You could spend a very pleasant fortnight surfing in Lanzarote, mountainbiking and swimming, combined with some fascinating visits to the attractions created in the volcanic rock by César Manrique.
Five top sights
1. César Manrique Foundation
Cesar Manrique’s home, built into the boulders in a lava field, is now a foundation dedicated to his life and work. The ground floor is an exhibition space with works by his renowned contemporaries, including Tàpies, Millares, Picasso and Saura, but it is the view framed by the huge windows that draws the eye. Basalt steps lead down to a turquoise pool and five lava bubbles linked by passages in the volcanic rock. Visit this foundation first to get an idea of what Manrique is all about, and you’ll get more out of his other creations on the island.
2. Timanfaya National Park
The focal point of a vast black landscape is the Islote de Hilario volcano. Buses take you around the park to see the extraordinary striated rock formations. At the summit, there is a restaurant designed by César Manrique, where meat and fish are cooked on a grill using heat coming up from inside the volcano. You can also go on a camel safari around the park, starting from the village of Yaiza.
3. La Graciosa
This tiny island off the north tip of Lanzarote has no roads, just fabulous beaches and a handful of idyllic waterside fish restaurants. Good for cycling and hiking if you are feeling energetic. Take the ferry from Orzola (lineasromero.com) or book a trip from your resort.
Founded in the 15th century, the little town of Teguise in the centre was the original capital of Lanzarote. Handsome colonial mansions line the cobbled streets, which lead off the Plaza de San Miguel, where there is a busy market on Sundays. The Convento de San Francisco dates back to the end of the 16th century, while the Convento de Santo Domingo was built about a century later.
5. Surfing in Famara
Famara, in the north-west of the island, backed by dramatic cliffs and exposed to the Atlantic wind, is a fabulous beach for watersports, with excellent conditions for surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Surf School Lanzarote is widely renowned for its expert instructors and quality tuition – and its courses are tremendous fun too.