The Fundación César Manrique is an art gallery and a centre for the island’s cultural life. Only 6km north of Arrecife, it was home to Manrique, who enjoys a posthumous status on the island akin to that of a mystical hero. He built his house, Taro de Tahiche, into the lava fields just outside the town. The subterranean rooms are, in fact, huge air bubbles left behind by flowing lava. It’s a real James Bond hideaway, with white-leather seats slotted into cavelike dens, and a sunken swimming pool. There’s a whole gallery devoted to Manrique, plus minor works by some of his contemporaries, including Picasso, Chillida, Miró, Sempere and Tàpies. Tragically, in September 1992, only six months after the foundation opened its doors, Manrique was killed a few yards away in a car accident.
From Sala 10, have a look out the large picture window at the striking modern building semisubmerged 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. Watch this space.
At least seven buses a day stop here on their way from Arrecife to Teguise. Look for the huge mobile sculpture by Manrique dominating the roundabout, and walk 200m down the San Bartolomé road.