Lanzarote: History

A volcanic moonscape

Lanzarote History

Lanzarote owes its strange appearance to dramatic volcanic activity during the 18th century. The island still shows obvious signs of the huge eruptions, which lasted six long years, in the striking rock formations that cover a large expanse of its bumpy surface. In 1824 yet another volcanic eruption shook Lanzarote, but it was smaller than previous eruptions so the damage was much less significant, which was a relief for its inhabitants.

In 1927, both Lanzarote and the island of Fuerteventura became part of the province of Las Palmas, and although details of Lanzarote’s early history are unsure, it is thought that the Phoenicians arrived and formed settlements on the island, perhaps as early as 1100 BC. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Romans also arrived, but the island was abandoned until 999 AD when the Arabs turned up and formed their own settlements, which may have a little to do with the rather Arabic appearance of some of the houses, although Lanzarote isn’t too far from Morocco.