Explore Lanzarote – The Island of Fire

Written by Teguise from | Category: Spain on October 25th, 2009 | 0 Comments | 3,374 views

The Spanish owned Canary Islands are often associated with package tourism.  As this archipelago located off the coast of West Africa enjoys fantastic weather all year round.  With low rainfall and average temperatures of 20 Celsius plus, (even during winter) helping to attract over 9.5 million foreign visitors every year.

However, the seven islands are by no means all birds of a feather.  As some, like Lanzarote, have managed to retain much of their original character and charm intact.  Avoiding over-development in the process.

Tourism first started to take off here during the 1960´s and 70´s.  General Franco was keen to open Spain up to package holiday makers at this time in order to help revive his flagging economy.  And hotel chains and property developers were only to willing to enact this policy.  Swallowing up large swathes of the Spanish Costas in the process.

The same fate befell the larger Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.  But Lanzarote escaped largely unscathed – due to the influence of an island born artist called César Manrique.

Manrique was a proto-ecologist and realised that it was important to work with Lanzarote´s unique volcanic terrain – the legacy of a series of eruptions that rocked the island during the 1730s´.  Which left about a third of Lanzarote carpeted in lava.

He also managed to successfully campaign for a number of important concessions.  Securing a ban on advertising billboards and high rise construction.  So ensuring that outside of the main resorts Lanzarote today remains much as nature intended.

Getting There
The UK is Lanzarote´s key market.  British visitors account for around 50% of the islands 1.5 million annual tourist arrivals.  With the island served by most of the leading low cost flight operators such as Ryanair, easyJet and Monarch.  The journey time is around four hours and the cost of return flights to Lanzarote starts at about £180.

The growth of the internet in recent years has led to dramatic changes in the way that people book holidays.  With many now eschewing the services of a travel agent to build their own breaks online. As a result, self-catering accommodation has boomed in popularity and Lanzarote villas and apartments now account for more tourist beds on the island than hotels.

Getting Around
The best way to see and tour the island is to hire a car.  As local bus services are intermitent and don’t run to many of the leading tourist attractions.


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