The Canary Islands known locally as “Islas Canarias” are made up 7 main islands Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. In Ancient times, the island chain was referred to as “Insulae Fortunatae” (The Fortunate Islands), simply because of the geographical location and being a winterless earthly paradise. Annexed by Spain in the 15th Century. The Canary Islands are still part of Spain, but has a fiercely independent streak with its own Government. We enjoy the benefit of EU membership. But we also have our own taxation system as well as duty free status. Located in the Atlantic Ocean, just 125 kilometres (78 miles) west of the Saharan Coast of Africa, Lanzarote has often been called the “Island of Eternal Spring” it is one of the Canary Islands which has a subtropical-desert climate with the temperature rarely falling below 12 degrees on a winters night and hitting heights of 40 degrees on a mid-summers day.
Lanzarote is a starkly beautiful product of one of the most important volcanic eruptions in history, offering stunning mountain, volcano and sea views. The island is 77 kilometres (48 miles) long and one is never far from the sea.
It is estimated that Lanzarote was the first Canary Island to be settled. In 1000 BC it was settled by the Guanche people, who remained there until their extinction by Spanish colonialism in the 15th Century. The first recorded name for the island was “Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus” which is where the modern name is derived from. The island’s name in the native language was Tyterogakat or Tytheroygatra, which is believed to mean “one that is all ochre” (referring to the island’s predominant colour).
Modern day Lanzarote has a population of around 145,000 (recorded 2016), with a proportion of foreign residents, in which 4% are British people living permanently on the island. A large part of the islands income is derived from tourism, with more than 2 million visitors each year. The Islands Cabildo (Local Government) has striven for decades to create a sustainable tourism, resisting the urge to go down the “High Rise” route used in places such as Costa del Sol. Much of this work can be attributed to Cesár Manrique, Lanzarote’s most famous son.
Every year the island celebrates many festivals, Carnival being one of the biggest that usually takes place between February and March. September 15th is a very important day for the people of Lanzarote, as it is a day to honour “La Virgin de los Dolores” who is the Patron Saint of Lanzarote. A pilgrimage known as the “Romaría” takes place from all over the island to the village of Mancha Blanca where many celebrations take place.
Find out more by discovering Lanzarote for yourself…