You will love our pools and plazas here at Sands Beach Resort, and we understand the temptation to relax all holiday long. We urge you to get out and see Lanzarote’s unbelievable landscape though, as it will create lifelong memories! One of the best ways to do this is by bike. We have our very own bike rental shop located directly outside our front entrance offered by Papagayo Bike, the first bike rental service on the island. They offer a selection of excellent excursions, one of which we were lucky enough to try out, and it was amazing!
We were booked onto the mountain bike excursion of the South of the island, starting from beautiful Playa Blanca. We were picked up at around 8am outside the Papagayo Bike shop at Sands Beach Resort by José Miguel, one of three great people working at the shop at Sands Beach Resort alongside Jose Tomas and Celia. This guy is a true competitor and has even taken part in the world famous yearly Lanzarote Ironman tournament.
We arrived at Playa Blanca at around 9am and went into the original Papagayo Bike shop, where we were greeted by the friendly and enthusiastic Bert from Belgium. The selection of bikes is extremely impressive from basic road and mountain bikes, right through to carbon fibre racing bikes worth thousands of euros. Across the island the company has hundreds of bikes to choose from!
There were 12 people taking part on the tour including our two guides Jose, and the owner and founder of the company Nacho. The story of Papagayo Bike is amazing as Nacho started the company over 15 years ago with just a single bike! We were in great hands as both guys are very knowledgeable about the island, and train regularly so are easily able to lead these tours.
We had the right bikes selected for us, which were in perfect condition and very well maintained. We were also given helmets (safety first!), and water bottles with an energy drink to keep us going. Boy did we need it! We started off at a brisk pace from the shop at around 9:30, and rode along the promenade right next to the beach. Nacho led the way, while Jose made sure no-one was left completely behind. Right from the beginning the views from the coast were amazing. The day was clear and sunny (as most days are in Lanzarote), so we had a fantastic view out to Fuerteventura, and the ferries making their journeys back and forth there.
We passed the impressive Playa Blanca port where the ferries leave from, and continued round the coast heading West. Along this stretch of the route the group stayed together fairly well as we rode along the wide, well-maintained pathway. We passed beautiful sandy beaches, hotel and apartment complexes and some fairly bemused passing tourists. Some looked on with interest or took a double take when they saw us all riding along, as if they were watching a mini version of the Tour de France. It was all very exciting!
From there on after though things definitely got tougher! While we are active here at Sands Beach Resort, if you are not experienced with off-road mountain biking this excursion is definitely a test. It is totally worth the effort though as off the tourist track you see some really interesting and incredible sights. One of which was a fully built, but abandoned hotel. This was after we reached the edge of Playa Blanca and began to cycle Northwards past Punta Gines. This is definitely not something you will see if you stick to the easy routes! Whatever possessed someone to build a hotel out here though is beyond us, as it is very difficult to access and has no other amenities around it!
After this point we needed to take things a bit more slowly so Nacho took the rest of the group on ahead of us, while Jose stayed with team Sands Beach, while we cycled more slowly and took a lot more photos. Here we are posing for a photo (and happy for a short rest!):
We continued northwards alongside the coast along bumpy, difficult terrain. As we cycled we were passed by quad bikes which of course looked a lot easier! Then again we were getting a great workout and cycling out in the beautiful sunshine.
That area of coast is not easily accessible, even by car, due to the difficult terrain. It is definitely worth going there though, especially if you are able to stop for a while as there are some incredible natural swimming pools in an area called Los Charcones, that even many of the locals of Lanzarote don’t know about. They are some of the best kept secrets of the island!
After a while longer we reached some kind of water desalination plant (I think that is the purpose) and headed more inland to ride on the road for a while, to speed things up. This ride was indeed easier, although still a good workout as some of it was uphill. Once again though our efforts were rewarded, as soon after we reached the top of a tough climb we were greeted with a stunning view of the Salinas de Janubio, the only operating commercial salt works on the island, on the shores of the Laguna de Janubio, a large emerald-green saltwater lagoon. This was the highlight of our excursion, as the view is simply stunning and unlike anything else you will see!
By that time it was about 11am. After a quick apple each to keep our strength up it was time to head back to base. Of course Jose wasn’t hungry or tired, but then again he is an IronMan competitor! We headed back onto the highway and most of the way back was downhill so it was super fast, and very exhilarating! When we arrived back at the shop we had covered 30kms in just over two hours! Not bad for mountain biking beginners.
Back at the Papagayo Bike store here is Bert on the left, Camilla our new marketing intern from Holland in the centre, and Jose to the right.
Lanzarote is an island of extreme natural beauty, and breathtaking landscapes. The colours seem out of this world, as the bright sun beams its rays of light down onto the dark land created long ago by powerful volcanic eruptions. The sky is seemingly a constant blue, and the ocean perfect shades of aquamarine and azul, while the beaches vary around the island from soft white sand to dark pebbles and rocks. As you can see from our experience, one of the best ways to see all of these sights is by taking a Papagayo Bike excursion with their friendly guides, and top quality bikes.
You can join road and off-road excursions which take place in three different areas of the island, the North, South, or Centre. As Bert explained to us in-store the recommended duration is between 3-5 hours but the distance and time is very flexible to accommodate the different abilities of cyclists joining.
Excursion price: 53€
If you want to find out more about Papagayo Bike and the excursions they offer then check out their website and follow them on Facebook or Twitter. You can also talk to them directly to rent bikes or book yourself onto an excursion right here at their shop at Sands Beach Resort. Whichever bike you rent or excursion you decide to take we are sure you will enjoy the ride!