Lanzarote: year-round destination sculpted by Cesar Manrique

The  a clutch of islands that make up the Spanish archipelago – are traditionally the perfect getaway for beach lovers. Peurto Del Carmen is notorious for its heady nightlife, and those that prefer a bit more quiet and elegance head for the beautiful beaches at Famara and Papagayo.

Putting aside the beaches, the volcanic island of Lanzarote puts on quite a show away from the coastline too.

The stretches of black volcanic rock landscape is trimmed by a chain of multi-hued mountains only broken by the green of the odd cactus plant that has managed to flourish.

The dark hues offer a sensational contrast with the low-rise white-washed towns that have sprouted up along the coastline. There is the odd dash of colour courtesy of painted window panes usually, green or brown but overall the island has been protected by the kind of tourism that demands high rise architecture.

This is thanks to the initiative taken by celebrated artist and designer who insisted on maintaining the island’s natural beauty. Often his architecture works with it and he created some amazing homes by integrating them into the rock face of a volcano.

Fortune can be fickle and there cannot be a more eloquent example than what took place in a villa in the village of Oasis de Nazaret in Lanzarote. This wasn’t just any villa, this was a dream home built into the side of a volcano and commissioned by Dr Zhivago star Omar Sharif. It was based on a design by Cesar Manrique and was created in a style that evokes the Arabian fairy tale 1001 Nights.