Many people are daunted by the thought of of shopping in Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote – but don’t be! Yes there are one way systems but there is plenty of parking and lots on offer, so have a go, but remember the shops close for siesta in the afternoon, so arrive at 10am or 5pm for a leisurely wander with no time constraints.
If its your first time into Arrecife, its probably best to tackle it by heading for the Gran Hotel, there is always parking available underneath and you can see it as a landmark if you get lost! If approaching from the airport side of the capital, take the right hand lane at the end of the dual carriageway but head to your left along the beach and seafront, the car park entrance is on the roundabout in front of you. If approaching from Costa Teguise, go straight across at the funny junction – taking care to stop where required and look in the right direction, just before Ikea there is a turning on the left to the Castillo San José, take this old coast road to the roundabout with the fishermen on, straight over past the big boat shops, bear to the left at the mini roundabout and again at the next one and you will circle around Charco San Ginés along the front, when you see the Gran Hotel, take the exit for the underground car park off the roundabout.
If you’re confident driving around Arrecife the most central multi storey car park is the one at the Spinola Boulevard, or the one just before Casa on Calle Fajardo.
The main shopping street is León y Castillo or Calle Real as its known locally, this is a pedestrianised area, the easiest way to find it is to walk along the front with the Gran Hotel and beach behind you along the promenade until you see the Puente de las Bolas drawbridge and the Castillo de San Gabriel on your right, the road that leads out to them is Calle Real, simply follow this to the left and you’re on the main street. In Calle Real you will find lots of branches of the local banks, clothes shops such as Mango, Zara, Vera Moda, Jack Jones, a variety of shoe shops, perfumes, tobacco specialist, bargain euro or Chinese shops, there is even a department store.
Wander down the side streets that lead off Calle Real, if the sea is behind you, the ones leading to the right head towards Charco San Ginés which has lots of little boats moored and a selection of cafés and restaurants around the waters edge, don’t forget to pop into the Recova market which is open until 2pm.
On the left of Calle Real you can find La Plazuela with Mothercare, Animal, Rip Curl, Benetton, designer sunglasses shops, jewellers, more shoe shops. Spinola Boulevard offers, a café, book shop, hairdressers, surf shop, electical shop. There are plenty of individual boutique clothes shops, I like Calle Fajardo, here you can find Barclays Bank, Sports Zone – two floors of sporting clothes and accessories, Casa – a great house and gift shop, children’s clothes, more shoe shops, stationery etc.
I always find there’s a great atmosphere around Arrecife, and I love shopping in Arrecife – people are stopping in the streets to chat with friends, lots of little cafés, nooks and crannies to explore!
More reading? Lanzarote, a better work / life balance.