Canary Islands

Lanzarote: Cacti, Beaches & Views from Space

The last couple of days of our Lanzarote trip included lots of wonderful sunshine (and wind, my favourite…). We still had quite a few things to tick off on our to-do list, so off we went on our jolly way…

Jardin de Cactus

We drove over to the Jardin de Cactus, a cactus garden created in part by César Manrique (the artist who had a huge influence on the island – his art is everywhere). This giant metal cactus sculpture at the entrance was a bit of a giveaway that we had arrived…

Cactus sculpture outside Jardin de Cactus

The garden is within what looks like a giant bowl, and because of this it is very sheltered – the relentless wind couldn’t get us here so we could make the most of the sunshine 🙂

Cacti at Jardin de Cactus

Cactus imagery is everywhere within the garden, including on windows and door handles.

Outside cactus window at Jardin de Cactus

It felt like something in Final Fantasy; I wouldn’t have been surprised if a Cactuar popped its head up behind the real cacti 😛

Cacti and windmill at Jardin de Cactus

There is a cute little windmill overlooking the garden, and also a café, and it was pleasant to wander around for half an hour or so. However, it’s not really a place that you can spend a considerable amount of time in (unless you really, really like cacti).

Cacti and windmill at Jardin de Cactus

Jameos del Agua

Next stop was Jameos del Agua, an open air cave, art installation (César Manrique again), museum and concert hall. It is part of the same lava tube as the Green Caves which we had visited earlier that day.

Jameos del Agua sign

Walking down some stone steps, there is a clear lake containing lots of tiny albino crabs with a walkway along the side. It was a bit flooded that day for some reason and the path was covered with water, so we had to paddle through barefoot… not ideal but strangely fun; I was more paranoid about stepping on a crab than anything else!

Lake at Jameos del Agua

Climbing up steps on the opposite side of the lake, we emerged out into a stunning area containing a beautiful swimming pool (you’re not allowed to swim in it), palms and cacti. I took a while wandering around it, as I found it really relaxing.

Outside pool at Jameos del Agua Outside pool at Jameos del Agua

Up some more steps on the far side of this area was La Casa de los Volcanes (House of the Volcanoes), a spacious and airy building containing lots of interesting information about volcanoes and the volcanic history of the Canary Islands. It was all really interesting, but I think they need to update some of their ‘interactive’ elements, as they look a bit like they’ve just fallen out of the film ‘WarGames’!

View from La Casa de los Volcanes where a massive group of people had just appeared – I think they came out of the concert hall, which we couldn’t get into before as obviously a concert was going on…

View of Jameos del Agua from above

…so we made our way down there to check it out. It was definitely worth the visit, as it is a fascinating space; all within the lava rock. Some of the musicians were lingering and packing up their things.

Concert hall at Jameos del Agua

Mirador del Rio

On our last day in Lanzarote before heading home, we headed to Mirador del Rio on the north east of the island. We knew the trademark look of César Manrique by now…

Mirador del Rio sign

Mirador del Rio is apparently an old gun battery; it is now a breathtaking viewpoint for tourists, looking out onto the small island of La Graciosa. There is a building housing a café and some windows onto one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen.

Mirador del Rio café

You can head outside too, and I don’t think I’ve ever taken so many panoramic photos before. It almost seems as if you are in an aeroplane looking down, the feeling is similar. Beautiful – I think we chose a good day, too!

Mirador del Rio viewpoint View of La Graciosa from Mirador del Rio viewpoint

Famara Beach

After finishing off at Mirador del Rio, we figured out that we had pretty much covered everything we had planned to, and so had a free afternoon. So, we headed to Famara beach, a super-long surfing beach.


We didn’t actually go surfing, but I was feeling energetic after a bit of lunch so I made us walk all the way to the cliffs at the other side of the beach.

Surfers at Famara beach

It just kept going… and going… and it was a much further walk than I had anticipated! But finally we came to the end of the sand and beginning of rocks, so we stopped and headed back.

Rocks at Famara beach

…aaaalllll the way back.

Famara beach in the evening

The weather and light were beautiful though so it was a great walk, and we got back to the car just as the sun was setting, so perfect timing.

Famara beach in the evening

This is what the town of Famara looks like – something about it reminded me of a wild west ghost town. Didn’t see any tumbleweeds though 😉

Buildings in Famara

I think four days was a perfect amount of time to spend in Lanzarote for us; we got to see all of the things we planned to see, and it was a nice non-expensive getaway for a few days. Being an art/design bod, I really enjoyed all of the art stuff, and came away really inspired.

I would recommend it – the only thing I wasn’t generally crazy about was the food (did you notice the lack of food posts? 😛 ) as it generally involves a lot of fish and potatoes which get old fast. As we had our own apartment, we could buy and prepare whatever we wanted, so we did that a lot. The supermarkets by the airport are surprisingly good – something to bear in mind!

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