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Family holiday in Lanzarote is well worth the wait

Sunshine holidays are back, and boy is Richard Jones pleased.
Sunshine holidays are back, and boy is Richard Jones pleased.

Sitting in the hot sun, sipping on a refreshing piña colada, watching the kids happily splashing in the palm-strewn pool.

Like millions of Brits, I’ve desperately missed foreign summer holidays.

Making the most of our new freedoms, my wife Rachel and I, along with our two daughters Isla and Evelyn, took the plunge and packed our bags for a week in the Spanish sun.

Our destination was Lanzarote, a long-time mecca for Brits targeting guaranteed sunshine, cheap prices, spectacular scenery and top-notch accommodation.

The resort had plenty of lovely pools to laze around. 

Once we’d landed in Arrecife, it was just a short 10-minute, €10 taxi ride to what would be our home for the next few days – Seaside’s Los Jameos Playa resort.

An elegant collection of charming Spanish haciendas surrounding a pool complex, the 530-room resort is perfect for families and couples of all ages.

Following a welcome glass of Cava in the spectacular timber-beamed foyer, we checked in to our family room.

Extremely clean (the maid called in twice a day) and incredibly comfortable, our room was a haven from the Canaries heat.

We sank into the king-sized wooden-framed beds, enjoyed sprucing up with the exclusive toiletries in the pristine and colourfully tiled bathrooms, and started each day with teas and coffees on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The clean, comfortable and stylish accommodation.

Away from the four sizeable pools, there is a whole host of entertainment, suitable for all ages, including fitness classes including water spinning, Zumba and Pilates for adults, and crafts, games, volleyball and water polo for kids.

On a couple of the mornings, we picked up putters and balls from the Club House and headed for a game of mini golf among the volcanic rocks and palm trees, while other families knocked tennis balls around the four courts.

Mini golf was a fun activity at the Los Jameos Playa resort.

Then, after long lazy days around the pools, we sat down to either enjoy the corny but enjoyable Motown and magic shows in the main concert room, and live music in the piano bar.

Indeed, there is a lot to see and do in Los Jameos Playa, but there is even more to taste – the food and drink is as good as any all-inclusive I have ever visited.

Breakfast was a tremendous mix of continental fare and other freshly prepared hot selections, while lunch offered us a break from the blazing sun with a choice of salads, meats, seafood and ice cream.

However, it’s the evening’s Iberian feasts which really elevate Los Jameos Playa’s culinary output.

The food was as good as any all-inclusive package Richard has ever tasted on holiday. 

As well as the literally hundreds of dishes of inventive cuisine, there were also Mexican, Italian and Chinese-themed evenings, as well as a Friday night gala feast.

Although there is more than enough to keep you entertained at the hotel, keycard access allows you to stroll out on to the delightful Playa Matagorda – a long curve of sandy beach fringed by volcanic black rock looking out on to the Atlantic Ocean.

From there, the paved promenade takes you along the seafront to the bustling resort of Puerto del Carmen in one direction, and the island capital Arrecife in the other.

In Del Carmen’s Old Town, bar after bar show the latest football and rugby fixtures, along with horse racing, and there is massive mix of live music.

For the more adventurous, Lanzarote is also home to the Timanfaya National Park, containing the Montañas del Fuego – the “Fire Mountains” that were formed after six years of volcanic eruptions in the 1700s.

Once you overcome the distinctive smell of sulphur, you’ll be amazed by the spellbinding lunar-like landscape, and you may also see a sudden geyser eruption during a barbecue like no other at El Diablo restaurant.

Isla and Evelyn enjoy a beautiful sunset at the beach.

The influence of César Manrique can be found in many of the island’s most spectacular sightseeing spots, none more so than at the Jameos del Agua volcanic tunnel, which was restructured by the iconic Lanzarote-born architect and artist during the 1960s.

These fabulous open-air caves are surrounded by lush, tropical plants, while the pièce de résistance is an idyllic pool where it’s said only the King of Spain can swim.

Look out too for the natural lake, home to the island’s blind, albino crabs, the Jameitos.

Finally, Rancho Texas Park, an animal and water attraction in Puerto del Carmen, is ideal for anyone with kids in tow.

Inspired by the American West, families can see unique animal species, soak in the panoramic pool and slip down the long slides.

Richard and family began each day enjoying time on their balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ranch is home to a wide variety of exotic birds, reptiles, dolphins, Komodo dragons, bison, pumas and tigers in its mini-zoo, and children can take a pony ride or canoe on the lake, interact with animals in Lilliput or go wading in the Splash Zone Water Corral.

After these exciting but hot and tiring days out, the safe haven of Seaside Los Jameos beckoned and, the opportunity to sip cocktails by the pool was even more appealing.

Just like that idyllic scene, our last-minute trip to the “Lanz of opportunity” had been picture-perfect.

What a view.

Fact box
Jet2holidays offers seven nights all-inclusive at the four-star Seaside Los Jameos Playa in Lanzarote, from £1,012 per person based on two people sharing and departing from Edinburgh. Price includes a 22kg baggage allowance and return transfers.
Alternatively, leisure airline Jet2.com offers low fares, great flight times and a generous 22kg baggage allowance to Lanzarote from Edinburgh and Glasgow from £39 per person one way including taxes.
Visit www.jet2.com or call 0800 408 5599.
To learn more about Seaside Los Jameos Playa and Seaside Resort Hotels see www.seaside-hotels.com

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