The capital of Lanzarote since the second half of the 19th century, Arrecife has become the administrative and commercial centre of the island. Its marked seafaring character, its historical function as a defensive fortress and its current role as a provider of services dedicated to commercial and mercantile relations can be seen in every aspect of the city.
CHARCO DE SAN GINÉS (San Ginés Lagoon)
The Charco de San Ginés is located in the heart of the capital of Lanzarote. The island’s first fishing settlement was built around this seawater lagoon.
It was the presence of the Charco that led to Arrecife being known in the past as the Venice of the Atlantic. Remodelled in accordance with a project designed by César Manrique, the Charco is the city’s main reference point. It is currently used as an anchorage for small boats. Around it can be found a varied offer of bars and restaurants with an excellent atmosphere.
PUENTE DE LAS BOLAS Y CASTILLO DE SAN GABRIEL (Bolas Bridge and San Gabriel Castle)
The Puente de las Bolas is a stone bridge that serves as access to the Castillo de San Gabriel. Built in the 16th century, its 175 metres connect the castle to dry land. Today the fortress is home to the Museum of the History of Arrecife.
PLAYA EL REDUCTO (El Reducto Beach)
This natural beach is protected by a reef which can be seen at low tide. This 500 m urban beach has fine golden sand and calm waters. It has a seafront promenade and good services. For various reasons it is a particularly charming place.
CIC EL ALMACÉN
The Centro Insular de Cultura El Almacén is an unusual living cultural enclave located in the centre of Arrecife. The space offers exhibition halls, a cinema screening subtitled films, a hothouse for creative businesses and a bar. It is the perfect place to enjoy a combination of culture and a great atmosphere.
MIAC – CASTILLO DE SAN JOSÉ (International Museum of Contemporary Art, San José Castle)
The Castillo de San José, situated on the bay of Arrecife’s port, is home to the Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. The museum was inaugurated in 1975 with the aim of “promoting, gathering and exhibiting the most significant works of modern artistic creation”. The facilities include a restaurant with panoramic views of the port.
IGLESIA DE SAN GINÉS (San Ginés Church)
Its architectural legend starts in 1630 when a merchant of French origin called Francisco García Santaella founded a chapel here dedicated to the Gaulish bishop San Ginés (Saint Genesius of Clermont). The construction underwent the eclectic process typical of the architecture of the Canary Islands, in which Baroque elements are mixed with Mudéjar details and Neoclassical façades. Opposite the Iglesia de San Ginés, in Las Palmas square, Arrecife’s tourist and craft market is held every Saturday.
RECOVA MUNICIPAL (Municipal Market) (Arrecife)
Next to the Church of San Ginés, in the heart of Arrecife’s historic quarter, can be found Arrecife’s old market building. Here visitors will find many different markets stalls in a completely reformed and restored architectural setting.
CALLE REAL – CALLE LEÓN Y CASTILLO (Real Street and León y Castillo Street)
This area next to the old part of the city is one of the main streets, offering the visitor numerous shops where they can make quality purchases, all with exquisite customer service.
A stroll along Calle Real and through the surrounding area will reveal a wide range of restaurants where visitors can enjoy fast food, Nouvelle Cuisine and traditional island dishes.
LA CASA AMARILLA (Yellow House)
La Casa Amarilla is the popular name for the building located in the centre of Arrecife that was formerly the headquarters of the island’s Cabildo (the government of the island). It was declared a cultural asset (BIC, for its initials in Spanish) in 2002, and currently the ground floor hosts temporary exhibitions about the knowledge and ethnographic memory of Lanzarote.
PARQUE ISLAS CANARIAS (Canary Islands Park) (Arrecife)
Up to the year 2000, this park was home to all the events that took place in Arrecife. However the growth of the city’s population led to the construction of the better equipped and larger Recinto Ferial (fair ground), which is further away from the city centre and closer to the Cabildo (government building). On 1st July 2004 the remodelled Parque Islas Canarias was inaugurated and this iconic area of the city could again be enjoyed. The changes include a beautiful natural lawn, piers that access the sea, street furniture, a children’s play park and an underground car park with 900 parking spaces.
PARQUE JOSÉ RAMÍREZ CERDÁ – QUIOSCO DE LA MÚSICA (José Ramírez Cerdá park – Bandstand)
The Parque José Ramírez Cerdá is located on Arrecife’s seafront promenade. It is a small park with gardens and views to the San Gabriel castle. The bandstand is located here, an exact replica of the one that was here in the 50s, when the city’s inhabitants would meet to spend pleasant moments listening or dancing to the music provided by the municipal orchestra.