A guide to the key places to visit that will make you fall in love with the most surprising Canary Island over a long weekend
Lanzarote, the Canary Islands most enchanting, lunar island deserves an essential guide to its most emblematic and instagrammable places to visit.
Here’s our checklist:
César Manrique Foundation and Studio-House
The Foundation is located in Tachíche, and the Studio-House is in Haría, but both are designed to revisit the figurative work of the Canarian artist. The painter, sculptor and architect has left us two spectacular places bearing his name, both of which are more than worthy of being on the itinerary of any tourist visiting the island.
Jameos del Agua
César Manrique’s effect on Lanzarote is undeniable. The local artist transformed the collapsed roof of a volcanic tube with lava flowing from the Corona volcano into an art and culture centre. Jameos del Agua hosts the Sonidos Líquidos Music Festival and a restaurant serving the much loved and delicious ‘papas arrugadas con mojo’ (wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce).
Villa de Teguise Village
Having been hardly untouched during the 19th and 20th centuries, it’s undoubtedly the most well-preserved historical centre in the Canary Islands. Make sure to check out the popular craft market, which sells plenty of leather goods, ceramics, basketry, cosmetics and locally produced food.
The International Museum of Contemporary Art (MIAC)
Located in an old fortress, Castillo de San José, perched on top of a cliff, the MIAC is home to one of the most extensive collections of abstract art in the archipelago, which includes the work of Manrique, Picasso, Tàpies, Miró, Mompó, Millares and Zóbel.
Beaches and natural pools
Famara, Papagayo, Las Malvas, Los Charcones and La Graciosa all ooze a natural, unspoilt beauty that has to be seen to be believed. An image as precious as Claude Monet’s paintings.
Mirador del Rio
Another instagrammable ‘must’ when visiting Lanzarote. Located at an altitude of 400m on the Famara Ridge, Mirador del Rio is one of Manrique’s most remarkable architectural creations, seamlessly blending art and nature.
This is where you want to come to let the sea heal everything and experience the full power of the waves splashing over the rocks. It’s a cliff-lined stretch of coast with caves and blowholes formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. Not many things in life are free, but Los Hervidoros in Los Volcanes Natural Park is one of them and, can be visited at any time of the day.
José Saramago’s house
“We always end up where we’re supposed to be” (The Elephant’s Journey, 2008). And if you’re lucky, Pilar del Río may be waiting for you at the home of the Portuguese writer to show you the home she shared with her husband José Saramago (1922-2010) in Tías. A house that he himself described as “A house made of books”.
The rest of the time, just let yourself go and discover the island’s distinctive natural charm.