Secret Lanzarote

Lanzarote interior view

Lanzarote's interior: raw and rugged

If you are thinking of a villa holiday on Lanzarote but are put off by thoughts of hordes of people arriving in their thousands, think again. Away from the crowds, Lanzarote is a place of raw and rugged landscapes and deserted beaches, says Cheryl Everitt.

César Manrique, the artist, shaped modern Lanzarote and his influence can be seen all over the island. He once said, "What I take from the scenery of my home is not its architecture, but its dramatic feeling, its essence."

Manrique decreed all houses on the island should be painted white, with regulation green doors and shutters, and he designed some stunning public places. My favourite is LagOmar – the bar at Nazaret which was once the home of Omar Sharif.

There's no better place to start a tour of secret Lanzarote than Teguise, the former capital. Its narrow cobbled streets and low white houses are watched over by the Santa Bárbara Castle, built in the 16th century and now housing the Museum of Canarian Emigrants.