The landscapes of Lanzarote
When the architect Cesar Manrique, born on Lanzarote, recognized the tourist potential of his island, he successfully argued for strict measures to protect Lanzarote’s fragile environment and culture, resulting in the law that all new buildings on the island must be low rise and traditional in design. That means that the walls must be white, the exterior woodwork green or plain varnished wood or blue by the sea. The visual effect is absolutely astonishing.
In 1993, the whole island of Lanzarote, including all of its towns and villages, was declared a UN Biosphere Reserve, in recognition of its unique character and the harmony of man and nature on the island.
If you’ve booked flights to Lanzarote because you need a spot of sun, sea and sand, you won’t be disappointed either. This most easterly and most northerly of the Canaries is the sunniest of the islands, and the beaches are gorgeous with pale sand that was blown over from Saharan Africa ages ago. At the centre of the southern coastline, you will find Playa Blanca, Lanzarote’s third-largest and ever expanding resort, most famous for its pedestrianised promenade beside the pale sandy beaches. However, the focal point of Playa Blanca remains the picturesque former fishing village at its western end, with its alleys and paved lanes.
The volcano Timanfaya is a determining factor for the rest of the island. Though snoozing at the moment, this mighty volcano officially is still alive. It can be seen from almost anywhere on the island, and over 250 years ago, it blasted about a quarter of Lanzarote into an awesome landscape of blackened, twisted rock.