Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote since the second half of the 19th century, is a quiet, beautiful port city situated on the eastern coast of the island. Arrecife is the administrative and commercial centre which is home to over half the population. A marked seafaring character combines with appearance of defensive fortress and its present function as a services city devoted to commercial trade relations.
It takes its name from the collection of reefs (“arrecifes”), islets and small volcanic rocks which stand off its coastline and hinder access and landing.
Once inside the town its marine status is clearly reflected in its streets and old quarters, in the transit and transfer of goods arriving from other ports and in the professed devotion to its admirable patron, Saint Gines.
The city is host to shopping centers, numerous specialized outlets, gift shops and a number of small outlets which sell their own products and fancy goods with careful customer attention; it is thus easy to find an extensive range and great variety of products, whether of local artisan origin or imported from the most unlikely international markets, as the special status of the islands.