Thinking of visiting Mirador del Rio in Lanzarote? Find out what to expect, including details on opening hours, prices and plenty of beautiful photos too!
Whenever we travel, we always end up searching for the best views. This usually involves hiking to the top of hills or mountains, driving to the edges of cliffs or if all else fails, flying our drone for some cool aerial shots.
Thankfully in Lanzarote, the hard work had been done for us! There’s the most incredible mirador (viewpoint) carved into the rocks in the north of the island.
Mirador del Rio is a creation of Lanzarote architectural genius César Manrique. He seamlessly incorporated Lanzarote’s natural beauty and geology with his unique style of architecture and design. In essence, he saw the beauty of his island and wanted to preserve it for future generations.
From the viewpoint you’ll enjoy panoramic views of La Graciosa, Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park and across Lanzarote’s undulating landscapes.
This travel guide will cover everything from what you can see from the top, how to get there and useful information like prices and opening times.
Planning your trip to Lanzarote? Here are a few quick highlights:
- One of the most fun ways to see the epic scenery
- This 2-hour cruise offers stunning island sunsets and dolphins – wow!
- A great way to see all of the island’s best sights in one day
- Caves and volcanoes in one big exciting day!
- A great way to get out and explore the epic landscapes for yourself
- One of the most stylish and luxurious hotels in Lanzarote
The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Mirador Del Rio, Lanzarote
What is Mirador del Rio?
This is one of the best viewpoints on the island of Lanzarote. At a height of 474 metres, the panoramic mirador has been built into the rock face at one of the island’s highest points.
The name is derived from El Rio, which is the name of the narrow strait that separates Lanzarote from La Graciosa. This stretch of water is just over 1.1 kilometres at its narrowest point.
What can you see from Mirador del Rio?
This remarkable landmark looks out towards the ocean, with the main feature being its view to La Graciosa and the small islets within Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park. You’ll spot small ferries and boats coming and going from Caleta de Sebo, La Graciosa’s main town.
From the viewpoint you can also take in the dramatic slopes of the cliffs around Famara, known as the Risco de Famara. If you look directly down, you’ll also spot the Salinas del Rio. These are recognised as being the oldest salt ponds in the Canary Islands, although as far as I know, they’re no longer in use.
What’s inside Mirador del Rio?
You might be thinking, I could drive all the way to the car park and see the same view… so why pay for a ticket to go inside? To be honest, when I arrived, I thought the same. I went off and took lots of photos at the side of the road. I wasn’t the only one either, there were lots of other tourists doing the same!
Once I went inside I realised there was a lot more to the experience than the view, after all this is one of César Manrique’s creations!
After paying for our tickets, we walked along a white hallway to a cavernous room with enormous curved windows, which started at the floor and seemed to frame the view perfectly. This room is the café and there are tables and chairs dotted around. What a spot to stop for a drink!
The room itself is huge, with dome-like curves in the ceiling, all painted white. The windows give a cinematic feel, while the curves remind me of the psychedelic art of the 60s and 70s. There are modern bronze sculptures hanging from the ceiling, splaying out with a bundle of prongs. There’s a terrace outside, along the edge of the rock face too.
There’s more to this place than this floor though. Head up through the spiral staircase and you’ll pass by the shop and then emerge at the top. This part almost looks like a lighthouse! From here you can go out to more terraces to take all the photos you could dream of.
Restaurant at Mirador del Rio
As mentioned there’s a café inside Mirador del Rio. If you fancy a snack or light lunch with a view, this is the perfect spot. We sat down and enjoyed a coffee here. The café serves a range of sandwiches, paninis, pastries, chocolate bars and crisps. There is also a menu of smoothies, plus standard options of teas, coffees and alcoholic drinks.
I’d recommend trying a glass of the island’s own white wine. If you want to learn more about that, definitely book onto a wine tour of Lanzarote during your trip!
Who built Mirador del Rio?
The mirador was a collaboration between César Manrique, Jesús Soto and Eduardo Cáceres and was constructed between 1971-1973.
If you’ve seen other works by César Manrique on the island, including Jameos del Agua and the César Manrique Foundation in Tahiche, you’ll recognise his signature style. His innovative creations were always designed to work in harmony with nature.
The mirador was built on the site of a former military battery. To construct it, the top of the cliff was excavated, the new areas built inside and then it was all covered over again with volcanic stone. It’s barely visible from the outside, in fact it’s pretty much camouflaged!
Is there a Shop at Mirador del Rio?
There’s a gift shop on the first floor, selling a range of gifts and souvenirs. There were some pretty pieces of jewellery, interesting books about the island and local produce. There was also more information on architect Cesar Manrique here.
Are there toilets at Mirador del Rio?
Yes – there’s a row of toilets outside the left-hand door when you enter the main building.
How to get to Mirador del Rio
To reach this spot you’ll need to drive or organise a taxi. You can also cycle if you’ve got calves of steel (this is steep)! The address of Mirador del Rio is Carretera de Ye, S/N, 35541 Haría. This link takes you to a helpful Mirador del Rio map so you can get your bearings and plan your route.
Access is via the LZ-202 which is steep and windy. I wouldn’t recommend this drive unless you’re reasonably confident! There’s plenty of free parking once you reach the top.
If you’ve not seen much of Lanzarote yet, I’d recommend driving towards Orzola after visiting the viewpoint. From there, you can join the LZ1 and follow the east coast. I’ve recommended a few places to stop off at further down this post.
How much are tickets for Mirador del Rio?
Children aged 7-12 years: €2.50
Child aged 0-6 years: Free
Prices are 50 cents cheaper if you can prove you’re a resident of the Canary Islands, and just €1 per person if you are a Lanzarote resident.
As there are several great attractions in Lanzarote that belong to the CACT (Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism) I’d recommend buying a CACT pass that will give you entry to multiple venues. These include the Montańas del Fuego in Timanfaya National Park, Cueva de Los Verdes, Jameos del Agua, Jardin del Cactus, MIAC contemporary art gallery, and of course, Mirador del Rio.
The price for visiting three CACT attractions is €29.50 for adults and €11.75 for children. For four attractions it’s €29 for adults and €14.50 for children. Alternatively, you can purchase a pass that covers all six for €35 for adults and €17.50 Euros for children. This was the best option as we visited five of the locations during our weeklong trip to the island.
What are the opening hours at Mirador del Rio?
The Mirador del Rio is open from 10am – 5pm every day.
Other places to visit near Mirador del Rio
If you’re planning a day trip to the mirador, there are lots of other lovely places close by on this part of the island.
I’d recommend driving towards Orzola and exploring the north and east coasts.
Stop at Caleton Blanco to see one of the only beaches with white sand and black rocks. Then continue along the LZ1 following the coast, stopping at Punta Mujeres and Arrieta.
You could also visit Jameos del Agua and Cueva de Los Verdes on your way back to the south of the island.
Alternatively, head to the northwest coast and visit the town of Famara. This town is famed for its surf beach, with great waves all year round. The town itself has a fun, hippie vibe to it too, with lots of interesting places to eat and drink.
Hotels near Mirador del Rio
The north of Lanzarote is a lot less touristy than the south, so you won’t find so many accommodation options close by. There are several self-catering options, apartments and small guesthouses in the surrounding areas, in Haria, Arrieta, Orzola, Famara and Punta Mujeres. You can move the map to take a look at some options.Booking.com
So, is it really worth visiting Mirador del Rio?
As mentioned, you can drive to the top of the cliffs and take in the magnificent panoramas of volcanic islands, ocean views and more… but it’s not the same experience as diving into the creative mind of Cesar Manrique.
The experience of the curvy architecture, the way the mirador is constructed into the environment and the way it frames the view is really special. So yes, it’s 100% worth visiting the Mirador del Rio in Lanzarote.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Mirador del Rio! If you’re looking for other amazing places on the island, check out miss my huge guide to the best things to do in Lanzarote. There are over 28 fun activities, including a really fun wine tour, so you’re guaranteed to find something you like the sound of! Plus, if you’re thinking of visiting Timanfaya National Park, check out my review of El Diablo Restaurant, where they cook food using the heat of the volcano!