Submarines and volcanoes – the highs and lows of a family holiday in Lanzarote

Submarines and volcanoes – the highs and lows of a family holiday in Lanzarote

We review an all-inclusive week full of adventure in the Canary Islands with children

“That was brilliant Mummy, I loved it. Can we get off now?”

Erm, no. We are 100 feet beneath the sea in a (yellow) submarine.

A box looks through the viewport of the submarine to see the fish in the sea

Enjoying the view from the submarine

We’ve passed shipwrecks and divers  and hundreds of fish. And my young son loved every minute. But now he thinks we can just climb out and carry on exploring the pretty port where our hosts Submarine Safaris are based. 

Thankfully, the appearance of a stingray draws our little Octonauts-fan back in to the view outside our viewport. 

We are in Lanzarote – an island of highs and lows.  The day after exploring deep beneath the ocean, we are up among its staggering volcanoes. 


And it’s on a high that the holiday starts with a remarkably relaxing flight with Jet2. 

Thanks to the airline’s generous hand-luggage allowance (10kg per person, double that of our last flight with a different company) we were well-equipped with entertainment for our son and daughter.

Fortunately, the four-hour journey passed without a hitch – we even arrived early. 

Basking in the glow of compliments from other passengers on the children’s behaviour, we left the plane, expecting to further bask in the ‘guaranteed’ winter sun of the Canary Islands.  Unfortunately it stayed firmly hidden behind clouds for the duration of our stay. 


Still, we had a bright welcome from the wonderful hotel staff at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort. 

Family pool at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort

Family pool at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort

It’s in a great location on the outskirts of Puerto del Carmen, sandwiched between the sea and a glorious volcanic vista.

The huge, 600-room, spotless complex, is set in beautiful grounds and we had a fabulous suite away from the reception and restaurants.

We were glad of the longer walk back to the room (and my daughter’s pushchair) after thoroughly tucking in to the sumptuous food on offer.

The hotel is all inclusive with a large, main restaurant and two other options for dinner – an Asian and a world food restaurant which was our favourite. 

Thankfully, most of the hotel’s six swimming pools are heated and our children particularly enjoyed ordering drinks at the swim-up bar. 

Family pool at the ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort

Another pool


Children are well catered for with a playground and the RiuLand club.

The entertainers work hard to ensure they have fun during the day and at the evening’s ‘Mini Disco’ where a particularly hilarious entertainer kept the adults as amused as the children. 

Beach and nearby attractions

We wrapped up well to enjoy the expansive Playa de los Pocillos beach, which is just across the road.

It was too cold to swim in the sea, but Josh and I went one better with our trip in the tourist submarine, where tour guides talk you through a memorable hour-long view of sea life.

The submarine in the sea at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote

Submarine Safaris at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote

The interior of the submarine

Inside the submarine

There were more creatures to see back on dry land at Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park.

They have sea lion, eagle and parrot shows plus ponies, canoe rides and a water park with slides.

We couldn’t leave Lanzarote without exploring its volcanic history so we hired a car and drove to Timanfaya National Park.  The black, rocky landscape makes it hard to believe the last eruptions here were in 1824. 

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park

Staff demonstrate the hot earth by setting dry bush alight, cooking food and creating great gushes of steam out of the ground.

Visitors also take a coach trip around the volcanoes – ours ended with a round of applause.

Whether our fellow passengers were moved by the sights or just grateful to be back in one piece after navigating the narrow, winding mountain roads and sheer drops, I wasn’t sure. 

In conclusion

Thank you Lanzarote – for the volcanic highs, the oceanic lows and everything in between. 

Accommodation: We stayed as guests at ClubHotel Riu Paraiso Lanzarote Resort, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

Travel: Jet2 – we received a discount for the purpose of this review.

Lanzarote – the best beaches, parks and attractions on a family holiday

Lanzarote – the best beaches, parks and attractions on a family holiday

Five family-friendly attractions for children to enjoy when visiting the Canary Island of Lanzarote

Submarine Trip

This is a real experience, the chance to dive 100 feet down in a tourist submarine from the pretty marina at Puerto Calero with Submarine Safaris.

Tour guides talk you through the memorable hour-long trip and you get the chance to spot a diver, shipwrecks and a stingray amongst other things.

Combine with a visit to the town’s market and you get a great trip out.

The submarine in the sea at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote

Submarine Safaris at Puerto Calero in Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park

The last eruptions here were in 1824 but the volcanic earth still draws the crowds. Fortunately there is a huge car park and well organised activities.

Staff demonstrate the hot earth by setting dry bush alight, cooking food and creating great gushes of steam out of the ground.

Visitors then take a coach trip around the volcanoes – the roads are narrow and winding with sheer drops but the coach drivers know what they’re doing.

timanfaya volcano and park

Visiting Timanfaya National Park is a spectacular day out

Take a trip to Texas

Well not quite, but Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park has a wild west theme. It is a zoo and water park.

There are sea lion, eagle and parrot shows plus ponies, canoe rides and a water park with slides. A full day’s entertainment near Puerto Del Carmen.


Hire a car and explore, the children will be fascinated by the volcanic landscape.

Just a few miles inland from the beaches the land turns black. Young ones will feel like they’ve visited the moon.

black lunar landscape in Lanzarote

Lanzarote’s landscape will wow visitors of all ages


The best in Lanzarote for fine white sand is probably Papagayo beach near Playa Blanca.

The island is second only to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands for good beaches.

Papagayo beach from the air

Papagayo beach is one of the best in Lanzarote

Other options to try are Famara in the north and Playa Quemada – the “burnt beach” – with its black rocks for something a bit different.

Have we missed your favourite? What are your top tips for families visiting Lanzarote?