The Canary Islands are a hugely popular tourist destination amongst European travellers. Attracting around nine million visitors every year. But these seven little specks of Spain are not all birds of a feather. With each island boasting its own unique character and culture.
Lanzarote is the most easterly outpost in the archipelago and is located just 80 miles off the coast of Morocco in West Africa. On the same line of latitude as parts of the Bahamas and Florida. Creating a great year round climate, characterised by very low rainfall and with temperatures that rarely fall below 20C
During the 1730´s the island was subjected to a series of massive volcanic eruptions that lasted for over six years. This devastated large swathes of Lanzarote – swallowing up farmland, destroying villages and forcing widespread emigration.
Today however this twisted terrain is the most popular tourist attraction on the island. As the surreal scenery of the Timanfaya Volcano Park is literally out of this world – and is often likened to the surface of the moon.
Elsewhere on the island, an artist called César Manrique has married this topography with his own exuberant imagination to create a series of breathtaking visitor attractions. Such as the huge underground auditorium and concert hall at the Jameos del Agua. Which has been fashioned out of a collapsed lava tunnel. As well as his own home and studio in Tahiche – developed out of five bubbles in the lava flow.
Thanks to Manrique´s industry and inventiveness Lanzarote became the hot new holiday spot for the in crowd in the 1970´s. Attracting VIP visitors and actors such as Rita Heyworth, Peter Sellers and Omar Sharif. The latter even commissioned a holiday home on the island, designed by Manrique. Which he promptly lost in a game of bridge. But which is now home to one of Lanzarote´s leading restaurants – LagOmar, or Omar’s Lake.
Manrique´s influence extends well beyond the creation of visitor attractions alone though. As the island’s favourite son also fought an ongoing battle against unrestrained tourist development on Lanzarote. Successfully securing a ban on all high rise construction and advertising billboards in the process. So ensuring that despite the high volume of tourist visitors the island still remains largely unspoiled, especially outside of the main resorts.
Thanks to his work – in tandem with Lanzarote´s volcanic terrain – the island was declared a UNESCO protected biosphere in 1994.
Find out more about Lanzarote and download a 96 page guidebook to the island, entirely free of charge. By visiting the Lanzarote Guidebook website.
2 Responses to “Travel To Lanzarote in the Canary Islands”
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Tags: article, canary islands, spain
July 30th, 2009 at 11:20 am
I enjoyed learning about Lanzarote through your article. It’s often included as a port stop during trans-Atlantic cruise crossings. That’s how I discovered it. I especially enjoyed the tour of the underground auditorium. And, you’re right, the terrian is almost other-worldly.
March 21st, 2010 at 10:08 pm
The photos are awesome and thanks for blogging it.