Nestled in the heart of Lanzarote, is the historical and beautiful municipality of Teguise. Teguise, renowned as one of the oldest towns in the archipelago, offers a deep dive into the island’s rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant traditions.
Originally known as “Teguise”, the name pays homage to Princess Teguise. The town’s history is a fascinating tale that spans centuries, from the original aboriginal inhabitants, through the Spanish conquest in the 15th century, to the present day.
In the 15th century, Teguise became the capital of Lanzarote under the reign of the Norman conqueror Jean de Bethencourt. The city witnessed significant development during this period, with the construction of several notable buildings, including the Santa María de Guadalupe Church and the Guanapay Castle. The castle, perched on a volcanic hill, served as a vantage point against pirate attacks, a common occurrence during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Despite frequent pirate incursions, Teguise continued to prosper until the 19th century when Arrecife, with its strategic port location, took over as the capital. Although no longer the island’s political centre, Teguise has maintained its historical significance and remains a captivating destination for visitors.
Teguise is not only home to a quaint old town but also encompasses a series of charming villages and coastal resorts within its municipality. This includes Costa Teguise, one of Lanzarote’s primary tourist destinations known for its beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine, and array of water sports. Other prominent locales are the agricultural village of Los Valles, the charming village of Tahiche, best known for being home to the famous artist Cesar Manrique’s house, and the picturesque village of Nazaret, among others.
Each Sunday, Teguise hosts one of the most significant and colourful open-air markets in the Canary Islands. The Mercadillo de Teguise is a bustling spectacle where local vendors sell everything from handmade crafts, local produce, to an assortment of trinkets and souvenirs. It’s a vibrant display of local culture, where traditional music and dance often add to the lively atmosphere.
Present-day Teguise seamlessly merges the past and the present. From cobblestone streets lined with well-preserved colonial-style houses, ancient churches, and historic plazas, to modern-day art galleries, boutiques, and delightful eateries serving traditional Canarian cuisine – Teguise is a microcosm of Lanzarote’s rich heritage.
In essence, the municipality of Teguise, with its blend of historical significance, charming towns, and mesmerising landscapes, is a must-visit destination in Lanzarote. Whether you are a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or a lover of natural beauty, Teguise promises a truly authentic Canary Islands experience.
Here’s an exploration of the must-visit villages within Teguise.
Costa Teguise: Known as Lanzarote’s water sports capital, Costa Teguise is an energetic seaside resort boasting golden sandy beaches and azure waters. Apart from the plethora of water-based activities, the village offers a vibrant nightlife, excellent restaurants, and the popular Pueblo Marinero designed by famed local artist César Manrique.
Famara: Situated on Lanzarote’s northwest coast, Famara is a cherished destination famed for its stunning cliffs, the Risco de Famara, and enchanting natural beauty. The village is renowned for Playa de Famara, a 5km-long beach popular among surfers and leisure-seekers, offering excellent wind and wave conditions. The charming village of Famara, with its narrow streets, rustic houses, and local seafood eateries, showcases impressive cliffs and sunsets that captivate artists and photographers. Surrounded by protected areas like the Chinijo Archipelago Nature Park and near the historic town of Teguise, Famara is a tranquil haven offering unique experiences of the Canary Islands with its breathtaking landscapes and laid-back beach lifestyle.
Tahiche: Best known as the location of César Manrique’s former residence, now the Foundation César Manrique museum, Tahiche presents a unique blend of art and nature. The village’s volcanic landscapes and distinctive architecture make it a must-see destination.
Los Valles: An epitome of rural tranquillity, Los Valles, with its traditional white houses and green doors, is a picturesque farming village. It is nestled amid rolling hills and is famed for its unique Holy Cross chapel and the annual traditional procession on the 3rd of May.
Nazaret: Famous for Lagomar, a complex that includes a restaurant, bar, and museum, Nazaret is a charming village that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Lagomar, once owned by actor Omar Sharif, is a fine example of Manrique’s influence, combining natural elements with contemporary design.
Teguise Village: The old capital of Lanzarote, Teguise Village, or La Villa de Teguise, is a living museum of Lanzarote’s history. Cobbled streets lined with colonial-era buildings lead to the central Plaza de San Miguel, where the impressive Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church stands.
Guatiza: Known for the beautiful Jardin de Cactus, another creation by César Manrique, Guatiza is a small agricultural village. It played a vital role in Lanzarote’s cochineal industry, the evidence of which is seen in the terraced fields of prickly pear cacti.
Teseguite: A small village brimming with charm, Teseguite offers scenic tranquillity. One of its main attractions is the Teguise Wind Farm, which provides a fascinating contrast between the traditional life of Lanzarote and its modern commitment to renewable energy.
Mala: Renowned for its fields of prickly pears and the iconic white and green houses, Mala offers a real insight into traditional Lanzarote. Visitors can explore the cochinilla museum, and the village’s unique church, Our Lady of the Cures.
In essence, the villages of Teguise present a rich tapestry of experiences. From coastal resorts and art-inspired landscapes to traditional agricultural hamlets and historical