What's the weather like in Puerto del Carmen in January
January is the coldest month of the year in Puerto del Carmen, with temperatures averaging around 12C. However, maximum daytime temperatures are likely to be between 20C and 22C and still quite pleasant for sightseeing and other activities; perhaps more so than the summer months, when Lanzarote can be very hot and humid. Temperatures don't quite rise enough for sunbathing and with average sea temperatures of just 19C, it isn't really beach weather. Overnight temperatures also often fall to below 9C, so it is likely to be quite cold in the evenings.
Lanzarote generally has very dry and arid conditions, but between December and April visitors can expect some rainfall; this is the "rainy season" on the island. December and January have the highest rainfall averages and visitors should expect around 26mm of rainfall over 5 days. Showers usually only last for an hour or two though, and therefore shouldn't prove too disruptive. This is also a relatively small amount of rainfall; in comparison, the average rainfall expected in Tenerife in January is 66mm.
Across the island there is also likely to be significant cloud cover, particularly in the north and over the hilly, mountainous central region. Cloud cover usually clears around midday in the south and along the coast.
Average Sunshine Hours
Despite high rainfall averages, low overnight and sea temperatures, there are still 209 sunshine hours on average in the month and the highest recorded temperature is 25C, so the weather is still quite temperate. And along the coast in the more sheltered, southern part of the island, Puerto del Carmen is likely to see far more sunshine than resorts to the north. At this time UV levels are also low (rated 4 on the UV Index), which allows for greater movement in the hottest part of the day and make conditions perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Dust storms have been known to hit Lanzarote at this time, though it's rare and they are likely to be short-lived, mild and infrequent; causing very little inconvenience. The worst of the storms are saved for the spring. However, visitors should be aware that any dust storms will cause disruption at the airports, with planes unable to land or take off until the dust clears, and to all transport systems across the island. Those suffering from asthma or other respiratory complaints should also avoid being outdoors during a storm, as the dust can aggravate these conditions.
Due to the high rainfall averages and low sea temperatures, most visitors wouldn't choose Puerto del Carmen for a beach holiday in January. However, with an average of 7 daily sunshine hours, low UV levels, and still pleasant temperatures, January is an excellent time for sports and other outdoor activities on the south side of the island and it is still possible to do a little sunbathing.
Puerto del Carmen Hotels in January
There's a wide variety of accommodation available in Puerto del Carmen to suit any taste, luxury to budget, hotels, villas, and apartments.
At more luxurious end of the scale, the 4-star Seaside Los Jameos Playa with spa, tennis courts and fitness club, heated pool, subtropical gardens and bars is an excellent choice. There's plenty to do to keep the whole family occupied in the evening or on rainy days.
Closer to the city center, Morromar Apartamentos are more of a mid-range choice, with different apartments to suit a variety of budgets and party sizes. The facilities are limited, but as the apartments are all situated right in the heart of the city, you won't really miss them. A more luxurious option in the town center, the Hotel Lanzarote Village is situated right on Los Pocillos Beach and boasts a range of facilities to keep the family occupied all year round: bars, several pools, a games room and children's play park. They also have a picnic service, if you want to explore the island at your leisure.
The Beatriz Playa and Spa is also lovely, with excellent spa facilities, evening entertainment and waterfall gardens. There are a variety of similar budget options, like Los Palmeras and Playa Pocillos Apartments; the facilities are less extensive but they are good value for money, the rooms are clean, and they are both within walking distance of the main strip.
Puerto del Carmen Beach for January
There are three excellent beaches, all with Blue Flag status, in Puerto del Carmen, however, while temperatures in the winter months are still mild enough to enjoy a little sunbathing, you may need to plan activities and excursions for colder days and to fill your time during any showers.
The Playa Grande is the most popular of the three beaches and stretches 6km. The beach shelves very gently into the sea, which makes it perfect for toddlers and young children, and the sea is usually calm with very little current.
Playa Chica is a better choice for activities such as snorkelling and diving. Tucked away behind the Hotel Fariones in the Old Town, the small beach and bay are surrounded by volcanic rock formations. There's also a small jetty and a water sports school offering jet skiing, parascending and banana boating.
To the east is Playa Pocillos, a huge swathe of sand with bigger currents and waves, which is a popular choice for windsurfing enthusiasts.
Bars and Restaurants
There are over 100 restaurants on the Avenida de Las Playas, which cater to every taste and budget from the more expensive and upscale to budget fast food. Off the main strip, Bozena's on Calle Teide in a traditional Canarian house has a very relaxed atmosphere and serves a medley of Polish and Irish cuisine. For something more traditional, try Los Marineros, also in the Old Town, specialising in traditional Spanish cuisine with live music and a barbecue most nights. Along the old harbour there are also several excellent fresh fish restaurants.
There are a huge variety of bars (including more than 40 Irish pubs) along the strip and Playa Pocillos, but Centro Atlantico is the main nightlife hub with clubs and bars over two floors, and several live music venues. At the other end of the strip, Matagorda is more laid back but still pretty lively, with karaoke bars and live entertainment.
Things to do in Puerto del Carmen in January
There are a wide variety of activities and attractions on offer in Puerto del Carmen. While sea temperatures are relatively cool, and the weather is somewhat unpredictable, many visitors prefer to spend their time sightseeing, doing sporting or other activities, rather than on the beach.
For those rainy days, the Aquarsis Wellness Centre, close to the center of Puerto del Carmen, comes highly recommended and has excellent spa facilities. With several pools, Turkish bath, Terma bath, footbath, range of treatments, essential oil showers and sunbed area there's plenty of options to ensure you have a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxed day.
For visitors who prefer a more active holiday, there are a number of diving and windsurfing centers in Puerto del Carmen who run courses and activities all year round, and just outside the town center the 72 par Lanzarote Golf Resort has fantastic views over the Atlantic Ocean. The Golf Resort offers classes and courses throughout the year for all ages and both novice and advanced golfers. You can also rent mountain bikes from your hotel, or from any one of the many bike hire shops in Puerto del Carmen, and there are trail maps available for keen hikers at the Information Center on Avenida de las Playas.
There are a wealth of shops in Puerto del Carmen. Beach Avenue, on the main strip, caters mostly to tourists and beach holiday necessities. For something a little more upmarket, try the designer and boutique shops in the more modern Biosfera shopping complex. There are also a number of arcades along the sea front, and the Gran Casino de Lanzarote offers a variety of games for adults to fill a rainy day.
There is very little of historical or cultural interest in Puerto del Carmen, but the picturesque Old Town has managed to retain most of its original character. Puerto del Carmen was originally a small fishing village, and the old harbour and surrounding streets, with their more traditional architecture and Spanish feel, are a delightful place to explore.
Going further afield, Timanfaya National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island; nearly a million people visit the lava scape every year. The views of the spent cones and volcanic landscape are impressive, and several interesting demonstrations of the volcano's heat take place outside the excellent restaurant at the center of the park.
Jameos del Agua fuses art with nature to create a unique tourist attraction. An underground natural lake is home to a species of blind albino crabs ('Jameitos') which are only found on Lanzarote. The café on the hill overlooks tropical gardens and a beautiful turquoise swimming pool (in which, reputedly, only the King of Spain is allowed to actually swim).
The Cesar Manrique Foundation, the former home of the famous artist, is built over five interconnected bubbles in the lava flow. It showcases paintings and sculptures by not only Cesar Manrique, but many other contemporary artists. The house is a spectacular feat of engineering, and welcomes over 300,000 visitors a year.
There are any number of boat trips and excursions available at coastal resorts, including submarine safaris and luxury catamaran sailing, but one of the most interesting is a trip to the Chinijo Marine Reserve.