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Alegranza

 In

Alegranza is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, located off the coast of Africa and is in the province of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, Spain. It is the northernmost point in the Canary Islands, and part of the Chinijo Archipelago. The island is part of the municipality of Teguise on Lanzarote.

The island features a volcano with a crater of about 1.1 km in diameter and an altitude of 289 m. The northern portion is mainly flat. The lighthouse of Punta Delgada is located in the eastern part of Alegranza and it was first built in 1865 and was designated a historic monument.

Alegranza is privately owned but because they have been classified part of the Marine Reserve of Chinijo Archipelago, the families who own them are not permitted to build on or modify the terrain.

Overnight stays are prohibited. Visitors are only allowed to explore the island  by prior arrangement or by joining the Chinijo excursion and must stick to the pathways that already exist.

Many species of lizard, including the Canary Gecko which is found nowhere else on earth, thrive on the smaller islands. Endangered birds including the petrel, shearwater, Egyptian vulture and the peregrine falcon make their homes on the cliffs surrounding the smaller islands.

Alegranza means ‘joy’ in English. Popular folklore has it that it was named because conqueror of Lanzarote, Jean de Béthencourt was somewhat ‘over the moon’ at spotting this piece of land after a long sea journey.