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article imagePhoto Essay: Discovering Lanzarote the Canary Island of Fire Special

By Lesley Lanir     Sep 4, 2013 in Travel
Arrecife - Lanzarote, located 70 miles (117km) from the Moroccan coast is both the most eastern and northern of the seven major islands of the Canary Island Archipelago.
Although the lowest lying of the islands and seemingly small, stunning volcanic landscapes, coastal scenery, and natural and cultural attractions together with a temperate climate turn Lanzarote into an island that deserves plenty of attention and into a destination that requires discovery through several extensive visits.
View from Fundacion Cesar Manrique  Tahiche  Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain)
View from Fundacion Cesar Manrique, Tahiche, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain)
Known as the land of fire, Lanzarote is around 37 miles (60km) long from north to south and 15 miles (25km) wide from east to west. Six years of continuous volcanic eruptions in the early 18th century covered the southern quarter of the island with volcanic ash and lava destroying villages and fertile agricultural land and leaving its moonscape landscape dotted with hundreds of volcanoes and craters all of which create distinctive scenery unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
View from LagOmar  Oasis de Nazaret  Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain)
View from LagOmar, Oasis de Nazaret, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain)
Besides Lanzarote's internal splendour, along the 130 mile (214km) long coastline of this fourth biggest Canary Island lie over 90 beaches all displaying different characteristics.
For instance, on the south-eastern coast around the town and area of Puerto del Carmen the beaches are characterised by wide lengthy stretches of yellow sand.
Playa Grande  Puerto del Carmen  Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain)
Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain)
Whereas along the south-western coastline, around the area of the small fishing village El Golfo, a number of black beaches are found like Playa del Paso where the lava flowed into the sea creating coastal areas with black volcanic sand.
Black volcanic beaches  Playa del Paso  El Golfo  Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain)
Black volcanic beaches, Playa del Paso, El Golfo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain)
In contrast to the calmer temperament of the Atlantic Ocean and weather on the south-eastern side of Lanzarote, on the geologically older north-western side, the Atlantic changes its nature and becomes wilder and more unpredictable in the popular surfing bay of Famara, overlooked by the ever changing moods of the Risco de Famara reaching 2205 ft / 672 m.
Playa de Famara looking at Risco de Famara   Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain).
Playa de Famara looking at Risco de Famara, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain).
One of a range of natural phenomena found on Lanzarote is Lago Verde, known locally as El Charco de los Clicos. This green lagoon is located on the island’s south-western coast next to the fishing village of El Golfo. It sits inside a crater, one side of which sea-tides have already eroded. The waters appear unusually luminous due to algae forming in the sea water feeding into the lake and its changing olive tones contrast with the black volcanic sand that leads into the small bay.
Lago de los Clicos  El Golfo  Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain).
Lago de los Clicos, El Golfo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain).
Just south of El Golfo and El Charco de los Clicos lies Salinas de Janubio, an amazing multicoloured patchwork of sea salt flats which once produced salt for Lanzarote's thriving fishing industry and for consumption and export.
Salinas de Janubio  Yaiza  Lanzarote  Canary Islands (Spain).
Salinas de Janubio, Yaiza, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain).
Now, due to European Economy Community (EEC) regulations, there is little left of the fishing industry and only a few of the salt flats are kept in production, mainly to preserve the cultural heritage of the island.
Lanzarote provides a wide selection of attractions to suit all tastes and ages, in this article only a fraction of what this remarkable island can offer the visitor or resident are shown.
More about lanzarote, Canary Island, Volcanoes, holiday resort
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