Mirador del Rio has to be at the top of anyone’s to-do list when visiting Lanzarote. What better to enjoy such awesome scenery, at an altitude of 400m, over a cup of tea?
Lanzarote is blessed by spectacular natural light, and the colours of the landscape change dramatically throughout the day. The afternoon is especially recommended for appreciating contrasts of the beautiful volcanic backdrops.
Enjoy the journey
The best way to appreciate the views of northern Lanzarote is to approach from Teguise, climbing up by car from Los Valles and then taking the winding descent into the beautiful village of Haria. The final stretch takes you through picturesque villages of Maguez and Ye, past the majestic La Corona volcano, the highest on the island.
Mirador del Rio
Cesar Manrique wanted the world to see his homeland through his eyes, and Mirador is a shining example. He transformed the former military base into a place of beauty, so finely in tune with nature that it is almost impossible to see it from afar.
Entrance to Mirador is through a sleek and winding white-walled corridor, decorated with traditional ceramics, green vegetation and wood. This leads you to the main café area and the panoramic views instantly take your breath away.
The Atlantic Ocean greets you with its tones of deep blue, changing to turquoise as they reach the shores. So beautiful are the islands before you that it almost seems like a painting. Telescopes are available on the terrace outside if you want a closer look.
Huge metal sculptures hang from the dome-shaped ceilings of the café, which I learn from one of the waiters, have echo-reducing features. Sound travels around the surface of the walls, and doesn’t bounce off them. If you stand against the wall on one side of the room, and talk to your friend on the other, you can hear each other’s voices as if though a microphone. Needless to say, this provided great entertainment for the kids!
Time for tea
At five o´clock, it seemed like the perfect time for tea and a light snack. There are several options at the café, though the waiter’s recommendation of tea and a tasting of local products was the perfect choice.
Most of the tables sit right next to the huge glass windows, you could sit and marvel at the panorama for hours. The tea tray arrived with a selection of local bread, mini-toasts and fresh Lanzarote goat’s cheese, accompanied by a trio of fruit jams: fig, blackberry and green cactus fruit. These fruits grow wildly in Lanzarote, especially in the summer months. Those served at Mirador del Rio are ecological and homemade by ‘Auntie Trina’ from the local village of Ye. Absolutely delicious, and perfectly complemented by the green, ginger and lemon tea I had chosen.
The afternoon light casts deeper and more highly contrasted colours than earlier in the day. Make the most of this magical experience, one difficult to match anywhere else in the world.
Some final tips
It’s a good idea to check the cloud cover before heading off, to guarantee clear views. Due to Mirador’s altitude, a jacket is also recommended.
Finish off a memorable afternoon trip by returning via the eastern coastal road past Punta Mujeres and Arrieta, alongside the white sandy beaches with their crystal blue waters.