Lanzarote is an island of the Canarian archipelago (Spain), in the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the province of Las Palmas. Its capital is Arrecife.
The name of the island comes from the Genoese sailor Lanceloto Malocello, who visited it in the fourteenth century. With 147,023 inhabitants (2017) Lanzarote is the third most populated island of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife and Gran Canaria. With an area of 845.94 km², it is the fourth largest island in the archipelago. In the center-southwest of the island is the Timanfaya National Park, which is one of the main tourist attractions of Lanzarote. The island is in its entirety since 1993 UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Mapa_Canarias_Lanzarote
Location map

Toponymy

The explanation of the name of the island of Lanzarote is one of the most clear and accepted of all the place names of the Canarian archipelago. There is a consensus among historians that the name comes from the Genoese navigator Lanceloto Malocello, who visited it for the first time in the first third of the fourteenth century and whose presence, apparently, found some trace the first Norman conquerors: the castle of Guanapay, the oldest in Lanzarote, it would have been built on an old tower built in 1312 by Malocello. The island is called “Insula de Lançarotus Marocelus” in the first portulano that collects the Canary Islands more or less in its current form, that of the Mallorcan Angelino Dulcert, of 1339. In other letters and later maps this denomination undergoes phonetic alterations, but There is no doubt that the current name derives from the illustrious Italian visitor who once was in it.
However, in the past other meanings of the current name of the island were given. Thus for the humanist Antonio de Nebrija, Lanzarote derives from Lanza-rota, this because the spear was broken to Jean de Bethencourt at the time of jumping to land for the conquest of the island. Authors such as Leonardo Torriani, Juan de Abréu Galindo or even José de Viera y Clavijo from Tenerife accepted this theory that is now considered wrong. These same authors also assumed that the name of the island came from lance l’eau, which means “cast the water “, and that would be the joyful expression that the French said when they saw the Lanzarote coast. For the philologist Sebastián Sosa Barroso, the name of the island would derive from Isla Cerote or La cerote, the cerote being the juice of the tabaiba. However, it is another theory considered wrong today.
The aboriginal word Titerogakaet seems that it was the one used by the majos to refer to the island before its conquest. It is a term of Berber origin that has been related to the tuareg tetergaget, “the one that is burned”, or with the words titerok and akaet, which would mean “Montaña Colorada”. Although it could also come from * Titerôqqak, “an all-yellow one” . In the same way, in indigenous toponyms, voices of indigenous origin abound, such as Yaiza, Tinajo, Teguise, Timanfaya or Guatiza, which share prominence with places with a Hispanic name like: San Bartolomé or Puerto del Carmen.
For their part, the Romans baptized the island as Pluvialia or Invale, according to the work of Pliny the Elder called Naturalis Historia.

Description

La Graciosa
Isla de La Graciosa seen from the north of Lanzarote

Lanzarote is the northernmost and easternmost of the islands of the Canary archipelago, it is also the fourth largest island. It is popularly known as “the island of volcanoes”, when it is identified with the volcanic mantle that extends along a large part of its surface due to the great volcanic activity of the early 18th century.
Lanzarote is located at an approximate distance of 140 km from the northwestern African coast and 1000 km from the closest point of the European continent, the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Its northernmost point is the Cape or Punta Fariones, and the southernmost, Punta del Papagayo. Its climate is subtropical with little rainfall. It has an area of 845.93 km² and a population of 141,938 inhabitants (INE, January 2009). It consists of seven municipalities of which the most populated is Arrecife, the insular capital. To the north of the island are the small islands and islands of Alegranza, La Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste, which form the Chinijo Archipelago, administratively dependent on Lanzarote.
Las Peñas del Chache, located in Haría, with 671 m of altitude, is the highest peak of the island. Lanzarote was declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco in 1993. In addition, the Canary Network of Protected Natural Areas collects on this island a total of 13 natural environments, which account for more than 40% of the island territory, among which the National Park of Timanfaya stands out.
Dedicated in the past mainly to agriculture and fishing in the Canarian-Saharian fishing bank, at present, the economy of the island revolves around the services sector, basically the powerful tourism industry. To this activity begins to be added the viticulture, of important weight in previous centuries and that has relaunched with the creation of the Denomination of origin for the wines of Lanzarote.
The island has the Airport of Lanzarote-Guacimeta, in the municipality of San Bartolomé; as well as with the seaports: Puerto de los Mármoles in the municipality of Arrecife, and the port of Playa Blanca in the municipality of Yaiza.

Geology

Lanzarote , like all the other Canary Islands, is the product of the geological processes derived from the opening of the Atlantic, started in the Mesozoic, and aggravated more recently by the existing pressure in this area generated by the turn of Africa in the direction of the needles of the clock started in the alpine orogeny of the Tertiary. At the beginning of the opening of the Atlantic, lava emissions began to emerge without surfacing until about 20 million years ago in neighboring Fuerteventura and 11 million years ago on the island of Lanzarote.
The geological history of Lanzarote is It divides into three phases:

Costa Papagayo
Playas de Papagayo and massifs of the Ajaches, south of the island

In a first phase, 11 million years ago, during the Miocene, the oldest remains appear in the area of Famara, north of the island, and in the Ajaches, to the south. Currently, erosion processes have dismantled these formations. Its morphology is that of eroded buildings that have evolved into caved forms with a good network of drainages characterized by valleys in the form of “U” currently dry and arid. Characteristic of these formations is the Famara cliff, where the highest altitude is found on the island, about 600 m. The highest point of Lanzarote is here, in the rocks of Chache with a height of 671 m.
A second phase is what covers the evolution of the morphology of Lanzarote from the Miocene to the Pleistocene, which was characterized by the erosive processes of the two formations, Famara and Ajaches. Subsequently, there have been significant emissions of magmatic material that have led to the union of the two old formations. It is mainly the central sector of the island, which is characterized by the existence of alignments of buildings forming the structural axes of the island, which coincide with the formation axes of Fuerteventura with direction NE-SO, some with advanced state of dismantling , with an evolved network of drainage in rounded forms, wide valleys, fertile plains and moderate peneplain. It must be said that at this stage Lanzarote and Fuerteventura were linked by the Bocaina Strait and by the island of Lobos. The last time they were there was during the last glaciation, the Würm glaciation.
The third phase, geologically speaking, has nothing characteristic, although it is the most important from the anthropocentric point of view. These are eruptions occurred in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with aligned emissions parallel to those of the previous phase and buildings that do not exceed 200 m. but excellently preserved due to the low rainfall on the island and a very strict conservation policy.

Climate

The climate of Lanzarote is defined as subtropical with regard to its temperatures and dry or sub-desert with respect to rainfall. The temperatures experience little variations both between the different seasons and between day and night, thanks to the moderating action of the ocean. The average temperature of the coldest month (January), at sea level, is 17 ° C and the average of the warmest month (August) is 24 ° C. Temperatures do not usually fall below 14 ° C in winter nor usually exceed 29 ° C in summer. On the other hand, the average rainfall is about 250 mm per year, concentrated in the winter months and practically nil between May and October. The rainfall varies from 250 mm in Famara to only 50 mm in the area of the Costa del Rubicon.
The climate is much milder than it would be due to its geographical latitude. These are the usual meteorological parameters in the capital of the island:

Average climate parameters of Lanzarote Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Annual
Temp.
max.
abs.
(°C)
27.9 29 32.7 36.3 42.6 40.7 42.9 43.6 40.5 37.1 34.2 27.5 43.6
Temp.
max.
mean
(°C)
20.7 21.3 22.9 23.5 24.6 26.3 28.2 29.1 28.6 26.7 24.2 21.8 24.8
Temp.
average
(°C)
17.4 17.9 19 19.6 20.8 22.6 24.3 25.2 24.7 23 20.7 18.6 21.1
Temp.
min.
average
(°C)
14 14.3 15 15.7 16.8 18.8 20.4 21.2 20.8 19.4 17.2 15.4 17.4
Temp.
min.
abs.
(°C)
8 9 8.3 9.5 11.5 12.4 15.4 16.6 15.5 12 10.9 9 8
Rains
(mm)
16.5 18.2 12.5 5.2 1.5 0.1 0 0.5 2.2 9.9 14.7 29.3 110.6
Rainy
days
(≥ 1.0 mm)
3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 4 18
Sun
hours
203 201 241 255 297 292 308 295 248 235 207 196 2978
Relative
humidity
(%)
68 68 66 66 66 66 68 68 70 71 69 71 68
Source = State Meteorological Agency

There are two climatic elements that determine the atmospheric benignity: the trade winds and the cold current of the Canary Islands. The wind is practically permanent on the island. A relatively frequent phenomenon is the presence of winds from the Sahara desert, which carry large amounts of dust in suspension. The proximity of Lanzarote to the African continental coast makes these phenomena of sirocco, also called calima or “southern time” in the Canary Islands, be noted especially on the island, reaching temperatures of up to 46 ° C (2004) and very low visibility.

Calima
Episode of calima or sirocco in the Canary Islands. The closeness between Lanzarote and the African continental coast favors this atmospheric phenomenon<

There are exceptions, the central plateau of the island, between 200 and 300m, is noticeably cooler with maximum temperatures in January that do not exceed 14- 15 ° C of maximum and minimum of 8 ° C or less. In summer, the maximum in the area of central Lanzarote oscillates around 22-24ºc maximum and 15-16 ° C minimum, with a high level of relative humidity and a wind of NNE between moderate and strong, reducing the visibility.
Lanzarote is immersed in the warm and dry climatic zone that corresponds to its latitude, included in the belt of high subtropical pressures. Its climate is sub-desert, characterized by having a low rainfall regime (rainfall less than 200 mm per year), mainly attributable to the island’s special orography, since its low height prevents the retention of moisture contained in the trade winds, with exception of the highest areas (Los Ajaches and Riscos de Famara). This characteristic prevents the existence of orographic rains, so abundant in the western islands, since there are no major mountain obstacles that can stop the so-called “sea of clouds”.

Nature

Lanzarote has a spectacular nature, both in terms of landscapes, these being one of its main tourist attractions, as well as insular flora and fauna, plagued by endemic species. In addition, the island has been at the forefront of the Canary Islands in terms of environmental awareness, as evidenced by its pioneering legal framework for the organization of the territory or the negotiation of moratoriums for construction, trying to achieve a perfect balance between tourism development and preservation of the environment. natural. All this would be rewarded with the declaration of the island as a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco in 1993. Currently, 42% of the territory of the island is protected under any of the conservation figures contemplated by the Canary Islands.

Landscapes and protected spaces

Charco de Los Clicos
Charco de Los Clicos or Charco Verde, located south of Lanzarote, in the Gulf area

Five geographical milestones mark the morphology of Lanzarote, endowing it with a unique personality and housing each of them diverse landscapes, of great natural and geological value. These are two mountainous massifs of great antiquity, each located at the extreme north and south of the island (Famara-Guatifay and Los Ajaches, respectively); two areas of more recent volcanism, which make up the volcanic area of Timanfaya, in the center-south, and the volcano and malpais of La Corona, to the north; and, finally, a tongue of sands of marine origin that crosses the center of the island, in the area known as El Jable. These five spaces, together with the group of islets of the Chinijo Archipelago, in the north of the island, harbor most of the scenic charms of the “island of volcanoes.”

Timanfaya area

El diablo de Timanfaya
The Devil of Timanfaya, designed by César Manrique, symbol of the National Park

We frame here the set of spaces buried or arising from the eruptions of Timanfaya, occurred between 1730 and 1736, and occupy approximately a quarter of the surface of the island. In the center of this area is the area of greatest geological and landscape interest, the National Park of Timanfaya, declared as such in August 1974. It is a surface area of just over 50 km² in which you can see more than 25 volcanoes, apart from fields of lava, lapillis and volcanic scoria in perfect condition. In its interior is the Natural Monument of the Mountains of Fire, where is located the visitor center of Islote de Hilario, managed by the Cabildo. This space still retains some volcanic activity, as evidenced by the emanations of heat produced by the earth.

Horno asador en el Timanfaya
Oven grill or Vulkan Grill Timanfaya

The National Park is surrounded by a second protected area, the Natural Park of Los Volcanes, also buried by the eruptions of Timanfaya. The lavas reached the western coasts of the island, penetrating the ocean and increasing the extension of Lanzarote. The rapid cooling of the lava in contact with the water, together with the erosive action of the waves, created a peculiar coastal landscape. An example of this is the place known as Los Hervideros, near the town of El Golfo. In its surroundings is the Charco verde or the Clicos, a small lagoon of marine water of intense green color due to the phytoplankton that inhabits its interior, the name “clico” is that of a crustacean, unique species, that had its exclusive habitat in that lagoon, and that disappeared in the 19th century due to overfishing.

La Geria
View of La Geria

Bordering the natural park is the site of La Geria, shows a perfect symbiosis between the human being and nature. In La Geria, the farmer from Lanzarote engineered a unique agricultural system in the world with which he could cultivate the land that had been burned by volcanic ash. These ashes, called in the Canary Islands picón, retain the humidity during the night and filter it to the ground below, while isolating it during the day. A lower limestone layer prevents water from continuing to the subsoil. The system allows the cultivation of the vine in a space of sub-desert climate. To do this, the farmers had to search under the lapilli for the “mother earth” that had been buried, plant the strains in it, cover them with layers of picon and build stone walls that protected the vines from the strong winds of the area. This resulted in an exceptional landscape, where the proven Lanzarote wines are produced, mainly from the Malvasia grape.

Volcán y malpaís de La Corona

Monte_Corona_Lanzarote
Aljibe at the foot of the Volcano of La Corona, in Haría, Lanzarote.

The Volcano of La Corona is a large volcanic cone located north of the island, in the municipality of Haría. From it come the lavas that constitute the Malpais of La Corona. Given its relative age, of about 21,000 years, this space, unlike what happens in the fields of Timanfaya lavas, has been colonized by a large number of major plant species, among which stand out the sweet tabaiba and the verode.

Volcán_La_Corona
Crops and Volcán de la Corona, north of Lanzarote

Through the subsoil of the Malpaís de La Corona Natural Monument runs an extensive volcanic tube more than 6 kilometers long, which It goes from the volcanic cone to the sea, entering it, forming a submarine tunnel of a kilometer and a half called Túnel de la Atlántida. Two of the sections of this set of galleries are enabled for tourist views. It is the Cueva de los Verdes and the Jameos del Agua.

El Jable

It is known as “El Jable” to the language of land covered by organogenic sands that runs through the central part of the island, from the beaches of Famara to deposit the sandy particles in the coastal areas around which the population and tourist centers of Puerto del Carmen, Playa Honda and Arrecife have been built. These landscapes are the result of the peculiar orientation of the Famara Massif, which imposes on the prevailing trade winds an inflection in the northeast area, and they become winds from the northwest. The sands penetrate the island through the extensive beach of Famara, forming in this environment dune landscapes of great scenic and biological interest, this area being a nesting area for endangered species such as the Canary Houbara.

Playa_de_Famara
Famara Beach, with the cliff in the background

Famara-Guatifay

The extreme north of the island is delimited by the mountain massif of Famara-Guatifay, on which the highest elevation of Lanzarote is located, the Peñas del Chache (670 m high), and which plunges towards the sea in an immense cliff known as the Risco de Famara. It is one of the oldest geological formations on the island and the Canarian archipelago as a whole, made up of an important stack of fisal basaltic lava flows. The cliffs and the massif of Famara are of great importance from a biological point of view, becoming by their peculiarities and by the difficult access in true natural sanctuaries, with great amount of endemic plants and species in danger of extinction. From the top of the Risco de Famara you get an unparalleled panoramic view of the island of La Graciosa, separated from Lanzarote by a narrow arm of the sea known as El Río. Precisely this was the area chosen by the Lanzarote artist César Manrique to locate the Mirador del Río, from which the best views of the Chinijo Archipelago are captured.

Macizo de los Ajaches

Located south of the island, and with an age of 20 million years, is the Los Ajaches massif, an area of great geological and scenic interest. This space has been declared a Natural Monument by the Canarian Administration. In its environment are some of the main tourist attractions of the island, the beaches of Papagayo, white sands, overlooking the islet of Lobos and the neighboring island of Fuerteventura.

Flora

Lanzarote counts among its flora with 16 exclusive endemisms of the island, to which are added another 30 exclusive of the eastern islands, 41 of the Canary endemics and 19 endemisms of Macaronesia.
The low altitude of the island – 670 m at its maximum point – does not allow the development of cloud formations associated with the trade wind – a phenomenon known in the Canary Islands as sea of clouds – which reduces the number of bioclimatic floors with respect to the highest islands of the archipelago, more varied in terms of microclimates. Thus, in Lanzarote we can distinguish a first floor of vegetation associated with coastal and intertidal areas, with species adapted to extreme conditions of salinity and insolation, such as mato and sea grapes. A second floor corresponds to the tabaibals. The sweet tabaiba is a Canarian endemism typical of the low and dry areas, which due to its profusion in Lanzarote was declared as a vegetable symbol of the island. The main tabaibal of Lanzarote is located in the Malpaís de la Corona, in the north of the island. In an upper floor of vegetation are the areas dominated by the Canarian palm tree. The main palm grove of the island is located in Haría, in the so-called “Valley of the Three Thousand Palms”, a true oasis in the north of the island.
Another aspect that has influenced the island’s natural life has been the different volcanic episodes, which have happened until very recent times. Thus, while the oldest volcanic areas, such as the Malpais de la Corona, have been populated by shrub species such as tabaiba or verode, the most recent only admit the colonization of lichen and bryophyte communities, becoming volcanic zones as Timanfaya in authentic “laboratories of life”.

Fauna

The vertebrate fauna of Lanzarote, as in the rest of the Canary Islands, is dominated by birds, which are currently known 40 nesting species, compared to 3 reptiles and 6 mammals. Between the first they emphasize the kestrel, the king shrike, the stone curlew or the Canarian hubara. The Famara Massif, a cliff 600 m high and 14 km long, is a sanctuary of species, many of them threatened. There survive the last “guirres” (Egyptian vultures) of the island, as well as “guinchos” (ospreys) or falcons of barbary. The poultry wealth also extends to the nearby islets of the Chinijo Archipelago, where the presence of cinderella shearwaters stands out.
The most characteristic reptiles of the island are the Atlantic lizard and the majorero perenquén.
As regards the invertebrates include the so-called “jameito” Munidopsis polymorpha, a tiny, albino and blind crab, exclusive to the salt water lagoon existing in the volcanic tube of Los Jameos del Agua, from which it takes its name.
Finally, it would fit point out the richness of the marine fauna, especially protected in the Marine Reserve of the Chinijo Archipelago, in the north of the island.

Natural symbols of the island

Main article: Annex: Symbols de Canarias
According to a law of the Canary Islands Government, the natural symbols of the island are the blind crab and the sweet tabaiba.

Tabaiba_Lanzarote
Tabaiba dulce
Munidopsis_polymorpha
Crab blind

History

Aboriginal population of Lanzarote

Before the conquest of the island began, in 1402, Lanzarote was inhabited by the mahos or majos, people of Berber roots and North African origin who would have arrived on the island around the year 500 to . C. The indigenous name of the island is Tyterogakat or “Tytheroygatra”, which has been translated as the burned one using a geographic toreber Berber Tuareg of central Algeria.

The majos. Who they were and where they came from

Although the ethnonym “guanche” has been popularized as a name of all the aborigines of the Canary Islands, who inhabited the islands prior to their conquest, the truth is that, strictly speaking, , that name would refer exclusively to the indigenous people of Tenerife. When the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello arrived in Lanzarote at the beginning of the 14th century, its inhabitants apparently called themselves majos, according to the ethnonym that has survived in the ethnohistorical sources or in the island toponymy (Cueva de Los Majos, Los Majos, etc).

Quesera_de_Zonzamas
The so-called “Zonzamas cheese-making”, a set of grooves made by the majos

It is proven that the first inhabitants of the island, like those of the rest of the Canary Islands, came from North Africa, from a geographical space that extends, approximately, from Tunisia to the Atlantic coast, and from the Mediterranean to the southern limit of the Sahara desert, culturally and genetically linked with the Berber peoples of the current Maghreb. In the case of Lanzarote, there is a similarity in the type of habitat (the so-called “deep houses”) with the present in the Middle Atlas and in other regions of Morocco. The rock engravings of the island are common to the rest of the archipelago and northwest Africa, with great profusion of podomorphic symbols, also present in the tops of the Atlas and Kabylia. For its part, ceramics show parallels with those of the late Saharan Neolithic. The nickname “majo” has been related to the names of North African Berber tribes collected by Greco-Roman authors, such as the maxios, mazies and mauros. Finally, the sessions and words preserved from aboriginal times refer to the Camito-Berber trunk of the different dialects spoken in the Canary Islands. We should also highlight the existence of alphabet prints, as in the rest of the islands, typical of the Libico-Berber writing or tifinagh, along with another type of writing, which seems exclusive to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, which has been called ” latina “, due to its similarity to the Pompeian italics, and that could suppose a certain level of romanization of the Berber populations that arrived to the island.
Regarding the dates of the settlement, most of the theories point to a moment next to the year 500 a. C. to date the first human arrivals to the Canaries. In the case of Lanzarote, archeology has shown that the cultural horizon of the first inhabitants of the island corresponds to the protohistory of North-West Africa, starring Berber peoples influenced by the Punic culture, and perhaps also by the Latin. The exact causes that motivated the displacement are unknown.
About the physical aspect of the aborigines of the island little is known with certainty, due to the scarcity of anthropological studies. The limited bone pieces studied refer to a type of medium-high stature and marked robustness, of North African mediterranoid characteristics. The ethnohistorical sources, mainly the Norman chronicle of the conquest (Le Canarien), merely point out that “they are beautiful and well-departed people”.

Cultural elements and archeology

The The most widespread habitat of the Canarian aborigines was the cave, both natural and artificially constructed. In Lanzarote, however, the predominant habitat was the surface populations. The places of habitation, grouped into villages -of which there are more than a score of them- had very peculiar characteristics in the Canarian archaeological context. These are the so-called “deep houses”, so called because the floor is excavated in the ground, so that half or more of the room would be below ground level. Along with these, some volcanic tubes were used as stays, almost always on an occasional basis.
The main area of aboriginal settlement would correspond to the central area of the island, known as “El Jable”. The Zonzamas deposit stands out, one of the largest indigenous settlements in the Canary Islands, residence of the last “king” of Lanzarote, and which continued to be inhabited well after the end of the conquest. Other outstanding archaeological sites are the one called La Gran Aldea (today Teguise), Ajey (now San Bartolomé) or the Lomo de San Andrés.
Regarding the world of beliefs, it seems that it is a monotheistic town, such and as it is clear from some chronicles. In the rest of the islands is also widespread the cult of one or two main gods, usually associated with the sun and / or the moon. Along with these, a large number of sacred places appear, as well as symptoms of a cult of elements of nature, such as mountains and aquifers. The chronicles make reference to the majos cults to ask for rains, a logical fact given the semi-desert nature of the island climate. The finding of lithic figurines of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic type associated with rituals, interpreted as idols, is striking. Among these stands out the so-called Idol of Zonzamas, which has stylistic similarities with certain Phoenician and Phoenician sculptures. Efequens, on the other hand, were circular temples in which rituals and offerings were made. They have also been linked with certain rites to the so-called “queseras”, sets of artificial grooves on the tuff that could have been used for the spilling of milk and other products. The majos honored their deceased, whom they buried in caves or pits, through grave goods composed of ceramics, lithic material, shells and ornaments.
Material culture is rich in ceramics made without lathe, knives obsidian, stone mortars and tahonas and objects made of bones, as well as personal adornments based on stones, bone and malacological material.

Economy: subsistence on the island

Majos elaborando gofio
Majos elaborating gofio, represented in ceramics

The economic base of the old Lanzarote society was represented by agricultural and livestock activities, complemented with the collection of wild plant species, fishing and the shellfishing, and the capture of small animals of the insular environment. Agriculture was very precarious, cereal-type, based on the cultivation of barley with rudimentary methods. This was used for the preparation of gofio. Livestock would be the main source of economic resources for the majos, given the adaptation of goats to the environmental conditions of the island. The goat, the sheep and the pig are the main domestic species present in aboriginal times, from which it was extracted meat, milk, cheese (curd) and butter. The feeding of the majos was completed with a high consumption of shellfish (limpets and burgados, mainly), with fish caught rudimentarily, hunting birds (shearwaters, hubaras) and reptiles and the collection of plant products such as dates.

Socio-political organization

Socially, the fundamental nucleus of organization maja was the extended family, or the lineage, around which productive and reproductive activities were articulated. Many authors have defended the matrilineal filiation (in which the kinship is established with the maternal family) as the constitutive system of the Lanzarote lineages, as it seems to have happened between the Canarians of Gran Canaria and the North African Berber tribes prior to Islamization. In the immediate moment of the Conquest, the maja society would have started its transition from a tribal model, scarcely hierarchical and based on kinship relations, towards a model of leadership, in which the hierarchical figure of the “boss” appears, with redistributive functions and power over the whole insular field. Other polyandria social practices would be polyandry, according to which each woman would have three husbands, as relates the chronicle Le Canarien, who would take turns with the moons, staying one at home, acting as the main husband, while the others were engaged in productive activities outside the home, as well as the “bed hospitality”, attested in the legend of Princess Ico, which would mean the temporary cession of marital rights in favor of other men, as a sign of hospitality towards guests, which also existed among the Inuit.

The conquest of Lanzarote

Expedición de Jean de Bethencourt y Gadifer de la Salle
Engraving of the expedition of Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle to the Island of Lanzarote

The island of Lanzarote was vaguely known in the ancient world. Perhaps it was visited by the Phoenicians, who were looking for the orchilla, a lichen that grows on the rocks facing the north of the island and from which red dye was obtained. The knowledge that the Romans had of the existence of the Canary Islands does seem more accurate, as related by classic authors among which Pliny the Elder stands out. Already in medieval times, around 1312, the Genoese navigator Lanceloto Malocello rediscovered the island of Lanzarote for Europe and gave it its current name, which appears for the first time on the Portolaic map of Angelino Dulcert in 1339. For the next fifty years it was They organize several expeditions, more raids, that look for slaves, skins and dyes. Begins with this the decline of the aboriginal population. In 1377 the Ruiz de Avendaño from Vizcaya, corsair commander of the Castilian fleet, was shipwrecked after a storm on the island of Lanzarote, where he was received by King Zonzamas, who offered him bed hospitality with Queen Fayna. From this relationship is born Princess Ico, white and blonde, mother of the last king of Lanzarote, Guadarfia. In 1393, the noble Castilian Almonáster arrives at Lanzarote. When he returns to the peninsula, he brings with him natives and some agricultural products.
The first European expeditions of looting in search of slaves first came to Lanzarote because they were the closest island to the Iberian Peninsula. This contributed to a demographic decline during the 14th century, so that when the first expeditions of conquest arrived the population was in clear retreat.
The definitive conquest of the island takes place with the expedition of the Norman mercenaries and adventurers Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle, at the service of Henry III of Castile. When they arrived on the island in 1402, they settled down on the Costa del Rubicon, in the south of the island, as narrated by the Norman chronicle of the Canary conquest, entitled Le Canarien.
It is said that what is today a desert area called Rubicon, was occupied at the arrival of Bethencourt by a thick vegetation, which made him and his men had to break through with a machete. After the failed attempt to conquer Fuerteventura, Bethencourth returns to Castile and is granted the lordship of Lanzarote. When the resistance of the natives returns, it has been repressed by fire and blood by Gadifer de la Salle. After successive failures in the conquest of other islands and given the little commercial interest that awakened Lanzarote then, Jean de Bethencourt gives the lordship of the island to his relative Maciot de Bethencourt. The Catholic kings prohibited the capture of the inhabitants of the Canaries as slaves.
In 1404 Pope Benedict XIII erected the Diocese of San Marcial del Rubicón at the request of the Normans of the expedition of Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle, with jurisdiction over all the Canary Islands. The hermitage of the Castle of San Marcial del Rubicón was erected in the cathedral, being the first cathedral of the Canary Islands. However, the diocese was moved in 1483 to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the name of the diocese was changed to be called Diocese Canariense-Rubicense, also known today as the Diocese of the Canary Islands. The diocese however, would retain its jurisdiction over the entire archipelago until 1819, the year in which Pope Pius VII created the Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna based in the island of Tenerife and which today governs the western half of the archipelago.

Castillo-de-Santa-Barbara
Santa Bárbara Castle

The feudal lordship

Lanzarote becomes a feudal lordship that passes from hand to hand of the descendants of Bethencourt to Andalusian nobles such as Count Niebla, Hernán de Peraza and Pedro Barba.
During the following centuries the island will maintain a structure of feudal power, until the abolition in 1812 by the Cádiz courts of the union of ownership of the land and judicial power represented by the manors. While the exercise of the judiciary, the manors were an institution of Germanic law, possibly before the low middle ages, ceased to be hereditary after the decision of the courts of Cadiz, the ownership of land, previously linked to public office as a element of its functionality, stopped being linked to the public function of the manors, which disappeared, and become a personal property of the heir of the manor. From an economic point of view, the deputies could not make a better gift to the former owners of the manors. Given the proximity to the African coast, Lanzarote will be the target of attacks by Berber and European pirates. In 1586 the berber corsair Amurat takes the island with five hundred men and captures the family of the lord. In 1618 Soliman invades and devastates the island. Sir Walter Raleigh, during his last expedition in search of the Dorado, attacked Arrecife in 1617 and razed the city. The population takes refuge during the attacks in the cave of the Greens.

18th Century

The eruption of Timanfaya

Lanzarote_Timanfaya
Timanfaya

«On September 1, 1730, between nine and ten o’clock at night, the earth opened in Timanfaya, two leagues from Yaiza … and a huge mountain he rose from the bosom of the earth », according to the testimony of the parish priest Lorenzo Curbelo. The island was completely transformed. Ten villages were buried (Tingafa, White Mountain, Maretas, Santa Catalina, Jaretas, San Juan, Peña de Palmas, Testeina and Rodeos) and for six years the lava extended through the southern area covering a quarter of the island and filling the vegas close to volcanic ash. In 1824 the eruptions began again in Timanfaya. Terrible famines took place, since in that area there were wheat crops, part of whose production was exported to other islands, and a large part of the population was forced to emigrate. Since then, the landscape has been transformed thanks to the farming techniques on lapilli (rofe) volcanic hookers used to capture the moisture of the trade winds.

Economic activity

Lanzarote as Fuerteventura would be during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the main exporters of wheat and cereals to the central islands of the archipelago; Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Although this trade almost never reverted to the inhabitants of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, producing periods of famine, so the population of these islands had to travel to Tenerife and Gran Canaria to try to improve their luck. The island of Tenerife was constituted as the main focus of attraction for Lanzarote and majoreros.
During the second half of the 18th century, the cultivation of the barrel or cosco (Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum or M. fructiferum), a rich creeping plant, was introduced. in alkalis that was used to make soap and obtain soda. Such was the exploitation of said plant that the church wanted to establish the tithe on it. With this, Lanzarote abandoned in part the exclusively cereal model that had characterized its economy since the conquest. The export of the barrel was the cause of the gradual growth of the port of Arrecife. On the other hand, the eruptions of Timanfaya, which meant an irreparable damage to the fertile plains of the southwest of the island, made possible in the long run the introduction in Lanzarote of the cultivation of the grape. The dryness of Lanzarote’s climate did not allow this crop. However, the island peasant engineered a plantation system in which the mantle of volcanic ash serves to conserve the abundant humidity deposited during the night in a “serene” manner. From the eastern Mediterranean came the vines with which Malvasia wine is made, the favorite of Shakespeare’s character Falstaff, wine that over time lost its English clientele. Merchants of Tenerife brought to Lanzarote the ambiques necessary for the preparation of the liquor, a product also introduced in Lanzarote in this era and that it would contribute to the economic splendor of the island.
In addition, from America came the cultivation of cochineal in Lanzarote, potato and tomato. Cochineal was for some time one of the most important industries on the island. You can still see the plantations in the towns of Guatiza and Mala. As for fishing, it was always coastal or low cost. No important fishing activity was carried out until the beginning of the 20th century, with Cabo Blanco being the favorite area for the seafarers of the sea.

XIXth and XXth centuries: Contemporary Lanzarote

Charco_de_San_Ginés
Charco de San Ginés, an inlet of seawater that penetrates the city of Arrecife

Since the mid-18th century, Lanzarote has abandoned its previous cereal economic model, which had transformed it during the whole Age Modern in the “Granary of the Canary Islands”, to dedicate itself to new export products, among which stood out the barilla and, after the eruptions of Timanfaya and the conditioning of zones like La Geria, the cultivation of the vine for the production of wines and brandy These changes would lay the foundations for a new island model, which will be strengthened since the mid-nineteenth century. The most outstanding processes of that contemporary Lanzarote will be: the appearance of new export monocultures, mainly cochineal; the rise of Arrecife as the main urban and population center; the end of the manor, and the growing interest of certain sectors of the island society for the political future of the Canary Islands, marked at that time by the so-called insular lawsuit.

Economic model: the cochineal and the boom of Arrecife

The barrel crisis, product that had made the port of Arrecife grow, produced a deep debacle that would force many islanders to emigrate, a fact that would be aggravated due to a cycle of droughts and plagues, as well as to the volcanic eruption of 1824, the last recorded on the island. Things would change around the year 1850, when the period of expansion of the cochineal, a parasitic insect of the cactus or prickly pear from which the carmine dye used by the emerging British textile industry at the time, was extracted. The rise of the cochineal served as a final push to the port of Arrecife, a city around which an emerging insular bourgeoisie was established, as well as an increasing number of boats that plowed in the Canary-African fishing ground. In 1847 a royal order moved the capital of the island from Teguise to Arrecife and in 1852 the arrecifeño port is included among the ports free of taxes and customs established by the Law of free ports of the Canary Islands, giving a great boost to the island economy .

Politics: the dominion ends and the «litigation» begins

The noble system imposed in Lanzarote and other islands of the archipelago after its conquest would be abolished in 1811, when it was extinguish the manors throughout Spain. In addition, administratively, the modern city councils are created at this moment, as we understand them today, disappearing the concept of parish that until then had been maintained. On the other hand, the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth would be marked in the Canary Islands by the rivalry between the oligarchies of the two most populated islands (Tenerife and Gran Canaria) that disputed the hegemony over the archipelago, then constituted in a single province , with capital in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The so-called insular lawsuit ended up spraying the politics of Lanzarote. During the nineteenth century, there was a significant emigration to America by sea, especially to Venezuela, the travelers finding in some cases the chicha calm of that area of the Atlantic, with tragic events. Since 1911, there has been a growing interest in regional affairs in all the council municipalities, at the time when Gran Canaria had already opted for the provincial division. In principle insular institutions had been against the divisive thesis, but then aligned in a way with them, hoping that the decentralization of the archipelago would mean improvements for the island, and defending unfulfilled proposals, such as the insular electoral district. In the framework of the lawsuit is also registered the Cabildos Law of 1912, with which institutions of an insular nature arise as we now conceive them.

1967-2008: the era of tourism

In 1967, the first two tourist establishments in the coastal area of Puerto del Carmen had just been launched: the Hotel Los Fariones and the Hotel San Antonio, which would be followed by a National Parador, at one time with only one tenant, medical officer on the island. These first two hotels would witness what may have been the greatest transformation experienced by Lanzarote throughout its history, from being an underdeveloped and thirsty island, to peasants, fishermen and emigrants, to become, in a few decades, a tourist power able to attract almost two million visitors each year, with a rapid demographic development caused by a strong immigration.

The first desalination plant: the end of the thirst

In order to make the “tourist miracle” possible, the island had previously had to overcome the main obstacle that for centuries had conditioned the development of its people: the virtual absence of drinking water. The sub-desert climate of Lanzarote had produced during innumerable episodes of crisis, famine and mass emigration. At the height of 1960, the works carried out to channel water from Famara to Arrecife or the large deposit filled with water from other islands created at the beginning of the century in the island capital (“La Mareta del Estado”) were barely enough to ensure the rudimentary supply of the only 36,000 inhabitants that the island had at that time. The solution would come when, in 1965, the first desalination plant in the Canary Islands and throughout Spain was installed in Lanzarote, at the initiative of the Díaz Rijo brothers, and with the support of all the island’s economic sectors. This, which would be one of the first desalination plants of the planet, would mean for Lanzarote the possibility of entering into new economic sectors that would take it away from its secular underdevelopment. Until the 1970s, an important part of the electricity consumed on the island came from generators installed on a ship anchored in the port of Arrecife, and areas of volcanic mounds covered with cement were being used to collect rainwater and store it in cisterns until it was potable. In very old times, the conejeros acquired for their consumption the water that served as ballast in the ships that arrived at their port.

Manrique and the beginnings of tourism

Jameos-del-aqua
Gardens in Los Jameos del Agua, the work of César Manrique, launched in the 70s

In 1966, the artist from Lanzarote, César Manrique, returned from his stay in New York and moved to definitely in Lanzarote. Manrique soon set out to generate the conditions under which the island would become a tourist destination respectful of its landscape and cultural identity, finding the necessary support in the figure of the then president of the Cabildo, José Ramírez Sow. The tandem César Manrique – José Ramírez, together with the social awareness generated by the island newspaper “La Antena”, made it possible to turn Lanzarote into something more than a tourist destination with good climate and beaches, where the landscape agricultural, the volcanic nature of the island, the idiosyncrasy of the islander, art and traditional architecture combined to create a genuine tourism brand. In 1968 the visitable section of the Cueva de los Verdes, prepared by the artist Jesús Soto, had been opened to the public. That same year, Manrique inaugurated the sculpture “Fecundidad”, or “Monumento al Campesino”, in the geographical center of the island, next to a House-Museum inspired by traditional architecture. This work would be followed by those of the Mirador del Río, the Visitors Center of the Montañas del Fuego (Timanfaya), the International Museum of Art of the Castillo de San José and the refurbishment of Los Jameos del Agua. In this way, when tourism was still an embryonic activity, the island knew how to equip itself with a network of centers in which art and nature merged to seduce the foreign visitor. All this generated among the Lanzarote residents an environmental awareness that earned the island the title of Reserve of the Biosphere, granted by Unesco in 1993.
Another fundamental point in the last decades is the rapid decline of the fishing sector that, At the beginning of the 70s, it was fundamental in the economy of the island, passing today to a very secondary level. The occupation of the Spanish protectorate or province of Western Sahara by Morocco, in 1975, meant the loss of the traditional fishing ground in which the powerful fishing fleet of the island worked, without the maintenance of good relations with Mauritania sufficiently compensating for the loss of the access to the northern Saharan bank. Thus, since the mid-1970s the gradual decline of the traditional primary sectors of the island economy has been noticeable, giving way to the hegemony of tourism and the activities associated with it (construction, commerce, hotel trade, etc.). All these transformations coincided in time with the last years of the Franco dictatorship and with the process of recovering the political freedoms that would come to Spain after the Transition, creating a framework of democracy and autonomy for the Canary Islands.

Lanzarote today

Despite the environmental awareness of the islanders, some aspects of the developmentalist and environmentally unsustainable model implemented in other tourist destinations they began to be noticed in Lanzarote since the end of the 80s. Before his death, in 1992, Manrique himself had placed himself at the head of the protests against massive tourism and urban planning mistakes, becoming a symbol of the defense of territory and nature of the Canary Islands. Lanzarote experienced the largest popular demonstration in its history on September 27, 2002, under the slogan “No to the destruction of the island.” Even so, tourism growth has remained a constant throughout the last years, moving the island from 50 thousand hotel beds in 2001 to more than 72 thousand in 2006. This excessive growth has occurred despite the pioneering urban regulations start-up in Lanzarote through its successive Insular Territorial Planning Plans (PIOT) and the moratoria decreed for the construction, urban planning that has been breached by a good number of new hotel establishments, whose licenses have been canceled by the justice, being currently in a difficult legal situation, and whose future is still unknown.

Geyser_Timanfaya_Lanzarote
Tourists in front of a geyser in the Timanfaya National Park

The economy turned towards tourism and the construction sector, with workers often coming from the peninsula and temporary stay on the island, has led Lanzarote to be an island that emigrated to be an sla that lives a huge immigration fruit of which has experienced a spectacular demographic increase. Currently, half of the population residing in Lanzarote has been born off the island, and a quarter of those registered are foreigners. Despite the fact that immigration from mainland Africa by sea (the so-called phenomenon of boats) usually has a greater media impact due to the conditions under which it takes place, the largest population contingent comes, instead, from the European continent./>

Lanzarote_Jameos
Jameos del Agua

In short, Lanzarote has experienced the greatest socio-economic development in its history in recent decades, abandoning its marginality once and for all. Therefore, the island currently assumes some of the most important challenges facing modern societies of our time, such as the need to reconcile economic development and the sustainability of their natural environment; the integration of its immigrant population within a multicultural society or the maintenance of its own cultural identity in the framework of a global world, recovering the primary sector, which continues to serve as a claim for the powerful tourism industry, and betting on diversification of its economy.

Demography

Nacionalidades extranjeras (2016)
Position Nationality Poblation
United Kingdom 5.954
Morocco 3.728
Italy 3.072
Germany 2.766
Colombia 2.432
China 1.498
Romania 1.139
Cuba 724
India 677
10ª Dominican Republic 633
11ª France 619
12ª Ecuador 567
13ª Portugal 551

Insular demography has been marked in recent years by a spectacular increase in population. Between 1996 and 2006, its growth rate has been ten times higher than that of the total of the Spanish population, and twice that of the Canary Islands total. In the last 20 years, Lanzarote has more than doubled its number of inhabitants, from 65,503 in 1988 to 139,506 in 2008. If we add the average daily tourists on the island (48,013 in 2007), the total population would ascend to 147,023 inhabitants (2017) making it the third most populated island in the Canary Islands, after Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
This vertiginous population increase is due to the fact that Lanzarote has the highest gross birth rate in the Canary Islands ( 12.7 per thousand) and the second lowest crude mortality rate (4.3 per thousand), after Fuerteventura, due to the youth of its population (youth index of 16.8%, and average age of 33,2 years), with a high concentration of ages between 25 and 39 years, which account for almost half of the total population of the island. But, above all, the population growth has been determined by immigration, which owes 83% of the population increase of the last thima decade. This has meant that every inhabitant of Lanzarote born on the island has, in 2007, another from outside the island. Residents with a nationality other than the Spanish account for more than a quarter of the island population, with 36,202 foreigners registered in 2007. There has also been numerous immigration from mainland Spain, with 22,072 registered from other Autonomous Communities. The foreign colonies more numerous on the island are, in this order, those originating from the United Kingdom, Morocco, Italy and Germany.
The population density of the island, taking into account the total population (population of right more average of tourists) it was 218 inhabitants / km² in 2006, which is more than double the national average.

Religion

The majority of the population is Catholic, as in the rest of the Canary archipelago and the country. Other minority religions are: Islam, Evangelicalism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, among several others.
Lanzarote forms an arciprestazgo belonging to the Diocese of the Canary Islands, the Arciprestazgo de Lanzarote.
The island is under the patronage of the Virgen de los Dolores and San Marcial. The island holiday is the 15th of September, the feast of the Virgen de los Dolores.

Institutions and politics

Bandera_de_Lanzarote
Flag of Lanzarote
Escudo_de_Lanzarote
Coat of arms of Lanzarote

Lanzarote is one of the seven largest islands that make up the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. According to article 2 of the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands, the smaller islands and islets of Alegranza, La Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste are administratively attached to the Island of Lanzarote and are part of its territorial scope. The group is known as Chinijo Archipelago and is part of the municipality of Teguise.
Electorally, Lanzarote elects 8 of the 60 deputies that make up the Canary Islands Parliament, being one of the seven districts of the Canary Islands. In addition, Lanzarote constitutes its own constituency in the elections to the Spanish Senate, choosing the island to a state senator. In the elections for the Congress of Deputies, Lanzarote is integrated into the province of Las Palmas, next to the islands of Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.
Like the other six major islands of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote has its own insular organ of Government, called in the Canary Islands Island council. The Cabildo de Lanzarote, based in the capital of the island, Arrecife, is the maximum insular institution, with broad competences in various subjects.
In addition, the island of Lanzarote is divided into 7 municipalities:
Arrecife , Haría, San Bartolomé, Teguise, Tías, Tinajo and Yaiza
The political parties with representation in the insular institutions are:
Canarian Socialist Party – PSOE, social-democratic, nationwide.
Independents of Lanzarote (PIL), which calls itself a Canarian nationalist, although for its insular area it is considered insularist.
Canary Coalition, which calls itself a Canarian nationalist, and has an autonomous scope.
Popular Party, conservative, of national scope.
Nationalist Party of Lanzarote (PNL), born of a split of the Canary Coalition, is part, along with other parties of the islands of the Nueva Canarias formation.
Podemos, national left , receives the support of the ins ular Alternativa Ciudadana 25 de Mayo (AC-25M), born of the social and environmental movements of the island.
The fragmentation of the vote, the internal disagreements within the parties, and between different parties that have formed pacts of governability, have resulted in a hectic political life on the island during the last decades, which reached its point of greatest instability in the 2003/2007 legislature, in which seven different people went through the presidency of the Cabildo de Lanzarote.

Sports

The representative soccer team of the island is the Lanzarote Sports Union, which played in the Second B Division of Spain until the 2009/10 season, descending to the Third Division at the end of the same and plays their home games at the Sports City of Lanzarote, has the presence and support of the public female handball.
They find widespread some traditional Canarian sports among which include fighting Canarian, the game of the Canarian stick, the Canarian ball, and in nautical sports, the Canarian Latin sail. The relationship of the islanders with the marine environment is also noticeable in the great fondness for regattas and sports such as windsurfing.
It should also be noted the celebration on the island of a competition of international relevance as it is a test of triathlon Known as Ironman, qualifier for the world championship of this modality.

Culture and traditions

Gastronomy

The kitchen lanzaroteña is included within the simple but diverse gastronomy of the Canary Islands. In the case of the conejero, there is an even greater presence of seafood products, both fish and shellfish, due to the island’s marine vocation. They make typical dishes such as sancocho, old fish clothes, fish stock, octopus salpicón, tollos or jareas.
There is no shortage of products from the insular agriculture, mainly rainfed. They have special fame onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes, lentils and pumpkins grown on the island, as well as millet or corn. These foods are the basis of dishes and tapas such as potatoes crushed with mojo, the millet broth, the broth of potatoes, the stews. They also serve as an accompaniment in recipes such as the typical Canarian puchero. In the case of grains, either wheat or millet, they have special relevance because they serve for the elaboration of the ancestral gofio canary, used as an ingredient in many recipes.

Sancocho_canario
Sancocho canario de cherne, typical dish on the island based on salted fish, potatoes, sweet potato, mojo and gofio

The most important cabin on the island is goat. Goat meat is consumed in different ways, being traditional to taste kid, called in Canary Islands baifo, in important celebrations like Christmas. In addition, exquisite goat’s milk cheeses are made in Lanzarote, both in artisanal fashion and in some industrial cheese factories.
Finally, the preparation of traditional desserts, such as torrijas, bienmesabe, “trout” Christmas (kind of sweet dumplings) or the frangollo.
The best accompaniment to island gastronomy is the well-known wines of Lanzarote, which has its own Denomination of Origin, among which the Malvasia wine stands out.

Festivities

The party with the greatest roots on the island is celebrated in the municipality of Tinajo, every September 15 in honor of the Virgen de los Dolores or the Volcanoes (patron saint of the island of Lanzarote). In his pilgrimage people come from all over the island, mostly dressed in typical Lanzarote costumes. They also go to the town of Mancha Blanca, in Tinajo, where the chapel is located, pilgrims from other islands of the archipelago, becoming for a few days the center of traditional Canarian culture. The traditional Insular Handicrafts Fair and the Nanino Díaz Cutillas Folkloric Festival, attended by artisans and groups from the seven islands, highlight the importance that the Canary Islands have been reaching for the feast of the Virgen de Los Dolores.
The other The great holiday is the carnival, celebrated almost always in the month of February, although its date depends on Holy Week and, therefore, the lunar cycles. The Arrecife carnival, of maritime origin, is the main festival of the mask in Lanzarote, and in addition to the multitudinous open-air evening parties, it hosts the contests of Carnival Queen, Drag Queen, murgas and comparsas.
Other Featured parties in the calendar of the island are: the patron saint festivities of the island capital, Arrecife, in honor of San Ginés Obispo; the festivities of San Juan, which the islanders celebrate spontaneously with bonfires and nocturnal baths; the festivities in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of the sailors, celebrated in several coastal towns of the island with colorful maritime processions; the Remedios in Yaiza or the pilgrimage and pilgrimage to the hermitage of Las Nieves, in the highlands of Famara. The day of Corpus Christi was also celebrated with a procession that passed over carpets that had drawings made with salt of different colors.

Infrastructure and cultural life

Apart from popular festivals, the cultural agenda of Lanzarote is completed with a series of events, more or less consolidated, among which include the performing arts festival “Malpaís”, in Arrecife; the Film Festival of Lanzarote or the Summer University of the island.

Auditorio en el interior de los Jameos Del Agua
Auditorio acondicionado en el interior del tubo volcánico de los Jameos del Agua

Between the spaces Cultural activities on the island include:

  • The César Manrique Foundation, a private institution responsible for disseminating the work and thoughts of the artist from Lanzarote, based in Taro de Tahiche.</li >
  • The International Museum of Contemporary Art Castillo de San José, in Arrecife, which displays works by artists such as the painter Francis Bacon (not to be confused with the writer of the same name), Antoni Tàpies or Eduardo Chillida.
  • Insular Culture Center “El Almacén”, in the center of Arrecife. It has spaces for temporary exhibitions, and a room for non-commercial film screening.
  • The Piracy Museum of the Castle of Santa Bárbara (Teguise). Until 2011 the castle was the Museum of the Canary Emigrant. The Piracy Museum is really a center of interpretation of the activity of the conquistadors, pirates and corsairs that have been related to the history of the Canary Islands. Castillo de Santa Bárbara itself is supposedly built on the remains of the fortress built by Lanceloto Malocello in the 14th century.
  • Auditorio de los Jameos del Agua, located inside a tube volcanic, usually hosts important theatrical performances, musical performances and film screenings.

Transportation

Transportation terrestrial

The deficiencies in the public road transport service, as well as the preference of many tourists for the rental of cars has made the mobile park of the island grow, which had in 2016 with 119.105 vehicles, compared to 34,414 in the year 1987.
The main insular road axis, declared of regional interest, is the one that connects Órzo the, to the north of the island, with Playa Blanca, to the south. The capital, Arrecife, is located at its intermediate point. This Órzola-Playa Blanca axis is constituted by the LZ-1, LZ-2 roads and the road that connects them, the Arrecife bypass. In addition, the LZ-2 and LZ-20 roads have two sections of highway, between Arrecife and Tías and between Arrecife and San Bartolomé, respectively.
The interurban public transport is carried out uniting almost all the towns of the island, the airport and ports of Playa Blanca and Órzola with the capital. Similarly, the capital of the island, Arrecife has an urban public transport service, and in the municipalities of Tías, San Bartolomé and the tourist resort of Playa Blanca has urban transport services.

Air transport

Aeropuerto de Lanzarote
Lanzarote Airport

Lanzarote Airport, located in the Guacimeta area, in the municipality of San Bartolomé, is the main airport Gateway to the island. It is located in a central area, very close to the capital of the island and the tourist towns of Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise.
Managed by AENA, Lanzarote airport was in 2007 the third Canarian airport in traffic of passengers and the ninth at the state level, with 5,625,580 transients
Lanzarote airport has two terminals. In Terminal 1 operate the companies that connect the island with the mainland Spain and with the international airports of tourist emission (Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, mainly). Terminal 2 is reserved for air transport with the other islands of the Canary Islands, and it is operated by the two inter-island airlines: Binter Canarias and Canaryfly.
The two airports that issued the most passengers in 2009 to Lanzarote were the Madrid airports. -Barajas and Gran Canaria, followed by Manchester, London-Gatwick, Tenerife North and Dublin, in this order.

Maritime transport

The main port of the island is the Port of Arrecife or the Mármoles, managed by the Port Authority of Las Palmas. With 213,134 passengers in transit in 2007, the one in Arrecife has consolidated itself as one of the main cruise ports in the Canary Islands, besides being the place where most of the goods that supply the island enter. There are regular lines that connect the Port of Arrecife with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Cádiz.
To the south of the island is the Port of Playa Blanca, which connects Lanzarote with the town of Corralejo, north of the neighboring Fuerteventura. This line is covered by modern and fast boats that cover the journey in a period of twelve to twenty minutes, which has increased passenger traffic to 874,241 embarked and disembarked in 2007. To the north of Lanzarote, the port of Órzola serves as a point of departure for the maritime link with the island of La Graciosa.

Media

Lanzarote has counted in recent years with a significant number of media local or island, to which must be added the delegations that the radio and television channels and regional and national newspapers have on the island.
The main periodicals of the island are La Voz de Lanzarote, which has a free weekly newspaper and a digital newspaper, and the weekly Lancelot. In addition, the regional newspapers La Provincia and Canarias7 have local editions for Lanzarote. To these publications should be added digital newspapers such as Diario de Lanzarote.com, Chronicles of Lanzarote or LanzaroteOpina.es, in addition to the digital editions of the publications mentioned above.
The most followed radio stations on the island usually offer a part of its content for the local area, while connecting for the rest of the time with the large Spanish radio stations. Thus, Radio Lanzarote broadcasts part of the programming of the Cope Network. Through Radio Horizonte, Punto Radio waves arrive, while Lancelot Radio broadcasts contents of Onda Cero to the island. Among the exclusively local stations are Crónicas Radio or Las Arenas Radio, as well as the musicals Radio Cristal, Buzz FM, Atlantis Radio and Radio Altahay, along with others that broadcast in English, such as Power FM Lanzarote Stream or Holiday FM. National broadcasters Radio Nacional de España and Cadena Ser incorporate local content, as well as receiving the signal from regional radio channels such as Radio ECCA, Radio Canarias, Canarias Radio, La Autonómica and 7.7 Radio.
Currently broadcasting in Lanzarote two local television stations: Biosfera Televisión and Lancelot Televisión. The island has a delegation from Canary Television and Spanish Television in the Canary Islands.

Illustrious Lanzaroteños

  • Francisco Fernández of Béthencourt, genealogist and politician
  • Blas Cabrera Felipe, phisician.
  • César Manrique, artist.
  • Rosana, singer.
  • Goya Toledo, actress.
  • Paco Delgado, designer.
  • Roberto Pérez Toledo, director de cine
  • Benito Cabrera, músico, musician

Article and Images obtained from Wikipedia