Arrecife, LanzaroteArrecife first appeared on maps in the 15th century as a small fishing harbour and its maritime roots are still very much in evidence. About half of the Island's population reside in Arrecife, which has grown considerably in recent years.
The skyline is dominated by the tallest building on Lanzarote, the Grand Hotel. This building lay as a burnt-out eyesore for many years, before it's recent renovation. The top-floor houses a restaurant with spectacular views of the City.
Arrecife became the capital of Lanzarote at the end of the 18th century taking over from its predecessor Teguise, it is best described as a bustling, friendly and unpretentious city.
Its name originates from the abundance of reefs and islets along the coast (Arrecife means 'reef' in Spanish), which form a magnificent sea front promenade and provide many natural harbours.
Arrecife is the principle commercial and administrative area of the Island, with it's ports, Cabildo (Island Government), Notaries and Courts. The main Shopping street, Castillo y Leon (AKA Calle Real), hosts a wide variety of shops and cafes.
Some of the most noteworthy places to visit are:
El Charco de San Gines, a salt-water lagoon in the city centre surrounded by fishermen's houses; La Casa de Los Arroyo a patriarchal residence emblematic of Arrecife and a declared Historical Monument which houses the "Blas Cabrera" Scientific centre.
Other interesting attractions include the Castles of San Jose, home to the international Museum of Modern Art, and San Gabriel, home to the Archaeological Museum.
There are also the Casa de la Cultura Agustin de la Hoz and the 17th century Iglesia de San Gines, an important landmark of historical Arrecife.
The Iglesia de San Gines, named after the patron Saint of the City, was originally a Hermitage, becoming a parish church in 1778. Each year on Corpus Christi and on the 15th of august, it is the focal point of festivities. Nearby is Puerto de Los Marmoles (port of Marbles) from where the ferry to Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and cruise liners sail.
Ayuntamiento de Arrecife Website of Arrecife's city council (in Spanish).
Distance from the Airport: 6km