Arrecife City

August 16, 2012 | By More

Arrecife is the capital city of Lanzarote. It was first declared the apital city in 1852, and it owes its name to the rock reef which covers the beach located in the city. (Arrecife means reef in Spanish)


Situated centre-east of the island, it has a population of over 50,000 people and an area of 22.75 km². This gives it a population density of over 2,200 people per km². It is south of Haría, east of Tinajo and northeast of Yaiza.



The city also serves as a port town serving the other islands and also Europe and mainland Africa.


Arrecife sea front 2


Road Connections

Arrecife is served by 3 highways linking every corner of the island to its capital.  LZ1 links it to the north, LZ2 and LZ3 and is bypassed to the northwest and west. The highway to the southern portion of the island lies to the western part of the island.

The main industries of Lanzarote are agriculture, business and tourism. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, the mountains are to the north, the hills lie to the west and farmlands dominate the rest of the municipality. It is also here where the tallest building in the Canary Islands lies; the Gran Hotel Arrecife, which is located on the front alongside the harbour.

Arrecife is a very low city, with an altitude of 2m above sea level. The city centre’s postal code is 35500.

The earliest records of Arrecife date from the fifteenth century when it was a small fishing settlement.

Towards the end of the sixteenth century the settlement began to grow in response to a need for accommodation and warehousing to support growing trade between the old and new worlds. The first church was constructed at this time, consecrated to the first bishop of Arrecife, San Ginés.

Growing prosperity increased the attractiveness of the town as a pirate target: in 1571 a notorious pirate named Dogan plundered and almost completely destroyed the little port town.

The city’s population continues to grow at a rate of around 5.5% per year.

Arrecife sea front 3

Although in actual fact the airport is around 5km from Arrecife, the international airport which serves the island was given the name “Arrecife Airport”. Around 5.5 million passengers go through it every year.


Category: Arrecife

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