Lanzarote is one of the main islands of the Canary Islands, Spain.
Lanzarote (pronounced "lansaˈɾote") is a Spanish island, the easternmost of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 kilometres (78 miles) off the coast of Africa and 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) from the Iberian Peninsula. Covering 845.94 square kilometres (326.62 square miles), it is the fourth-largest of the islands in the archipelago. With 141,938 inhabitants, Lanzarote is the third-most populous island of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife and Gran Canaria. In the centre-west of the island is the Timanfaya National Park, which is one of the main attractions of Lanzarote. Its capital is Arrecife.
The first recorded name for the island, given by Angelino Dulcert, was Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus, after the Genovese navigator Lancelotto Malocello, from which the modern name is derived. The island's name in the native language was Tyterogaka or Tytheroygaka, which may mean "one that is all ochre" (referring to the island's predominant colour).
Lanzarote is located 11 kilometres (7 miles) north-east of Fuerteventura and just over 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) from Graciosa. The dimensions of the island are 60 kilometres (37 miles) from north to south and 25 kilometres (16 miles) from west to east. Lanzarote has 213 kilometres (132 miles) of coastline, of which 10 kilometres (6 miles) are sand, 16.5 kilometres (10 miles) are beach, and the remainder is rocky. Its landscape includes the mountain ranges of Famara (671 metres (2,201 ft)) in the north and Ajaches (608 metres or 1,995 feet) to the south. South of the Famara massif is the El Jable desert which separates Famara and Montañas del Fuego. The highest peak is Peñas del Chache rising to 670 metres (2,200 feet) above sea level.
Often called 'Island of Eternal Spring' Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands in which has a subtropical-desert climate according to the Köppen climatic classification. The small amount of precipitation is mainly concentrated in the winter. Rainfall during summer is a rare phenomenon (there has never been any recorded rainfall in July) and several summers are completely dry without any precipitation. On average the Island receives approximately 16 days of precipitation between December and February.
Sometimes, the hot sirroco wind prevails causing dry and dusty conditions across the island. Average precipitation in June and August is less than 0.5 millimetres (0.020 inches). It closely borders on a tropical climate, with winter means of 18 °C (64 °F) and summer means of 25 °C (77 °F).
Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canary Islands and has a volcanic origin. It was born through fiery eruptions and has solidified lava streams as well as extravagant rock formations. The island emerged about 15 million years ago as product of the Canary hotspot. The island, along with others, emerged after the break-up of the African and the American continental plates. The greatest recorded eruptions occurred between 1730 and 1736 in the area now designated Timanfaya National Park.
As of 2010, 139,000 people live on Lanzarote which is an increase of 9.4% from 2006 (127,000). The seat of the island government (Cabildo Insular) is in the capital, Arrecife, which has a population of 59,000. The majority of the inhabitants (73.9%) are Spanish, with a sizeable number of residents from other European nations, mainly British (4.0%), Germans (2.6%) and Irish (2.5%) Other populous groups include immigrants from Colombia, Morocco, Ecuador, Western Africa, China and India, which constitute a large proportion of the remaining 15.6% of the population.