Things to do in Lanzarote - Part Five, The Seven Official Attractions

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You'll often hear reference to "The Seven Attractions of Lanzarote" but do you know them all? If not, here's a list:

Fundacion César Manrique
Monumento al Campesino
Jardin de Cactus
Cueva de los Verdes
Jameos del Agua
Mirador del Río
Castillo San José

What all seven share is that they were conceived and designed by César Manrique and they are official government run attractions. All are fine value for money - and even offer discounts for residents, and all are unique.

You should make time to see each, even if you spread them across two or three days of your holiday. Here's a brief description of them:

Fundacion César Manrique
This was the house Manrique designed for his own use in the 1960's and he lived there for a number of years, before moving out to Haria, at which point he bequeathed the house to his foundation. It's set in five volcanic "bubbles" and is a truly spectacular design. As well as giving an insight into his home and lifestyle, the house is a museum of some of his best works, and the garden is a joy to behold.

Monumento al Campesino
The monument itself is exactly at the centre of the island, and the sculpture was made by Manrique as a tribute to the traditional farmers of the island, who managed to grow produce in the most difficult conditions. Within the grounds there is a craft museum, and a large display of traditional farming tools and implements. There is a also a bar and restaurant which serves traditional tapas and local wines.

Jardin de Cactus
This was Manrique's last project and is located at Guatiza, the centre of the island's cochineal beetle trade. It is set in an old quarry and features more than 1,000 varieties of cactus. In common with all these attractions, there is a bar / restaurant and superbly clean toilet facilities - something Manrique insisted upon!

Cueva de los Verdes
This is a 6KM long volcanic gallery, located near to Punta Mujeres, and was once a place where islanders sheltered from pirate attacks. There are some fascinating rock formations and the interior is always cool. Look out for the most amazing optical illusion during your visit.

Jameos del Agua
Part of the same tunnel system, the Jameos del Agua opens into a huge underground auditorium, which is used for music concerts. There is also a fabulous swimming pool built into the centre, with smooth sides and tremendous landscaping.

Mirador del Rio
Built literally into the cliffs, this attraction offers one of the world's best views, across the straight between Lanzarote and La Graciosa - just breathtaking!

Castillo San José
Originally built in the 18th century as protection from Arrecife from pirates, the castle now houses permanent art collection as well as regular one-off exhibitions. Once again, there is an excellent restaurant located in the Castillo.

All these attractions have been built in harmony with the local environment, and are in sympathy with the ethos of sustainable tourism, which was Manrique' legacy to Lanzarote.

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