24 Best Sights in Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Bodegas El Grifo – Museo del Vino

Fodor's choice
Established in 1775, El Grifo is the Canaries' first winery and one of the oldest in Spain. Tour the grounds, which include a serene cactus garden and wine museum, before ponying up for a tasting. El Grifo's wines are fruity and crowd-pleasing—and slightly less complex than those produced at neighboring Los Bermejos. Guided museum tours, which include a glass of wine, cost €9 and take place Monday–Sunday at 11, 1, and 4:30.

César Manrique House Museum

Fodor's choice

On a hillock overlooking the sleepy town of Haría you'll find César Manrique's final home, preserved as if in amber. The artist lived in this architecturally stunning estate, which he built for himself, until his untimely death by auto accident in 1992. Plant-filled courtyards lead into bohemian living areas brimming with sculptures, paintings, and iconic furniture; the bathroom, with a floor-to-ceiling window into a leafy garden, is a highlight, as is the outdoor pool area and art studio, kept precisely how it was left on the day he died.

Fundación César Manrique

Fodor's choice

César Manrique (1919–92) made this high-design bachelor pad called Taro de Tahíche for himself in 1968 upon returning from New York City, where he'd been living and working thanks to a grant from Nelson Rockefeller. The artist managed to turn a barren lava field into an inviting and architecturally stunning abode—the first of its kind in the Canaries—that would play host to international celebrities and become the islands' most emblematic residence. The artist called Taro home for 20 years and created some of his most celebrated works while residing here; his studio now displays original paintings. The real attraction is the house itself with its cave dwellings outfitted with splashy furniture, crystalline pools tucked between boulders, and palms shooting up through holes between floors.

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Jardín de Cactus

Fodor's choice

North of Costa Teguise between Guatiza and Mala, this cactus garden with 10,000 specimens of more than 1,500 varieties was César Manrique's last creation for Lanzarote. Look beyond the park and you'll see prickly pear fields: for centuries locals have cultivated these plants for their cochineal, an insect living on the cacti from which scarlet carmine dye is extracted.

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Parque Nacional de Timanfaya

Fodor's choice

Popularly known as the "Fire Mountains," this national park of barren volcanic landscapes takes up much of southern Lanzarote. The terrain is a violent jumble of exploded craters, cinder cones, lava formations, and heat fissures. The park is protected, and you can't drive or hike through it yourself (leave your car in the lot beside the middling, overhyped volcano-top restaurant, El Diablo); the only way to see the central volcanic area is on a 14-km (9-mile) bus circuit called the Ruta de los Volcanes, designed to have minimal environmental impact. (Photographers will be bummed that the only pics you can take on tour are through smudged windows.)

A taped English commentary explains how the parish priest of Yaiza took notes during the 1730 eruption that buried two villages. He had plenty of time—the eruption lasted six years, making it the longest known eruption in volcanic history. By the time it was over, more than 75% of Lanzarote was covered in lava. Throughout the park, on signs and road markers, you'll see a little devil with a pitchfork; this diablito was designed by Manrique.  As you enter, you'll see the staging area for camel rides, which we recommend skipping due to recent animal cruelty complaints.

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Ctra. de Yaiza a Tinajo, Km 11.5, Tinajo, Canary Islands, 35560, Spain
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Rate Includes: €12

Playa de Famara

Fodor's choice

Directly opposite Costa Teguise on the north coast of Lanzarote is perhaps the island's most breathtaking beach. Set in a natural cove, its 6 km (4 miles) of sand are flanked by spectacularly high cliffs. The riptide here makes for excellent surfing and windsurfing, and Playa de Famara is regularly used for world championships for those sports. That said, the strong currents mean swimming can be dangerous (a surfer died here in 2022). Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunset; surfing; walking; windsurfing.

Playa de Papagayo

Fodor's choice

The rugged coastline east of Playa Blanca has several stunning beaches, but Playa de Papagayo is considered to be the area's—if not the island's—most picturesque. This small bay with fine white sand is perfect for sunbathing as it's protected from the wind by cliffs at both ends. You have to walk along a dirt path to get here, so take suitable footwear and bottled water. Despite its remoteness, Papagayo is a busy beach, particularly in summer. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling; sunrise; swimming.

Castillo de Santa Bárbara

For sweeping aerial views of Lanzarote's craggy coast and parched volcanic landscape, climb to the top of this 16th-century fortress that houses the Canaries' Museo de la Piratería (Piracy Museum; closed for renovations at the time of writing). The castillo warded off pirates for centuries from its perch on the Guanapay volcano.

Castillo San Gabriel

This double-wall fortress was once used to keep pirates at bay. You can walk out to the fortress over Puente de las Bolas, with lovely views of the port and city, and then explore the small (Spanish-only) museum inside. There's usually an English-speaking attendant on hand able to provide basic historical info.

Arrecife, Canary Islands, 35500, Spain
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Rate Includes: €3

Cueva de los Verdes

Guided walks take you through this 1-km (½-mile) section of an underground lava tube, said to be the longest in the world. Deep in the volcanic area of Malpaís, it's one of the most stunning natural sights on the island. The entrance is just north of Costa Teguise, beyond Punta Mujeres.

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El Charco Verde

This bizarre green lagoon, which looks like something out of a sci-fi thriller, is situated at the outer limits of Timanfaya National Park just uphill from El Golfo. It gets its radioactive hue from its sulfuric content and Ruppia maritima seagrass. It's forbidden to walk to the lake as it's within the reserve, but there's a viewpoint that's clearly marked at the turnoff to El Golfo where you can snap some excellent photos, especially at sunset.  Wear grippy shoes and watch your step, as there are no guardrails around the viewpoint.

Yaiza, Canary Islands, 35570, Spain
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Rate Includes: Free

Jameos del Agua

These water caverns, turned into an architectural destination by César Manrique, is situated 15 km (9 miles) north of the Costa Teguise. They were created when molten lava streamed through an underground tunnel and hissed into the sea. Look for the tiny albino lobsters on the rocks in the underground lake—this blind species (Munidopsis polimorpha) is found nowhere else in the world. There's a pleasant if basic restaurant by the lake, and the Casa de los Volcanes is a good museum of volcanic science. Night visits are possible on Saturday.

Los Bermejos

Visit the winery that the New York Times's wine critic, Eric Asimov, deemed the Canaries' "star producer." In the small, modern tasting area, situated on a terrace overlooking the vines, sip one of Spain's top rosés, made from indigenous listán negro grapes, and wonderfully fragrant Malvasía whites. Walk-ins are accepted.
Camino a Los Bermejos 7, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Canary Islands, 35550, Spain
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Rate Includes: Closed weekends

Mirador del Río

Designed by César Manrique, this lookout at the northerly tip of a hairpin bend in the LZ202 road lets you see the islet of La Graciosa from an altitude of 1,550 feet. From the lookout you can also see smaller protected isles—Montaña Clara, Alegranza (the Canary closest to Europe), and Roque del Este. Arrive early to beat the crowds.

Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo Castillo de San José

The old waterfront fortress Castillo San José was turned into this stunning modern art museum (aka MIAC) by the architect César Manrique. One of his paintings is on display, along with works by Cardenas, Beaudin, Zóbel, Tàpies, and others.

Ctra. de los Castillos, Arrecife, Canary Islands, 35500, Spain
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Rate Includes: €4


The little fishing village of Órzola is 9 km (5½ miles) north of Jameos del Agua. Small-boat excursions leave here each day for the neighboring one-town islet of La Graciosa, population 718, which has plenty of quiet beaches.

Playa de la Garita


Not far from the Jardín de Cactus, Playa de la Garita is a wide bay of crystalline water favored by surfers in winter and snorkelers in summer. Almost a kilometer (½ mile) of golden sands is safe for swimming, making this a popular spot for families. The beach gets busy in the summer but is reasonably quiet the rest of the year. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: snorkeling; surfing; swimming.

Playa de las Cucharas

This is the best of Costa Teguise's several small beaches. The sands are protected from high wind and waves by the natural bay formed in the coastline. A pleasant seafront promenade takes you around the beach and into the southern stretches of the resort. Getting a spot for your towel in the summer can be a challenge, especially on weekends. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunrise; swimming.

Av. Arenas Blancas, Costa Teguise, Canary Islands, 35508, Spain

Playa de los Pocillos


Slightly north of Puerto del Carmen, this beach is near most of the area's development; hotels and apartments are restricted, however, to the other side of the highway, leaving the 2-km (1-mile) yellow-sand beach surprisingly pristine. Finding a spot to lay your towel can be difficult in summer. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunrise; swimming; walking.

Av. de las Playas, Puerto del Carmen, Canary Islands, 35510, Spain

Playa del Reducto

Playa del Reducto is an attractive urban beach, ideal for relaxing after you've looked around Arrecife. It's well maintained and protected by natural reefs, so swimming is usually like swimming in a warm lake (just watch out for rocky outcrops at low tide). The beach, overlooked at the eastern end by the high-rise Arrecife Gran Hotel, is backed by a pleasant promenade that goes all the way to Puerto del Carmen. Amenities: food and drink; showers; toilets. Best for: sunrise; walking.

Playa Grande

Puerto del Carmen's main beach is a busy strip of yellow sand that's as close as you can get to an urban beach on Lanzarote outside Arrecife. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent. Backing the beach is a seafront promenade with plenty of souvenir shops and restaurants. You can take the promenade all the way to Arrecife. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: swimming.

Av. de las Playas, Puerto del Carmen, Canary Islands, 35570, Spain

Playa Matagorda


On this northern extension of Playa de los Pocillos, there are alternating sections of gravel and gray sand. A perpetually windy spot, this busy beach has gentle waves that are perfect for those learning to surf. Lounge chairs and beach umbrellas are available. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: surfing; swimming; walking.

Av. de las Playas, Puerto del Carmen, Canary Islands, 35510, Spain

Playa Mujeres

Squint and you could be in the Caribbean—this long white-sand beach situated within the protected area of Papagayo has turquoise water and generally calm surf. It faces west toward Fuerteventura and the Isla de Lobos and is popular among nudists. The sandy bay provides safe swimming conditions, and the beach is cleaned regularly. Amenities are limited to a few small bars. On the way to the beach, look out for the ruins of some bunkers from World War II. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: snorkeling; nudists; sunset; swimming.

Playa Blanca, Canary Islands, 35580, Spain
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Rate Includes: €3 per vehicle

Tourist Office

Housed in the original bandstand in the municipal park, this visitor center has detailed maps and information about local points of interest.