"Volcanicity as an Artwork" Isla de Lanzarote Things to Do Tip by MikeBird
Isla de Lanzarote Things to Do: 336 reviews and 599 photos
Lanzarote's visionary artist César Manrique has created a work of art out of a volcanic feature and has managed to combine educational functionality, a unique underground aquatic habitat and a perfect concert venue as part of his mission to create exciting places for tourists to visit. It's called Jameos del Agua and I thought the place was superb.
Originally an 8km volcanic tube caused by lava flowing from the nearby volcano down to the ocean. The lava on the surface cooled and created a roof over the still molten lava as it continued on its journey downwards. When the lava stopped flowing the roof was left behind but in time parts of it collapsed leaving open spaces whilst elsewhere caverns formed with openings at both ends.
Manrique used these natural features as the basis for some imaginative landscaping using lush vegetation and cacti to great effect. On the tunnel floor there are two bars, a beautifully stark but tastefully designed pool of water, a concert hall with perfect acoustics lined by the porous lava rock, and a natural pool in which blind, albino crabs scuttle across the rocks. There's so much of interest in such a small area and yet up the stairs and onto the surface level there is a very well presented set of museum displays about the island's volcanic origins.
This place really does have a Wow! factor to it. It surpassed my expectations and despite being quite busy with visitors I was still really pleased to have had the opportunity to visit the complex. It should be on every tourist's itinerary.
I don't want to spoil some of the surprises that the Jameos del Agua have in store for you so I've featured just a taste of some of the smaller artistic features.
Directions: On the Road Orzola in the north of the island. Find it on any tourist map
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