The Canaries – a clutch of islands that structure the Spanish archipelago – are traditionally the right getaway for beach lovers. Peurto Del Carmen is notorious for its heady nightlife, and people that prefer a touch quieter and elegance head for the gorgeous beaches at Famara and Papagayo.
Putting aside the beaches, the volcanic island of Lanzarote puts on quite show faraway from the coastline too.
The stretches of black igneous rock landscape are trimmed by a sequence of multi-hued mountains only broken by the green of the odd cactus plant that has managed to flourish.
The dark hues offer a sensational contrast with the low-rise white-washed towns that have sprouted up along the coastline. there’s the odd dash of colour courtesy of painted window panes usually, green or brown but overall the island has been protected by the type of tourism that demands high rise architecture.
This is because of the initiative taken by celebrated artist and designer Cesar Manrique who insisted on maintaining the island’s natural beauty. Often his architecture works with it and he created some amazing homes by integrating them into the rock face of a volcano.
We take a tour of the artist’s contributions to his beloved island.
Fortune are often fickle and there can’t be a more eloquent example than what happened during a villa within the village of Oasis de Nazaret in Lanzarote. This wasn’t just any villa, this was a dream home built into the side of a volcano and commissioned by Dr Zhivago star Omar Sharif. it had been supported a design by Cesar Manrique and was created during a style that evokes the Arabian fairy tale 1001 Nights.
Known now as lagOmar, the actor never need to live there. While filming the 1973 film Mysterious Island, the Verne classic, he challenged Sam Benady, British developer behind LagOmar, to a bridge game. Omar was unaware he had challenged the planet bridge champion and staked the house. Unfortunately, he lost.
But all isn’t lost – a minimum of to not visitors – because the house has been converted into one among the best restaurants on the island. There’s a bar and much of interesting nooks and crannies to explore. There also are some moody black and white photographs of the ill-fated bridge game hanging on the wall with accompanying notes that tell the story.
Entry: €6 for adults and €4 for youngsters over 12 years.
It is now the HQ of the Cesar Manrique Foundation and was designed and built on the location of volcanic eruptions by the artist himself. Large double doors hospitable a courtyard where the highest of a palm peaks through one among the volcanic bubbles below.
There are five volcanic bubbles (pictured above) and every one are used as rooms. One, called the clean room , pays homage to the guy artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Hepworth . The central cave features a swimming bath a barbecue and even a floor .
Cesar Manrique was a noted sculptor and a number of other roundabouts round the island are showcases for his work. The round-about just by his home hosts one among his most famous sculptures – Fecundidad. It stands tall and white and a farmer, his wife and their animals can supposedly be picked out by the observant.
Manrique was also the inspiration behind the cactus garden in Guatiza, a cactus growing region, where 300 acres are dedicated to the exclusive cultivation of the Tunera cacti. There are 1,100 sorts of cactus and it’s a tremendous insight into an otherwise unknown prickly world.