When thinking of desert islands (like Robinson Crusoe), you’ll probably think of a tropical paradise. But how about a semi-desert island?
Lanzarote is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, an autonomous group of Spanish islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Its proximity to Africa is reflected in the fact that it is the driest of the Canary Islands and parts are semi-desert areas. Its climate, beaches and (partly volcanic) landscapes attract numerous tourists.
Jameos del Aqua
It was artist and architect Cesar Manrique who had a huge influence on how the island looks today. One of his structures is the Jameos del Aqua, in which he tried to merge nature and culture. The Jameos del Agua was the Centre of Art, Culture and Tourism and reflects one of the cornerstones of his creative work: harmony between nature and artistic creation. The structure is located in a partly collapsed lava tunnel (!). In the first part you’ll find an underground lake in which the rare and famous albino crabs find their home. The darkness within the grotto causes the lack of pigmentation of this rare creature, known also as ‘jameitos’, the symbol of the
Jameos del Agua. In the second part you’ll find an awesome pool, surrounded by garden features as well as a restaurant and a cafeteria.
Timanfaya National Park
To many of the island’s visitors, Timanfaya is the highlight of their trip. This national park is a volcanic landscape that has barely changed since its eruption in the early 18th century and covers a huge part of the central eastern half of the island. The moonlike landscape dates back to the eruptions that took place between 1730 and 1736, and from a smaller eruption in 1824. Access to the park is prohibited apart from three guided footpaths, of which two are guided (to be booked at the Timanfaya visitor center). The third is a footpath along the coastline, free for everyone. It’s where you’ll witness several demonstrations of how ‘hot' the area really is. Dry brush thrown into a hole in the ground catches fire immediately, while water poured into a bore erupts seconds later in the form of steam, like a miniature geyser.
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