Scroll to top

César Manrique

But for the three large touristical centres (Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca), the Canary island of Lanzarote is completely authentic. There are no highrise hotels (except Gran Hotel in Arrecife). For a large part Lanzarote owes this fact to the vision and influence of artist/architect/environmentalist César Manrique, born on Lanzarote. In the background one of his sculpted paintings.

Museum for Modern Art

In the 70s of the previous century, Manrique managed to convince the island administration that respect for nature and making a couple of laws to regulate building would be paramount to preserve the island's unique character. Moreover, he designed a number of sights to emphasize the genesis of the island, such as the MIAC.

--- 24 Dec 2018, Arrecife (E) ---

Museum for Modern Art MIAC Arrecife Lanzarote

Museum for Modern Art (2)

The MIAC is situated in an old fortress, San Jose, guarding the entrance to Arrecife's port. Manrique turned it into a small museum for modern art offering a fine view through its round windows in the restaurant area.

--- 24 Dec 2018, Arrecife (E) ---

Museum for Modern Art MIAC Arrecife Lanzarote

Jardín de Cactus

The Jardín de Cactus is situated in the village of Guatiza, in a former quarry where volcanic sand was extracted to spread on cultivated areas to retain moisture. Should take you around 20 minutes from Arrecife by car. Prickly pears are grown in the area for the production of cochineal.

--- 20 Dec 2018, Guatiza (E) 👁 more lanzarote ---

Jardin de Cactus Guatiza Lanzarote

Jardín de Cactus (2)

The cactus garden was created in 1991. It turned out to be César Manrique's last project as he was killed by a freak car accident right in front of his house in Tahiche. The garden now has 4,500 examples of 450 species of cactus from all over the world.

--- 20 Dec 2018, Guatiza (E) 👁 subtropical plants ---

Jardin de Cactus Guatiza Lanzarote

Cueva de los Verdes

At around a 10 minutes' drive up north from Guatiza you will find one of the largest cavern systems in the world. The caves are not of the dripstone type, but tunnels and rooms were formed after an enormous eruption of the Corona volcano approximately 5,000 years ago (some sources claim that was as far back as 10,000 years).

--- 29 Dec 2017, nr Haría (E) ---

Cuevas de los Verdes

Cueva de los Verdes (2)

During the eruption the topmost lava started to cool off first and clotted. The warmer lava below kept moving on towards the ocean. When the flow had finally stopped a six-mile corridor had been created underground, connecting large rooms.

As large tracts are deemed unstable, only a relatively small part of it - with beautiful lighting - has been opened to the public. There's a guide that accompanies small groups of tourists every half hour or so.

--- 29 Dec 2017, nr Haría (E) ---

Cuevas de los Verdes

Jameos del Agua

This 6-mile cavern system originating from the Corona volcano leads through Jameos del Agua and finally ends up at the ocean. A jameo is a cave the roof of which was so thin that it collapsed once the lava had cooled off or when erosion took its toll. Manrique created an underground lake inhabited by small and blind albino lobsters.

--- 16 Dec 2019, nr Órzola (E) ---

Jameos del Agua Lanzarote

Jameos del Agua (2)

The dark underground lake made a dramatic entrance to an enormous open cave resembling a swimming-pool.

--- 16 Dec 2019, nr Órzola (E) ---

Jameos del Agua Lanzarote

The Mirador del Río

For me, one of the highlights in the very north. The Mirador used to be a point where cannons tried to stop the pirates. Pirates used to be an immense problem to the Lanzarote population. Manrique's idea was to hide this viewpoint from the road and parking lot leading to it. Walking to the entrance you absolutely have no idea that this wall you are looking at is hiding one of the most spectacular views of the entire archipelago.

--- 22 Dec 2017, nr Órzola (E) 👁 more lanzarote ---

Mirador del Rio Lanzarote

The Mirador del Río (2)

From this point, 500 meters above the straight, you see La Graciosa, the unpopulated islands behind it, a toy-like ferry going to and fro the harbour of Caleta de Sebo and in the south you are looking at Caleta de Famara or even beyond.

The restaurant has huge windows, a Manrique trademark, the ceiling has a steel mobile that is supposed to improve acoustics but utterly fails in doing so.

--- 22 Dec 2017, nr Órzola (E) 👁 more lanzarote ---

View from Mirador el Rio on La Graciosa

Casa-Museo del Campesino

Located at the geographical centre of Lanzarote, Casa-Museo del Campesino was César Manrique's way to honour the painstaking efforts made by farmers that has gone into bringing the land back to life. The huge cubistic sculpture depicts the farmer, his donkeys and his dogs.

--- 31 Dec 2019, San Bartolomé (E) ---

Casa-Museo del Campesino Lanzarote

Casa-Museo del Campesino (2)

The museum provides an insight into architecture, agriculture, handicrafts and traditional gastronomy. The restaurant serves a very good espresso which we enjoyed on a beautiful last day of the year.

--- 31 Dec 2019, San Bartolomé (E) ---

Casa-Museo del Campesino Lanzarote

San Ginés lagoon

César Manrique was responsible for a number of creations and measures that allowed Lanzarote, in spite of tourism, to remain an unspoilt island. One of these ideas was to create Charco de San Ginés in Arrecife, a lagoon surrounded by terrace restaurants near the heart of the city.

--- 18 Dec 2017, Arrecife (E) 👁 more lanzarote ---

Charco de San Ginés Arrecife Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park

For the UNESCO heritage of Timanfaya National Park, Manrique found a way to make this striking area visible to the public without the danger of being trodden or polluted. He created a UFO-like central building containing toilets, a restaurant and a shop. This is the spot where the coaches leave from for a ride through the park on very narrow roads only they are allowed to drive. It may sound a very touristy thing to do, but it's 100% recommended.

--- 28 Dec 2018, Yaiza (E) 👁 more timanfaya ---

Timanfaya Natioanl Park central building Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park (2)

This is what you can be looking at from the coach: might as well be Mars.

--- 28 Dec 2018, Yaiza (E) 👁 more timanfaya ---

Papagayo beaches Lanzarote