Lanzarote is the most northerly and easterly of the Spanish Canary islands and lies approximately 100 km off the coast of Africa. It is the fourth largest of the Islands and is just 11 km off the north coast of Fuertevtura, it's closest island neighbour. It is a long narrow shape about 60 x 25 km, and has about 213 km of coastline, of which 10 km are sand, and 16 km are beaches. The remainder of the coast is rocky and includes dramatic landscape of mountain ranges.
Lanzarote has a mountainous spine running most of it's length with the Timanfaya National Park being at the south western end. This park is mostly of lava hills and mountains created by volcanoes, some of which still vent hot air. The whole island is covered with lava which creates some unusual plant growing situations for over 500 different species. Vineyards abound in the country areas and their method of growing vines is very different from those in Europe, with each vine being planted in a shallow pit in order to collect any overnight dew from the lava.
Lanzarote has a number of very popular holiday destinations including Costa de Tequise, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca, all of which are on the south of the island. Puerto del Carmen, the main resort, holiday makers are catered for in a big way, with the resort stretching for many kilometers along the coast from close to the airport runway at one end and a quaint little port at the other. Playa Blanca is a much more laid back type of place with white sands and rocky inlets along it's frontage down to it's port. It is from here that the ferries cross to the island of Fuertuventura.
Lanzarote International Airport caters for around 6 million passengers a year. It is situated between the Capital of the island, Arrecife and Puerto del Carmen and there is a good road network to all the resorts. For those staying in more isolated villages dotted all over the island, there are plenty of rental car companies at the airport.
The capital, Arrecife, is a busy town with it's own harbour, but other than holiday makers having a quick look around, is not generally considered to be a big tourist attraction.
The range of hotels and other accommodation on Lanzarote is enormous and caters from luxury through to pensions, and the number of holiday companies operating in this island provides a hugh selection from which to choose a holiday.
Tours to the volcanic region of the island are well worth taking advantage of, especially the mountain range of Tiagua, where a restaurant at the highest point, offers food cooked over the hot air rising from a vent in a volcano. The views from this point are almost surreal.
The beaches are mostly of white sand with one exception near the south west, which is of black lava sand. For sun worshipers there are many little 'private' coves dotted around the coastline, with the two most popular nudist beaches being one at the side of the airport runway and the other at the south west tip of the island called Papagayo, just a few kilometers drive from Playa Blanca. It is said that this is the most beautiful beach in Lanzarote.
This island is not lush and green, but dry and lava covered, and holiday makers who are captivated by this different island, return year after year.
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