Lanzarote is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, lying just 125 km (78 miles) off the coast of Africa. Covering 845.9 square kilometres (327 sq miles), it is the fourth largest of the islands. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1993, Lanzarote is famous for its distinct volcanic landscape which contrasts dramatically with the unique white, modernist architecture influenced by the island´s artist “son”, César Manrique.
Considered one of the world’s best year-round yachting destinations, Lanzarote is the ideal location for yachting as it has a great range of sailing conditions, with consistent wind, a comfortable climate (with over 300 days of sunshine a year, the island enjoys an average air temperature of 22°C and average water temperature of 21°C) and unpolluted waters.
The island is well connected with the rest of the world – it is easy to get here from Northern Europe, it is the same time zone as the United Kingdom and communication links are good. It has a lively international, cultural and gastronomic scene reflecting the incredible hospitality that Canarian people are famed for.
The island’s strong sporting tradition gives a wide range of championship-level outdoor sporting options – both on and off the water – and a reliable network of support services, for professional athletes and amateur sportspeople alike.
Lanzarote has an impressive calendar of events and fiestas, parties and festivals abound . The main festivals in Lanzarote include a number of lively carnivals in February (including the tradition of burying a sardine on Ash Wednesday), Holy Week at the end of March and the Día de la Cruz known for its colourful decorated crosses covered in flowers (Cruces de Mayo) each May.
For those looking for more sporting events, Ironman Lanzarote, one of the toughest Ironman events in the world, takes place in May and the Lanzarote International Marathon is a popular race attracting large crowds of both participants and spectators, along the streets of Lanzarote’s capital, Arrecife.
Here is a selection of the most popular events throughout the year:
January: 5th Jan: Cabalgata de los Reyes (Three Kings / Wise Men): brightly decorated floats process around the streets of Arrecife that pave the way for the arrival of the magnificent Three Kings.
June: San Juan: This fiesta marks the beginning of summer and bonfires are lit in celebration.
July: Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Lady of Carmen Festival): The patron saint of fishermen. In the ports there is a maritime procession of fishing boats.
August: Día San Ginés: The patron saint of Arrecife. A ten day celebration with a large fairground & fireworks on the last Saturday night.
September: Fiesta of the Virgen de los Dolores: The Virgin of the volcanoes. This yearly pilgrimage sees thousands of people dressed in local costume, make their way from all over the island walk to visit the shrine. Marking a ritual that called on the Virgin’s help to stop the lava flow resulting from the 18th century eruptions that threatended to destroy the area, the miraculous result has been faithfully celebrated thereafter, based around the church consequently built on honour of the virgin and subsequently patron saint of the island. Festivities continue for almost two weeks and include a significant craft fair that features local artisans demonstrating their skills and selling their artwork, and numerous evenings of traditional dancing, music and partying.
October: Día de la Hispanidad / National Day Festival – October 12th, the national public holiday with festivities and parties around Lanzarote, celebrating the history and heritage of Spain.