Fundación César Manrique

Top choice in Lanzarote

César Manrique Foundation on the island of Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Europe; Shutterstock ID 603358700; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Travel 2018

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Upon returning definitively to Lanzarote, César Manrique built his spectacular house and creative centre, Taro de Tahíche, into the lava fields just outside Tahíche. It’s a real James Bond-style hideaway, with whitewashed walls, a sunken pool, bursts of bougainvillea and cacti, and white- and red-leather seats slotted into cavelike dens; upper levels are inspired by traditional Lanzarote architecture, while subterranean rooms are crafted from five huge air bubbles left by flowing lava. Manrique lived here from 1968 to 1988.

Beyond the lava bubbles, there’s an entire gallery devoted to Manrique plus a tiny garden cafe next to a vibrant 1992 mural. Minor works by some of Manrique's contemporaries, including Picasso, Chillida, Miró, Sempere and Tàpies, are also on show. From Sala 10, through the large picture window you'll see a striking modern building semi-submerged into the lava field and topped by a series of cupolas; formerly owned by a wealthy architect from Tenerife, it was bought by the foundation in early 2011, but remains closed to the public.

The Fundación is 200m west of the roundabout at the southern end of town; Tahíche is 5km north of Arrecife. Buses 7, 9 and 10 (€1.40, 15 minutes), among others, stop here between Arrecife and Teguise.