The bustling port of Arrecife on Lanzarote’s east coast is home to the biggest fishing fleet in the Canaries. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries the city was regularly attacked by pirates. To defend against these raiders, the court of Spain ordered two castles to be built. The first built in 1590, Castillo San Gabriel, now houses the island’s Ethnographic Museum, which tells the fascinating story of the islands' original inhabitants: the Guanche. [ReadMoreMob]
Castillo San Jose followed later, providing employment and alleviating poverty on the island following volcanic eruptions in the 1730s - it became known as the Fortress of Hunger. Today, it is home to the Museum of International and Contemporary Art, with a small but impressive collection of modern paintings and sculpture. The excellent restaurant in its basement offers diners panoramic views over the harbour. Today, Arrecife is a quirky hotchpotch of sun-bleached buildings and has a pleasant Mediterranean-style promenade.
Covering over 12,600 acres of land, the legendary Timanfaya National Park is a geological wonderland of steaming volcanic tuff, fascinating rock formations and striking volcanic cones glowing in a variety of colours. The park can be explored by camel, too.
The Manrique Cactus Garden features over 1,000 species. Constructed on a volcanic ash quarry, the terraced garden was the artist’s final project and is arranged in the shape of a large amphitheatre, framing its inhabitants against a stunning backdrop.
Jameos del Agua
This rock formation is the result of a lava tube cooling into the sea around 5,000 years ago. The cave has since been converted into a majestic auditorium, including underground gardens and a beautiful clear azure lake. Blind crabs are endemic here.
Cruises to Arrecife
Escape to the Canaries • T2125
- Relax on the beaches of the Canaries
- Enjoy time in Lanzarote to seek-out volcanic wonders
- Explore verdant Madeira
Winter Warmth of the Canaries • L2136
- An incredible journey of Canarian discovery
- Volcanic landscapes, enchanting forests and much more awaits
- Explore famous botanical gardens in Madeira
Canary Islands Winter Escape • S2128
- Prepare for the festive period on a pre-Christmas getaway
- Witness the ‘shooting stars’ of the Geminid Meteor Shower
- Explore the volcanic landscapes of La Gomera
Canaries Christmas & New Year • S2129
- Escape to the sun for a magical festive season
- Enjoy a feast of fun on board Borealis
- Visit Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera
Canaries & Madeira Winter Warmth • L2201
- Enjoy the soothing warmth of the Canaries & Madeira
- Uncover tropical gardens and lush landscapes
- Four days of engrossing Canary Island discovery
Canaries & Portugal with Funchal Flower Parade • L2211
- Witness a fusion of floral colour on this springtime cruise
- Explore Madeira’s lush landscapes and tropical gardens
- Delight in the maritime history of La Coruña and Lisbon