Arrecife is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city full of culture and history located slightly east of central Lanzarote. The name derives from the Spanish for reef and refers to the volcanic rock formations that lie out to sea and protect the picturesque harbour.
Arrecife started life as a small fishing village way back in the 15th Century until it grew, eventually becoming the island’s capital in 1852. Today, it is well known as a haven for shoppers! With streets lined with boutiques, high-end retail outlets selling designer labels and bargains galore, many people visit Arrecife for its endless shopping possibilities. Look out for the long pedestrian road called Calle Léon y Castillo and a large shopping centre.
If you are looking for a day out to shop, experience some culture and take in the sights and landmarks of a sophisticated metropolis before retreating back to the comfort of your hotel, then Arrecife is for you. It may be a good idea to check out the Centro Insular de Cultura El Almacén, a cultural centre filled with various exhibitions.
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Arrecife also has its own beach, Playa del Reducto, with golden sand and tepid, tranquil waters. A lovely promenade runs all the way from this area to the city’s second beach, Playa del Cable, which is 1.25 miles (2 kilometres) further west.
Lanzarote-born artist and architect César Manrique designed and landscaped most of the island, except Arrecife, which developed before his time. Consequently, the capital is the only place where you will find buildings over the height of the tallest palm tree and is home to around 50,000 people.
Pick up your city map at the tourist information centre by the Castillo de San Gabriel and enjoy a tour on this subtropical city!