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Attractions on Lanzarote

Lanzarote Info

 

Places of interest - interesting sights

 

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CASTILLO SANTA BÁRBARA

The summit of the Montana de Guanapay at the margins of former capital Villa de Teguise hosts the castle of "Santa Bárbara". Constructed at the 16th century by Sancho de Herrera, it was mainly used as a watchtower before beeing converted into a fortress 1588 by an Italian engineer. Today, after a long period of fondly restoration, the castle serves as a pirate museum. The museum is opened daily from 10.00 - 16.00 hrs in summer.


COCHENILLE BREEDING NEAR GUATIZA

By the middle of last century the "Opuntia ficus indica", more common nowadays as the Prickly Pear, was introduced to the island imported from Mexico and cultivated in large plantations around the village of Guatiza. On its surface a tiny louse, the cochineal, was bred to gain a very precious red dye stuff known as Carmine from the larvae, that was ( and still is ) in strong demand by the cosmetics -, pharmacy- and food industries. Using a spatula, the larvae have to be sraped by hand from the thorny cactus, then purged, deadened in hot water, dried and finally ground. The procedure didn´t change a lot since and with a look the tininess of the insects, the effort needed to produce quantities of the final product is imageinable.

Photo page Cochenille breeding at Guatiza

CUEVAS DE LOS VERDES

In the northern island´s township of Haria and south eastern of the vulcano "Montana de La Corona", the world´s largest system of volcanic tubes, the "Cuevas de los Verdes" invite to have a look under the surface of Lanzarote. The system stretches out for nearly four miles and arose, when a massive stream of lava from the Corona went towards the sea. While the streams´ surface cooled down and solidified, the still liquid part below went on and created this unique system of caves ( Jameos ), centuries later used by the island´s inhabitants to hide from raging pirates and slave traders. A part of the system is opened to the public and guided tours are offered daily from 10.00 - 17.00 hrs. The athmosphere in the caves is indescribable. A sophisticated dramaturgy of lighting and soft music awaits the visitors and finally ... Well, that´s a surprise and secret ! The adjacent auditorium disposes of an excellent accoustic and from time to time musical events from traditional to jazz take place here.

EL GOLFO

Located south of the Timanfaya area lies the small fishing village "El Golfo" and right next door the impressive crater of the same name ( the locals call it "Charco de Los Clicos" ). A path with handrails leads to an impressive spot overlooking the whole dantesk scenery. Halve the cone has already been washed away by the wild sea here, leaving a stunning black pebble beach and an even more unique, unreal looking emerald green lake, the only of its kind throughout the world. It´s still not exactly known what causes the colour, but most people guess it an excessive growth of algae together with a very special mixture of minerals, e.g. the semi-precious Olivine stones, which are to find at the beach in nice quantities, so no wonder many people are seen bent over at this stunning location. Swimming, as usual at the western shore, is not recommended because of strong currents. At the village itself fresh fish is served at some small and very good restaurant. If lucky, a breathtaking sunset can be experienced here.

Photo page
El Golfo

FUNDACIÓN CÉSAR MANRIQUE

In 1968 the famous painter, architect and sculptor César Manrique startet creating his famous house, built into five volcanic bubbles in Taro de Tachiche, with the idea of total harmony between the natural environment and its inhabitant. Large windows give sights to the surrounding lava and the whole plot was lavishly planted. After his untimely death in a car crash nearby the building, the house was opened to the public. Today it´s the cultural centre of the island and hosts a permanent exhibition with works of world ranked artists like Picasso, Miro, Chillida, Klee to mention a few, besides many works of Manrique himself. Visitors get a very good impression of the life and work of Lanzarotes greatest son ever. The Fundacion César Manriques is opend daily except sundays from 10.00 - 18.00 hrs.

JAMEOS DEL AGUA

A short drive away of the Cuevas de Los Verdes, the Jameos del Agua mark the other end of the already mentioned system of caves. César Manrique found that place extraordinary beautiful and quiet, so he decided to design a wonderful oasis of tranquility and reflection there. The first cave hosts a small salt water lake, that is constantly fed from the nearby sea and provides a home for a very rare species of little, white albino crabs, usually found only in depths below 1.000 meters at the bottom of the open sea. Presumably a strong earthquake brought them in this place long ago. Further there´s a beautifuly styled pool, unfortunately closed for swimming, a reasonable and good restaurant and finally the Casa de los Volcanes, an important seismological station and centre of volcanology with international reputation. An other cave hosts one of the most beautiful auditoriums in Spain, providing 600 seats and a truely wonderful acoustic. Well worth to attend a concert here. Jameos del Agua is opened daily from 9.30 - 19.00hrs, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, two very nice bars open until 23.00hrs and occasionally dancing and folklorical events take place.

Jardin de Cactus

An old querry near Mala sets the location for one on César Manriques last works, the Cactus Garden. The entrance is marked by the garden´s emblem, a 8 meter tall metal cactus. The collection of cacti is enormous! 1.420 different species and appr. 9.700 plants from all over the world can be found here. The garden is formed from terracces like a huge amphie theatre, all paths and steps made of volcanic rock. Set on a hill an old windmill used formerly to produce Gofio, a traditional nurishment consisting of toasted corn and other cereals, milled together. The Cactus Garden is opened daily from 10.00 - 18.00hrs, the cafeteria closes at 17.00hrs.

Photo page Cactus Garden

 

LA GERIA



La Geria

Probably the best known winegrowing region of Lanzarote, La Geria stretches between the village of Uga all the way to the Monumento al Campesino (The farmers monument) near Mozaga. Despite the rather dry conditions, the grapes grow splendidly here, but there is a lot of effort needed first ... First the winegrower shovels a deepening in the ash left from the last eruptions and then constructs a sheltering wall of stones around every single plant. Then everything will be covered with a layer of black Picon, a very porous volcanic material with the great advantage to soak up the morning´s drew and preserve it for the benefit of the plant during the hot days. Besides a few other sorts, the Malvasia is the favourit wine grown and along the road leading throught the winefields there are a handfull of "Bodegas" to stop at and do some sampling and shopping of these noble drops. The biggest, oldest and most reputated Bodega the popular and awarded "El Grifo", where even a small museum of wine growing is located. Best recommended time for a trip through La Geria is certainly the afternoon towards dawn, when the low sun sets the whole scenery into a warm and amazing twilight.

LA GRACIOSA

If just having a look at Lanzarotes northern "little sister" from the Mirador del Rio is not enough, than a daytrip with a ferry leaving from Orzola might be a good idea and a real interesting experience. The island is only a couple of square miles big and has about 700 habitants, a school, few bars, not surprisingly a church and (more surprisingly) a small sports stadion and one taxi. Besides it´s absolute quietness the highlights are the beautiful beach of "Las Conchas" and for the ambitioned hiker a climb on the crater of the old volcanoe "Montana Berjema" that finally rewards the effort with a beautiful view to the islands "Isla Alegranza" and "Montana Clara". Bicycles are for hire and a trip around the island can easily be done even for the sportive no-hopers.

Photo page of La Graciosa

LOS AJACHES

About 19 million years ago Lanzarotes highest mountains, "Los Ajaches" arose in the south. Follow the road heading towards Yaiza and the signs leading to Femés and drive up to the highests summits, where some small bars await the visitor to enjoy the gorgeous views up to Playa Blanca while having a good glass of wine and some delicious Tapas.

 

LOS HERVIDEROS

Between El Golfo and the Salinas de Janubio extends the bizarre coast of the "boiling pots", the Costa de Los Hervideros. The sheer force of the sea formed and milled the hard rock into countless arcs, caves and spits. Even on a rather calm day the waves crashe the rock with glorious force and the spray is impressive. A viewpoint near the biggest caves provides a save place to watch the power of the elements. Caution is required during bad weather with a big surf, don´t be too self-confident climbing the rocks!

Photo page Los Hervideros

MANCHA BLANCA

Roughly two kilometres west of the Village of Mancha Blanca, the road to Timanfaya National Park leads to the visitors and information centre Mancha Blanca. Here the phaenomena of volcanism will be extensively explaint and impressively simulated. Further the center supplies many information about the National Park of Timanfaya and a film intruduces the island of Lanzarote to the visitor. The centre is opened daily from 9.00 - 17.00 hrs.

MIRADOR DEL RIO

Near the northernmost point of Lanzarote and about 480 metres above sea level the "Mirador del Rio" is a viewing point not to be missed! Formerly used as an artillery fortress it was transformed 1974 into a spectacular caffee-bar by, yes, again, César Manrique. The views towards the small islands La Graciosa, Montana Clara and Alegranza from the top of the cliff are simply breathtaking. The viewpoint is opened daily from 10.00 - 18.00hrs. Little insider tip: On the left hand side of the building is a small stonewall and if you just jump over it, the view is as nice. But you safe the entrance fees ...

MONUMENTO DEL CAMPESINO



Monumento del Campesino, Mozaga

A complex of buildings at the island´s geographical centre near the village of Mozaga. Located in the middle of the roundabout between San Bartolomé and Mozaga the 15 metre tall monument honouring the efforts of Lanzarotes farmers. César Manrique welded it from watertanks of old fishing boats and it represents a farmer with his flock. Beside the monument replicas of traditional farmhouses and workshops can be visited and old handicraft as pottery, spinning and carpentry is demonstated. The complex is opened daily from 10.00 - 17.00hrs, a nice restaurant is on site.

 

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The museum can be found in Lanzarote´s capital Arrecife located in the old fortress "Castillo de San José" near Puerto Naos, that was build 1776 - 1779 by King Carlos III. César Manrique was strove to keep the substance as a relict of the past and after a long time of refurbisment the museum was finally opened to the public in 1976. The museum shows works of art by international artists, partially endowed from César Manriques private collections and is opened daily from 11.00 - 21.00hrs, the adjacent bar and restaurant until 1.00hrs.

THE NATIONAL PARK OF TIMANFAYA



Timanfaya, Feuerberge

In Lanzarote´s south, spread between Yaiza and Tinajo, the visitor enters a unique volcanic landscape, enters a different world. The years 1730 - 1736 have seen the last devastating eruptions whereafter a forth of Lanzarotes fertile soil was covered with unbeliveable masses of lava, tuff and ashes. More than 170 sqkm of land was destroyed - or newly formed - and offers a multitude of geological phenomena and biological developments. Around 30 volcanic cones, together with bizarre formations of lava, steep ash fields and deep craters produce a truely amazing spectacle of light, shadows and colours. The park is off limits for private cars, but can be discovered on a very recommendable bus trip, that is included in the entrance fee or (after reservation!) by foot with a skilled guide. As well the visitor will be shown the powerfull heat still fired from deep below the surface. A bunch of dry bushes thrown in a simple hole will ignite within seconds and some water sent down a metal pipe roars out as overheated steam. Popular : The volcanic BBQ at the restaurant "El Diablo", nothing than a hole in the ground using the natural heat to grill chicken, sausages and steaks. Althought the environment is rather hot, don´t forget a cardigan, when visiting the park, the wind can be chilling sometimes. Coming from Yaiza, shortly before the entrance of the park is the "parking range" for the famous dromedars (not camels). Who fancies, is welcome to get jolted softly for 15 minutes. Opened daily from 9.00 - 17.00hrs.

PAPAGAYO

An even today still bumpy road leads from Playa Blanca in the south to the beautiful Papagayo beaches. Romantic bays with fine and white sands and the splendid views to Fuerteventura are the trademarks of this location. Unfortunately many boat trips lead to Papagayo nowadays, so the easier access certainly increased the number of sunseekers here, enough even to have enticed two small beach restaurants to the place. However, who dares wading along the coast at low tide, might still get a hold on one or the other deserted bay ...

SALINAS DE JANUBIO

Using the mainroad from Yaiza to Playa Blanca an exit leads to the "Salinas de Janubio" , one of the biggest salt production plants using natural evaporation in whole Spain. Still in the 19th century the saline produced up to 10.000 tons of the "white gold" a year. Today the plant is working only partially, production rather troublesome and therefore inefficient and expensive. But the salt is great! Used sparing, the rough stuff adds a hearty note to any dish.

Photo page Salinas de Janubio

 

RANCHO TEXAS PARK

This amusement park and small zoo was introduced to the public in its modernized form in 2002. It´s easy to find on the main road connecting Puerto del Carmen with the airport. Great for kids sharing the life of "Sioux" and "cowboys" on a plot of 50.000 m², while many exotic animals are close at hand. Different shows are performed several times a day, e.g. a drolly parrot show in the saloon-restaurant, an impressive raptor show, with eagles and buzzards shoot over the spectators heads and the taming of a crocodile. All the shows are very interesting and informative. Children have loads of possibilities rioting around, canoeing, riding ponies, washing gold, to mention a few. Opened daily from 10.00 - 17.00hrs.

Photo page Rancho Texas Park

GUINATE TROPICAL PARK

Located near the northern village of Guinate, on the foot of the volcano "La Corona" the Guinate Tropical Park was lavishly constructed on a plot of 45.000m². Featuring artificial lagoons, waterfalls and thousands of tropical plants, it´s home for more than 1.300 different species of birds and reptiles. The restaurant offers funny parrot show several times a day, where the birds perform stunning stunts. The park is opened daily from 10.00 - 17.00hrs.

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Rural holiday villa or apartment, from 490 €/week

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Apartments in Puerto del Carmen from 350 € / Week

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