A superb exploring destination, this coastal capital offers exciting artisanal markets, tropical beaches, a pirate-filled history and tapas bars by a lagoon.
Sample the relaxed pace of Arrecife, Lanzarote's attractive coastal capital. The 50,000 local residents never seem to rush. Join them in enjoying life's daily pleasures, from desayuno (breakfast) treats to beach tapas.
Begin your day on Arrecife's central thoroughfare, known as Calle Leon y Castillo or Calle Real. Have a hot chocolate served with churros, a sugar-dusted pastry, and explore the many duty-free shops.
For more shopping, visit La Recova Market’s cluster of stalls offering varied artisanal goods. On Saturday, scope out vintage bargains at La Recova's market for second-hand goods.
Arrecife's history is plagued by piracy. Raids by Berber pirates and British privateers were commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries. Delve into this past as you visit San Gabriel Fort, built after a raid by famed pirate Morato Arraez.
Another battlement, Fort San Jose, offers delightful views of Arrecife's main port, Muelle de los Marmoles, from its on-site restaurant. Within this impressive structure, enjoy innovative pieces at the International Museum of Contemporary Art.
Relax on the gorgeous shoreline, which has a tropical feel with white sand and palm trees. Tan, read or swim at Playa del Reducto, the main beach. Rise early to see the action at nearby Calle Liebre, the fish market, and buy swordfish or sama, a local delicacy.
Let the kids run loose at Parque Tematico, a park with play equipment, skating ramps and manicured gardens. Watch an art film at the Atlantida cinema complex.
Watch model sail boat racing at Charco de San Gines, Arrecife's Lagoon. Admire Iglesia de San Ginés (Church of St. Genesius) or enjoy tapas at bars around the lagoon promenade.
Arrecife is located next to the international airport on Lanzarote's east coast. Get around town by rented car, but be wary of parking regulations as police aren't afraid to tow. After sunset, take a romantic stroll under warm streetlights of the San Gines promenade.