Arrecife Travel Guide

Arrecife is the vibrant and bustling capital city of Lanzarote, the easternmost island in the Canary archipelago. It’s not only the administrative center of the island but also a cultural and commercial hub. With its picturesque waterfront, historic charm, and a blend of modernity and tradition, Arrecife offers travelers a unique experience in the heart of Lanzarote.


Arrecife’s history is deeply rooted in its maritime heritage. The city’s name, which means “reef” in Spanish, refers to the protective reef that surrounds its coast.
In the 16th century, the city was frequently attacked by pirates, leading to the construction of defensive forts like San Gabriel and San José, which you can still visit today.:
Like many locations in Lanzarote, Arrecife began as a small fishing village. It has evolved into a thriving port and urban center during the 19th and 20th centuries.

What to do in Arrecife?

One of the most popular locations in Arrecife is Charco de San Ginés. This picturesque lagoon in the heart of the city is surrounded by colorful fishermen’s houses and offers a relaxing atmosphere. Enjoy a meal at one of the waterside restaurants, see below our recommendations.

Visit the historic fortress Castillo de San Gabriel, now housing the History Museum of Arrecife, showcasing artifacts from the ancient Los Majos culture, the indigenous people of Lanzarote.

El Reducto Beach, Arrecife’s main beach is ideal for swimming and sunbathing (if you wish to swim we recommend visiting at high tide). The golden sands and clear waters make it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Check out our luxury Arrecife Sands apartment, which has a front row view to this beautiful beach.

Fancy a shopping spree? For our latest addition to the island and largest shopping center, visit Open Mall Arrecife, which offers a variety of shops.

Explore this 18th-century fortress San José Castle, which houses the International Museum of Contemporary Art and features modern art exhibitions. Additionally, there is a bar and restaurant you can visit whilst you are here!

Where to eat in Arrecife?

There are a variety of restaurants located around the city of Arrecife. One of the hotspots for great restaurants/cafes and bars is Charco de San Ginés, with great parking nearby too! A great area to take a stroll as the sun is setting and choose the restaurant which is most appealing to you. 

Some of our personal recommendations are: 

La Lupe Cantina – Great homemade mexican food.

Arrecife Gran Hotel – we highly recommend this location for a coffee during the day or a drink in the evening. As it is the tallest building in Lanzarote, it offers great views! For restaurants close by we recommend:
Restaurante Alarz (Bahía Club) – “A sophisticated concept with unbeatable sea views from our terrace, where the main protagonist is the product you taste.”
Pizzería Amore Mio – lovely Italian on the promenade.

If you’re looking for vibrant location with plenty to do on your Lanzarote holiday, Arrecife could well be the perfect place for you!