Lanzarote and the other Canary islands constitute a crucial cross between Europe, Africa and America.
They are located 1.000 km away from peninsular Spain and 100Km away from African coasts.
North of Lanzarote are situated a hundred small island, called archipelago Chinijo (small).
Lanzarote is in the very north-west of Canary Islands.
Its area is a bit bigger than 800km2 and its relief is low and not so mountainous. Maximum altitude is less than 700mts on the sea level.
Its origin and physiognomy is volcanic.
Old Canaries natives are usually known as Guanches, conserving numerous traces of their lifestyle.
In 1312 the Genoese sailor Lanceloto Malocello arrived the island, giving it its name.
In 1402 the conquer of the Canaries began, starting right from Lanzarote, and remaining united until nowadays with el Reino de España.
The annexation of Lanzarote was non-violent, even if the conquer of the whole archipelago lasted about a century.
Declared natural reserve of the biosphere in 1993 for its great natural values, it disposes of an ordinate territorial and urbanite plan all over the island, contemplating a limit of touristic places and a yearly growing rhythm to reach it.
Soil exploitation is strictly regulated
More, 12 enclaves are protected by the Canary Law of Natural Spaces, including one of the 12 Spanish Natural parks: Timinfaya. 90% of the soil is restricted by several protection laws.
Yearly average temperature is of 20ºC / 68ºF, very similar with the sea temperature.
Average temperature in August is of 24,6ºC / 76,28ºF, and of 17ºC / 62,6ºF in January.
These temperatures offer an exceptional clime, due both to sea influence and to geographic situation.
In spite of the near Sahara Desert, clime is not desert because of the cold water stream from Mexican Gulf actuating as an atmospheric regulator, in particular by the coast.
As it rains very seldom (aprox. 86,0 mm/year), water is obtained by the desalinization of the sea water.
Lanzarote Biosphere Reserve
Declared in 1993 Reserve of the Biosphere by the Organization of United Nations for Education and Science (UNESCO) Lanzarote represents one of the protected zone representative of the main ecosystems of the world.
Lanzarote as a natural place offers a unique characteristics. A part of the great extensions of different lava typologies, that we can find in the Timanfaya and Malpaìs de la Corona Natural Parks, there are fields of wind sands – el jable de Famara-, marine and coast ambients like no other- El Rìo, between La Graciosa and Lanzarote, and the southwest beaches- where co-exist a multitude of species and subspecies of flora and fauna well adapted to these conditions and therefore really endemic, a 17% of plants, a 60% of nesting birds, 40 % of insect and 100% of reptiles are endemic of the island.
As well as the flora and fauna had to adapt themselves to the land surrounding them, the inhabitants modified and adapted their traditions and costumes too, inventing a specialized agricultural culture, developing techniques like the cultivation in volcanic areas, growing of Cochinilla , fish and salt industry.
Developing of touristic sector is responsible of a progressive abandon of traditional agriculture for the services sector, with an increasing number of hotels places and apartments, reaching a bed places number of 25.000 for the whole island. This massive activity hardly menaced the island ecosystem.
To stop this were developed a series of policies for the sustainability of Lanzarote as Reserve for the Biosphere, starting a root-spreading formulation of the Plan Lanzarote en la Biosfera, an ambitious study that aims to be a global strategy for the sustainable development of the island.
The content of this program emphasized the preservation and the sustainable use of natural sources, biodiversity, physical resource and landscape.Stressing the rescue of the cultural estate, motivating the sustainable development of the island economy and reducing at the time the exploitation of the resources and creation of waste: The Plan Lanzarote en la Biosfera was thought by the perspective of civic participation.
This direction change of policy of the island was internationally supported by the declaration of Lanzarote Reserva de Biosfera within the MAB (man and biosphere) program.