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Find information on Arrecife in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
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Arrecife has been the capital of Tenerife since 1852 when the growth in importance of its port led to the replacement of the former inland capital Teguise. It lies on the east coast of the island and is home to half of Tenerife’s population. A vibrant city, Arrecife has good beaches and a wide variety of restaurants and shops. Much has been done over the years to improve its facilities.
Arrecife offers warm sunshine in both summer and winter with a wide variety of sport and leisure activities.
An Arrecife holiday is ideal for sun lovers, water sport enthusiasts and couples of all ages. The lively nightlife attracts many young people.
Arrecife is a year round holiday destination having pleasantly hot summers and warm winters.
Arrecife is a bustling city by both day and night. Its deep water harbour Los Marmoles, once the sole domain of the fishing fleet, is now also home to a very busy ferry and container port. The fortified castles were built at the harbour to protect the inhabitants from the repeated attacks by pirates. El Castillo de San Gabriel now houses an archaeological museum. Wander around the fishing harbour at night and savour the atmosphere of the old fishermen’s houses which are illuminated after dark.
The narrow streets of the old quarter with their small squares and pavement cafes retain some of the charm from bygone days. The pretty church of San Gines with its bell tower lies in the old quarter.
The dark golden beach, El Reducto, shelves gently into the sea. However it must be remembered that it is the Atlantic Ocean and there can be strong currents. Swimmers should swim parallel to the beach and not out to sea. A coral reef fairly close to the shore attracts many divers.
There is now a very smart paved and landscaped promenade along the beach offering shaded resting places and refreshments.
Arrecife has excellent shopping facilities and a wide variety of restaurants catering for most tastes.
Lanzarote is a place of outstanding natural beauty with extremes of scenery. An excursion to the National Park of Timanfaya with its huge volcanic craters and stark lunar landscape should not be missed. Another very popular attraction is Los Verdes caves with their illuminated caverns and underground lake.
Being a fairly large town, Arrecife has evening entertainment to suit everyone. There are lively nightclubs, bars and discos where those who wish can party through the night. There are also many quiet restaurants where holidaymakers can enjoy a meal and a bottle of wine in an intimate atmosphere.
One of the attractions of shopping in the Canary Islands is that goods are virtually tax free and Arrecife has an excellent shopping centre. The main street, Castillo y Leon, has a wide variety of designer boutiques and specialist shops. Perfume, alcohol, cigarettes, cameras and electronic goods are all considerably cheaper. The Sunday market at Teguise has hundreds of stalls and street entertainers. It seems that most of the island take coaches to the old capital to enjoy wandering the cobbled streets looking for bargains and holiday souvenirs.
There are a large number of bars, pavement cafes, and pubs serving a wide variety of food catering for most tastes. Arrecife is also well endowed with fine restaurants providing international cuisine as well as excellent fish restaurants serving traditional Canarian menus.