Arrecife is quite a lively city, since it’s the island’s administrative capital. It has many bars and restaurants, and the main beach, Playa Del Reducto, is especially beautiful. It reminded me of the beach in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, except that it was smaller. But there was no one swimming in the sea, since the Atlantic Ocean is quite cold for that there. Most people come to the beach to sunbathe, play volleyball, read books or just enjoy the view the beach offers.
You can see major influence of the Spanish colonial architecture, colonial church and the fortress with the museum in the city. The latter protected the city, especially from pirates. The island is also home to the Museum of Piracy, but it was sadly closed during my visit.
Arrecife offers plenty of wonderful opportunities for beach walks where you can admire sunsets and sunrises.
Puerto del Carmen
Most guests in Lanzarote are from England and Germany, but there are also some from Italy and are concentrated mostly in tourist towns, such as Puerto del Carmen, the island’s most popular town. Restaurants and bars at every corner, from one end of the city to the other. There are lots of beautiful beaches and a walkway above the beaches and bars for pedestrians and cyclists. I would say the city was actually the pinnacle of the island’s mass tourism.
But the food and drinks prices were the cheapest there compared to all the cities I’d visited. Arrecife is also home to one of the island’s attractions, namely the Texas Rancho Zoo, which has four animal shows, starring parrots, eagles and other birds of prey, seals (this was one especially interesting), and dolphins (this one’s the most famous). You can visit the park for the price of 40 euros – the ticket includes access to the whole theme park, four shows (all taking place twice per day), and the use of two swimming pools which are part of the park and where you can take a swim or simply lie around.
You can take a look at my entire trip and visit to the Texas Rancho Zoo and all four shows in my YouTube videos (in English).
This town is also very touristy, but a little less so than Puerto del Carmen. It’s full of hotels and suites, but with perhaps less restaurants and bars. It has really beautiful beaches and a promenade just behind the main beach where going for a walk and admiring the Atlantic Ocean is truly a delight.
The charming medieval colonial village with a beautiful church in the centre and typical Spanish architecture is definitely worth a visit. There’s also a local market there on Sundays, but it’s more of a disappointment, really. In addition to a few local items, such as those made from aloe vera, and a few souvenir vendors, the market mostly offers Chinese wares and clothes.
But I was really fascinated by the village, so I recommend a visit.
Timanfaya – a national park, full of active volcanoes
One of the main reasons for visiting the Canary Islands include volcanoes and Lanzarote definitely has an abundance of those. All the Canary Islands are of volcanic origin, but Lanzarote also has active volcanoes, which are located in the Timanfaya National Park. It’s accessible only by car or by booking a bus tour. But you’ll have to enter the park by bus because cars aren’t allowed inside. You can park your car at the volcano research centre where you can see that the area is still very much active. You can also treat yourself to some barbeque, which comes from the very volcano.