The capital of Lanzarote is called Arrecife, meaning Reef in English, as it boasts a number of reefs along its coastal shores. Its east coast location means you can see some impressive sunrises if you decide to go into Arrecife for breakfast. Being just 5 minutes drive from the airport it is an ideal location for a city break. If you are staying elsewhere on Lanzarote for your holidays do take time to visit this cosmopolitan city as there is plenty to see and do there.
Museums, you have a choice of 2 to visit and both set in Castles;
Castillo de San Gabriel, History Museum – situated in the centre on the Arrecife coast. The impressive drawbridge is called the “Puente de las bolas” and was constructed in 1599 by engineer Leonardo Torriani as part of the city’s defence against pirate attacks. The name refers to the balls resting on top of the pillars.
Castillo de San José, International Museum of Contemporary Art (MIAC) – situated overlooking the industrial port, there is a bar and restaurant which you can visit separately as well as the art exhibitions. This 18th century castle is also often used for entertainment as a concert hall.
La Recova market is hidden away in the centre, accessed by small passageways. There is a selection of artisan craft shops together with a fresh food market on the weekdays and a second hand market on a Saturday.
Saturday morning street Market in the main high street of Leon y Castillo / Calle Real. This market is a mix of many different stalls and is a hubbub of excitement.
Don’t forget to visit;
El Charco de San Ginés is a beautiful sea water lagoon just off the city centre. Here you will find small boats moored and tapas bars. In the summer there are entertaining jolatero races and the men playing with their model sailing boats.
Parque Temático – situated at the far end of the Playa Reducto Beach and close to Arrecife Sands. This is a large walk way promenade with skateboard ramp, children’s play park, exercise equipment, sculptures and gardens. To enjoy a costal walk just follow the path south towards Playa Honda.
Gran Hotel & Spa – Have a coffee or romantic dinner on the 17th floor with amazing views over the island. Enjoy lunch and a swim in the heated swimming pool at the Terraza Pool Bar followed by a snooze on the loungers looking out to sea or book yourself in for a Spa.
Shops in Arrecife are open weekdays 10am to 13.00 and re-open after their siesta at 17.00. On Saturday it is only morning opening times and Sundays it is closed.
There is a little “train” that runs regularly along the seafront connecting the“Intercambiador” bus stop to Charco San Ginés.
For a capital city, Arrecife has a stunning beach! Take an afternoon at “Playa el Reducto”, this beautiful golden sand bay is fairly quiet and sheltered by the reef. A good selection of bars and restaurants are just across the street making it a great place to relax after a shopping expedition
For more information visit the Tourist Information office called “Quiosco de la Música” (music kiosk) which is a bandstand on the seafront in Arrecife. The one standing today is a replica built in the 1960’s.
Arrecife Marina The newest place to visit in Arrecife is the Marina Lanzarote developed by the same company as the popular Marina in Puerto Calero.
It is a fab venue which will suit couples looking to enjoy a delicious cocktail in the Santai Lounge; a lovely Ibiza style bar with daybeds and comfy sofas and a nice view over the marina and the city of Arrecife. (We can recommend their special white chocolate and ginger mojitos) followed by a romantic meal.
It is also highly recommended for families with children who will love the spectacle of the boats moored there and the CINE6D, an amazing Universal Studio style virtual reality motion ride theatre. Parents and kids LOVE it!
The Marina also has a good selection of shops including Springfield, Much Sneakers, Sunglass Hut and Womens Secret.
There are numerous places to eat including;
Asiatico La Marina (An excellent selection of sushi, Thai and Chinese dishes with excellent, attentive service)
Lilium (The best Canarian ingredients with a modern twist, a lovely fine dining experience) and
La Pepe Food Market (a fun place where you can buy fresh seafood, vegetables and Iberico meats but where you can also sample some fabulous street food and wines from around the world. It is very affordable and great fun for all the family as everyone gets to choose what they like and eat together in a great location overlooking the city and ocean). Look out for the fish platter to share with a chilled glass of Lanzarote white from the Marisqueria.
We have one holiday accommodation in Arrecife ideal for short or long breaks. See more details of the stunning apartment with beach front location Arrecife Sands