The Canary Islands belong to Spain and consist of the seven main islands Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera and Hierro. as well as some smaller islands including Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Lobos, which is set between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The landscape on each island is different partly due to the age and location of each, but also to there altitude, with the higher island having more rainfall.
Lanzarote is quite close to Africa and you would expect the climate to be extremely hot but the islands are cooled by the trade winds, which generally make the high temperatures,(20c average, 28-30c mid summer) feel very comfortable. However, you would be wise to consider this when sunbathing as you may not realise the strength of the sun.
The main resorts on Lanzarote are, Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen. They are all on the sheltered eastern side of the island and have south facing beaches.
By far the biggest tourist attraction on Lanzarote is the Timanfaya National Park, where cars and coachloads of tourists queue to visit the dormant volcano which still spews out fire and steam in a spectacular display. Most of the other tourist attractions have been developed by exploiting the natural landscape of Lanzarote, using the ideas of César Manrique who wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the Island whilst still allowing it to be attractive to tourists. It was under his guidance that the island's villages all have white houses and that barring the Gran Hotel in Arricefe there are no tall buildings on Lanzarote.It has been said that this was built while he was away.
Lanzarote was created from volcanic eruptions, the most serious recent eruption being on the on 1st September 1730 when the volcano Timanfaya erupted and for the next six years spewed out lava. The fertile ground of Lanzarote was covered in lava and ash and one third of the island became a desert. This causing a lot of inhabitants to want to leave Lanzarote, however, King Philipp forbade this under threat of death. Lots of the islanders did leave and many went to South America. The latest eruptions were around 1824 when there were a series of smaller eruptions. You can see that the volcano is still generating heat if you visit Timanfaya national park. The families of many who went to South America have returned, and you will find many different cultures living in harmony in Lanzarote.
The land in the South of Lanzarote is still relatively barren, but gives rise to interesting landscape effects. The centre and north of the island produce a great deal of very good wine.
Although the islands belong to Spain, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are governed by Gran Canaria. Lanzarote, as part of Spain is part of the EU, but having been designated a special status some regulations may be different.
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Lanzarote From Ferry
Growing the grapes for Lanzarote wine