El Mirador del Rio
The Mirador del Rio provides spectacular views of the Chinijo Archipelago, which consists of La Graciosa, Montana Clara and Alegranza as well as the islets of Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. The early inhabitants of the island used this site as a lookout point as Lanzarote was often attacked by pirates. In 1898 the ‘Bateria del Rio’ was built as an Artillery base where the Canons now resting at the Castillo de San Gabriel once resided. In 1973 Cesar Manrique turned the Bateria del Rio into a restaurant and Tourist Centre.
The Mirador del Rio offers visitors breathtaking views across to the small neighbouring island of La Graciosa (as well as the islets of Alegranza and Roque del Oeste) – thought by some to be the original location for Robert Louis Stevenson’s childrens classic Treasure Island.
The Mirador – which means look out point in Spanish – was formerly a small fortress and gun battery, built atop the Risco de Famara range some 479 metres above sea level.
As long ago as the 16th century this spot was used by the islands Spanish settlers to keep a lookout for marauding pirates. And in 1898 the canons (which now stand guard outside the Museum of International and Contemporary Art in Arrecife) were added to deter any naval incursions by American vessels. As Spain went to war with the USA over the ownership of Cuba.
It was converted into a unique tourist attraction by the ubiqitous Manrique in 1974, with the help of fellow architects Jesus Soto and Eduardo Caceres. Initially designed as a restaurant the Mirador still serves basic snacks and drinks.
Open :: Daily 10.00 – 18.00 Admission :: Adults €4.70 Parking :: Free