Lanzarote - Volcanic Island


Lanzarote (pronounced: [lanθaˈɾote] or [lansaˈɾote]), a Spanish island, is the eastern most of the autonomous Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. Covering 845.9 km2, it stands as the fourth largest of the islands. The first recorded name for the island, given by Angelino Dulcert, was Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus, after the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello, from which the modern name is derived. The island's name in the native language wasTiterro(y)gatra, which may mean "the red mountains".
Lanzarote is situated at 29°00' north, 13°40' west. It is located 11 km north-east of Fuerteventura and just over 1 km from Graciosa. The dimensions of the island are 60 km from north to south and 25 km from west to east. Lanzarote has 213 km of coastline, of which 10 km are sand, 16.5 km are beach, and the remainder is rocky. Its dramatic landscape includes the mountain ranges of Famara (671 m) in the north and Ajaches (608 m) to the south. South of the Famara massif is the El Jable desert which separates Famara and Montañas del Fuego. The highest peak is Peñas del Chache rising to 670 m above sea level. The "Tunnel of Atlantis" is the largest submerged volcanic tunnel in the world.
The island has an international airport, Arrecife Airport, through which 5,438,178 passengers travelled in 2008. Tourism has been the mainstay of the island's economy for the past forty years, the only other industry being agriculture. The emblem of Lanzarote is a demon because people had never seen a volcano erupt before so they thought it was the devil.
Lanzarote is part of the province of Las Palmas, and is divided into seven municipalities: Arrecife, Haría, San Bartolomé, Teguise (includes Isla de La Graciosa and four smaller islets, including Tahiche), Tias, Tinajo y Yaiza.
The island's capital, Arrecife, is its administrative and commercial centre, and home to half its population. Five minutes from the capital is an international airport, with daily flights to the other islands of the archipelago and the Spanish mainland, and periodic connections with many European cities. Agriculture and fishing were Lanzarote's main occupation and means of subsistence, but these have both lost ground to a tourist sector, which has developed facilities and services of excellent quality.
Some of the most noteworthy places to visit are: El Charco de San Gines, a salt-water lagoon in the city centre surrounded by fishermen's houses; La Casa de Los Arroyo a patriarchal residence emblematic of Arrecife and a declared Historical Monument which houses the "Blas Cabrera "Scientific centre.

Other interesting attractions include the Castles of San José, home to the international Museum of Modern Art, and San Gabriel, home to the Archaeological Museum.
There are also the Casa de la Cultura Agustín de la Hoz and the 17th century Iglesia de San Gines, an important landmark of historical Arrecife.
The Iglesia de San Gines, named after the patron Saint of the City, was originally a Hermitage, becoming a parish church in 1778. Each year on Corpus Christi and on the 15th of august, it is the focal point of festivities. Nearby is Puerto de Los Marmoles (port of Marbles) from where the ferry to Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and cruise liners sail.


Mirador del Río, Lanzarote
Mirador Del Rio boasts spectacular views of La Graciosa and other small islands.
Timanfaya National Park
Timanfaya National park is a must-see for any visitor to Lanzarote. 50 km² of Volcanic Landscape and Craters, as well as the 'El Diablo' Restaurant.
Casa Museo y Monumento al Campesino
The House and Monument to the Farm Labourer are a tribute to the traditional farming techniques of Lanzarote.
The Cactus Garden
The Cactus Garden was created by local artist, the late Cesar Manrique, and features an impressive collection of Cacti and sculptures and a restored Windmill.
Castillo de San José, Arrecife, Lanzarote
The Castillo de San Jose, built in 1799, now houses a Modern Art Gallery and Restaurant.
El Golfo and Los Hervideros, Lanzarote
El Golfo is a volcanic crater filled by sea water.
The deep green colour is caused by algae in the water.
LagOmar Museum
Legend has it that this heavenly place once belonged to the famous actor Omar Sharif, who fell in love with the house while filming in Lanzarote.
The Cave of Los Verdes
La Cueva de los Verdes forms part of a spectacular and complex system of caves formed by underground Lava flows.
Jameos del Agua
Jameos del Agua is a cave complex that includes a natural Concert Hall with wonderful acoustics, subterranean lagoon, a restaurant and a museum.