Lanzarote is the easternmost of the seven Canary Islands and is approximately 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsular. It is the fourth largest of the islands. The island's name in the native language was Titerro(y)gatra, which may mean "the red mountains"
As with the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is volcanic in origin. Due to the recent eruptions during the 18th and 19th Centuries, many parts of Lanzarote appear to be from another world, often described as 'lunar' or 'Martian'.
The dry climate and lack of erosion means that the volcanic landscape appears much as it did just after the eruptions.
Local authority regulations on the amount and style of development mean that there is no billboard advertising and few high rise buildings in Lanzarote.
Lanzarote - A Brief History
Lanzarote was the first of the Canary Islands to be invaded in the early 1400s by an expedition that represented the Spanish crown, which was led by a Norman noble called Jean de Bethencourt. The conquerors had little trouble subduing the native Guanche inhabitants, who are thought to have arrived on the island from North Africa centuries before.
By the 16th century, the Canary Islands had become of strategic importance to the growing Spanish empire because of its location between the New and Old Worlds.
Galleons from Spain sailed across the Atlantic carrying slaves from Africa and returning from the new colonies with riches such as Inca gold and silver. This lucrative trade caught the interest of pirates and privateers from across the globe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries.
Many castles were built to protect the local population, such as the Castillo de Santa Barbara, on Mount Guanapay in Lanzarote. It stands about 400 metres above Teguise and from here it was possible to spot marauders and give the alarm as it had excellent views of Lanzarote’s coastline. Today the spot is home to Lanzarote´s Pirate Museum, which chronicles this interesting period in the island’s history.