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Travel guide

Holiday in Arrecife, Lanzarote's shopping metropolis

Arrecife (meaning 'reef' in Spanish) lies on the east coast of Lanzarote and began life as a humble fishing village back in the 15th Century, eventually becoming the island's capital in 1852. Today it is home to over half of the island's population. If you want to experience a more modern and cosmopolitan side of Lanzarote, visit this stunning Canarian city, nowadays known as a shoppers' paradise. Here you'll find a lively and impressive port dotted with cruise ships, yet there still remains some charms of its historic Canarian past. Arrecife is famous for its long pedestrian road Calle Léon y Castillo, scattered with shops, boutiques and high-end retail outlets, attracting holidaymakers who come to make the most of its endless shopping possibilities and upscale restaurants. This diverse city offers much more than just elegant boutiques and charming fishing boats; it boasts a fascinating history, authentic atmosphere, lively marina and El Charco promenade with its stunning views across the natural landscape.

Remnants of Arrecife's rich history can be found in the 18th Century Castle of San José, dominating its coastline. A must-see, this historic gem is home to the International Museum of Contemporary Art; a place where past and present collide. History buffs might also appreciate a visit to the 16th Century Castle of San Gabriel which was declared a national historic landmark in 1972. Recharge your batteries on Arrecife's very own beach, El Reducto, with its golden stretch of sand and tranquil waters, or follow its pretty waterfront promenade leading to the city's second beach, El Cable, just 5 minutes further west. If you're looking for a day out to shop, soak up some culture and take in the sights and landmarks of a sophisticated city before retreating back to the comfort of your villa, then Arrecife is for you.

Key holiday info

  • Direct flights from Lanzarote Airport to the UK and mainland Europe take just under 4 hours, with a 10 min drive from the airport to Arrecife.
  • July is the hottest month with daytime highs of 38°C. The coldest month is January with highs of 15°C.
  • The average sea temperature in summer is 22°C.
  • 16th century San Gabriel Castle in the heart of Arrecife was declared a national historic landmark in 1972.