A detailed aerial photo of Lanzarote in 1977 has been made public by the Canarian Government’s Grafcan website. Check it out:
The black-and-white photo is a composite of several photos taken from aeroplanes and shows a Lanzarote that, at first, looks very similar to today’s island. However, once you start to zoom in your can see immense differences.
Mass tourism really took off in Lanzarote in the 1980s, and the photo catches the island before this immense change. Playa Blanca is a small cluster of buildings gathered around the current town beach, with no ferry port, and vast stretches of the seafront at Puerto del Carmen remain entirely undeveloped.
Costa Teguise barely exists, with only the outline of the recently-built Melia Salinas Hotel and the Los Molinos complex visible. On the north coast, Famara’s bungalows and the La Santa sports complex are visible.
Playa Honda and Tahiche are also barely existent, and the Jable corridor that brings sand down to the south coast from Famara is clearly visible. A single plane can be seen on the small airstrip outside the airport building (currently Terminal 2)
To see the photo in detail, go to https://visor.grafcan.es/visorweb/ click on the bottom folder (Mapas Históricos); then on Ortofotos and look for the Ortofoto Año 1977 (Gran Canaria and Lanzarote).
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