The island of the thousand volcanoes
Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote – known as the island of the thousand volcanoes. With more than 50,000 inhabitants, it is one of the capital cities of the Canary Islands with the highest populations. You can still see items in the streets of the city that conjure up its seafaring past. It is now a modern city with lots of culture and leisure options and parks. A unique place.
Charco de San Ginés
As you leave the port, turn right and you will come to the “Charco de San Ginés”. This is a delightful place. This little saltwater lagoon played an important role in the history of Arrecife, as it was used as a port, both to protect fishing boats and for the entry of goods. The walk and the lagoon itself are just as beautiful as the houses around it. Being in the historic old town, we will be able to see traditional houses, which are still painted in their distinctive white colour.
Church of San Ginés
A beautiful, picturesque square through which you come to a gorgeous, historic church. Homage is paid here to Saint Genesius (San Ginés in Spanish) of Clermont, the municipality's patron saint. It was built in the 17th century and contains an interesting collection of works of art with the highlight being the image of the patron saint. The area is also know as "an oasis of peace" right in the centre of Arrecife. Without a doubt, one of the best places to learn a little about the culture of the inhabitants of Lanzarote
International contemporary art museum
In Arrecife, there was no way around building castles to defend the city from pirate attacks. So several castles and forts were designed along the coast. This museum is inside the Castillo de San José, which was responsible for protecting Puerto Naos and the Charco de San Ginés. It currently houses an interesting collection of contemporary art by Canarian (César Manrique, etc.) and international artists: Tápies, Mompó, etc. (Every day 10 a.m.–8 p.m.).
Arrecife is a coastal city with promenades beside the sea. Why not make the most of them? Returning to the Avenida Olof Palmé, you go down Avenida Marítima (with interesting buildings that we will see below), Islas Canarias Park and continue along Avenida Fred Olsen. Along this avenue, you come to El Reducto Beach, where you can take a dip. In this area and the surrounding streets, you can purchase souvenirs or typical produce.
Casa de los Arroyo
An historical house a few metres away from the Puente de las Bolas. It was the first 2-storey building built in Arrecife and it is now considered the best example of architecture from the island of Lanzarote. It is an 18th-century house that belonged first to the Armas family and then to the Arroyo family. It has an interesting, Canarian-style patio. It is also the headquarters of the Blas Cabrera (célebre físico nacido en la isla) Scientific and Culture Centre.
Castillo de San Gabriel
Another noteworthy castle in Arrecife is the Castillo de San Gabriel. A curiosity is that it is on a little island that is connected to the city by a bridge (Puente de las Bolas – another of the area's attractive spots). You get here by taking the seaside route to the Avenida Coll. You turn left to cross the Puente de la Bolas. The castle houses a museum on the history of the island of Lanzarote (Mon–Fri 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 4 p.m–7 p.m; Sat 10 a.m.–1 p.m.).
The Yellow House
This curious house gets its name because the outside is decorated with yellow ceramic tiles. The building is noteworthy because it was the site of the Cabildo de Lanzarote (Lanzarote Council). The Cabildo now uses the facilities for hosting temporary exhibitions of great interest for both local residents and visitors. To get here, just go to the street after the Puente de las Bolas, cross the street and go onto Calle León y Castillo (pedestrian).
Ideal for buying typical products from the island. It is a building with traditional establishments and a shopping centre. Leaving the park (next to Reducto Beach), continue along Avenida Fred Olsen. Take a left onto Calle Coronel Ildefonso Valls de la Torre (corner of Hotel Lancelot). Then continue along Calle Portugal, Doctor Gómez Ulla, Nuestra Señora de los Volcanes and go right onto Calle Brasilia. then turn left, where there is a roundabout and the market.
La Marina Shopping Centre
Once you visit the market and see the area, you should head back to the port. You go down Calle Conde de Niebla. On the second street (Costa Rica), turn right and then left, going onto Calle de Nuestra Señora de los Volcanes. At the port, we can go to the La Marina Shopping Centre, where there are lots of shops, a restaurant area, etc. Remember that it takes about 7 minutes to get back to the cruise liner harbour from this marina.