Charco San Ginés Arrecife
Charco de San Ginés, or ‘the puddle’, is a lagoon of natural seawater in the heart of Lanzarote’s capital, Arrecife, between Calle Real and Puerto Naos, and it’s surrounded by beautiful white fishermen’s cottages. This charming, scenic area, was remodelled by Canarian architect César Manrique, and it’s a beautiful place to visit.
El Charco de San Ginés emerged more than six centuries ago as a small natural fishing port because of the natural barrier helping the entry and exit of fishing boats that sheltered in the natural lagoon forming el Charco de San Ginés as it is known today. The ‘charco’ quickly grew and it was not long before this small fishing port became the main port used for transporting provisions and goods to and from the island.
Nowadays, El Charco de San Ginés is an upcoming area with a vibrant atmosphere. Charming local bars and restaurants nestle around the lagoon offering great local foods and wines. It’s bustling with people day and night and often hosts local musical events and the Fiesta de San Gines each year.
There is a car park on open ground to the side of El Charco with a children’s playground, the very popular restaurant Casa Ginory marks the entrance and no matter the time of day there are always people enjoying fresh fish platters or bocadillos de pescado or calamares here.
Every Saturday, a busy market takes place on the promenade where you can buy Canarian delicacies and crafts.
There are many places to visit close to el Charco de San Gines but the main ones you should head for are:
- Iglesia de San Ginés (Church of Saint Genesius) located on the Plaza de Las Palmas. The church boasts an impressive tower with a gleaming white cupola, that towers over the square, which hosts a local farmers market each Saturday. It became the parish church in 1798 and was dedicated to San Ginés, Arrecife’s patron saint. The interior of the church is truly amazing and well worth a visit.
- The Castillo de San Gabriel (Castle of Saint Gabriel) is located on a tiny island called Islote de los Ingleses (Islet of the English), which can be reached via the Puente de las Bolas (a cobblestone bridge), passing over a small drawbridge with two cannonballs on top of its pillars. originally built as a wooden fortress, it proved inadequate for defence purposes and was eventually burnt down by Berber pirates. It was later replaced by a stone castle in the 16th Century, and played a vital role in the protection of the ‘charco’ and quickly growing town of Arrecife. The fortress was declared a National Historic Monument in 1972 and is home to a small ethnographic museum.
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