The Canary Island of Lanzarote is often regarded as little more than a year round sunshine destination. But this small speck of Spain, located just off the coast of West Africa, has more to offer than just great weather and fantastic beaches alone. Offering visitors a wealth of attractions and some breathtaking natural beauty spots.
Lanzarote has been a popular holiday destination ever since package tourism first took off in the 1970´s. Thanks to the fact that temperatures on the island rarely fall below 20 Celsius and the flight time from British airports is just a bearable four hours. Making it the closest winter sun destination to the UK.
Yet despite attracting over 1.5 million tourists every year Lanzarote still remains largely unspoiled, especially once outside the main tourist resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca. Where the island boasts a strong agricultural heritage and a raw, surreal scenery forged by a series of massive volcanic eruptions which hit Lanzarote some 250 years ago.
These eruptions devastated island life at the time. Forcing many Lanzaroteños to flee abroad. But today Lanzarote´s volcanic scenery is the islands number on asset. As hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the Timanfaya National Park every year in order to view the lunar like scenery and 51 square km of lava fields.
During the 1970´s a local artist called Cesar Manrique sought to unify this terrain with his own creative instincts. As a means of developing eco-friendly tourist attractions that worked with Lanzarote´s natural (if unconventional) beauty, rather than against it.
The result is a series of seven tourist attractions, such as the Jameos del Agua. Which was once just an empty 6km long lava tunnel but which now houses a cathedral like underground grotto and tropical gardens. Along with a concert hall, volcano museum and sea water lagoon filled with a rare species of blind albino crab.
Lanzarote is an ideal holiday choice for those who like to combine sightseeing with sunbathing as the island is manageably small, measuring around 58km by 40km. Whilst both car hire and petrol are much cheaper than in the UK. And as you’d expect from a destination that has been welcoming tourists for over forty years accommodation standards are high. With plenty of good quality hotels, apartments and holiday villas in Lanzarote available for rent.