05:36:10 Thursday, 29th July

The Canary Islands are a shoppers’ paradise with large commercial centres full of big retail stores, independent boutiques, designer label shops and everything in between... If you like shopping, you will love Lanzarote!

Many goods (alcohol, tobacco, perfume, jewellery, clothing and electronic items) are still cheaper in the Canaries, which although use the Euro, have maintained their status of a free trade zone within the EU and offer produce with a much lower VAT rate compared with many other European countries.

However, there are strict export limits for taking items to other European Union countries. For example, you are only allowed to bring with you one litre of spirits and 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars).

Arrecife is the island’s shopping area par excellence, with shops centred in the Calle León y Castillo and its side streets. Here, you will find bazaars and retailers selling almost anything you can think of at very reasonable prices (usually considerably lower than those you find in major resorts).

Traditional products can be bought at the Saturday morning market, taking place alongside El Charco de San Ginés, and also in artisan shops in the area. If you are a César Manrique fan you can buy art products carrying his designs or prints in the Tienda Fundación César Manrique, which you will find in the Calle José Betancort.

In popular resorts like Costa TeguisePlaya Blanca and Puerto del Carmen, you will find so many shops dotted around. The Biosfera Plaza Shopping Centre in Puerto del Carmen is no exception. Offering many high street names such as Rayban, Timberland and Zara shoppers are spoilt for choice. Furthermore, the centre organises free events, provides family fun with its the Jurassic Kingdom Mini Golf Course, open-air Cinema, a unique vitual reality 6D Simulator and food court offering everything from snacks to international cuisine. For more information about particular shopping centres or major stores in the area you are staying, please ask your hotel reception.

In most villages throughout the island, you will find shops selling local craft items, such as pottery, basketwork, embroidery and jewellery, but one of the most famous places to buy these is the Casa-Museo del Campesino in Mozaga in the centre of the island. More traditional gifts and souvenirs can be found in Teguise. Here, every Sunday, the island’s biggest flea market takes place, with lots of stalls selling almost everything you could wish for! Haría is another interesting place with some nice shops offering a good range of island craft items. When touring the island, look out for other traditional markets that take place a bit everywhere!

The finely woven straw hats from Yaiza and Tinajo make excellent souvenirs. Other interesting craft souvenirs include rag dolls in national costume, lacework made by the island’s nuns and jewellery fashioned from olivine – a green gemstone of volcanic origin.

Don't hand over money until you've compared prices and quality. Haggle for your gifts, it's expected. Do not be shy – it’s part of the fun!