As There was a violent volcanic eruption about 9000 years ago which affected the north of the island by creating Corralejo, the dunes and caused Lobos island to rise from the sea.
An Article by Bernie Power with The Voice Fuerteventura
Fortunately, there was nobody here to witness the massive eruption that created the island! If you get a good map you will see the extent of the lava flow, past what is now known as the village of Lajares. These fields of volcanic rocks are known as malpais or bad lands as they were no good for farming.
CORRALEJO DUNES – LAS DUNAS
Going back to Corralejo and heading south to Puerto del Rosario, you will find yourself on the fine coast road and driving through the among the beautiful dunes. Here you can pull up in one of the many parking places and have a break on one of the soft, sandy beaches or explore the sand dunes. Please watch where you park though, as the no parking signs on the inland side are there for a reason. The sand will give way under the weight of your car and you will find yourself needing a lot of strong friends or a tow truck to pull you back out. Once you have managed to park safely, you can enjoy one of the beaches that stretch along the coast for around 6 miles.
SANDY BEACHES & SEA CREATURES
The sand that you will find under your feet is not the usual type we are used to. In Britain, for example, the sand is created from years and years of waves wearing down the rocks into small grains. This is known as sillica and formed from quartz. Our sand here in Corralejo is different and is the result of 500 million years of sea creatures dying and laying down their skeletons on the ocean floor.
During the eruption, the land level rose considerably, bringing the ocean floor and tiny carcasses with it. It is made up of tiny particles of fish bones, crabs, coral, whales and prehistoric creatures from millions of years ago. This sand is calcium carbonate and is present here and on the beaches in the Caribbean. If you take a handful and look really carefully at it, you will see that it doesn’t look like tiny pebbles but little pieces of bone.
LA ISLA DE LOS LOBOS
The whole dunes area is a natural park and is very well cared for. So is the beautiful islet of Los Lobos that you can see situated in the channel between here and neighbouring Lanzarote. Los Lobos means wolves and was the name given for the monk seals which colonised the island long before the European conquest. Their call was similar to wolf’s howl which is where they got their name. Some unfortunately became food and clothing for the sailors and early settlers, until they all moved away to a safer place.
Now there are no monk seals left on the island but it is still a lovely, unspoilt place to visit as it was the second natural site to be protected in Spain in 1982. It is home to at least 130 unique species of plant life and a sanctuary for many local and rare birds. You can visit the island from one of the boats which can be found in Corralejo harbour. Some will only explore the waters around lobos but others will actually allow you to go ashore.
If you do decide to visit for the day, then take a picnic and find a nice remote spot and enjoy the bluest of waters and with the amazing volcanic background. There is a restaurant and toilets for visitors, as well as signposted walkways and secluded bays on which to sunbathe. But remember, only a few isolated local people are allowed to stay on the island so you cannot camp overnight. Also the amount of visitors per day is also limited to protect the local flora and fauna.
You will need to check with your boat excursion company before booking if Los Lobos is your intended destination, as many excursions only stop in the ocean nearby and are now allowed to actually pull up at the island. The ones that do, may charge you an additional fee but don’t worry, this is a fee that has been set by the local council to protect the visitor numbers and all monies collected go back into conserving the island for years to come. Just remember to leave the island as you found it and dust yourself down before getting back on the boat, as everything, including the sand, is protected – and thats the way we like it!