Lanzarote - Brief Guide to the Island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Lanzarote - Canary Islands

Lanzarote: The barren, volcanic island of Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands and seems an unlikely place to be a holiday resort, however in recent years due mostly to its fine climate, it has become a desirable destination for many thousands of holidaymakers and in fact the island is now almost entirely dependent on tourism for its economic survival.

Lanzarote covers an area of just under 800 km2, mostly consisting of solidified volcanic lava, and its resident population of around 130,000 live mostly in a few towns and resorts, the large majority within the municipality of Arrecife, the capital.

The population numbers are of course swelled by the influx of tourists which over the course of a year amounts to almost 2 million visitors.

The documented history of Lanzarote goes back to the 14th Century (1312) when it was discovered by a mariner named Lanzarotto Malocello and although he named it Tytheroygata it was subsequently named after the man himself.

The islands was eventually conquered for Spain by a frenchman called Jean de B├ęthencourt who sailed under the Castillian flag of Henry III, and although possesion of Lanzarote was disputed with Portugal in 1479 it officially became Spanish territory.

Before the arrival of tourism the inhabitants of Lanzarote were mostly involved in fishing and agriculture and despite the volcanic nature of the terrain, it was found to be suitable for the growing of grape vines.

Tourism began in earnest during the 1960's, fuelled by cheaper, more readily available flights, package holidays and increased leisure time, the main draw of course being the sunny weather and sandy beaches.

Among the popular resorts on Lanzarote are Puerto del Carmen, a former fishing village which has now become the most popular resort on the island, Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote since 1852, Costa Teguise, the third largest resort on the island and Playa Blanca in the far south of the island, offering regular ferry trips to neighbouring Fuertaventura.

Lanzarote is easily reached by air from many European airports, from the Spanish mainland and from the other Canary islands, it is also linked by a ferry route to Fuertaventura.