I offset the potential lack of context by also opting for a handful of special tours and experiences, namely, a tour of the Palacio Real (the only way to see the interior) and a flamenco show in the evening.

Since time is limited, I also suggest skip-the-line tickets when they make sense to maximize your time and appreciation of the city.

I find that this is the way you’re best able to make the most of your time in Madrid while also not feeling like cattle being carted around from point A to point B (which is how I feel at the end of an all-day city tour).

Getting Into Madrid

the ceiling of terminal 4 in madrid barajas airport

If you arrive to Madrid by plane, you’ll most likely fly into Madrid Barajas Airport.

It’s a large and frankly rather overwhelming airport, but you can get into the city center by a variety of ways: organized pick-up, taxi, bus, train, or metro.

Of these five options, I recommend either an organized pick-up or the bus. Taxis can overcharge travelers, the train is less convenient than it sounds, and the metro can be overwhelming.

Organized Pick Up

Metropolis hotel in Madrid in a beautiful summer night, Spain

This is by far the easiest way and it’s my #1 recommendation if you want a smooth entry to Madrid.

I like to use Welcome Pickups: it’s typically a few dollars more than a taxi or Uber, but you’ll be greeted at the airport by your dedicated driver.

They’ll help you with your bags, and you’ll get driven in without having to worry about getting a taxi or figuring out the subway — all pre-paid and no hassle.

Book your arrival with Welcome Pickups here!

Taxi

Taking a taxi is definitely possible.

In theory, there is a flat 30 euro fee for destinations in the city center; however, it’s not unheard of for taxi scams to happen, so I hesitate to strongly recommend a taxi.

If you’re not a confident international traveler, I’d pay a few euros more for an organized pickup like with Welcome — it’ll save you some headache for a minimal additional fee.

Metro

gran via metro

There are two metro stations at Madrid-Barajas Airport: one at Terminal 2 and one at Terminal 4.

If you are arriving at one of those terminals, the metro is fairly easy, but it will involve at least one transfer (and likely two).

Otherwise, if landing at Terminal 1 or 3, you have to take the airport shuttle, which is annoying and can take longer than you’d expect (Madrid Barajas is huge!).

Metro line 8 serves the airport, but it won’t bring you all the way into central Madrid. It is, however, a cheap option, at only 3 euros for a train ticket.

If you’re staying in Puerta del Sol (where I recommend), you’ll want to transfer first at Mar de Cristal to line 4 towards Arguelles. Then you’ll transfer again at Goya, heading towards Cuatro Caminos on line 2, but getting off at Sol.

There are other ways to get to Sol (i.e. line 8 to line 1 to line 2, line 8 to line 4 to line 1) but none that don’t require at least two transfers.

Train

madrid atocha railway station with modernist design and no one in the frame

From the airport, you can take the train to Atocha central railway station for under 3 euros.

Sounds great… in theory!

However, the train station is located at Terminal 4, and if you’re at one of the other terminals, you’ll need to take the airport shuttle there, which is time-consuming, so this is not as convenient as it sounds.

Plus, Atocha is not quite where I recommend staying for this Madrid itinerary, so it’s a bit of a walk from the train station to Puerta del Sol (about 30 minutes)

Airport Bus

This is the easiest way to get to Madrid Airport on a budget, in my opinion.

The bus serves Terminals 1, 2, and 4. If you land at terminal 3, you’ll need to take a shuttle bus first.

It’s 5 euros, so it’s a little more than the metro or the train, but it’s a lot more straightforward. It also runs 24/7 so it’s good if you have a flight at a strange hour.

The bus stops at Plaza de Cibeles and Atocha (daytime only) — neither are particularly close to Puerta del Sol so you will have to walk approximately 15 minutes to Plaza de Cibeles or 30 minutes from Atocha.

Getting Around Madrid

the metro sol station

Once you’re in the city, it’s easy to get around by foot or by public transit.

Madrid has a fantastic metro system that will zip you around the city center pretty easily via public transport if you choose.

However, this Madrid itinerary is designed to be entirely walkable, with no need to use the metro stations unless you get tired.

However, if you plan to visit other parts of the city that are not outlined on this itinerary — such as visiting the Bernabéu Stadium, home to the Real Madrid team and a must-visit for football fans — you’ll want to take the subway or a taxi/Uber.

Another option is buying hop-on, hop-off bus tickets, which conveniently connect the main Madrid attractions on a single bus line.

However, I don’t think it’s necessary for this itinerary unless you are traveling with young ones who can’t handle much walking or your group includes people with mobility limitations who may find the amount of walking on this Madrid itinerary to be a bit excessive.

One Day in Madrid Map

One Day in Madrid Itinerary

Morning: Breakfast, A Palace, & A Walk in the Park

Start your day the Spanish way with churros con chocolate.

Churros with a cup of coffee in Madrid
Churros con chocolate, the breakfast of champions

While to you and me, churros may be a dessert dish, in Spain, churros are a beloved breakfast treat, and nowhere sells more delicious churros than Chocolatería San Ginés.

Running for over a hundred years, this 24/7 achocolatería sells deliciously simple churros fried to perfection, served with coffee and lightly-sweetened chocolate.

Churros in Spain are a bit different than their Mexican counterparts: in Spain, they don’t use the cinnamon-sugar on the outside of the churro, making them a bit more savory (until you dip them in melted chocolate, at least!).

They’re also a bit thinner and more crispy, whereas the ones I’ve had in Mexico have been a little thicker and more custardy on the inside.

Head to the Royal Palace.

A symmetrical view of an ornate gray colored palace

A tour of Madrid’s Palacio Real is a must-do while you’re visiting the Spanish capital.

This is one of the top tourist attractions in Spain, so expect long lines. Beat the crowds by booking a skip-the-line ticket, which you can buy online here.

The palace is massive — as in, largest still-functional royal palace in Europe big, and this is a continent that likes its castles. We’re talking nearly 3,500 rooms big and 135,000 square meters of floor area (imagine those heating bills…).

I recommend going with a guided tour which helps you get an understanding of what you’re seeing and put the massive ostentation and wealth into perspective.

Madrid Royal Palace Hall interior view with beautiful decoration in Spain

This tour is 2 hours and allows you early access privileges to beat the crowds.

It covers all the best highlights of the Palacio Real: the Throne Room, Banquet Hall, Royal Apartments, exclusive artwork by the most famous artists in Spain, and time to walk around the beautiful Royal Gardens.

I’m not the biggest tour person, but I highly recommend this tour. I love having the opportunity to hear the royal stories which are able to bring this marvelous yet imposing palace to life.

Save time and book your skip-the-line ticket today

Marvel at the Catedral de la Almudena.

Side view of a beautiful European church with people walking around in front and a cloudy sky

Not far from Palacio Real is your next stop on this one day Madrid tour, Almudena Cathedral. To be precise, it’s the Catedral de Santa María La Real de La Almudena, which is quite a mouthful.

This cathedral blends Gothic and Neoclassical elements into a synthesis of beauty, yet it’s a surprisingly young cathedral.

The church took over a hundred years to be built, starting in 1883, yet didn’t finish construction until 1993!

Why so fractured? Its construction was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War and didn’t get picked up again until halfway through the 20th century.

The interior is a true marvel of architecture, showing its modernity with a variety of artistic styles on the interior, ranging from more traditional historical elements to those inspired by more modern elements.

The ceiling of the nave is particularly interesting, more inspired by geometry than traditional Christian artistic elements.

Check out the happening Plaza Mayor.

A man on a horse statue and red buildings in the background

As with any great European capital, Madrid is home to several beautful plazas that are the heart of city life.

Plaza Mayor is nearly 500 years old located at the heart of what was once Old Madrid.

Skip the cafés, which are all a bit tourist-trappy, and just wander through and do some people watching as you pass.

Walk through Puerta del Sol.

Symmetical red building with a fountain in the center and pink flowers

Just a few blocks down the road from Plaza Mayor is yet another important square in Madrid, Puerta del Sol.

One thing you’ll notice as you walk through Puerta del Sol is the placard for Kilometer 0.

All the radial roads in Madrid emanate out from this central point, with address numbers closer to Kilometer 0 being smaller and getting larger as they make their way throughout the city.

It’s an interesting quirk of city planning, and while not incredibly interesting, it is cool to stand at the “center” of Madrid!

Stroll down Calle de Alcalá to Retiro Park.

Ornate white palace with a Spain flag and an empty road in front of it

This is one of the longest streets in Madrid, and it’s the best way to walk to your next destination, Puerta de Alcalá, which marks the beginning of Retiro Park.

On the way, you’ll get a chance to marvel at some of Madrid’s most beautiful architecture.

Stop and snap some photos at the Círculo de Bellas Artes as well as Palacio de Cibeles and its namesake fountain.

Wander through the magical Retiro Park.

A building with clear glass walls and yellow details next to a lake on a sunny day

Retiro Park is to Madrid what Central Park is to New York City: an seemingly neverending oasis of calm in the middle of a vibrant metropolis.

I largely urge you to put away your phone and your Madrid checklist for a bit and just enjoy strolling around the park and people-watching.

But, since you do only have a day in Madrid and this is your one chance to make the best of it!

While in Retiro Park, make a point of seeing the Palacio de Cristal (the crystal palace, pictured above), the Estanque Grande del Retiro (artificial lake with a massive monument), and La Roseleda del Retiro (rose garden).

Afternoon: Lunch & Museum Hopping

Grab lunch near Retiro Park.

A bowl of red soup topped with meat and croutons at a Spanish restaurant.

A central location like Retiro Park would usually be full of tourist traps, but this is Spain, where bad food is nearly criminal.

There are a few places especially worth keeping an eye out for once you’ve finished your stroll through Retiro Park and are starting to feel the first grumblings of post-churro hunger.

If you’d like to try some Andalusian specialties, check out Lambuzo. Their salmorejo (chilled tomato soup which I love far more than gazpacho) is to die to for!

Another great place for traditional Spanish food is the lovely El Perro y la Galleta. I suggest you order mostly from the ‘entrantes’ and sample as much as you possibly can!

My favorites are the berenjas rebozadas (fried eggplant) and the croquetas de cocido (delicious bechamel and meat stuffed fried croquettes).

Get cultured at the Prado, Spain’s top musuem.

The front view of the famous Prado art museum with a statue in front, a must visit on your one day in Spain itinerary

I know that if you only have one day in Madrid, you don’t want to spend the entirety of it in a museum!

However, do please make an exception for the Prado, which is one of the world’s top art museums. It’d be like going to Paris and never seeing the Louvre.

Lines to enter the Prado are often quite long, and with only 24 hours in Madrid, you have super-limited time.

I strongly suggest buying a skip-the-line ticket so you can maximize your time — and skip waiting in a line that can often stretch around the block in the hot Spanish sun!

This museum contains art from the 12th century through the 19th century, and of particular note are its collections of paintings by Velazquez, El Greco (my favorite!), and Goya.

Beat the crowds and book your skip-the-line entry here!

Check out San Jerónimo el Real.

A stone and brick church with a tree in front and a grassy hill

This monastery dates back to the 1500s and has been remodeled beautifully, staying true to the original Neo-Gothic architecture while maintaining it for the ages.

At one point, this now-humble-looking church was once the official Royal Church of Madrid. Now, this stunning monastery overlooking the Prado from its vantage point on the hill is popular with tourists.

The interior is open from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM and then from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM; at all other times, you’ll have to admire it from the outside. Entrance is free.

Wander through the Botanic Garden.

View of a park with a fountain and roses in both background and foreground.

This beautiful Botanic Garden is well worth the affordable 4 euro entry price, and a short 30-minute stroll through the park would be time well spent on your one day in Madrid.

Home to over 5,000 different species of plants, there are 90,000 flowers and plants in the garden… not to mention 1,500 trees and literally a million more individual plants in the herbarium!

Most interesting is the greenhouse which has recreated a desert climate — one of the only places in Europe where you can actually experience a realistic desert.

Visit the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Reflection of a traditional architecture building reflected by a modern building

If two museums in a day is pushing it for you, feel free to skip this one.

But if you’re a fan of Picasso, Dalí, Miró, and other famous Spanish modernists, you won’t want to miss this museum focusing on the country’s most innovative 20th-century artists.

If there’s one central piece you shouldn’t miss at this museum, it’s Picasso’s greatest work, Guernica, a tour-de-force of artistic social commentary against the evils of war.

It’s one of the most important paintings of the 20th century (if not all time) and must be seen in person to be believed.

Tip: Book your tickets to Reina Sofia online in advance to save time.

Evening: A Stroll Down Gran Via, Dinner & A Flamenco Show

Walk down La Gran Via.

A grand European boulevard with a building with an angel on top of the roof

Walk up the shady pedestrian street, Paseo del Prado, until you reach Fuente de Cibeles again.

This time, instead of taking Calle de Alcalá, wander down La Gran Via, the most famous boulevard in Madrid.

Primarily composed of architecture influenced by Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, you’ll see innumerable interesting buildings as you walk down the boulevard.

A few of the most iconic buildings you’ll walk past are the angel-topped Metropolis Hotel, the Torre de Madrid, and Edificio Grassy.

Stop for people-watching in Plaza de España.

A giant statue in the middle of the park with two skyscrapers around it.

Your stroll down Gran Via will end at yet another iconic Madrid building, Edificio España, another one of the tallest buildings in Madrid.

In front of it, you’ll find the large public space Plaza de España, a great place for people-watching!

Check out ancient history at Templo de Debod.

A few arches and a larger stone edifice that make up the Temple of Debod, an actual Egyptian temple in Madrid.

Finally, make your way over to the Templo de Debod, a reconstructed Egyptian temple in the middle of a public park!

The temple was gifted to Spain by Egypt in 1968 after the Aswan Dam was constructed, which put this temple and others at risk.

It was rebuilt and opened to the public in 1972, and it is free for all to see.

It’s one of the few authentic pieces of Egyptian architecture that you can see (outside of, well, Egypt…) that’s not in a museum!

Cap off the night with dinner and a show.

A female flamenco dancer in a dark room swirling her scarf around artistically.

Finish your day in Madrid in the most epic way possible: a flamenco show at the legendery Torres Bermejas, one of the best places to see flamenco in Madrid.

Order some tapas and sangria while you watch talented performers bring the art of flamenco to life.

Flamenco is a unique blend of dance and theater, marked by nuanced hand and facial gestures.

Besides that, it also utilizes rhythmic tapping of the feet and castanets held in the hands, and incorporating the dress and scarf to create fluid, beautiful movements.

It’s a really beautiful art form you won’t see outside of Spain, so if you will only be in Madrid for one day, you really should make a point of seeing a performance!

Book your flamenco show tickets here!

Where to Stay If You Only Have One Day in Madrid

A view of a famous Madrid boulevard all lit up in pink and orange with sunset colors.

Boutique Luxury: For a chic boutique hotel in Madrid, look to Only YOU Boutique Hotel!

With a central location that makes following this itinerary a breeze, a relaxing Thai-inspired spa center, a gorgeously decorated lobby, an outdoor lounge area, large rooms with high ceilings, and individualized rooms packed with personality, you won’t find much better for the price in Madrid.


Book online here.

Mid-Range with Views: Remember the beautiful Edificio España from our itinerary? Well, it turns out that the building is actually a hotel: Hotel Riu Plaza España!

You can check out incredible views from any one of the 27 floors, sweeping over Gran Via, Parque Oeste, and Madrid’s skyline as far as the eye can see. Amenities include a 21st-floor outdoor pool, 27th floor terrace bar, and a 24/7 gym.

Book online here.

Budget: The chic but budget-friendly Hotel Regina is a fantastic budget-friendly option just 2 minutes away from Puerta del Sol, right in the heart of Madrid (making this itinerary super easy to follow to the T).

Rooms are minimalist but stylish, with bold graphic designs and pops of color.

Book online here.

5 Things Not To Forget For a Trip to Madrid

A light-haired woman with a smartphone taking a photo of a famous Madrid landmark.

A secure daybag: While travel in Madrid is safe, pickpocketing is a major issue.

Thwart would-be pickpocketers with a chic, sleek backpack with double-interlocking zippers, slash-proof construction, & RFID blockers!

I’ve carried this exact PacSafe backpack to 30+ countries with me, and it’s my #1 travel companion.

Pick from one of seven colors — I have and love the classic black one!

Despite all its security features, it’s really quite classic and stylish, without anything that screams “I’m a tourist, target me!”

A pacsafe citysafe backpack

Comfortable walking shoes: This one day in Madrid itinerary has you walking a lot — so you’re going to need the best possible shoes for your trip!

I strongly recommend an ultra-comfortable walking sandal like these Birkenstocks, which mold to your foot for the most perfect custom fit imaginable.

You do have to wear them for a few days first to get that perfect contour, but once you do, you’ll never want to take them off.

In fact, I literally mourn the day each year it gets too cold to keep wearing Birkenstocks, and one day I may just rock socks with sandals to keep Birkenstock season going just a little longer.

I’ve had my pair of Gizeh sandals for 3 years and they are still fantastic.

brown birkenstock sandals with two straps slide on style

Portable charger: As an electronics-addict, I’m always running out of juice while running around the city on my travels.

Bring a portable charger to save yourself many headaches while traveling in Europe!

Anker is a reliable brand and this portable charger is what I personally use.

Plug in USB charger from powerbank input mobile phone or smartphone on wooden floor, Top view.

Spain guidebook: While you may only have one day in Madrid, hopefully you have more time allotted for the rest of your time in Spain!

If you do, be sure to snag a guidebook — while of course I love blogs, I also think guidebooks are essential for learning the basics of traveling a country, as they cover everything from tipping culture to common scams to useful phrases.

I typically use Lonely Planet guidebooks, so I’d recommend their Spain version.

a series of guidebooks on europe and other places to travel

Travel insurance: No matter where you travel in the world, travel insurance is a necessity and should be factored into your trip budget.

Trust me, you don’t want to have a second thought about seeking medical care abroad if something goes wrong on your trip.

Travel insurance also covers you in case of trip cancellation, theft, baggage delays, and other emergencies. It’s a must-have in my opinion.

I use and rely on SafetyWing‘s Nomad Insurance to keep me safe and insured throughout 60+ countries of travel!

With prices starting around $11/week of travel, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for stress-free travel coverage.

10 Epic Gaudí Buildings in Barcelona: Map + List of Best Sites

rooftop detail of gaudi house in Barcelona

Perhaps no architect in the world is identified with one city as much as Antoni Gaudí is with Barcelona.

His iconic style gives the city much of its unique character, and it’s impossible to talk about its architectural history without paying tribute to his work

His works are dotted throughout the city – both world-famous masterpieces, and lesser-known early contributions just waiting to be found.

Most Interesting Gaudí Buildings in Barcelona

Sagrada Família

The exterior of the Sagrada Familia church with towers and beautiful plants in the gardens outside of the church in Barcelona on a sunny summer day at one of the most famous Gaudi buildings in Barcelona

Let’s start with the most obvious Gaudí site, the Sagrada Família.

This basilica – not a Cathedral, by the way – is arguably the most iconic building in all of Spain. 

Set to finally be completed in 2026, exactly 100 years after Gaudí’s untimely death in a traffic accident, La Sagrada Familia is an ever-changing masterpiece.

That means that even if you have seen it before, a repeat viewing will never disappoint!

The interior stain glass work of Gaudi's Barcelona church, a basilica in Barcelona

Its exterior can be admired in comfort, with parks either side of it affording plenty of opportunities for photographs and leisurely contemplation, but its interior is just as arresting.

A trip inside is a must for architecture fans (as well as aesthetes, photographers, and anyone who likes color).

The colorful rays of light from the stained glass mixed with undulating architecture is like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

The interior colorful lights of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church with orange, yellow, reddish tones lighting up the church walls

Tickets are not cheap – €26 for individuals – but in spite of the price, they’re in high demand, so book in advance on the official website.

Tickets to climb the basilica’s vertiginous towers cost more, but for anyone looking for an amazing climb and view, it’s definitely worth considering!

Casa Calvet

View of the facade of Casa Calvet, a lesser-known Gaudi building, with orange balconies that bulge from the facade of the building, on a sunny day with an airplane trail in the sky

A visit to Sagrada Família can also be combined with a visit to Casa Calvet, a lesser-known Gaudí sight in Barcelona.

About a 25-minute walk south from La Sagrada Família, or a block north from Urquinaona metro, Casa Calvet is an early work by Gaudí.

It’s not often visited, and it’s vastly overlooked by the majority of tourists who walk past it each year, blissfully unaware of its significance. 

The building is attractive and sinuous in the way that hundreds of moderniste buildings are in Barcelona. 

However, this is testament to its influence on where Barcelona’s architecture would later go: a trend-setter, so to speak.

Several of the motifs here – sensuously bulging balconies, ornate rooftops and imagery from the natural world – went on to become staples of the city’s most upscale architecture at the time!

Park Güell

View of the balcony of Park Guell with lots of mosaics and building colors and gingerbread-looking architecture with funky towers, view of the city of Barcelona below it and even down to the beaches

Speaking of upscale, Park Güell has a very curious history, quite different from its current status as the city’s most visited public park.

Time for a little history lesson!

Eusebi Güell was an entrepreneur who commissioned a number of works by Gaudí, and this park was originally conceived as a British-style retreat from the city – hence the English spelling of “park”.

This origin also explains why it is a little bit removed from the city center: to be remote, away from the crowds.

Brace yourselves: it’s at the top of a hill, which means you either want to take a taxi from a nearby metro (Lesseps or Vallcarca) or hail the cute 116 Bus from Plaça de Lesseps.

To get some steps in, put on a pair of decent sneakers and haul yourself up the San Francisco-steep Baixada de la Gloria (with a little much-appreciated help from the available escalators).

the elevator of baixada de gloria in Barcelona with very steep  hill cityscape below it, and an elevator with a small narrow opening here

The park’s entrance is straight out of a fairy tale: two buildings, originally gate houses for the park, look like they have been carved out of gingerbread.

Today, they house a gift shop and restaurant: convenient, since you can sneak a peek at its interiors for free while you pick up a couple souvenirs or grab a quick bite.

Once inside the park, you can keep going up, taking the stairs past the park’s famous salamander sculpture, to the shaded marketplace-like space under the Plaza de la Naturaleza terrace.

Buskers often play here, taking advantage of the amazing acoustics and inspiring views.

If you take the winding stairs uphill you will get to the plaza itself, which is dominated by an endless winding mosaic bench.

Entrance to this area costs €10, but it’s worth it for the photo opportunity!

the gaudi house museum in the park guell complex area, a reddish house with a steep tower, high on a hill in Barcelona

Still further uphill, you’ll find the Gaudí House Museum, where Gaudí lived until his death.

Fascinatingly, the park never really worked out as a commercial concern.

It was handed over to the city to become a public park, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Palau Güell

the taupe stone and ornate wrought-iron entryway of the Palau Guell building by gaudi in Barcelona

Güell’s collaborations with Gaudí don’t end there.

In 1886, Güell commissioned Gaudí to design Palau Güell, a mansion just off the Rambla and a stone’s throw from the famous La Boqueria market.

As an earlier work, it’s not as identifiable as Gaudí’s major pieces.

Perhaps its interior has more examples of Gaudí’s touch and flair than the outside, which is grand and imposing.

That said, in a part of town where many buildings are grand and imposing, it’s easy to miss.

Güell Pavilions

The Guell Pavilions a part of the palace royal built by gaudi with moorish influence
Photo Credit: Canaan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikiamedia Commons

Uptown, in an entirely more serene area, you find the Güell Pavilions, a series of small buildings at the top end of the gorgeous Palau Reial park.

These buildings showcase a mixture of influences, with some parts resembling Gaudí’s trademark style and others demonstrating an interest in Eastern, Gothic and Moorish architecture. 

Palau Reial is a bit out of the way for most tourists, but I think it’s worth it.

the Palau reial palace where there is also another gaudi building

Especially if you’re considering making the journey to Camp Nou, this is a nearby attraction worth combining.

Palau Reial has a totally different feel from the rest of the city, tranquil and – as the name suggests – regal.

Casa Milà

the ornate, undulating wave-y pattern of a gaudi building called casa mila, one of the most beautiful gaudi sites in the city

Next, our tour of Gaudí’s Barcelona moves on to Passeig de Gracia, one of the city’s most elegant high streets.

At the Diagonal Metro station end of the street, you’ll find Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera.

Like Güell, Pere Milà was a Catalan big-shot.

He commissioned Gaudí to design a show-stopping residential building, with the idea being that the Milà family would occupy one floor while renting out the others.

“La Pedrera” means “the quarry” and is a very apt name: even by today’s standards the building looks totally unique, as though it has been hewn out of the face of a cliff and sanded into its audaciously winding shape.

The rooftop is particularly unique too, and definitely worth a visit.

The strange and fantastical stone-colored roof of Gaudi's casa mila building which looks like a stone quarry

At the time of its completion, it was so revolutionary that it was the target of heavy criticism.

It has passed through periods of neglect since then – at one time it even served as a bingo hall!

Since 1986, it has been owned by the Catalan building society Caixa Catalunya, which has restored Casa Milà and turned it into a fully-fledged tourist attraction. 

Entry costs €25, and though the building can be enjoyed from outside, a quick Google Image Search will give you an idea of how special a tour of the interior can be.

Casa Batlló

The colorful architecture of Casa Battlo in Barcelona, one of the more whimsical gaudi buildings in Barcelona

Still in Passeig de Gracia, a few blocks down from Casa Milà, is Casa Batlló

In 1906 – around the same time he was designing La Pedrera – Gaudí was approached by industrial magnate Josep Batlló.

He wanted to convert his unremarkable family home into something more suited to a man of his status. (Are you noting the common theme here?)

Gaudí actually talked Batlló out of demolishing the site and starting over.

the strange, fairytale like rooftop of gaudi's casa battle with what looks like a dragon back

Instead, he totally renovated the building, and today its colorful façade, curvaceous windows and fairytale rooftop are all unmistakably Gaudí.

What exactly the rooftop resembles is up to your personal interpretation, but I see the shape of a dragon’s back!

Tickets cost €29 for adults, with children under 12 admitted free of charge.

Hidden Gem Gaudí Sites in Barcelona

The rest of this article is written for those travelers among you who just love to seek out destinations off the beaten path, so get ready for some hidden gems.

Yes, even with a name as recognizable as Gaudí, he does have some buildings that still fly under the radar: here they are.

Casa Vicens

upwards angled view of the casa vicens house in Barcelona which was also designed by Gaudi

The beautiful Gaudí construction, Casa Vicens, is not far from the action.

It’s a few minutes’ walk from Fontana, the metro station which serves the lovely Gracia neighborhood.

That said, it’s often missed because it is tucked away on an otherwise unremarkable street, Carrer de les Carolines.

Considered to be Gaudí’s first major project, Casa Vicens is quite different from his more famous pieces.

primary colors in geometric print to create a unique pattern in a gaudi window scene

While the use of vibrant colors is certainly eye-catching, the design is dominated by straight lines and geometric patterns, just like the window detailing seen in the above photo.

More than his other works, this particular Gaudí building is perhaps more remniscent of the Muslim-influenced architecture of southern Spain.

The building has changed hands many times and was used as a family home as recently as 2014, but it is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

College of Saint Teresa-Ganduxer

ornate facade of the college that Gaudi designed in barcelona with moorish detailing and palm trees

Photo Credit: By Enfo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Further uptown is the Bonanova neighborhood, where the city meets the foot of the Tibidabo mountain range. 

This area is full of huge, extravagant mansions, which gives it a ghostly charm of its own.

This atmosphere might be why it is the setting for much of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s thriller The Shadow of the Wind!

The College of Saint Teresa-Ganduxer, a private Catholic school completed in 1889, certainly contributes to that atmosphere. 

Gaudí’s commission was to build an economical base for the city’s Teresian nuns, and that sense of austere function is reflected in the form of the resulting building.

Despite its otherworldly austerity, the building still features some of Gaudí’s lighter touches, especially in the ornamentation of the rooftops.

Bellesguard

plant with blue and white azulejo-style tile reminiscent of Portuguese tile with lots of greenery

About a mile uptown from the college, you will find Bellesguard, a mansion house also known as Casa Figueres.

Meaning “beautiful view” in Catalan, Bellesguard was commissioned in 1900 by the Figueres family.

They wanted Gaudí to take inspiration from the ruins of the medieval castle located on their land.

More recognizably a Gaudí work than the College of Saint Teresa-Ganduxer, Bellesguard has elements which call to mind the college’s classical lines.

However, it also more characteristic flourishes on the windows and tower, foreshadowing what Gaudí would go on to do in the later works that made him famous.

A visit inside is recommended, mostly to see the building’s quite idiosyncratic roof! 

The story of Saint George is very important in Catalonia, and Catalans actually exchange books and roses on Saint George’s Day every year.

Gaudí makes a playful nod to this tradition here, with the roof and windows specially formed to resemble the snout of a (hopefully benevolent) dragon. 

The 15 Best Cafes to Work at in Barcelona: Coworking & Laptop-Friendly!

Empty coffee table over defocused coffee shop background, no one in the coffee shop, empty with brick wall and industrial-style hanging lamps

If you are looking to get some work done in Barcelona, rest assured: there are plenty of start-ups, co-working spaces and – what we’re covering in this blog post – work-friendly cafés in Barcelona. 

The phrase “Barcelona doesn’t have enough cafés” has never been uttered in human history.

The good news is that pretty much any café in any neighborhood is likely to have good Wi-Fi and a relaxed attitude to you using your laptop while you are there.

Locals will happily nurse a small coffee at their leisure, and you are much more likely to have trouble getting the waiter’s attention to the pay the check than to have anyone grumble about how little you are ordering!

We’ll get into the best cafés to work in Barcelona in just a moment, but first, just a word about Barcelonian coffee culture.

Barcelona Coffee Shop Terminology

Cortado, a favorite Spanish coffee with espresso with a small amount of foamed milk in the cup.

There’s one key thing to bear in mind if you do venture into your local Barcelona café for some remote work.

It’s important to know that the established coffee culture in Spain means that the Italian terms that reign supreme in the United States and elsewhere aren’t necessarily the most common here.

The two most common coffee drinks in Spain are cortado (a shot of espresso with a dash of milk) and café con leche (two shots of espresso in a small cupful of warm milk).

While other types of Italian espresso-style drinks, such as cappuccino or americano will be understood, you might not get exactly what you expect.

If you are looking for some serious volume of coffee (we’re talking brewed coffee here as opposed to espresso drinks), then likely, chains are the way to go.

For those fiending for the largest cup of coffee possible, don’t worry: we’ll get into the remote-work friendly coffee shop chains first, and then we’ll cover some more local options.

Work-Friendly Barcelona Coffee Shop Chains

closeup of a cup of coffee at coffee shop, with blurred background

Beyond the neighborhood cafés, there are a number of chains throughout the city, such as Sandwichez and Buenas Migas.

These chain cafés offer more international food options than your typical local place – although the prices are a little higher too.

Here are my two favorite picks for local chain coffee shops in Barcelona that won’t give you the side-eye while you do some remote work (and don’t worry, we wouldn’t so something as wrong as send you to Starbucks while you’re in Barcelona).

Federal Café

Federal Café has three locations in Barcelona (as well as other cities in Spain) and was at the forefront of the brunch craze that has taken over the city in the last decade.

It has caught on to the co-working market now, with two power outlets around each table, and a larger table area for group work, making it a great coffee shop to work at in Barcelona.

  • Sant Antoni: Carrer del Parlament, 39, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
  • Barri Gòtic: Ptge. de la Pau, 11, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
  • Pobleneu: Carrer del Taulat, 109, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

Flax & Kale

Another chain option would be Flax & Kale, an organic café/restaurant with a few outlets throughout the city.

If you are looking to take inspiration from the studious vibe of the Universitat area, the one on Carrer dels Tallers would be a good option.

  • Universitat: Carrer dels Tallers, 74b, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
  • Eixample: Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 31, 33, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Most Beautiful Work-Friendly Cafes in Barcelona

Talking of studious vibes, a lot of beautiful cafes in Barcelona can be found in bookshops and museums.

After all, who doesn’t get inspired by their surroundings?

Laie Libreria Café

The Laie Libreria Café just off Passeig de Gràcia is charming inside and out.

Its interior is light and airy, with walls lined with books, while its terrace offers a simple space for when you need a little fresh air or sunshine.

  • Carrer de Pau Claris, 85, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

La Terracita at the CCCB

The CCCB is a cultural center in the Raval District, but it’s more than just that!

Its archive is home not just to 10,00 multimedia references, but also offers a workspace.

The center’s café, La Terracita, is on hand for coffees and snacks, and it makes for a good spot to do a little work.

  • Carrer de Montalegre, 5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Filmoteca de Catalunya

A ten-minute walk downtown through El Raval will take you to a similar spot, the Filmoteca de Catalunya, a film archive run by the local government.

Showing classic films for free, this place is often busy at night, but during office hours this open-plan café offers long tables and very reasonable food, making it a great laptop-friendly coffee shop in Barcelona.

  • Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Corte Inglés

And now a somewhat unexpected addition: the top-floor café in Corte Inglés is much groovier than its rather clinical department store image might lead you to expect.

While not designed as a workspace, the café is enormous, and has an unbeatable inspirational view of the square, Passeig de Gràcia and the top of the Rambla.

It’s worth a least a visit to change up your working routine, and it’s also a place where there are myriad lunch options if you get peckish.

  • Plaça de Catalunya, 14, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Espai Joliu (temporarily closed)

Espai Joliu is something completely different. A plant store/café (yes, you read that right), it also offers tea and coffee, vegan-friendly treats and fast Wi-Fi.

From the outside you could be forgiven for thinking it has been abandoned (this is shabby chic turned up to ten), and even inside we are talking unplastered walls and eclectic furniture.

However, for anyone looking for something different or a rustic never-more-Spanish feel, this is a great option.

  • Carrer de Badajoz, 95, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

Black Remedy

Black Remedy has a bit more of a bar vibe, and so it not the place if you want peace and quiet.

On the other hand, if it’s energy and hustle and bustle you want, it’s a great choice.

We’re talking decent Wi-Fi speed, OK access to power outlets (sit at the end of tables for best results) and excellent coffee, food and service.

Right in the center of the Gothic Quarter, it’s also ideal for anyone new in town who would like to combine some work time with sightseeing.

  • Carrer de la Ciutat 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Taranna

On the other end of the spectrum, Taranna is away from the tourist attractions in the lesser-visited side of Poblenou.

As well as the café on the first floor, there is a walkdown area where the creatives descend to.

Once upon a time the area had an abundance of power outlets, but on my last visit they had been covered, so it’s perhaps a good spot for a quick work session in peace and quiet.

  • Carrer de Fluvià, 47, 08019 Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Co-Working Coffee Shops

If you are after a more serious space, some cafés have positioned themselves as quasi-coworking spaces.

These are the more serious coffee shops to work at in Barcelona, so come to one of these when you’re ready to put your nose to the grindstone.

FabCafe

A great co-working option is FabCafe, near the Arc de Trimof.

This is an ideal option for anyone who wants a little more access to the latest technology alongside their cup of joe.

3D scanners, 3D printers, laser cutters and cloud printers are all on hand, perfect for creatives!

  • Carrer de Bailèn, 11, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Coworkidea

Coworkidea is another paid space, a very bright and airy coworking spot nestled between Plaça Catalunya and Plaça Universitat.

As well as the coffee, it offers three meeting rooms, an events room and – if you want to pretend you work for Google – a chill-out area complete with a hammock.

  • Carrer de Torres i Amat, 21, 1º, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Espai Born

Espai Born has a really groovy vibe to it that makes it a fun choice for a place to work remotely in Barcelona.

Fun fact: it’s in a renovated old bakery!

Set in a basement area, this spot embraces its cellar aesthetic with eclectic touches from distressed bookshelves to vintage arcade machines.

It’s the perfect atmosphere for a buzzy, creative professional.

  • Carrer dels Vigatans, 11, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Aticco Urquinaona

As the name suggests, Aticco Urquinaona gives you access to the high life.

Set in a penthouse with access to a roof terrace, a gym and even financial consultants and marketing experts on hand, this is ideal for anyone taking the next step towards a serious co-working space.

  • Ronda de Sant Pere, 52, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

imaginCafé

imaginCafé is something different, a free intitiative launched by CaixaBank.

The décor here is something akin to an Apple Store, drastically sparse and professional, but for that reason it can get busy – and one area is reserved for CaixaBank cardholders.

  • Carrer de Pelai, 11, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Work-Friendly Coffee Shops (With Actually Great Coffee)

Alternatively, if your priority is to find great coffee in a place where it’s possible to work, rather than a dedicated space, there are a number of options.

These spaces may not specifically prioritize co-working, but it’s doable. Come with your laptop and devices charged for best results, as outlet usage isn’t guaranteed.

SlowMov

SlowMov in Gràcia offers speciality coffees and a variety of roasted options, along with a suitably quiet atmosphere allowing you to get some stuff done.

While it’s place that is featured in a lot of “top 10 Barcelona café”-type articles, it’s worth the hype.

The coffee shop is rather small, so it’s better for a quick cup of coffee and a brief sprint of work rather than an all-day slog.

  • Carrer de Luis Antúnez, 18, 08006 Barcelona, Spain

Satan’s Coffee Corner

Satan’s Coffee Corner is another classic Barcelona coffee shop for expats and visitors.

While there are few outlets, there are plenty of spaces both at the bar as well as around the larger tables, probably big enough for a group of eight.

Wi-Fi speeds are excellent for an open network, and the Right Side Coffee they serve has earned it glowing reviews since it opened in 2012.

Best of all, there is also some unconventional food on offer, including traditional Japanese breakfasts.

  • Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 700, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Brew Coffee

A little further downtown, just off the Tetuan metro stop, is Brew Coffee.

Along with the speciality coffees here, you can pick up some Asian-influenced pastries, and work in this friendly, inviting space.

  • Carrer de Roger de Flor, 102, 08013 Barcelona, Spain