A Visitor’s guide to Arrecife, Lanzarote
Arrecife is Lanzarote’s capital city. Whilst it may not be as popular for holidays as nearby resorts such as Playa Blanca and Puerto Del Carmen, it is a great place to visit and offers plenty of choice for holidaymakers. A no-nonsense sort of place that doesn’t rely on tourism to make its money, it provides the opportunity to hang out with the locals and see another side to the island.
A trip to Arrecife is an essential part of any trip to Lanzarote, and this guide will help you to make the most of your time in the city.
There are countless restaurants in Arrecife, and as is the case in all cities, there is good food as well as bad. The port area tends to be highly priced when it comes to eating out, though with strong competition for passing custom, many restaurant owners pull out all the stops when it comes to offering some really spectacular meals.
Spanish cuisine is understandably the most readily available, though there are dining options to suit all tastes. Look out for the street vendors selling paella and churros.
The MIAC restaurant is situated in the old military fortress of the Castillo de San José, and provides a fusion between gastronomy and art. Descending down a spiral staircase into the main room, the walls are adorned with intricate paintings and sculptures, and the full-length windows provide fantastic views out across the port. The menu is modern European, and is highly rated.
Calle Real is one of the best shopping districts in the whole of Lanzarote. It’s lined with boutiques, electrical shops, jewellers, and a good selection of cafes. Displayed prices are always open for negotiation, so don’t be afraid to haggle with shop owners!
Cigarettes, alcohol, and perfumes are considerably cheaper than in the rest of the EU, due to the Canaries’ duty free tax status.
If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation, be sure to check out the local market. There’s an abundance of fresh local produce available for very reasonable prices. It’s advisable to shop for a great deal before you travel to Lanzarote so check out Thomson for their deals to Lanzarote.
If you enjoy incorporating a bit of culture into your holidays, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Arrecife.
Head to the International Museum of Modern Art and the Archaeological Museum. Both are open throughout the year, and feature regularly changing exhibitions.
Places of interest
The Grand Hotel dominates Arrecife’s skyline and is becoming a destination of choice for many discerning travellers. Opened in 2004, the building had stood empty for ten years previously after a devastating fire. The plush rooms now offer fantastic views across the whole city, and the restaurant is open to non-guests who book in advance.
El Charco de San Gines, a salt-water lagoon in the city centre surrounded by fishermen’s houses, is well worth a visit. The area has never been commercialised, making it a peaceful spot for watching the locals go about their daily activities.
A short drive will take you to Puerto de Los Marmoles, from where the ferry to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria sails. As the ferries are reasonably priced and very regular, a trip across to the nearby island is highly recommended.
An unpretentious city with a range of attractions that will appeal to visitors, Arrecife has a certain charm all of its very own. If you’re planning to travel to Lanzarote, it’s a must for your itinerary.