Lanzarote sights - the top highlights of the island

Lanzarote sights - the top highlights of the island


We present our top 14 sights on Lanzarote, the fourth largest of the Canary Islands. The sights include unforgettable volcanic landscapes, wonderful miradors, developed cave systems, wine-growing regions and much more. Lanzarote is popular with nature lovers, sightseeing and cruise tourists. By the way: Lanzarote has been a UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve since 1993.

Thanks to the balanced climate and the uniqueness of the landscape, Lanzarote is a popular travel destination. Almost three million guests (as of 2019) visited the island in the northeast of the Canary Archipelago. They came by air, ferry, or cruise ship.

Volcanic crater in Timanfaya National Park


Volcanic crater in Timanfaya National Park



Haría in the valley of 1000 palm trees 


Lanzarote was forever shaped by César Manrique. Lanzarote had a tireless advocate in the person of the Lanzarote-born architect, artist and environmentalist. Manrique never tired of creating a relationship between nature and architecture with his buildings. Many of the Lanzarote sights we have presented bear his signature.

Jameos del Agua - White Basin


Our 14 sights in Lanzarote from north to south 

Mirador del Rio - the lookout point in the north of the island

Far to the north of Lanzarote, opposite the small neighboring island of La Graciosa, lies the Mirador del Rio viewpoint at an altitude of 475 meters. César Manrique and colleagues provided the design for the Mirador. The building, which opened on the steep coast in 1974, was built in the typical Manrique style. That means: caves of the rocks were used as rooms; right angles are absent; all rooms and areas including the parking lot are round.

The construction is worth seeing, and the views of La Graciosa and Lanzarote's northern environs are wonderful! 

Cueva de los Verdes - a walk-in lava cave

In the northeast of Lanzarote, the seven-kilometer-long Cueva de Los Verdes lava tube runs through the rocky landscape. It is one of the longest natural tunnel systems in the world. Originally, the islanders used the cave system as a hideout during pirate raids in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 19th century, the cave became a must for scholars and scientists, and in 1964 it was opened to visitors over a length of one kilometer. Sophisticated lighting emphasizes the colors of the rock and its fantastic shapes. The visit to the cave takes place as part of guided tours.

Signpost to the Cueva de los Verdes lava cave


Signpost to the Cueva de los Verdes lava cave



Mystical light in the Cueva de los Verdes 


Jameos del Agua

On the lava field of the Volcán de la Corona, César Manrique created a center for art and culture with the Jameos del Agua. The facility, opened in 1966, consists of an underground grotto with a restaurant and a small lake. Blind albino crabs live in its water. A tunnel connects the water with the sea. The tides affect the water level of the lake.


Grotto in the Jameos del Agua



Jameos del Agua - waters of the blind albino crabs


Above ground, the facility has a white swimming pool, an artificial waterfall and a geological museum. The Jameos del Agua has an auditorium that seats 600 people.

Jameos del Agua


Haría - Visit to the Valley of 1000 Palms

Another point of interest in Lanzarote is the town of Haría in the north of the island. The small town located in a wide valley can be reached via serpentine roads. Haría's white buildings remind us a little of a Moroccan oasis town. - Why do so many palm trees grow in this place? The answer is simple: bridal couples traditionally plant a palm tree; and when children come along, more trees will be planted ...

Haría in the valley of 1000 palm trees


Guatiza - Jardín de Cactus

Seventeen kilometers of volcanic landscape separate Haría from the JardÍn de Cactus. Under the direction of César Manrique, an exploited quarry was transformed into a 5.000 square meter refuge for cacti. In the incomparable facility, inaugurated in 1990, a total of 1.500 cacti grow. The plants were gathered from all over the world. The restored windmill on the site still grinds roasted barley today. The end product is called "Gofio". It is a popular, traditional Canarian food. A restaurant belonging to the facility provides the appropriate taste experiences.

 

Montaña de Guenia - an unusual rock formation

Drivers traveling from Guatiza to Teguise should take the LZ-1 first. Then follow the LZ-404 road. Shortly after the junction, below the Montaña de Guenia, there are strange, meter-high rock formations. Some sources refer to it as a place of religious rituals of the indigenous people. Travel guides rarely mention the boulders. For us they are a sight. A short excursion shows the full extent. Google Maps names the formations "Stratified City".

Montana de Guenia

Montana de Guenia


Teguise

Teguise is Lanzarote's largest municipality in terms of area. Teguise was the capital of the island for more than 400 years. The town center is a listed building because of its architectural, historical and artistic heritage.

As the former capital of the island, Teguise was often exposed to pirate attacks. For protection, the Castillo Santa Bárbara was built on the summit of the Guanapay volcano in the middle of the 15th century. The fort is a castle complex with a drawbridge and small round towers. Several times it did not withstand pirate attacks. From the height, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the town and large parts of the island. The fortress houses an emigrant and pirate museum.


Teguise - Plaza de la Constitucion



Teguise - Castle of Santa Barbara 


In the center of the village is the church of Nuestra Señora de Guadelupe. The church is open to believers and visitors during the day. Another attraction in Teguise is La Cilla, the tithe barn. Feudal lords and the church claimed taxes. Ten percent of the proceeds went to the clergy. Today La Cilla is the seat of a credit institute. César Manrique planned and directed the restoration work. Restaurants, cafes and shops invite you to linger in the beautiful place. The weekly market takes place in Teguise on Saturdays.

Teguise - Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe


Monument to the Peasant

César Manrique created the Monumento al Campesino between the towns of San Bartolomé and Mozaga, nine kilometers north of Arrecife. The strange 15 meter high fertility monument is dedicated to the work of the farmers.

Monument to the Peasant


César Manrique Foundation

The former home of César Manrique in Tahiche is now the center of a private foundation and a museum. Manrique built the 1.800 square meter house on a volcanic field. He incorporated natural volcanic bubbles into the interior design. A circular route leads visitors through the two-story area. In addition to the unique construction, many art objects captivate visitors. For us, the Fundación is one of the indispensable destinations in Lanzarote.

In this context, we would like to point out Manrique's metal objects: At the roundabouts you can often see them, metal objects of different sizes moved by the wind.

Metal object near the Fundación César Manrique

Metal object near the Fundación César Manrique


Montaña de Fuego - the land of the mountains of fire

Between 1730 and 1736, the southwest of Lanzarote was hit by severe volcanic eruptions. Eleven localities were destroyed and nearly 170 square kilometers of farmland were lost. The terrain still resembles a lunar landscape.

The Timanfaya National Park was established in the land of the Fire Mountains. The unique crater landscape extends over more than 50 square kilometers. Since 1987 the area has been part of the Parque Natural de los Volcanes. The name is program. The terrain has over 30 volcanic cones up to 500 meters high. Extensive lava fields surround the cones.

The park is one of the absolute highlights of Lanzarote. Daily guided tours head for the unique landscape. Tourists who venture into the core area of ​​the national park on their own drive to Islote del Hilario by rental car. Entry to the reserve must be paid at a checkpoint along the way. The car is parked in the parking lot of the Islote del Hilario.

The entire site is closed to individual traffic outside the public areas. Buses take visitors on a 14-kilometer round trip to some remarkable viewpoints. The 50-minute bus rides with commentary in multiple languages ​​are included in the entrance fee to the national park.

The El Diablo restaurant, planned by César Manrique, is located on Islote del Hilario. In the vicinity, the temperature a few meters below ground is more than 400 ° Celsius. To demonstrate this natural phenomenon, water is poured into a metal tube. Immediately afterwards it shoots up like a geyser. To illustrate the geothermal energy, employees of the park administration put thorn bushes into holes in the ground. Volcanism quickly causes the bushes to go up in flames. We think: an unforgettable landscape!

Timanfaya National Park - El Diablo restaurant in the background


Timanfaya National Park - El Diablo restaurant in the background



Timanfaya National Park - in the El Diablo restaurant 


Two other attractions of the national park:

The Mancha Blanca Information Center is in front of the entrance to the National Park. It informs interested parties about volcanism in general and the geological situation of the island in particular. A volcanic eruption is simulated in a room. Visiting the center is not a waste of time.

Mancha Blanca Visitor Center


The Echadero de los Camellos, the “camel stable”, is also a recommendation. Next to the LZ-67 road, the Ruta de los Volcanes, is the resting place of the dromedaries. From there, the caravans of pack animals with visitors on their backs regularly travel through the volcanic region for 15 to 20 minutes.

Caravan of dromedaries in Timanfaya National Park


The vineyards of La Geria

Wine thrives on volcanic ash. The several thousand hectares of wine-growing area, the figures for size vary, is on the edge of the Timanfaya National Park. La Geria is the largest wine-growing region in the Canaries. The vines are cherished and tended in artificial hollows, protected by walls. Wineries called "Bodega" offer tours for a fee.


Bodega in the vineyards of La Geria



Vines in the vineyards of La Geria 


The lagoon of El Golfo and Los Hervideros - the cooking holes

The lagoon called Charco de los Clicos near the fishing village of El Golfo in the southwest of the island is intensely green in color. The surface of the water was created when a crater, partially submerged in the sea, filled with sea water. The coloring comes from algae. Due to changes in the environment, the flow of water is now disturbed; the lagoon is shrinking.

El Golfo Lagoon - Charco de los Clicos


The nearby El Golfo Los Hervideros, the “cooking holes” of the southern lava coast, are worth a visit. The swell of the Atlantic shaped the rock into spectacular grottos, holes and rock formations. Visitors experience the natural phenomenon up close on narrow coastal paths. 

The Salinas de Janubio

The extensive salt pans of the Salinas de Janubio extend not far from Los Hervideros. A headland separates the salt marshes from the sea. Salt production has been operated at the site since 1895. It is true that the importance of salt for the region has declined; In order to preserve tradition, the EU supports salt production with financial aid. Every year 2.000 tons of salt are extracted through evaporation.

Janubio Salt Flats


Arrecife island capital - the two forts

The island capital Arrecife does not have many sights. The Parque Temático park and the El Charco de San Ginés lagoon catch the eye. It was once the fishing port. Today it enchants its visitors with a promenade lined with palm trees. Bars, restaurants and shops provide variety.

Arrecife - Charco de San Gines


What we particularly like about Arrecife are the two fortresses that are visible from afar. For a long time, pirates made the trade routes into the New World unsafe. They plundered ships and cities without restraint. The Castillo de San Gabriel, built on the Islote de Fermina, protected Arrecife from raids by the privateers.

Arrecife's second fortress is the Castillo de San José. It was built between 1774 and 1779 as part of a job creation scheme. The unemployed and starving population after the severe volcanic eruptions of 1730 to 1736 got their wages and bread through the construction of the fortress. That explains the nickname "Hunger Fortress". In 1975 a museum of contemporary art (MIAC) designed by César Manrique was established in the castle. The fort is within sight of the two cruise terminals.


Arrecife - Castle of San Gabriel



Arrecife - Castillo de San Jose 


summary

An island the size of Lanzarote takes a lot of time to get to know it well. We prefer to visit the world by cruise ship. Our 14 top highlights of the island of Lanzarote correspond to our experiences from multiple visits to the island. The goals listed cannot be achieved in a single day. We have presented the individual destinations of this contrasting island that seem important to us. The choice of what to see is yours. You can find more information here: A day in Lanzarote  and Lanzarote - discover the west of the island. The Lanzarote Tourist Office's brochure also provides useful information. The information is below turismolanzarote.com accessible.