Towns and Villages in Lanzarote
Arrecife is the largest city in Lanzarote and has been the Capital of the island since 1852. The port is a significant economic factor. Just a few years ago, this was a center of fishing and fish processing. The northern part of the harbor serves as a point of departure for cruise ships. Arrecife is the center of the cultural and business life as well as the islands administrative center. Arrecife means reef, a name used favorably, as the reef protected the area from attacks by the pirates. Effort has been made in recent years to smarten up many areas of the city, which weren’t particularly inviting to tourists.
The small fishing village of Arrieta is located in the north-east of Lanzarote. The village is well known known for its excellent fish restaurants, and a favourite of Lanzaroteños for sunday lunch. On entering the small village you will see the “Jugues des Viento” windsculpture by famous islander Cesár Manrique
The tiny fishing village of El Golfo is located in the south-west of Lanzarote, just south of Timanfaya National Park. The village is well known and often visited for its seafood and fish restaurants, in fact youll find many a Playa Blanca resident enjoying the food here. Only in the 1990’s was El Golfo connected to mains water and electricity. There are no hotels here, just a few basic apartments to rent. The rugged coastline and nearby Green Lagoon make it stop off for many tourists when visiting the south of the island. Broken Embraces used El Golfo in their movie.
The small fishing village of Caleta de Famara is located in the north-west of the island and is a favourte haunt of surfers. Apart from a few apartments for rental, there are no hotels here. The main streets are paved, but head one street back and you’ll find yourself on dusty, sandy roads. Famara has a stunning beach, great for surfing and body boarding and a number of seafront fish restaurants.
The sleepy village of Haria is located in the north of the island, on the LZ10 and a great stopping off point for those heading to Mirador del Rio. Know as “The valley of the thousand palm trees” the legend goes that a new palm always grew when a girl was born in Haria. Stop off an enjoy a coffee in the tree lined Plaza León y Castillo.
The infamous wine growing region of La Geria is well known for its unusual moon-like landscape and even stranger wine growing methodology. For as far as the eye can see, vines are planted in small dug-outs, surrounded by half moon lava stone walls, and covered in Picon. Drive through the La Geria region and stop off at one of the many vineyards, sample stunning white wine made from the Malvasia grape, even better if you join a tour, then you can sample much more.
La Graciosa (also known as the 8th Canary Island) is one of 5 islets just north of Lanzarote and along with El Risco de Famara make up the Chinijo Natural Park. The waters surrounding La Graciosa are the only two marine and fishing reserves in the Canary Islands. Main village on the island is called Caleta de Sebo, although there is an even smaller village called Pedro Barba. There are daily crossings to La Graciosa from Orzola.
The beaches of Papagayo are one of the most photographed and visited areas in Lanzarote. This natural area is backed by the Ajaches mountains, and is a protected natural space. Access to the park is via dirt road, where you pay a small entrance fee, or you can walk into the park (from the area of Los Coloradas) for free, it takes around 20 minutes walk to reach the first beach. There are also a number of boat excursions that stop off here too. 7 main beaches make up the Papagayo area, with the furthest away also offering camping (though this must be booked in advance with the local council). Nudism is very much tolerated in this area.
Meaning burnt beach, this small fishing village is located just north of Puerto Calero and makes for a great spot to enjoy a lunch overlooking the rocky, pebble beach and calm blue waters.
The old Capital of the island, Teguise is home to Lanzarote’s biggest market, held every Sunday. Other than Betancuria (the old Capital of Fuerteventura), Teguise is said to be the oldest city in the Canary Islands and is now a cultural center. Teguise suffered from regular pirate attacks, so by the 16th Century the sturdy Santa Barbara fortress was built, which acted as a viewing point (to spot raiding parties early enough to be able to prepare) and refuge during attacks. You can visit the Santa Barbara fortress, which is now a pirate museum, from the top there are stunning views of La Graciosa island.
Is a small wine producing village in the municipality of Yaiza and the gateway to the La Geria wine growing region. More recently, Uga has become well known across the island for its smokehouse, smoking salmon (which is delicious) one of only two on the island (the other in nearby Mácher)