Without wasting any time with intros…here are some of the basics in a 5Ws Question format.
The island of Lanzarote has a population of about 140,000 people, of which 60,000 reside in the capital city Arrecife. The island is mainly inhabited by Spaniards, though there is a large number of other European nationalities present including Brits and Scandinavians. Lanzarote, as well as the other Canary Islands, is a popular vacation destination for the British, and for the seven days I spent there, it was only British tourists that I encountered, and a few Germans. Irish Pubs are everywhere, as well as Indian restaurants, and it’s actually easier to find a restaurant that serves English breakfast than it is to find paella, a Spanish specialty.
The island emerged about 15 million years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions, after the breakup of the African and American continental plates. It has solidified lava streams and amazing rock formations, which you can learn more about and see in person at the Timanfaya National Park. UNESCO designated the whole island as a Biosphere reserve in 1993, and Timanfaya Park is one of the core areas of this reserve. Lanzarote is also the birthplace of Cesar Manrique, a famous artist, whose works can be seen all over the island, including the beautiful Jameos del Agua lagoon – a tourist attraction you shouldn’t miss. Manrique is responsible for the beautiful architecture of the island, as it was supposedly he who suggested all houses and buildings should be white and no structure should be built taller than a palm tree. This is now the law on the island.
The Canary Islands are an archipelago and autonomous community of Spain, located in the Atlantic Ocean, comprised of several islands and smaller islets, of which Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the most popular. The others are La Palma, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, El Hierro, and Lanzarote. Lanzarote is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, and the 4th largest, with the islet of La Graciosa just above it and Fuerteventura just below. The island’s nickname is Lanza, as the locals call it.
You can visit Lanzarote any time of the year as this island is also known as the “island of eternal spring” due to its sub-tropical desert climate and lack of rain throughout the year. The average temperature throughout the year is between 18 degrees in the winter months (December to February) and 25-30 degrees in the summer months that are pretty much every other month of the year with July, August, and September being the hottest. I visited the island in mid-May and the weather was perfect. The only weather issue with Lanzarote is that it’s almost always windy, and in the warmer months this wind comes from the Sahara Desert and brings sand with it which can be quite annoying.
Why visit Lanzarote? Well, I’ll have to dedicate a whole new post to give you all the reasons, so look out for Part Three, but in short – because the island is absolutely stunning and if you’ve never been to a volcanic island before, let alone INSIDE a volcano, then you’re in for a really exciting adventure.