Lanzarote owes its name to the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello, who arrived to the island at the beginning of the 14th century.
The natural environment of Lanzarote is fascinating; its violent volcanic nature and its semi-desert conditions have created a unique natural landscape of extraordinary originality. The institutions have managed to keep this very special environment safe from tourist growth and the construction boom. Approximately 40% of the island's surface is protected by some law.
Lanzarote's volcanic activity began eleven million years ago and today the island's landscape is made up of more than 300 volcanic cones. The eruptions of 1730 - 1736 were some of the most important in the history of world volcanism, a third of the island was covered with lava and 12 villages were buried as a result. Now part of the area affected by these eruptions forms the Timanfaya National Park and the Los Volcanes Natural Park. As well as visiting Timanfaya, there are a multitude of volcanoes spread throughout the island, most of them can be accessed on foot, through trails, which run through enigmatic and impressive landscapes, almost all of them have been very little traveled.
The best way to discover the island is by renting a car, getting carried away by some of its roads is a real pleasure for the senses. Discover small charming towns, taste some of their wines in the wineries of La Geria, one of the oldest in Spain, or enjoy the tasty, local food based around fish and meat dishes, cheeses and endless high quality and delicious products.
In Lanzarote there are a wide variety of beaches, from the most popular, like those in the tourist centers of Puerto del Carmen or Costa Teguise, to untouched, isolated beaches, such as Bajo el Risco or those on the Timanfaya coast. There are beaches boasting golden sand, and also those with volcanic black sand, beaches with white sand made of millions of shells and beaches with thousands of olive-green pebbles that shine in the sun. A trip to the small island of La Graciosa can also reveal some of the most beautiful sea shores.
For sports lovers, the island offers a multitude of activities. Throughout the year a wide variety of sporting events are held, many welcoming international competitors. We are one of the best destinations in Europe for sports such as cycling, trekking, trail running, triathlon ... and of course water sports like surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving or sailing.
In short, Lanzarote is an incredible and unique environment for a memorable vacation, come and be amazed.
“When I returned from New York, I came with the intention of turning my home island into one of the most beautiful places on the planet.”.
It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it is today without César Manrique. He was a painter, sculptor, art director, ecologist, art restorer, construction advisor, planner of urban complexes, landscape and garden designer ... and above all, a lover of his island.
After a three-year stay in New York, César Manrique came back to Lanzarote. Aware of the uniqueness of the island landscape, he embarked upon an ambitious creative project of intervention in the territory, based around the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the island. This idea underpinned the sustainable development model that is now used in Lanzarote. Thanks to the work of Manrique, in 1993 the island was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. He developed a new aesthetic ideology, which he called “art-nature / nature-art”, which he applied in his design work. The basis of this is a respectful dialogue between nature and the traditional architectural styles of local tradition, intertwining with modern design concepts. In short, César sought an effort to harmonize, which not only refers to his passion for beauty, but also for life.
César Manrique died at the age of 73 in a tragic traffic accident on September 25, 1992.
The origin of the art, culture and tourism Centers dates back to the year 1966. They are promoted and managed by the Cabildo de Lanzarote and were created by César Manrique, with the exception of Cueva de Los Verdes, a natural formation which was restored and promoted by Jesús Soto, one of Manrique's closest collaborators.
There are seven Centers; Mirador del Río, Jameos del Agua, Jardin de Cactus, Cueva de los Verdes, Casa Museo del Campesino, Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo MIAC and Montañas del Fuego. All of them are iconic places and together they make up an amazing array of sites full of Lanzarote’s unique identity and beauty.
Visiting the Centers is a good way to get to know the island. They showcase much of Manrique's most significant work, as well as providing good examples of the style, culture and spirit of Lanzarote. You can purchase a voucher before visiting some of the Centers in order to receive discounted entry.
The headquarters of the César Manrique Foundation should be added to these seven Centers, even though it does not belong to them it is equally representative. It is a private, non-profit cultural institution. The building where it is located was Manrique´s first home in Lanzarote after his return from New York. The house, built on five volcanic bubbles, is one of the most notable examples of “Manrique style”, based on a constant dialogue between the building and nature.