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Lanzarote is the most eastern and fourth largest of the Canary Islands. Like the other islands, Lanzarote is of volcanic origin. It's soil is therefore mostly made of black lava, which does not mean that its beaches all consist of black sand, there are also beautiful white beaches. The most beautiful are found on the east and south of the island. The artist Cesar Manrique lived on Lanzarote; there are many small and seven large works of art of his hand on the island. It is thanks to Manrique's resistance to mass tourism on the island that high rise buildings are no allowed on Lanzarote. Its vegetation consists mostly of cacti and palm trees.
The island has 110,000 inhabitants, almost half of whom live in the capital Arrecife. The number of tourists is limited, and more than 80,000 visitors are no allowed to be on the island at one time.
Lanzarote is 60 kilometres long and at its widest point about 25 kilometres wide. It is located to the east of Fuerteventura and at 125 kilometres from the coast of Morocco. It is the driest of the Canary Islands, and it is sometimes even hit by sandstorms from the Sahara Desert. To the north of the island lies the Chinijo archipelago: a few small islands that form a nature reserve with the north coast of Lanzarote.
Tourism is the backbone of the economy. About 90% of the working population is in some way - directly or indirectly - dependent on the one and a half million tourists that visit the island every year. A fishing village like Puerto del Carmen has developed into a tourist centre. However, the original way of life - fishing - has not vanished completely. In addition, there are vineyards in the island; its wines are considered the best of the Canary Islands. Other forms of agriculture (mostly onions, tomatoes and potatoes) play a secondary role.
Arrecife Airport is located five kilometers to the west of the capital along the road to the popular seaside town of Puerto del Carmen. Most chartered flights arrive on Thursday, which is the busiest day at the airport, which means people sometimes have to wait long for their luggage. There is a bus connection between the airport and Arrecife, but the last bus leaves at 7 pm. After that, it is either a taxi or a rental car.
There are regular bus connections between the various seaside towns and the capital Arrecie. There are also plenty of taxis, which are much cheaper than on the Spanish mainland. Sometimes they drive to certain destinations for a fixed rate, sometimes they turn on the meter. Make sure you arrange that in advance!
Driving on Lanzarote may take some getting used to. Cars have a habit of suddenly slamming on the break, taking a turn or making a U-turn without giving any prior warning. Keep enough distance and expect the unexpected - especially in the countryside - like people or animals on the road.
In the centre of Arrecife and the busy holiday resorts it may be hard to find a place to park. Parking is not allowed at curbs with a yellow or white line. A blue line indicates that you have to pay to park. The local population parks their cars anywhere where it is convenient. Do not follow their example! Also, do not park in front of a garbage dumpster. They are collected all day long and if your car is in the way it will be towed away. There are no signs saying that you cannot park there, but the local population knows.
Most visitors go to holiday resorts on the coast. Puerto del Carmen is the busiest tourist location. There are many hotels and apartments, but as we mentioned in the introduction, there are no mass hotels like on Gran Canaria or Tenerife. If you want quiet, there are many possibilities to rent a cottage in the interior and sometimes also on the coast.
The number of tourists on Lanzarote is limited, and as a result so is the number of accommodations. During peak season you have to book your accommodation in advance.
For more information about Lanzarote, we recommend Google, and the following sources: