Lanzarote, legendary land
Forged by fire about 19 million years ago, Lanzarote is perhaps the most unusual and exotic island in the Canaries, formed by huge amounts of black lava, a land with no green, the result of massive volcanic eruptions during the eighteenth century which gives shape to an extraordinary landscape that seems almost unearthly.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the island has been affected by large volcanic eruptions. Enormous lava masses then covered one third of the island and left it burnt and covered in ashes.
This was the origin of the Fire Mountains, a territory declared as National Park Timanfaya in 1974. This platform of 200 square kilometers extension is covered by all kinds of volcanic remains giving a unique and apocalyptic sight. An unusual landscape created by the fury of more than 300 volcanoes spewing fire with unusual anger over the ocean. Fire Mountains is one of the most impressive natural parks in Spain and the largest volcanic region of the Canary Islands, having been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1991. The visitor feels like being on another planet, whilst crossing the sea of petrified lava, extensive deserts of volcanic ash and arriving at Fire Mountain, a ghostly place, where the open and still incandescent cracks of the volcano send out significant heat and where temperatures exceed 400 ° C. An unforgettable visit.
Now, the exceptional landscaping of this island does not represent the most outstanding feature. The real striking fact is that the people from here have managed to wrest the arid land, with their quiet patience and originality. Thus, farmers on the island use farming systems against drought called "sanded" which covers the land with a thin layer of volcanic ashes leaving the earth hereby protected against sun and maintains moisture. The population uses furthermore the holes in the old volcanic ground covered with lava. These holes which conserve moisture and protect plants (especially the vine) form the incomparable landscape of La Geria, a symbol of man's struggle against nature.
We cannot leave Lanzarote without naming César Manrique, the great local artist and a true lover of the environment, who knew how to create dreamlike landscapes, spaces full of fantasy and harmony. Manrique captured this arid beauty in countless works that are the delight of the population and visitors.