This easy walk allows you to discover some of the hidden treasures of Lanzarote’s capital.
Parking in Arrecife is limited, so we’d suggest you use the carpark at the Lanzarote Marina, which is worth a look around itself. If you’re coming by bus, head for the interchange at Playa Reducto and pick up the circular walk half-way through.
Head out of the marina, turn left and cross over to the Charco – the beautiful lagoon that is Lanzarote’s most lively social area. To your right you’ll pass the Charco Vivo restaurant, based in the building where César Manrique was born and famous for its fried fish bocadillos and matrimonio of fish and squid.
That’s just one of several excellent eateries surrounding the Charco, but for the moment we’re here to walk, not eat. Take your time wandering around the lagoon, admire the whale skeleton at the far end and see if old Toño is selling his colourful tin jolateros (little boats) just in front of the elegant Atlantida cinema building.
Carrying on, look for a little street (Calle Guatifay) just before you reach the Lemon Bar. There’s a narrow little alley called the Callejón “El Aguerasio” on the left, which takes you to one of the most beautiful hidden places in the capital, a beautifully kept old courtyard with lovely trees and plants.
Take a few photos, turn right at the end, and walk up a cobbled street to the Plaza de las Palmas, where the Saturday market takes place. There’s usually a bit of a buzz here, and you may end up with some delicious fresh fruit, veg, cheese or baked goods, and second-hand fans might want to have a look in the Caritas charity shop, too.
Once you’ve done the market, take any of the three streets opposite the church and head down to Calle Real. This is Arrecife’s main shopping street and is officially named C/ León y Castillo. It’s always busy on a Saturday morning, with souvenir stalls and maybe some live music.
At the bottom of Calle Real is a bronze statue of a policeman. This is Heraclio Niz – a famous Canarian wrestler and local policeman who was a well-loved local figure in the 60s and 70s. Looking up Calle Real, you can head down almost any of the streets on the left and find several little shops, more bars and restaurants and hidden corners.
Calle Manolo Millares and Calle Fajardo are particularly worth exploring, but we’d recommend turning first left into the Plazuela, a small square surrounded by cafes, then heading along on the right-hand road, Calle Canalejas. You’ll soon come to a square on your right, and on the other side you’ll find El Almacén, the arts centre César Manrique opened in 1970. It’s well worth a visit.
From El Almacén continue up to Calle Manolo Millares, turn left and carry on until you see the Buganvillas Centre on the right. It’s a little dilapidated these days, but the pretty Parque Simón Bolivar behind is worth a look.
Now it’s time to head to the sea. You’ll soon find yourself at Playa Reducto, Arrecife’s glorious town beach. To the left is the Gran Hotel and behind it is the recently renovated Islote de Fermina, a stunning César Manrique creation that’s free to enter and lies just across a wooden footbridge.
Now you can carry on along the seafront, through two Manrique-designed parks, past the UNED building, which was once a hotel where Raquel Welch stayed, and past the emblematic Puente de las Bolas (Bridge of the Balls), which leads to the Castillo de San Gabriel.
This is a circular 5km walk which should take you 2-3 hours to complete (longer if you stop for shopping or a coffee along the way.) The terrain is easy, level streets.
If you’re coming by bus, head for the intercambiador at Playa Reducto and pick up the circular walk half-way through.
Bring a bag for shopping. Sun protection is advisable between 11am and 4pm.
For disabled accessibility larger streets are usually fine, but smaller streets may have high kerbs and narrow pavements. Playa Reducto offers disabled access, but the bridge to the Castillo de San Gabriel is very rough cobbles.
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