Three Places To Visit In One Day In Lanzarote

On our recent holiday to Lanzarote we hired a car for four days so that we could see some more of the island than just Playa Blanca, where we were staying.  Playa Blanca is on the south west tip of the island but it is really easy to get around by car, there aren’t too many roads and they are clearly signposted and there isn’t very much traffic.

Mr ATWWAH had spent the previous night plotting a route and as not so great weather was forecast again we thought we may as well have a full day of sight seeing.  As Lanzarote isn’t too big, 37 miles long and 12 miles wide, getting from one end of the island to the other isn’t too difficult.

We had planned our first stop to be the Mirador del Rio which according to our guidebook has amazing views of the Chinijo Archipelago consisting of other islands including La Graciosa and Alegranza.  Apparently early inhabitants of Lanzarote used the site as a look out for pirates and it has also been used as an artillery base.  It is situated at the north of the island so we got our longest drive out of the way first.

On the way we made a couple of unplanned stops to check out the scenery as there were some pretty impressive landscapes along the way.  We also stopped for awhile at Playa de Famara, the longest beach in Lanzarote.  It is renowned for surfing and kite surfing  and is flanked by the Famara mountains.  It looked really impressive and I watched the surfers from the warmth of the car as Mini ATWWAH was asleep it was so windy outside and cold.  Mr and Master ATWWAH braved the elements though and came back windswept but refreshed.

Playa de Famara

Ignoring the red flag at Playa de Famara

There wasn’t meant to be anyone in the sea as the red flags were up but it didn’t seem to deter the surfers.  There is a small street of cafes and surf shops along from the beach as well as a holiday park right under the mountains which looked like it had seen better days but I imagine in peak times would be full of young people into their surfing.

Back to the Mirador del Rio and the guidebook was right, the views are outstanding.  Lanzarote born artist and sculptor, Cesar Manrique, had transformed the artillery base into a tourist centre and restaurant in 1973.   There is a small charge, under 5 euros, for adults and there are examples of Manrique’s scultpures inside and the building itself is well designed with great views from inside but the viewing deck is the place to head.

view

The view from Mirador del Rio

If you are feeling brave, and have sea legs, you can take a boat to Le Graciosa from Orzola, although be warned as the first ten minutes or so are meant to be really choppy.  We weren’t that brave.  Instead we had a bit of lunch at the Mirador del Rio.  Don’t be deceived by the word ‘restaurant’ it only really served baguettes and drinks, although they were tasty.

From the Mirador del Rio we headed to Jameos del Agua which gave Master ATWWAH some volcano fix after our Timanfaya visit the previous day.  The Jameos del Agua is a volcanic cave system.  In the 1960s they were near ruin and not being looked after properly but Cesar Manrique came to the rescue and created a spectacle from the caves including a swimming pool, auditorium and restaurant, but all in keeping with the original landscape.

It’s also the home to a species of blind albino crab which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.  They are pretty tiny but if you look closely in the lake you can see them at the bottom.  It was definitely an interesting place to visit, and reasonably priced at 8 euro for adults.  We got there in the mid afternoon and it was pretty quiet.  We’d already eaten but the restaurant would have made for a great place to eat just to say you had eaten somewhere so unique.

Jameos

Jameos del Agua, Lanzarote

Mr ATWWAH commented it would be a great place to have a wedding and I could see what he meant, it was the sort of place you’d get some great photos, an Instagrammer addicts dream.

The auditorium hosts concerts some evenings which would be so atmospheric, and I imagine a bit haunting in the dark.  It’s definitely worth a visit although if you are with babies you can’t take your pram in, there are steps but nothing too hard or treacherous so carrying them is fine.

pool

The pool at Jameos del Agua, which you’re not allowed to go in

We continued the Manrique theme with our final stop, the Fundacion Cesar Manrique in TahicheThis is the studio/home that the artist lived in until his death in 1992.  Lanzarote wouldn’t look how it does today without Manrique’s influence.  He loved the island he was born on and despite studying and living abroad he returned to Lanzarote determined to make it ‘one of the most beautiful places on the planet’.  The island has several of his sculptures dotted around too at roundabouts or along roads.  He was so obsessed with keeping Lanzarote beautiful he even got the government to agree there would be no billboard advertising on the roads.

He built his home in 1968 on top of a volcanic trail and it is like nowhere I’ve seen before.  It is amazing, literally built into a river of lava.  The photos probably do it no justice either but it is definitely worth a visit.  As we were looking around Mr ATWWAH and I were convinced it was a house that had seen many a party, with its basement lounges and pools.  However, I’ve been reading about Manrique since and it turns out he was a bit of a puritan.

Lounge

One of Manrique’s basement lounges

The house now is home to the Manrique foundation and exhibits lots of his art and also art that he had collected as well as design sketches from some of his famous projects including Jameos del Agua.  It costs 8 euro for adults to visit.  There is also a small gift shop where you can buy copies of Manrique’s art.

garden

Manrique’s garden

Have you been to any interesting Lanzarote attractions or landmarks?  Let us know in the comments or feel free to add a link to any posts about them.

If you liked this post, you might like:

A visit to Mount Timanfaya

Great places to eat in Lanzarote with kids

Our lowdown on Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel

 

4 Comments
  1. I love the way Manrique’s sculptures pop up all over the island too, you really can’t visit without seeing some of his influence. I loved the Jameos del agua although my daughter yelled the place down as we got into the cave – perfect acoustics from her baby carrier! And the views from the Mirador are wonderful.

  2. Love Lanzarote. Can’t believe I still haven’t written about it when we have been there so many times. The caves are gorgeous aren’t they? We love them and the cactus gardens too.

    • The caves are brilliant, yes. We didn’t make it to the cactus garden, next time. You need to write about it on your blog, post your link here when you do.

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