Heading north towards the wilder shores of Lanzarote it’s easy to miss Finca de Arrieta. This eco-village of low stone villas, cottages and yurts blends seamlessly into the landscape, backed by extinct volcanoes yet just a short walk from the popular surfer’s beach of Playa la Garita. Founded in 2007 by English couple, Michelle and Tila Braddock, the 30,000 square metre eco-village comprises 17 different sizes of holiday accommodation, all powered by solar and wind energy.
There’s everything you need on site, making Finca de Arrieta the perfect place for a relaxing and eco-friendly holiday in Lanzarote. Communal facilities include a swimming pool, chill-out zone, children’s playground and honesty shop. Eggs are supplied by the farm chickens with a friendly donkey always happy to say hello to guests, especially those bearing gifts of a carrot or apple!
A short walk away is the coastal village of Arrieta, which has a more local feel than the busy resorts further south. Here you’ll find just a few streets of white houses overlooking the crashing waves, yet there’s all you need in the way of shops and seafood restaurants.
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Finca de Arrieta eco-village in Lanzarote
Finca de Arrieta started life as a farm, with the old ruined house now forming the Eco luxury farmhouse, a windmill (now the Eco-tower) and water tanks used to collect rainwater (now the swimming pool). Over the years the Braddock family have added Mongolian yurts and stone cottages, developing this into one of the most eco-friendly places to stay in Lanzarote. In addition to the Finca de Arrieta eco-village, there are a number of other holiday properties for rent under their umbrella company Lanzarote Retreats.
The furnishings at Finca de Arrieta are a blend of eco-chic Balinese and surfer-style in the artwork and colourful furnishings. Thoughtful services ensure a relaxing start to your holiday, with VIP airport transfer and the use of a Toyota hybrid car that’s included with some of the accommodation. A welcome pack provides basics for your stay and boxes of provisions can be arranged as well as regular Paella and Cava nights being held for guests to get to know each other.
Eco Casita at Finca de Arrieta
We stayed in Eco Casita at Finca de Arrieta, a single story cottage built of volcanic stone, with an open layout, outdoor dining table and private garden area. It was the perfect size for us as a couple, although families can use the sofa bed or add a 3 metre yurt in the garden for extra sleeping space.
Our cute little cottage was surprisingly roomy on the inside, with a well equipped kitchen / dining area, tiled floor, additional storage cupboard and a sofa. We liked the friendly touches, a selection of coffee and other foods in the welcome pack and the local wines left in the cottage for us to purchase. A glass water bottle was provided to refill at the honesty shop (since the desalinated water of Lanzarote is not recommended for drinking) and three kitchen bins allowed us to sort and recycle our waste.
If you are a foodie, read my article on Lanzarote food and 25 dishes you’ll want to try!
Our bedroom at Eco Casita
Eco Casita’s dining area opens directly into the bedroom, with a wardrobe and king size double bed. Everything is stylish and comfortable, with high quality bed linen, pretty cushions and a big fish of reclaimed wood as artwork. The relaxed style of Finca de Arrieta blends traditional Lanzarote whitewashed walls, with a touch of Bali in the polished wood floors and rattan roofing. Mosquito nets are provided as these can be an issue at night in the warmer months, although we were there in December and didn’t have any problems.
Tucked around the corner of our bedroom was the semi-open bathroom, with sink, toilet and shower as well as a chest of drawers for storage. The shower is powered by solar energy backed up from a battery, so we always got a nice hot shower.
Water is scarce on Lanzarote, due to the low rainfall and reliance on water desalination. Among the eco-initiatives at Finca de Arrieta was a large rubber bowl that we could stand under our shower to catch wastewater and then use to water the plants. The owners have found lots of easy ways to involve guests in their eco-friendly mission, making it fun to do your bit for the planet.
Off grid living at Finca de Arrieta
At one side of the cottage, through the French windows from the bedroom, was a covered terrace with dining table and chairs to eat al fresco. The only downside of our cottage was that there was no wifi in the property, although it’s available in the communal area where you can work or check emails if necessary.
For many people this could be a blessing, if you are looking to go off grid and have a break from technology, but for me as a blogger it was a bit inconvenient, especially as I was having problems with my phone coverage during this trip.
The swimming pool at Finca de Arrieta
Looking at the tranquil turquoise swimming pools, it’s difficult that believe that these were once cisterns used for gathering rainwater for use on the farm. The pools are solar powered with a smaller one ideal for children to splash around in. A shaded chill out platform, showers and changing rooms make this an ideal place to relax in Lanzarote’s year round sunshine.
Facilities at Finca de Arrieta
At Finca de Arrieta you have the best of all worlds with private self-catering accommodation, while feeling part of a community of other travellers who you might meet by the pool or in the communal kitchen. The dining area is useful for groups staying in separate accommodation, providing a place to hang out and eat together, as well as giving access to wifi which is not available in all the cottages.
Community kitchen, info hub and honesty shop
Just a step down from the communal kitchen is the information hub where the office is manned for several hours a day to help you with any enquiries. This is the place to pick up leaflets and information about things to do around Lanzarote.
Next door is a small honesty shop, with basic supplies of food and ice creams so that you don’t have to worry about a big supermarket shop on your first day. We liked the honesty system where you make a note of anything you’ve taken and then pay your bill at the end of your stay. You can also find on sale in the shop, Aloe Vera products that are locally produced in Lanzarote.
Children’s playground and BBQ area
On the edge of the finca, near the chickens and donkey enclosure is the children’s playground, with an old wooden fishing boat to climb inside and a trampoline that looked very tempting for a bounce. There’s a BBQ area next to the playground, which would be a great place for families to gather and hang out together.
Toyota Hybrid cars at Finca de Arrieta
We loved the way that the Finca de Arrieta team have thought of everything to make for a relaxing stay, including the Toyota Hybrid cars that are included with some of the properties. If you book a stay where this is included, you’ll get a VIP transfer to and from the airport and the use of the Toyota Hybrid during your time at Finca de Arrieta. At the end of the holiday you just refuel the car and are driven back to the airport in time for your flight, so you don’t have to join the long queues for car hire at the airport.
The cactus garden at Finca de Arrieta
Near the entrance to the Finca stands the resident eco-guardian, a centaur made of driftwood that was commissioned from a local artist. The owners of Lanzarote Retreats, Michelle and Tila presented the sculpture in 2017 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Finca de Arrieta being open and it presides over the children’s cactus garden.
The whole eco-village is beautifully planted with native cactus, palms and other flowering plants, but guests can also contribute to the garden by planting their own small cactus. In the honesty shop are a free supply of baby cactus, together with gardening tools and labels, so that guests can plant their own cactus and mark the spot with their name and date. What a great idea to have a bit of fun and contribute to the eco-vision of Finca de Arrieta!
Need a guidebook for Lanzarote? We can recommend the Marco Polo Lanzarote guidebook that we used during our visit.
Meet the animals at Finca de Arrieta
Little and big kids like us will enjoy saying hello to some of the animals that make up the community of Finca de Arrieta. We visited the ducks and chickens who were only too happy to have our food scraps to minimise waste and encourage recycling. In exchange guests are allowed to collect a few fresh eggs for their own use, which seems an extremely fair deal!
Molly the donkey and friend also perked up their ears when we passed by, probably also hoping that we were about to feed them some tasty scraps. A few years ago Molly started straying into Finca de Arrieta and became a favourite with the guests. When Tila the owner found the nearby farmer who owns Molly, they did a deal that the donkey could stay at the finca and give an occasional ride to children, while her owner comes to fetch her whenever he needs work doing on his land.
Other accommodation at Finca de Arrieta
While we were staying at Finca de Arrieta we took the opportunity to take a look at some of the other accommodation available. It was no surprise to learn that many guests enjoy their stay so much, that they come back time after time. Keys to any empty accommodation are available at the information hut, for you to check out where you might like to stay on a future visit.
Yurts in Lanzarote at Finca de Arrieta
The yurts at Finca de Arrieta were brought over from Mongolia by owner Tila and are a unique feature of the accommodation on offer. They have a tardis like quality of being much more roomy inside than they look, and are surprisingly comfy and cosy, with proper wooden or tiled flooring.
The bedroom furnishings in the yurts are like those of a boutique hotel, with not a roll-mat or sleeping bag in sight, so you can leave your girl guide days behind! If you like the idea of outdoor living with a touch of luxury, these will be for you, with a private bedroom space within the yurt and a covered outdoor kitchen and separate bathroom within your garden area.
The Eco yurt royale takes yurt living to palatial levels, a 10 metre yurt that sleeps 6 people, with ingenious roll-down padded room dividers that make each sleeping area into a private space. It also has a covered but open air kitchen and dining area and plenty of outdoor space to relax.
Stone Cottages at Finca de Arrieta
Other stone cottages that we took a peek at included those in the tower at Finca de Arrieta that was once a windmill for the farm, used to grind grain into gofio, the staple flour of Lanzarote. The top half of the old building has been converted into the Eco-tower accommodation, ideal for a couple looking for a romantic break, with views from the small deck towards the ocean.
On the lower level of the old stone farm building is the Eco garden cottage, which offers spacious studio accommodation with a king size double bed and additional sofa bed with kitchen and dining area and lots of outdoor living space. This cottage is very close to the communal chill-out area and swimming pool too!
Other apartments from Lanzarote Retreats
Although we stayed the whole week at Finca de Arrieta, the flagship eco-village from Lanzarote Retreats, it’s worth knowing that there are lots of other apartments and villas that can be booked through Lanzarote Retreats. Villa Palacio has 6 bedrooms for extended family gatherings and there’s a range of stone cottages in nearby Arrieta and Punta Mujeres villages as well as apartments in Arrecife and Costa Teguise.
Who will enjoy staying at Finca de Arrieta?
We think that Finca de Arrieta will appeal to:
- Couples, families and groups of friends who want a relaxing and authentic holiday in Lanzarote, away from the busy resorts and big hotels.
- Groups of family or friends who want to book individual accommodation but spend fun times together.
- Grown up adventurers, who want the feel of outdoor living, but with a little luxury and comfort.
- Surfers who want to try their skills at Playa la Garita, one of the best places to surf on Lanzarote and just a 5 minute stroll from Finca de Arrieta.
- Eco-warriors who want to do their bit for the planet or anyone interested in travelling more sustainably.
- Digital nomads who can take advantage of the longer stay deals available, giving them private accommodation with a community atmosphere.
Book your holiday at Finca de Arrieta with Lanzarote Retreats
- Make your booking for Eco village Finca de Arrieta on the Lanzarote Retreats website or check prices and availability here.
- 17 holiday yurts, villas and cottages make up the eco-village a short walk from the village of Arrieta and the beach at Playa la Garita.
- Check out the flexi stays where your accommodation is allocated last minute or the reduced rates available for longer stays.
- Prices at Finca de Arrieta range from €80 per night for the smaller yurts and cottages to €390 per night for the eco luxury farmhouse sleeping 8 people.
- Holiday apartments, villas and cottages in Lanzarote are also available in other locations such as Arrieta, Punta Mujeres, Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Arrecife through Lanzarote Retreats.
- For more places to stay in Lanzarote check out prices and availability for other hotels in Lanzarote.
In addition to Finca de Arrieta, we stayed in this gorgeous boutique vineyard accommodation at Finca Malvasia, which we also recommend.
10 fun things to do in Lanzarote near Finca de Arrieta
You can also find some excellent full day tours and boat trips around Lanzarote on Get Your Guide, our recommended tour partner.
1. Surfing on Arrieta beach
We enjoyed the short walk from Finca de Arrieta to the beach of Playa la Garita, which happens to be one of the best surfing beaches on Lanzarote. The north of the island catches the winds coming from Africa, so it tends to be the best place for surfing. However, the waves at Playa la Garita are a bit more manageable than Famara beach, making it ideal for surfing at all levels. Body boards and surf boards can be borrowed at Finca de Arrieta, and if you’d like to take lessons, the concierge team can arrange this since many of them are keen surfers!
2. Eat seafood on Arrieta beach
Right on the beach at Playa la Garita are a couple of great seafood restaurants, where you can eat some of the freshest local fish and seafood around. Our favourite was La Casa de la Playa, a typical Spanish style chiringuito or beachside restaurant, where we ordered an enormous paradilla or platter of mixed fish. This restaurant always seemed to be busy and the service here was friendly and efficient.
A little further up the beach promenade is the equally popular El Chiringuito restaurant, while in Arrieta village itself we enjoyed the excellent seafood at Restaurant Amanecer, which has a terrace overlooking the rocky seashore. Read more about all the food we enjoyed on Lanzarote here.
3. Have a sundowner at the Mojito bar
On the promenade above Playa la Garita is a cool camper van that doubles as a Mojito bar, serving a range of drinks and cocktails. It’s a cool place to gather after a day on the beach, or have a sundowner before dinner at one of the local restaurants. Read more about all the food and drink we enjoyed on Lanzarote.
4. Swim near Casa Azul in Arrieta
If you walk through the town of Arrieta, you’ll find another small beach with a curious pavilion known as Casa Juanita or Casa Azul (the blue house) or more locally as “the doll’s house”. The house was built in 1916 by a local born in Arrieta who had emigrated to Argentina and later returned with his family.
Casa Juanita was named after his daughter Juanita and modelled on her doll’s house, since she had tuberculosis and had been advised by doctors that fresh sea air would be good for her health. The house has been renovated and is rented out as a holiday home, and the Playa del Charcon beach here is a bit more sheltered than Playa la Garita, making it an ideal place for families to swim.
5. Swim in the rock pools at Punta Mujeres
Drive a little further up the coast to the small seaside town of Punta Mujeres, which is popular with the Spanish, who rent holiday homes overlooking the sea here. Along the seafront there are a series of enclosed rock pools that are good for swimming at high tide. They provide a protected alternative to the high surf of the beaches for those who enjoy sea swimming.
6. The caves of Cueva de los Verdes
Just a ten minute drive north of Arrieta are a couple of visitor attractions that are well worth a visit. The Cueva de los Verdes or “Green Caves” are an underground complex of volcanic caves that were created by local artist Jesús Soto. With an artist’s eye he designed the coloured lights and soft, atmospheric music that accompany your guided tour through the caves, which are also used regularly for underground concerts.
We can recommend taking a full day tour of Lanzarote, like this one that includes a visit to Cueva de los Verdes.
7. Jameos del Agua
A short distance from the caves is Jameos del Agua, part of the same system of lava tubes, which you enter past a dark lake inhabited by tiny albino crabs. Emerging from the underground lake into the sunlight you are greeted by a blue lagoon surrounded by palm trees. Tropical plants clothe the rock walls that encircle this sheltered haven, with an auditorium at one end created from another of the volcanic lava tubes.
The cafe and restaurant are open throughout the day and create a special experience on certain evenings with live music. Jameo del Agua was designed by Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote’s most famous artist and the whole place is incredibly “instagrammable” even though it was created long before instagram existed!
This full day tour of Lanzarote includes Jameos del Agua as well as several other places around the island.
8. Caleton Blanco beach
Continue your drive north along the coast and just before you arrive at Orzola, turn off down an inconspicuous track to Caleton Blanco beach. There are no buildings or resorts on this part of the coast, so it’s a wild and unspoiled beach that combines black volcanic rocks with white sand.
We arrived at low tide, when the retreating sea creates a kind of lagoon, bounded by rocks and sheltered from the surf, making a peaceful spot for swimming. Just a little further you can take the ferry from Orzola to La Graciosa for a fun day trip – it’s slightly cheaper if you buy your ferry tickets in advance.
9. The Saturday market at Haria
Drive inland from Arrieta and the road winds up to the sheltered town of Haria, known as the “Valley of a thousand palms”. The small town closely packed with old houses has two main attractions: the weekly artisan market that’s held every Saturday and the home of Lanzarote’s famous artist, Cesar Manrique. An artisan market is held in the shady town square on Saturday mornings until 2pm, when the stalls selling crafts and local produce swell the numbers of shops and restaurants that permanently border the square.
We always love a walking tour and this one includes a visit to the market at Haria.
On the edge of town is the Cesar Manrique Palm Grove House, now run by the Cesar Manrique Foundation, where the artist lived from 1988 until his death four years later. Manrique’s workshop has been left as it was when he died, with paints lined along the walls and canvases scattered across the floor as he preferred to paint.
10. The Jardin de Cactus
Driving south from Finca de Arrieta, the turn off at Guatiza takes you to another of Cesar Manrique’s creations, the Jardin de Cactus. This old quarry located in a rofera or volcanic plug was transformed into a garden housing 4500 different species of cactus from all over the world.
At one end sits a photogenic windmill, like those that once covered Lanzarote to grind maize into the staple flour of gofio. This sheltered garden is a wonderful place to wander around, then try some of the cactus based dishes on offer in the attractive cafe overlooking the garden.
Plan your trip to Lanzarote
For a comprehensive but compact guidebook covering all you need to know about Lanzarote, I recommend the Lanzarote Marco Polo pocket guide. This is the guidebook that I used while were were there and it gives lots of background information and insider tips on the best things to see, including a free touring app with maps to download and use offline.
For guided tours I can recommend two excellent tour companies in Lanzarote
- Wine Tours Lanzarote run regular wine and craft beer tours and are extremely knowledgeable about the food and wine of Lanzarote. We took their most enjoyable wine tour covering three different bodegas which includes pickup from your accommodation. They also have a wine shop for deliveries of Lanzarote wines in the UK and Ireland.
- Eco-insider Lanzarote offer a wide range of small group tours with knowledgeable local guides. We took their 3 volcanos tour, but they also run walking tours, birdwatching tours and a full day wine tasting tour.
- You can also find some excellent full day tours and boat trips around Lanzarote on Get Your Guide, our recommended tour partner.
Thanks to Lanzarote Retreats who hosted* our week at Finca de Arrieta in Lanzarote.
* More info on my policies page
This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com
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