Whilst the rest of Europe is still experiencing cooler spring weather the Canary Islands are busy getting ready for the busiest holiday season of the year. As these seven specks of Spain that lie just off the coast of Africa are Europe´s only genuine Winter sun destination.
Lanzarote is the most easterly link in the Canary Island chain and has long been a favourite holiday destination with British and Irish tourists. And despite failing airlines, the falling pound and the current bleak economic outlook the Island of Fire is still a hot ticket. As tourist numbers to the island have just kept on rising.
UK tourist continue to flock to the island and as a result demand for Lanzarote villas and apartments has remained relatively stable. Whilst property prices have also started to fall on the island it is less noticeable than in other european destinations.
This is probably due to the fact that Lanzarote has much more to offer tourists than just sunshine alone though. As the island boasts a unique volcanic scenery, picturesque beaches, a host of natural attractions and some of the most unusual tourist sites found anywhere in the world. All of which is largely thanks to an island born artist and architect called Cesar Manrique.
Alert to the damage that this could cause to his birthplace Manrique returned home to ensure that his beloved Lanzarote was not buried beneath a sea of five star concrete.
As a result of his efforts Lanzarote has largely been spared the type of over development now commonly found in other Spanish sun spots and other Canary Islands resorts. High rise buildings are banned, advertising hoardings are outlawed and all of the islands three main tourist resorts are well contained.
The artist and architect also sought to create an alterative to the water parks and golf courses that were built as tourist attractions elsewhere in Spain.
In tandem with close collaborators such as Jesus Soto he lit an alternative path for island development with the creation of sites such as the Jameos del Agua, which embodied his desire to fuse art with nature.