Lanzarote’s otherworldly volcanic landscapes make a striking backdrop for the totemic sculptures and whitewashed architecture of César Manrique, who called this Canary island home. Thrillingly, his presence can still be felt – here are six ways to track Manrique’s legacy via his most extraordinary works.

The crafty one

Start your tour of Manrique’s structures at the Casa Museo del Campesino, where you’ll find craft shops, a charming café and a towering, white 15m totem, cleverly constructed out of old water tanks.

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Jameos del Agua is Manrique’s art centre in a cave / Image: Tim E White

The dank one

A wave of ancient lava created the vast marine basilica that is Jameos del Agua – Manrique’s centre of art, culture and tourism. The light-filled cave is now home to a pool of ocean water filled with tiny, white, blind crabs, while tiers of tables on the edge of the cave make the perfect rest stop before a stroll around the curvy white pool.

The hot one

Grab a coffee at the César Manrique-designed El Diablo restaurant in the Timanfaya National Park, which has stunning panoramic views of the Fire Mountains. Spotting a good opportunity, the eatery uses geothermal heat from a dormant volcano to cook its food.

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Manrique designed Lanzarote's Mirador del Río lookout / Image: Tim E White

The one with perspective

In the rocky north you’ll find Mirador del Río, a lookout point conceived by Manrique, built into the cliff face of the Risco de Famara massif and covered with volcanic rocks. The huge curvy window of the café offers up peachy views of La Graciosa island and the Atlantic, 475m below.

The spiky one

Cactus land – or Jardín de Cactus, if you’re being formal – is a giant work of plant-filled art that Manrique built into a huge quarry. The space is home to 450 species of cacti – some tall and fluffy, some short and stumpy, all spiky. Need more cacti consumption? Try the cactus burger at the garden’s patio restaurant.

The lucky one

LagOmar, a super-cool Manrique-designed private house, bar and museum in Nazaret, features winding staircases and chimneys. It was bought by actor Omar Sharif, who then lost it in a game of bridge to a local property developer that night.

 

 
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