Holidays

Vegetarian or wheat/gluten free holidays

We took a vegetarian coeliac (gluten free) person to these destinations for a holiday and he didn’t starve. In fact he had some great meals. We share all on the following blog posts:

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7 thoughts on “Holidays

  1. Hi! I was so pleased that I found your blog. Some many other forums said it was so hard to eat a vegetarian/vegan diet in Lanzarote. I have wanted to visit for so long but was concerned until I saw your blog! My husband and I are trying to decide between staying in Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise. After reading your blog, as a vegan, would you think that Costa Teguise is a better option for us? I would really appreciate your opinion.

    Thank you so much for all the information, I will be taking it with me on our holiday 🙂
    Best wishes,
    Debbie 🙂

    • Hi Debbie
      Andrew and I have been discussing your question and we don’t really know where you would eat in Playa Blanca but then we have never liked it enough (mix of not being able to park anywhere near centre, it not seeming to have an interesting centre unless we have missed it, far too much urban sprawl like those housing estates that go on scarily forever outside Thatcham – but IMHO it’s nice to go once and check out the view across to Fuerteventura and walk along the prom) to spend much time exploring there and have not come across any recommendations for there either for vegetarians. We’d err towards staying walking distance of Costa Teguise centre and therefore being able to go to Surf Corner where the food is freshly cooked so can be tailored – even if sometimes that takes a long time so don’t arrive starving. Our friends who stayed in Playa Blanca drove over three times to eat there! Our other friends who stayed in Costa Teguise went all the time and even got them to prepare a lunch they could take on the flight home with them. Any other Qs feel free to ask and have a lovely holiday. We’re trying out Kefalonia, the Greek island, very soon. Quite scared about not being self-catering for a week as that makes life much easier when you can do your own thing. Booking.com is what we use to book our accommodation in Costa Teguise by the way.
      Marta

      • Hi Marta!
        I am so sorry for my late reply but I have been away from home (sadly not on holiday!!) Thank you so so much for your wonderful reply which has made me sure on staying in Costa Teguise now 🙂 I really do like the look of the Surf Corner Cafe and can see that being a regular haunt for sure. If I have any more questions, I will be sure to ask, thank you, it is most kind of you.

        Have a wonderful time in Kefalonia! If you write about your trip, I will be sure to be reading.

        Many thanks!
        Debbie 🙂

  2. Hi Marta.
    Thanks for your reply. I’ve actually visited the island 3 times before, and like you fell in love! Theme nut allergy is not so much of an issue as its been a life long problem so am very used to taking translations for that with me. My main concern is the mis-understanding surrounding gluten, I’m finding even people in the uk don’t know what it is at times!
    Thanks for your advice, I’m going to look into what I can take with and will definitely be hiring a car so can visit shops further afield.
    Thanks again, Nic.

    • Yes we know the feeling when we talk about gluten free and they seem to make all the right noises and then come back with a clanger that shows they have no idea really. So many waiting staff do not understand food e.g. that wheat is a filler in sausages etc. Every place you have to spell it out and it can get tiring. A resturant chain in the UK lists which sauces are gf but when you go there the bottles they are using are not. Lots to check constantly. Worst was Patio in Costa Teguise who after the lengthy discussion with the waiter brought out Andrew’s aubergine in cheese dish (can’t think how to spell it right now) with a bit of bread in each corner of it and then simply removed them when we complained and brought it back to us and then I had to explain they had to make it again because of cross contamination. Arghhhhh indeed. The places we end up recommending that we review you should be pretty safe in. Surf Corner don’t really get it fully as they used soy sauce in Andrew’s stir fry and he didn’t feel too brill after.

  3. Hi. Thanks for providing the info above. I’m vegetarian, have a serious nut allergy, and now recently diagnosed as a coeliac! Ahh! Visiting playa blanca, lanzarote, in September of this year. Do you have any suggestions of shops/supermarkets where I could buy general food staples for a week self catering? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Nic.

    • Hi Nic

      Nut allergy on top is the really tough bit. We feel for you but with advance planning should be doable.

      We have never food shopped in Playa Blanca (more and more supermarkets stock gluten free on the island generally so you should be able to find something – don’t forget some airlines like RyanAir let you bring over stuff too) but if you have a car or hire one while over there even for a day (well worth doing for 2 days minimum as so much to see on the island that is wonderful and extraordinary) you can get to the shops we list in the article. Tias will be the closest but look out for ‘use by’ dates there. Lanjaron water is the best to buy or your tea/coffee will taste funny. Heinz baked beans are the only gluten free ones and these are a pricey import but am told they are cheapest at Gangas outside Tias (“It’s a place that imports British furniture, some dried and tinned and frozen foods and other bits and pieces called Gangas – it’s at the top of Tias, near to the bypass road, Calle Libertadas, 61”). Fruit and veg are more expensive as it is an island that does not get much rain – super for a holiday but rubbish for growing stuff. Be prepared for that. There is a Lidl near Ikea outside Arrecife but we didn’t think Lidl was madly cheaper – it just seemed to make the previously expensive supermarkets have a rethink. Spars we find are more expensive then Hiperdino for some items and the more central the location in a town the higher the prices. Best to ask a Brit living in Playa Blanca where a good large cheap supermarket is – the bigger they are the more likely they will have a GF section.

      The issue with buying items from a supermarket is that if ingredients are not in English you need to know translation of every type of nut or to ask someone fluent in Spanish to double check there are no nuts. I myself feel like I will die if I have a cashew so have to learn the word for that every place I go. The good news is gluten free pasta rarely has nuts in it and rest of the ingrdients for pasta you can buy fresh. Rice and potatoes should feature in your choices. Be careful with breads and cakes as cakes/sweet things often use almond flour or breads have nuts and seeds for interest. Last time I was in Lanzarote a lady contacted me who also is allergic to corn and cassein as well as gluten – she’s going out to live in Playa Blanca. I popped into the health food store in Costa Teguise (where we always stay) before leaving and the lady running it said she would be willing to order in corn/maize free stuff for her and you may want to contact her on her email address which is ‘info [at sign mail thing] herbariumlanzarote.com’ as she could get a bunch of stuff together for you that is definitely nut free. If you don’t have a car you could bus to Arrecife and get a bus to Costa Teguise from there.

      By the way if you don’t have any shops near you in UK with good array of stuff (we have to shop in every supermarket plus we are blessed with an amazing health store near us for the rarer stuff) this website is good http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk. Through the NHS prescriptions for celiacs you have a much wider array of GF food products available to you too which won’t all have nuts in so definitely explore those (I get annoyed with the amount of products which use soya as I try to avoid it apart from fermented soya products) and if you pay for prescriptions you can buy an annual card which makes it cheaper. That’s the only blessing with being coeliac. Do visit Juvela and Glutafin websites and sign up there as a celiac for their free samples.

      Some restuarants/cafes will cater I should think but with advance notice like Blooming Cactus, Surf Cafe, Alessios, La Cantina, Lilium and Verde Mar in La Santa. They need the business but also need to be able to think about and check stuff when not in a busy time. Another reason to hire a car is to be able to eat out – hiring is very cheap to do there due to low crime rates as long as you are over your mid 20s.

      Hope you have a nice time there and more importantly find stuff to eat. It’s a great island and we go back often because of how lovely so many places are with coping with our diets when eating out. Now I am sugar free, wheat free and dairy free I may find them less welcoming myself LOL. But thank heavens for self-catering!

      We’ve booked in to http://trapezakibayhotel.com/ on Greek island of Kefalonia for later this year as has the most amazing reviews plus a sympathetic cook already catering for gluten free and vegetarian in their restaurant. Our non self catering experience in Florence went so well we’ll see how this works out for us. We are going to post over some gf snacks and supplies in advance though as the island does not seem to have health shops with lots of GF stuff in the same way that Lanzarote does.

      All the best
      Marta

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