Abrupt, dry, volcanic, wild in nature where light and color cause an inexplicable attraction. Traditional architecture, Byzantine reminiscent fireplaces, immaculate white painted lime walls, green and blue colored windows … this little paradise contains treasures that will enchant and captivate those who know it.
Today we are entering Lanzarote. The island that served as a canvas for the work of the multifaceted Canarian artist, Cesar Manrique, who brought art and nature together with brushstrokes of creativity that are appreciated in all its corners and that transformed his environment into a unique and unrepeatable work of art.
Lanzarote is the most northern and eastern of the islands of the Canary archipelago. Although it does not exceed 800 square kilometers in area, the diversity of its landscapes is striking. The volcanic eruptions of the 18th and 19th centuries have given it a spectacular appearance of singular shape and beauty. Next to unusual places formed by volcanic caves, lava lakes and craters, there are golden sand beaches and transparent waters.
Furthermore, this spectacular natural heritage has been jealously preserved by the people of Lanzarote. Not surprisingly, the island was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993.
We will begin our essential guide through the Timanfaya National Park, also known as The Mountains of Fire. It is the second most visited national park in Spain, with a spectacular volcanic landscape that covers a quarter of the island, created during six years of almost continuous volcanic eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736, with a minor episode in 1824. The scale of the eruptions was enormous, with an estimated 2,000,000,000m3 of lava thrown from more than 100 volcanoes into previously fertile lands and villages, adding, in addition, recovery of new lands from the sea. There you can enjoy the Route of the volcanoes, among which stand out the Mountain of Fire, the Caldera del Corazoncillo or the cracked Mountain. We also invite you to take a tour of the Echadero de los Camellos to see tillage tools that were traditionally used and the use farmers made of camels to carry out farm work.
Also, in the Volcanoes Natural Park, which surrounds the Timanfaya Natural Park, you can see the Laguna de los Clicos, also known as the Green Lake. A crescent-shaped lagoon, with waters of spectacular green tones produced by a host of minerals (mainly sulfur) and the large number of microorganisms (such as the species of seaweed Ruppia maritime) that, according to experts on the subject, only found in this place, growing under the surface of the Green Lake.
Another of the essential places is found in the southwest of the island, very close to Timanfaya, the La Geria Valley. A protected natural area of 5000 hectares that includes the municipalities of Yaiza, Tías, Tinajo, San Bartolomé and Teguise. A spectacular lunar landscape in which to make a fabulous wine route, with one of the oldest wineries in Lanzarote, El Grifo, and the possibility of touring the vineyards of more than twenty wineries of the best Canarian wines. These are prestigious wineries that have harvested for centuries the most precious variety of the archipelago, the volcanic malvasia, a type of grape, originating in Greece, which in its day seduced even Shakespeare himself, as stated in his well-known play Henry IV. The area produces mostly white wines, whether dry, semi-dry, sweet, semi-sweet, liqueurs, aged or sparkling.
Also in Yaiza are Los Hervideros de Lanzarote, where we can witness a very striking natural phenomenon in the forefront: the result of the impact of the Atlantic Ocean against a orographic network with a volcanic profile. The whimsical effects of this sea break represent a true visual spectacle.
To the north of the island, in the town of Haría, and at the foot of the Corona volcano, are the emblematic Jameos del Agua, a place where natural formation harmoniously converges with human creation designed by Cesar Manrique. With a length of 6 kilometers, 1.5 of which is located below the sea surface, the Jameos del Agua are made up of 3 different jameos: the Jameo Chico, where you can access the interior of the formation, the Jameo Grande, where The Auditorium is located and serves as the stage for classical concerts and film screenings and the Jameo de la Cazuela, the last jameo accessible to the public. As we proceed, we will find unique corners such as the Sala de los Estetas, la Lumbrara de Hartung, el Horno del Diablo, la Cripta, los Castilletes, la Cabeza del Monstruo, el Pie del Guanche, las Simas de Doncellas y la Puerta Mora.Once you get out of the caves you will find the Casa de los volcanes, an avant-garde building that annually hosts an international meeting of volcanologists.
In that same place we can visit the spectacular House-Museum of the emblematic artist César Manrique, a work of architecture that speaks for itself and tells us about the life of one of the most influential artists and the best promoter on the island. All in a space characterized by the nobility of the materials and the features of good taste. The exuberant exterior and interior vegetation contributes to provide serene and welcoming environments. A unique experience.
A must see is the Cactus Garden, located in the municipality of Guatiza. A xero-landscaping to dream and enjoy that has 4500 specimens of 450 different species. This artistic work, also by Manrique, is located in what was formerly a quarry and creates a magnificent contrast between the green of the cacti, the anticyclonic blue sky, the red complexion of the Montaña de las Pinedas and the black of the slag and other volcanic rocks that decorate the terraces of this botanical garden.
You cannot miss the best kept secret of the Canary Islands either, the “eighth” island, La Graciosa. In order to appreciate this wonder, you will have to sail by boat from the Lanzarote port of Órzola (only possible access). A quiet paradise of golden and white sand beach. The Mirador del Río, Caleta de Sebo, Pedro Barba or “Los Arcos” make this tiny island a place worth visiting and visiting.
This guide would not be complete if we did not mention the jewels of the crown of Lanzarote: its beaches. The Papagayo beach, from where to see the best sunsets, Famara, for lovers of surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing, Las Malvas, original beach where they exist, as it is entirely of volcanic lava, the Caletón Blanco, Las Conchas, in La Graciosa , Los Ajaches, Los Flamingos, the Risco beach or the natural pools of Los Charcones, among many others.
We also recommend that you visit Arrefice, an old fishing village and currently the capital and administrative and commercial center of the island, with the Casa-Museo del Campesino, the International Museum of Contemporary Art , where you will see works by Manrique (obviously) , Picasso, Miró, Tapies or Millares, the Agricultural Museum of El Patio or that you enjoy hiking the incredible Tremesana route from Yaiza.
Lanzarote is, without a doubt, a unique and different destination that allows us to feel, enjoy and dream.