8 True Moments for Atypical Tourists in Lanzarote



It’s funny how we have preconceived ideas about places which turn out to be completely false. Lanzarote was one of those places for me, until I visited with a running club some years ago. In between running a half marathon, I hired a car and took time to visit the island. I was pleasantly surprised by the unique landscape, modern architecture and striking artworks dotted around the island. So I was excited to return in order to show you The Other Map, uncovering our favourite moments for atypical tourists. Let’s take a look around, shall we?

Finca de Uga

We started our visit with a look around an exceptional farm…Finca de Uga is a unique place that produces award-winning cheeses. It’s not normally open to the public but we were lucky to be given a guided tour. There are over 1000 animals – goats and cows for the cheese but also hens, flamingos, black swans and more. They’re all treated extremely well, with chill-out music being played to them. Fruit, vegetables and edible flowers are all grown in the grounds spread over 70 000 square meters. The cheeses are sold to the best restaurants on the island and taste delicious. The Pimenton has a red crust and is matured for 5 – 12 months whilst the Vulcano appropriately has a black rind and matures for 3 – 6 months.

finca-de-uga-lanzaroteMirador del Rio

Our first stop the next day was the iconic Mirador del Rio. Standing at 475 meters high, in the north part of the island, it has panoramic views over Lanazarote’s unspoilt coastline. I noticed on my previous visit that much of the island’s distinctive architecture is down to one man. César Manrique was a architect and artist who cared passionately about his home country. He worked tirelessly to preserve the low-level buildings of the island and create striking new designs. Fortunately, much of his legacy is still evident today. In this trip, we would explore some of his most iconic creations including Mirador del Rio, which has the feel of a James Bond villain’s lair. It’s a spectacular building that blends in with the rock so you can barely spot it from below. The cafe has floor to ceiling glass windows and the outside views are even better.

mirador-del-rio-cesar-manrique
Jameos del Agua

From here it was a short drive to another of Manrique’s creations, the iconic Jameos del Agua. Built into the volcanic tunnel created by the eruption of La Corona Volcano, it’s a unique place. There’s a restaurant, museum and gorgeous pool. It’s for decorative purposes only but looked very inviting!

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One of the most impressive aspects is the auditorium hewn from the rock. Concerts are regularly held in this awe-inspiring space.

jameos-del-agua-lanzarote-auditorium
It’s also interesting to see the cave that is home to hundreds of blind albino crabs. This particular species is only found in Lanzarote.

jameos-del-agua-lanzarote-rockpoolFine dining at La Tegala

Afterwards we dressed for dinner and headed to La Tegala. This stylish restaurant is one of the best in Lanzarote, with a focus on seasonal eco-friendly produce. The interior design is vibrant and contemporary artworks are dotted around.

la-tegala-lanzarote-interiorExecutive Chef Germán Blanco showed us his kitchen and gave us a selection of appetizers to taste. Each was more spectacular than the last. Yet we had to save some space for the epic Estela Mayor tasting menu that was to follow. We savoured avocado and red prawns, apple with pine seeds and duck, a confit of mushrooms and mussels with lime.

La-Tegala-Lanzarote-reviewMy favourite dish was the snow-crab ravioli with fennel juice, whilst Paul particularly enjoyed the quail, sesame and kimchi. The desserts were equally impressive with a spectacular citric snow dish and another one that resembled mushrooms. Our meal was accompanied by some excellent wines too. La Tegala is surely in the running to get a Michelin star with this level of cooking and service.

la-tegala-lanzarote7Cactus Garden

In this temperate climate, cacti thrive and the Jardin de Cactus will definitely appeal to atypical tourists and anyone with an interest in nature. Another of Cesar Manrique’s masterpieces, it has over 1,000 species. There are all kinds of cacti, including some attractive flowering varieties.

cactus-garden-lanzarote-paul
Just remember that they are prickly to touch! You can climb to the top of the little windmill, and there’s also a gift shop and cafe for refreshments.

cactus-garden-lanzarote-visitWine tasting

You wouldn’t imagine that wine would be a thing in Lanzarote due to the volcanic soil and pleasant light wind. However, resourceful islanders found a unique way to protect the vines, by placing protective horseshoe shaped stone walls known as soco around them. This shields the crops from any wind and enables the vines to reach the soil under the volcanic ash. Layers of volcanic rock granules, known as picon, absorb moisture from the air and release it gradually into the ground. Their weight also prevents soil erosion and weeds appearing. In addition, there are no damaging phylloxera insects in Lanzarote, so wine making here actually has quite a few advantages!

bodegas-rubicon-vinesLanzarote produces some high quality wines and we visited Bodegas Rubicón to sample a few and to find out more about the vinification process. This country house dates from the 17th century and is surrounded by 3 hectares of vineyards, overlooking the National Park of Timanfaya.

bodegas-rubicon-wineryThe owner of Bodegas Rubicón, Don Germán López Figueras, is a passionate wine maker. For several years, wine was made here using traditional wooden presses.

bodegas-rubicon-lanzarote
These days, you can visit the old winery and also taste the wide range of wines produced here, including Rubicon Moscatel, a sweet muscat wine that has won many international awards. It is manually harvested and has a fruity taste with notes of honey and white flowers.

wine-tasting-lanzarote-reviewMuseo del Vino – Bodega El Grifo

Lanazarote’s most popular tourist attraction, with over 60,000 visitors a year, is a must-see. The Museo del Vino has an extensive collection of antique wine-making equipment. It’s actually the oldest bodega in the Canary Islands, dating back to 1775. The guided tour gives you a great insight into the methods used to make wine on the island. All grapes are harvested by hand due to the nature of the landscape. It’s quite labour intensive, and approximately 1,500 people are employed in wine production in Lanzarote. After the tour, you can wander freely around the vines and see the wine storage up close. Of course, the wine tasting in the courtyard at the end was a highlight!

museo-del-vino-lanzarote-visitCatamaran trip around the coast

The final stage of our voyage of discovery in Lanzarote was a memorable catamaran cruise. We admired the port with its many yachts before heading off on our beautiful catamaran.

catamaran-lanzaroteWe sailed with Papagayo Catamaran on board the Ocean Lady, which has space for up to 12 people. It’s the perfect choice for a private trip around the island. You can lounge around on the deck and front trampoline…Lying on the netting, you have the pleasing sensation of being at one with the ocean yet perfectly dry.

suze-luxury-columnist-catamaranWe tucked into a gourmet tapas lunch prepared by the catamaran’s friendly owners, Monica and Scott.

catamaran-trip-lanzaroteAfter lunch, I had fun in one of the kayaks that they’d brought on the catamaran. This would definitely suit atypical tourists and families who are keen to try something active. It was a lovely way to end our Lanzarote visit and to experience the charms of the island.

catamaran-lanzarote-kayakAtypical Tourists – Where to Stay in Lanzarote

The small town of Haria is in one of the lushest parts of the island and perfect for atypical tourists looking for calm. There’s a charming main square with bougainvillea galore.

suze-luxury-columnist-haria-square
The buildings are pretty photogenic too!

suze-luxury-columnist-haria-building
Villa Delmás is a luxurious house built in the 18th century, set in 10,000 square meters – there’s even a helipad!

villa-delmas-lanzaroteThe Cesar Manrique connection here is the swimming pool designed by the man himself. Inside, there’s a nice mix of antique and contemporary furniture and a wellness annexe with a jacuzzi and sauna. The cuisine is by Germán Blanco of La Tegala which we enjoyed earlier.

villa-delmas-lanzarote-rentalI hope that we’ve inspired you to visit by showing you some true moments for atypical tourists in Lanzarote. See more of our adventures and behind the scenes filming here.
Have you ever been to the Canary Islands?

8 True Moments for Atypical Tourists in Lanzarote - what to see and do

  • I never knew it was a wine producing area! Sounds fab 🙂

    • Yes the sweet white wine in particular is very good – the volcanic soil gives it added character!

  • Wow such a great post, I never know Lanzarote was like that either. How amazing is that auditorium! Once again you have shown some beautiful clothes too. That red dress is just beautiful. Have a lovely weekend. Gemma x

    • That’s very kind, Gemma and you’re right, the auditorium was breathtaking. Have a great weekend

  • How fun to explore and have it be even better than expected. I didn’t know you were such a runner.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Ha ha, I’m not so much of a runner now but I definitely need to get into it again! We did quite a lot of walking and water sports in Lanzarote anyway which was good

  • Lanzarote looks so gorgeous and the wine tasting you and your husband did sounds like it was so much fun! I also love your travel diary video!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

    • We loved the wine tasting, I’d never have imagined that you could grow vines there but it works really well. Glad you liked the video too!

  • The short video was brilliant, Suze! Was that you talking? It’s lovely to see you in the video and hear your voice! I hope you do more of these short videos in the future.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • That’s very kind, Shireen – yes it was my voice and I’ve been thinking that I need to do a bit of talking on there so thanks for the encouragement. Hope you’re having a great weekend

  • I love the video…it was absolutely beautiful! It looks and sounds like this place was so much fun to explore!

    http://roadesque.com
    http://ourruins.com

  • We stayed in a lovely finca on the island of Majorca a few years ago – loved that! The catamaran sailing trip looks like the way to see the coast of Lanzarote ine style :-).

    • The catamaran was brilliant, especially as there was a short rainstorm so we were able to shelter inside. I’d love to visit Majorca

  • This looks like an amazing adventure.
    I love it.

    Zarrah | The Bandwagon Chic

  • Penny Sadler

    I’ll take the snow crab ravioli and your yellow jacket. Thanks! 😉

  • Lauren Craving Sunshine

    I never expected this from Lanzarote at all! That food looks amazing! I’ve only ever visited Gran Canaria when i was younger but I really should investigate the other islands in the chain!

    • It’s surprising how many things there are to see, I definitely recommend a trip to Lanzarote. I’ll also be posting about Tenerife very soon

  • Indrani

    Lanzarote- reading about this place the first time and it has completely won me over. It amazes me how many many more such places are there on earth which I am yet to know 🙁 Sailing there seems to a great experience. I liked the villas too.

    • Sailing was so much fun and a great way to see the coastline, and the villa was so charming!

  • I feel like Lanzarote is much like Ibiza – if you avoid the tourist infested party areas it is a beautiful place in its own right!

    • Yes and what surprised me is how low level most of the buildings are – apparently it’s all down to Cesar Manrique who lobbied to preserve the island

  • Wow, the meal at Le Tegala looks and sounds amazing, the citric snow gets the taste buds watering. Just as well there’s so much to see on the island, I’d need a fair bit of walking to wear off the extra calories I’m likely to indulge in.

    • We certainly had a fantastic meal at La Tegala as well as some lovely wines at the museum. Like you, I try to walk off any over indulgence 😉

  • Agness

    This view is simply breath-taking!!! I’m going there soon, NO JOKE! P.S. Foooooooooooood!!

    • Ooh try to see some of the Cesar Manrique places, they’re brilliant! Can’t wait to hear what you think about it. Also try the wrinkly potatoes!

  • Vishal

    I’ve never heard of this place. But the photos are amazingly impressive. Feels like this should be on top of anyone’s bucket list. My favorite part was the catamaran trip around the coast.

    • That could well have been our favourite part too! Glad that you like the photos, it’s a very picturesque place

  • Looks like you had a fabulous trip Suze! I must say I’ve never seen vineyards quite like this before! I wouldn’t mind jumping into that pool in Jameos del Agua. The auditorium is impressive too and great video!

    • The vineyards are really unique, I found it fascinating to visit them. Sadly you can’t swim in the pool at Jameos del Agua though it looked so tempting! They did a great job on the video

  • I’d never really thought about visiting Lanzarote but it looks great! Particularly love the look La Tegala – looks like creative and delish food! x

  • Looks like an amazing time, Suze. I’d love to see a concert in the rock! Oh my. Oh, and love your yellow jacket 🙂

    • I’d also love to see a concert there, that’s definitely something I’d go back for – apparently the acoustics are fantastic!

  • Loving the architecture. Beautifully typical of the mainland. I’ve never been here but I do have a friend who travels here often because they just adore it there. I wouldn’t mind hitting up that cactus park. Also a catamaran around the island would be rather amazing too!

    Sxx
    http://www.daringcoco.com

    • The cactus park was so much fun, already a bit crowded by the time we got there so to get the best shots I’d recommend going first thing

  • What a fantastic place to spend the Valentine’s. You look gorgeous, girl. Happy Valentine’s to you.

    • We’ll actually be in London for Valentine’s but I agree, this would be a very fun place to spend it. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day my dear

  • I’d go anywhere for wine tasting, beaches, and that gorgeous view from Mirador del Rio! Great photos, btw! What camera do you use? 🙂

    • Thanks Trisha, we use Panasonic Lumix, seems to work well for us. As for the Mirador del Rio, the view is incredible

  • The Canary Islands are a very popular destination for Luxembourgers but I have never been. I’d pick Lanzarote and Fuerteventura if I had to visit. From your pics the sights are gorgeous!

    • I think that you can get from one island to the other fairly easily so you could probably combine them. Its a surprising island that really grows on you

  • Wow you’ve really unearthed some great finds! When I do eventually visit I’ll know where to head to 🙂

  • Brilliant blog post! It really captures the feel of Lanzarote and how it is such a far cry from the ridiculous “Lanzagrotty” tag. I’ve lived there two separate times for a year each and also been on several holidays to the island. My parents and my brother were all very pleasantly surprised by Lanzarote. It just proves that you really have to visit a place before making a judgement. Have you visited the other islands?

    • That’s so true, Simon. Must be a great place to live with so little traffic congestion and permanent sunshine. We’ve recently been to Tenerife and I’m keen to visit the other islands too.

      • Yeah it was so chilled out and relaxed and also much more affordable than living in the UK. I’ve also been to Tenerife, Fuerteventura and La Graciosa and would love to visit all the others. How long have you been a travel blogger? Your blog looks really great!

  • Your photos are amazing. I love the shots Jameos del Agua the most. This has opened my eyes to adding the Canary Islands to my short list. 🙂

    • Jameos del Agua is incredible, it was great to see the blind albino crabs and the auditorium in the rock, as well as that pool!

  • Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    That auditorium is really impressive, as is the food at La Tegala. I’ve heard about the Canary Islands, but never with such detail. I hope I’m able to see it for myself one day!

  • Jennifer @ MatDifference

    I am a big fan of views like Mirador del Rio. Add in the wine tastings and I am sold on visiting here. I would love to explore the lava tube. I think how they have turned it into something more that just the remains of a lava flow.

  • Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    I’ve never been to the Canary Islands but I’m dying too after this post! I think Jameos del Agua would be first on my list. SO stunning! As always, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂