Category: Blog

Inland tours & sporting activities

Visiting Lanzarote

César Manrique

An appreciation of Lanzarote’s aesthetically stark contrasts and Biosphere Reserve status starts with an introduction to César Manrique, born a century ago and yet vastly ahead of his time with a sustainable vision that has served to preserve and celebrate the island’s most intrinsic cultural values.

Visit the Fundación César Manrique in Tahiche or the Casa Museo César Manrique in Haría for some insight into this iconic figure.

 

CACT

Manrique’s hand is easily acknowledged in these spectacular visits that include:

 

Watersports enthusiasts

With a plentiful supply of wind and waves, Lanzarote has some superb spots for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Try the spectacular beach of Famara where beginners or those wishing to improve their skills can join a class with experienced instructors from Lavaflow Surf Lanzarote [link to partner]. Just a few minutes’ drive from the base, windsurfers can hire gear or take lessons from Windsurfing Club Las Cucharas [link to partner] in nearby Costa Teguise.

Lanzarote’s underwater world is a genuine paradise with volcanic reefs creating some stunning scenery and a rich marine biodiversity offering plenty to see. Check in with Rubicon Diving [link to partner] for guided visits to one of the many sites, including Museo Atlántico: Jason deCaires Taylor’s underwater museum and aquatic marine project, with sculptures offering a sensitive appraisal of some of today’s socio-political issues.

Kayaking is another way to enjoy a gentle coastal and beach tour or set out to find some more challenging Atlantic conditions! Join or tour or rent equipment with Kayak del Mar [link to partner]

 

CR Lavaflow Surf Lanzarote

 

 

Land sports

Get out and experience Lanzarote’s fantastic year-round climate and some truly dramatic scenery:

Hire road bikes, mountain bikes or e-bikes from our partner Renner Bikes [link to partner] or join tours with fellow cyclists through exciting terrain.

During the winter months, a unique way to appreciate the landscape is tandem paragliding. Book with Volcano Fly Lanzarote [link to partner] for an experience to remember.

Join a hiking tour with Eco-Insider [link to partner] and benefit from fascinating insight from geologists as you tour some of Lanzarote’s emblematic craters.

 

Local culture: Wine tours

The popularity of Lanzarote’s prize-winning wines has been synonymous with a surge in interest in broadening the island’s gastronomic identity with a tantalising array of craft cheeses and conserves. A visit to Lanzarote’s wine district in La Geria reveals however a series of surprises regarding the curious factors and emphatically nature-led processes involved in the creation of the island’s best wines.  [link to wine blog]. Contact Eco-Insider [link to partner] for a tour that includes wine tastings and an engaging introduction to this unique viniculture.

Download this guide prepared the Lanzarote’s tourist board. [link to tourist board wine upload]

 

Bird tours

As an offshore island, with its surrounding uninhabited islets, vast cliffs, desert plains [link to bird-watching blog] and saltpans, Lanzarote is an extraordinary place for birdwatching. Marvel at the survival skills of some captivating endemic species and enjoy the chance to spot a myriad of migrant raptors and passerines. For a great day out and some top tips on where to go next, contact Eco-Insider [link to partner]

Please find further useful information at the Biosphere Reserve office website

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Exploring the local surroundings: eating out

An essential component of being away, eating out can also be a fun introduction to the local culture. Lanzarote’s gastronomy is simple and reflects the location with plenty of fresh fish and

Traditional potatoes

shellfish; pulses and goat’s cheese. Signature highlights include the refreshing dry and aromatic white wines and small, tasty, salt-encrusted potatoes with cilantro or hot pepper dips (mojos).  In the style of warm Mediterranean destinations, eating out with friends and family is about slow living and savouring the place, the company and of course the food!

Below we offer you a small selection based around where you might be staying, with other suggestions should you want to venture slightly further afield. It is far from a definitive guide and the island is rich with options (try El Golfo, La Geria, Famara, etc) – we’d be delighted to hear your recommendations!

 

Finca La Picolisima

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Within walking distance

 

  • Mercado Municipal De Abastos This fresh produce market is a heart-warming place to buy local agricultural, dairy products and fresh bread. Enjoy the community feel and stock up for an afternoon’s hiking. Pop into the “Taller de Artesanía” next door to see local craftsmen and women working and exhibiting their products. Open daily (closed Sundays) from 9:00 – 16:00
  • La Puerta Verde Great cuisine, creatively inspired by local products and attractively presented. The restaurant is known for its friendly service and the level of service makes it a good choice for an evening out. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
  • Centro Socio Cultural La Tegala Open every day from 9am -11pm (one of the recommended “teleclubs” – see below.)

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 Less than 20 mins by car or under an hour’s bike ride

 

  • Jameos del Agua is one of island’s emblematic Art and Tourist Centres, created from the famous Túnel de la Atlántida, a 6-mile long lava tube. A recipient of Manrique’s vision and dedication, this spectacular cavern with its serene lagoon is a magnet for visitors. Open daily from 10:00 – 18:30, the special time to go is in the evening (19:00 – 01:00) on Tuesday and Saturdays for live music and dinner in a spectacular setting. Look out for events taking place in the theatre.
  • Casa de la Playa (Arrieta) Right on the beach, this is a perfect place to head after a swim. Fresh fish with local and Spanish dishes and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Open every day from 10:00 – 22:00.
  • Mirador de Los Valles (Los Valles) Offering spectacular views over the hillsides and out to sea, this restaurant specialises in local dishes, providing a good and friendly lunchtime service. Open every day from 11:00 – 19:00.
  • Bar La Piscina (Punta Mujeres) This Teleclub sits at the edge of some of the area’s glorious natural seawater pools. Take your swimming costume and sit down with the locals to enjoy great local fish, typical tapas and some delicious paella. Open from 8:00 – 20:00 (closed Tuesdays)

  

Casa Tahiche

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Within walking distance

 

Levain
  • Levain For breakfast, elevenses, teatime (oh who needs an excuse!), this bakery and café hits the spot. Local breads, cakes and pastries to feed a king. Open from 7.30 – 20:00, closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Los Aljibes Open now for 6 years, the team took over an abandoned lot featuring one of Manrique’s lauded architectural structures and created a niche and quirky restaurant, specialising in grilled meats and with a brewery and taproom serving lighter snacks. The restaurant includes a pretty and spacious patio for eating alfresco. The craft beer is disturbingly moreish and the restaurant dishes are generous. Good salads for vegetarians. We recommend walking rather than driving… Closed Mondays but open daily otherwise from 13:00 – 10:30.

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 Less than 20 mins by car or under an hour’s bike ride

 

  • Teleclub Nazaret Open from 1pm to midnight; closed Mondays. (one of the recommended “teleclubs” – see below.)
  • La Palmera Teguise abounds with charm and cool places to eat. The local Sunday tourist market attracts huge crowds and if this isn’t your thing, best explore the island’s original capital from Tuesday to Saturday. La Palmera is one of our favourites for its tasty locally-inspired dishes and snacks, splendid mojitos and chilled setting. For market day (Sunday) La Palmera becomes a festive bar with live music
  • Emmax (Playa Honda) Lanzarote has some great waterfronts for strolling or cycling with one of the best-prepared examples extending from Puerto del Carmen to Arrecife. Midday along this route, the long stretch in front of Playa Honda is a perfect place to stop and eat next to the seashore. Fresh and creative gastronomy with Mediterranean and Asian influences and a great choice for vegans and vegetarians, Emmax offers a charming service and the assurance of good food. Open daily from 11:00 – 23:00 (21:00 on Sundays). Closed Tuesdays
  • Restaurante Lilium (Marina Lanzarote) A short bus ride will take you down to Arrecife, the island capital. The Charco San Ginés volcanic lagoon becomes the place to be for local islanders on Fridays and Saturdays and a superb selection of restaurants surrounds the lagoon. Just next door is Marina Lanzarote with one of the island’s most highly regarded restaurants: Lilium, celebrated for its creative use of traditional ingredients. Well worth a visit! Open daily from 14:00 – 16:00 and 20:00 – 23:00. Closed Sundays

 

  • Los Aljibes

 

Eat like a local

Representing excellent value, the village social clubs have acquired a growing tourist status; previously being the almost exclusive domain of locals. Good typical dishes in a relaxed and unpretentious setting, often with outside seating.

  • Centro Socio Cultural La Tegala (Haría) – open every day from 9am -11pm
  • El Chiringuito (Teguise) – open every day from 9.30 to midnight
  • Teleclub Nazaret – open from 1pm to midnight; closed Mondays.
  • Bar La Piscina (Punta Mujeres). Open from 8am – 8pm (closed Tuesdays)

 

 

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César Manrique: Lanzarote’s most influential son

Casa Tahiche and Finca La Picolisima are both only a 10-12-minute walk from the two of the most popular cultural attractions in Lanzarote. The Fundacion César Manrique (Tahiche) and the Casa Museo (Haría) stylishly house marvellous art collections and tell the tale of Lanzarote’s most famous and influential son.

2019 marks the centenary of César Manrique; an artist with an extraordinary vision who was able to an undistinguished arid island into a celebrated destination. Visiting the Fundación with its serene subterranean lava bubbles and tender study of local architecture offers a keen insight into the character of a vivacious and spirited individual with a remarkable respect for the traditions and identity of his homeland.

Fundación César Manrique

He believed that the role of the artist was not just as an interpreter of the landscape, but by appreciating and helping communicate the essential ways in which man lived with and from the

landscape, could and should extend to stewardship. He became Lanzarote’s greatest defender, forging the island’s cultural identity and transmitting her inherent beauty through art, studies and magnificent reframing of the landscape’s most iconic geological structures.

Beyond the Fundación and the Casa Museo, Manrique’s influence can be seen in the low rise, homogenously painted white houses with the colour-codes doors and window frames (green/brown for inland with a blue option for coastal properties); the island’s respect for agricultural traditions, local flora and urban planning and of course the awe-inspiring monuments to Lanzarote’s geology with must-see visits such as the Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos de Agua and the Timanfaya National Park.

To learn more, visit fcmanrique.org or www.cactlanzarote.com

Timanfaya Nationalpark
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Cochineal: Traditional crafts in Lanzarote

Haría’s Saturday artisan market is a fantastic place to explore traditional crafts and buy local gifts to take home. One of the exhibitors is the Milana Association, selling silk and woollen accessories which have been hand-dyed using locally-harvested cochineal, an insect that breeds on prickly-pear cacti. Fields of these cacti are a recognisable sight around the island, particularly in Guatiza and Mala. The fruits are particularly rich in vitamin C and are popularly conserved as cactus jam.

Cochineal arrived in Lanzarote in 1825, where ideal climate conditions created the means to develop a very profitable income for the island until the arrival synthetic dyes disrupted the market, with reduced production costs decimating its commercial value.

Recently however, cochineal has come back into favour, in part due to its lack of toxicity.

The Milan Association was created in 2005 to recover the art of using cochineal and both study and promote its use. They organise workshops, guided tours and exhibitions.

On their stand, representatives from Milana demonstrate the process of converting the cochineal beetle into this famous red colourant and show how the dye is used to create inks and colour clothing, by drying the beetle and the crushing to a powder. They have generously given us permission to reproduce their methods which are set out below:

  1. Dilute the ground cochineal in a container of water
  2. Heat the solution to a temperature of 60-70º C for 30 mins.
  3. Filter the preparation to obtain the colourant.
  4. Soak wool or silk, etc in a colour fixative (aluminium sulphate, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, tartaric acid, etc) diluted in hot water for 20 mins.
  5. Soak the treated wool or silk in hot colourant for 30 mins.
  6. Rinse with water.

Stop by their stand to learn more or visit their website (currently only in Spanish):  asociacionmilana.com

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Wine harvest in Haría

Our first harvest in Haría in our Finca “La Picolisima” is done. Only the best quality of the grapes were harvested by us personally.

The first preparations started at 6:30, when it was still slightly Dumpa and with light, typical for Haría morning dew. The greater was the joy to see the first cider from the press flow and also to taste it directly. Just an indescribable experience, which we are looking forward to when we can taste the must together with you next year!

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