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What is it about the prospect of a fantastic view that has us willing to travel miles in order to get that perfect photo or that ultimate selfie? The truth is that just the thought of a panoramic vista inspires wanderlust. Whether it is peering into the Grand Canyon or taking in the breath-taking views of Lysefjord from Pulpit Rock we are all pushovers when it comes to an inspiring view.
While it may not be Knife-Edge Bridge overlooking Victoria Falls or the Aiguille du Midi near Mont Blanc in the French Alps, the Mirador del Rio offers spectacular views across the strait towards the island of La Graciosa and is an architectural wonder that any James Bond villain would be proud to call home.
Originally a lookout point for invading pirate ships and later a gun emplacement during the short-lived Spanish-American war of 1898 when Madrid and Washington were at odds over the future of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Spain feared that the conflict would escalate and that the American navy would attack the Canary Islands. In the end, the assault on the Canaries never came to pass, with the guns remaining in place until the site was developed as a tourist destination in 1973.
Built into the cliffs 474 metres above the Atlantic Ocean the Mirador del Rio is yet another of visionary artist and architect César Manrique’s unique creations, a belvedere that blends harmoniously in with the surrounding landscape.
More than meets the eye
Barely visible from the outside thanks to a clever use of rock on the roof that mimics the local surroundings, the Mirador del Rio is much more than an incredible view. With an absence of right angles and sweeping views from the curvaceous glass lined-wall, the Mirador del Rio is a testament not only to Manrique’s genius, but also his impeccable 60’s style.
When entering the Mirador through a hole in the stone wall a winding corridor takes you into a white-washed cave-like room where you will find a faultless bar and seating area flooded with natural light.
A cavernous space that appears trapped in time only missing the obligatory lava lamp and a 45 rpm of Nancy Sinatra singing the theme song to “You Only Live Twice”. The Mirador del Rio is every much about the design of the building as it is about the view and should be number one on your list of Lanzarote attractions.
How to get there
Located in the far north of Lanzarote in the Haria near the village of Yé, Mirador del Rio is difficult to get to without a car, but it is possible to visit Mirador del Rio by joining one of the tour groups that take in all the César Manrique attractions.
For eating options head to the nearby village of Orzola (10 minutes’ drive away) where you will find many restaurants that specialize in locally caught seafood.
Opening Hours and Pricing
Children aged 7-12, 2.25€
Daily from 10am until 5.45pm
Summer Opening hours (until 30th September): Daily from 10 am to 6.45 pm.