Red dunes, a green lagoon and vineyards in black volcanic soil: The incredible images that show Lanzarote in all its otherworldly beauty
- Photos showcase the island’s varied topography, from black beaches and azure waters to epic volcanic zones
- They were taken by photographer Eleonora Costi, who described it as ‘unlike anywhere else on the planet’
- The strange spherical craters that cover the La Geria region are man-made hollows used to grow grapevines
You’d be forgiven for thinking these stunning landscape shots are evidence of life on Mars or another Moon landing – with its rocky terrain and eerie beauty, Lanzarote is more reminiscent of another planet than of mainland Spain.
In fact, both Nasa and the European Space Agency have used the island as a training ground for astronauts preparing to go on extraterrestrial expeditions.
However, the Italian photographer Eleonora Costi, who captured these images when she visited Lanzarote last month, simply wanted to soak up some sun and enjoy the tranquillity of the island during the low season.
She said: ‘I’ve travelled all over the world but I had never been to Lanzarote before – I had no idea it was so beautiful.
‘What I found is that Lanzarote looks completely unlike not just the other Canary Islands, but anywhere else on this planet. This extraordinary landscape seems to be of another world.’
It didn’t take her long to explore the island, which is small but has a very varied landscape, from red dunes to a green lagoon and black beaches. Scroll down to see Earth at its most exotic…
The strange circular hollows that cover the sprawling landscape in the La Geria region are not evidence of extraterrestrial activity but are in fact man-made. Grapevines are planted in the highly fertile volcanic soil and produce a sweet Malvasia wine
The crescent-shaped stone structures around the borders of the craters are built to protect the vines from the wind
The reddish soil and rust-hued volcanic peaks give the southern region of Lanzarote a Mars-like appearance
A lone road runs through Timanfaya National Park – sprawling fields of frozen-in-time lava in the southwest of the island that span just over 50 square kilometres (20 square miles) across the Tinajo and Yaiza municipalities. The eerie parkland surrounds the Montañas del Fuego (Mountains of Fire) formed by a six-year-long volcanic eruption in the 1730s
The road that winds its way around the southwestern coastline stretches out like an invitation to explore the rugged volcanic landscape in an area known as Los Hervidores. It is a labyrinth of underwater caves into which waves force water with such dramatic power that it appears as if the sea is boiling. Visitors can wander around pathways in the cliffs and watch the bubbling display below. The excitement factor is increased by water erupting through blowholes
If you’ve seen One Million Years B.C or Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces then you might recognise this incredible volcanic spectacle – Charco de los Clicos, or the ‘green lagoon’, which features in both movies. It’s located by a black-sand beach just south of the village of El Golfo (some actually call the lagoon El Golfo) inside the ocean-eroded semi-circular remains of a volcanic cone that’s connected to the Atlantic via subterranean passageways, so the water is continually topped up. The pool’s bizarre hue is caused by algal phytoplankton
This image shows the tiny fishing village of El Golfo, which is just north of the green lagoon
The Atlantic Ocean laps El Golfo beach at sunset. The charming seaside village here is home to several restaurants and cafes specialising in seafood that are frequented by locals, which is always a good sign
The golden sand of Playa del Papagayo in the south is beautifully contrasted with the turquoise sea
A pool of azure water dominates eye-catching, lava-rock-peppered Caletón Blanco beach in the northern part of the island
The island can be quite breezy, but these crescent-shaped stone walls serve as windbreaks for sunbathers on Caletón Blanco beach, named after its pristine white sand
Eleonora said of Lanzarote: ‘This extraordinary landscape seems to be of another world.’ Pictured is Famara beach
December, when the photographer Eleonora Costi visited, is low season in Lanzarote and a good time to enjoy the tranquillity of the island. Pictured is Famara beach – a surfing mecca
To see more of Eleonora’s amazing work, visit her Instagram profile.