Lanzarote is one of the most remarkable islands in the Canary Archipelago. The barren island is located in the northeast of the archipelago, 130 kilometers from the Moroccan coast. With a maximum length of 58 kilometers and a width of 34 kilometers, the area of the fourth largest Canary Island is 846 square kilometers. The coastline measures a total of 213 kilometers. Despite the length of its coast, Lanzarote is not an island for a beach holiday; the length of the beaches is only ten kilometers. Visitors to Lanzarote come for the natural wonders, and many guests come to marvel at the works of the island's greatest son, the architect, artist and environmental activist César Manrique.
Article overview Lanzarote
Lanzarote - view from the Mirador del Rio
Lanzarote - the unique volcanic island
Like the other main Canary Islands, Lanzarote was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. Two mountain ranges, the Famara massif and the fire mountains Montañas del Fuego, determine the landscape. Between the two mountains lies the El Jable desert. - The mountain massifs and the desert landscape, unlike on La Palma, leave no room for lush vegetation. Only in the northeast of the island does the “valley of 1.000 palm trees” provide a green contrast to the volcanic landscape. Little rain falls on Lanzarote. The annual average is 112 millimeters of rain. Only in the high altitudes of the north does the precipitation amount to up to 300 millimeters per year.
Lanzarote - landscape in front of Haría
Lanzarote - populated for more than 3.000 years
Due to its proximity to Africa, Lanzarote was probably the first inhabited Canary Island. Phoenicians discovered the island more than 3.000 years ago. The Phoenicians were followed by Greeks and Romans. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the island was apparently forgotten. Only in the year 999 AD did Arab seafarers rediscover the island.
Lanzarote - Viticulture in La Geria
Lanzarote - a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
UNESCO declared Lanzarote a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 because of its unique landscape and unusual geological conditions. With the award, UNESCO is pursuing the goal of ensuring sustainable development on Lanzarote in ecological, economic and social terms.
Lanzarote - crater in Timanfaya National Park
Arrecife - Lanzarote's capital
Arrecife is the largest city and the political and social center of Lanzarote. More than 40 percent of the island's 149.000 inhabitants live in Arrecife (as of 2018). The place was mentioned as early as the 15th century when, after the discovery of the New World, sailing ships made stopovers on the Canary Islands. The importance of Arrecife grew in line with the expansion of transatlantic shipping.
Arrecife is more of an administrative and business center than a resort. Historical buildings from colonial times are missing. The long beach promenade and the Arrecife bahía, the El Charco de San Ginés lagoon, are inviting in the island's capital.
Lanzarote - city beach of Arrecife
Arrecife - Charco de San Gines
Arrecife for crusaders
Cruise ships dock in Arrecife at two piers: the mole of Marmoles in the less attractive and remote port area of Arrecife and, closer to the center, in Puerto Naos.
Arrecife - Mein Schiff 2 in Puerto Naos
Dozens of taxi drivers await those guests who plan tours on their own at the piers. Mainly island tours are offered. Only a few meters behind the taxi ranks are the offices of the rental car providers at both piers. In the article overview Lanzarote above, we give recommendations on the island's top destinations and report on our experiences.
Update - February 2021