Canary Islands

Category: Resorts » International » Africa | Author: biker | Views: 6719 | 23-07-2012, 00:09
Canary Islands

Official name: "Canary Islands";

The reduced name: "Canary";

State: Belongs to the country of Spain (an autonomous region of Spain);

Cities which have capital status: Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the island of Tenerife and Las Palmas on Gran Canaria (every 4 years the capital is moving);

Area of Canary Islands: 7446.95 km. sq.;

Geographical location: archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean - an autonomous region of Spain, but it belongs to the continent of Africa;

Climate  of Canary Islands:  tropical trade wind;

Population  of Canary Islands: 2 million 075 thousand people;

Ethnic groups: Spanish (88.7%), others - foreigners, mostly Africans;

Religion: the most population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, some people (mostly foreigners) confess Protestantism, Islam and Hinduism;

Language of Canary Islands: Spanish (Castilian);

Currency: Euro (EUR); 

Internet domain: .sg;

Telephone code: +34 928; 

Часовой пояс: UTC +0, UTC +1 (летнее время).



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Canary Islands

Flag of the Canary Islands 

Canary Islands

Map of the Canary Islands 

Canary Islands

Coat of arms of the Canary Islands 


General information about Canary Islands

Canary Islands (Sp. Las Islas Canarias, literally - "Dog island"), from latin.canis - dog: Pliny the Elder, Roman scholar, said that the islands were full of large dogs. The archipelago consists of seven volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean, near the north-west coast of Africa (Morocco and Western Sahara). The islands belong to Spain and have the autonomous status. Canaries have two capitals - Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Canaries are also considered the motherland of canaries.


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Geographical position of the Canary Islands

Canary Islands or Islas Canarias are washed by the Atlantic Ocean. Together with the islands of Madeira and the Azores to the North and the islands of Cape Verde to the South, they form so called "Makroneziya". The Canary Islands are located about 400 km. from the island of Madeira and 100 - 150 km. from the north-west coast of Africa. The total area of the Canary is 7,500 square kilometers. There are 13 islands in the Canary archipelago. In the center there is the largest island - The Island of Tenerife (2057 sq. km.) In the East there are three smaller islands: Homer (378 sq km), Hierro (277 square km) and Palma (728 square km). To the west of Tenerife there is the third largest island of the archipelago Gran Canaria (1532 sq. km.) Then there are the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. And four very small islands: the island Grasiosa (the only one of them inhabited), island Alegransa, Montana Clara Island to the north of the island of Lanzarote, the island of Lobos to the North of Fuerteventura. And, finally, to the North of the island of Lanzarote there are two really tiny islands - Roque del Roque and Oste del Este.

Photos of the Canary Islands 


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Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands


Climate of the Canary Islands

Locals like to say that  spring never leaves their lands. The climate is tropical trade wind, moderately hot and dry. The southern coast is the area of eternal summer with blue and cloudless sky and temperature of 25°C. The top of the Mount Teide is sometimes covered with snow in May. Canary Islands have excellent conditions for memorable long vacation. The high season begins in late July and lasts till the beginning of October.


Flora and fauna in the Canary Islands


Gran Canaria is a paradise for tourists. Here you can find everything for perfect summer holidays: clean sandy beaches, sun and wonderful vegetations.
The ecosystem of Gran Canaria has experienced its own history: there had been real tropical jungle before the arrival of the Spaniards. And since people had to live somehow, they began to cut down trees. Since that time, the flora and fauna has changed radically, but still charm tourists with its beauty and magic.
The flora of the island includes about 1316 species of rare plants of which 104 grow only in Gran Canaria. There are many protected areas on the island. This island can be also called reserve of rare flora. It is the place where you will be able to make pictures of the rare African plants, Mexican cactus and orange-red Begonia.
In Gran Canaria you can taste wonderfully sweet bananas from small banana trees. They are rely worth tasting, but be aware that such small banana has so much calories as one big and juicy steak.
As for fauna, in spite of all unconfirmed rumors, the Canary Islands have not any dangerous or poisonous animals and plants, only long-eared hedgehogs and rabbits.
In addition to these lovely animals you can see the variety of exotic birds.
However, the marine life of the islands is very beautiful and diverse. In the coastal waters you can see five species of marine reptiles, 550 species of fish and 24 species of mammals. But don’t be afraid, nothing can spoil your vacation on this paradise island, because the only dangerous representers of marine fauna, sharks, do not swim near to the islands, because they don’t like cold Canary Current.

Don’t judge the island of Tenerife from the first impression. Only during the process of exploring you can discover its uniqueness and beauty. One of the amazing plants on the island is a dragon tree, whose leaves resemble daggers. The age of old dragon trees is more than a hundred years; some of them are believed a few thousand. The oldest Dragon's blood tree is growing in Icod de los Vinos. The amazing thing is: if somebody "hurts" the tree, then it will “blood” with red gum, which previously was used as the local medicine and dye.
On the island you can also meet the mouflon (wild sheep). And the good news for holiday-makers - there is not much insects in the Canary Islands. So, here you can sleep well without fear of being bitten and "decorated" with red, itchy spots.

Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands


History of the Canary Islands 

In ancient times the islands were called the Hesperides gardens, as the Canaries - the place of incredible beauty! Some scientists think that the islands were part of the sunken Atlantis.
No wonder the Canary Islands are the most popular  holiday destination. Who does not want to spend vacations on the wonderful and fabulous island? It is known that Columbus could have discovered America much earlier, if he had not spent so much time on the islands. But, for those who have been there, it is easy to understand why he did not want to leave this paradise.
Canary’s people are very hospitable. It is interesting fact that the descendants of the last Atlantis –Guanches live on the island of Homer. 
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Culture of the Canary Islands

Timples (local musical instrument) belong to the musical heritage of Canary Islands. These musical instruments are similar to ukulele. If you come to the island during the holidays, you will see Isa, Tahraste and foila dancing to the sounds of this instrument.
In order to know the culture of the Canary islands better you should visit the caves, such as Barranco de Balos, Agaete, Galdar, Belmako, and Zarza de El Hulan, where the Guanches, the heirs of the last inhabitants of Atlantis, made wall pictures depicting  animals and  young people of age between 13 and 14. If you're a fan of art, then you should see the works of the great artists as Gaspar de Kuevedo, impressionist Manuel Gonzalez Mendez and Cesar Manrique.
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands


What to see in the Canary Islands
  • National Park Las Canadas is very beautiful Reserve, which is located around the volcano Teide. Here you can admire wonderful lagoons;
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife - the capital of the island, where you can enjoy shopping and see the beautiful architecture. Nearby there is the magnificent and very popular beach - Playa de Las Teresitas;
  • Puerto de La Cruz – rich resort with all conditions for the perfect summer holiday. In Puerto de La Cruz you can visit the beautiful artificial lake Lago Martianes, an extensive botanical garden and Parrot Loro Park. And what is the most convenient - you can get to Puerto de La Cruz independently from the South of the island;
  • Los Gigantes – a picturesque city on the west coast of Tenerife, at the famous coastal cliffs Los Gigantes, which blows up the imagination of its unrealistic huge size . In Los Gigantes there are white, as if from a fairy tale, castles, villas, which are covered with greenery and flowers. An incredible sight;
  • Masca – an amazingly beautiful and mysterious valley, lost in the mountains to the north-west of the island. Alpine serpentine road leads from the coastal town of Los Gigantes to this gorge, where the wonderful same named village is located;
  • LoroPark – one of the largest parrot parks in the world . Here you can see not only variety of parrots but also other exotic birds. The park is located on the coast of Puerto de La Cruz. You can come here with a tour group or independently.

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What to do in Canary Islands  


If you want to see the most beautiful and interesting places and do not mind a walk on the paths trodden by tourists, this place is - what you need! In the Canary Islands, on the mountainous islands of Tenerife, Palma and Gomera, there are a lot of tourist destinations, particularly situated in areas of open national parks. Great choice for hikers.  And on the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote there are routes for cyclists.
The Canary Islands are the perfect destination for summer vacation. Relaxation in the white villa, lying on the beach and swimming in cold water are highly recommended.


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Canary Cuisine 


If you think that these exotic islands will offer you weird and unusual food - then you are mistaken. You will not able to find fried grasshoppers here. The cuisine of the Canary Islands consists of simple and nutritious meals. Here you can enjoy Spanish, Indian, Latin American and African dishes. The main meal is thick soup, and what can be more helpful and nutritious than the delicious soups? Also, be sure to taste dishes from fish products with cold sauce "Mojo". Do not forget about the national snack - "tapas".
We also recommend you to take "salmoreho", dish, which consists of rabbit meat in the fat sauce and a dish of goat meat and pork in special marinades. Surprise yourself with really imperial dish - crispy moray eels. Better take the both dishes because they are really delicious.
The fish dish "Kazuela de Pescado" is very popular on the islands it is served with "gofio" fried wheat flour and soup "kosido" - very thick and delicious made of meat, potatoes, corn, and other vegetables.
During your vacations on the Canary Islands, you will forget about European bananas, even if you like them very much.  Canary yellow banana fruit will amaze you with its honey sweetness. Locals don’t accept European bananas, only their own, native, from which they prepare amazing desserts. We recommend you to try fried bananas – really delicious dish! Also, ordering sweets in Tenerife, you'll be pleasantly surprised, because many of the desserts on the island are served with palm honey, which is manufactured in Homer.


Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands
Canary Islands Canary Islands Canary Islands


What to buy in the Canary Islands

It is a big mistake to spend holiday on the Canary island and not to buy anything. One has to take something that would remind him about this fabulous vacation. First of all we recommend you to buy rum. The taste of the popular Canary rum is amazing! Also you can purchase for a gift a bottle of red wine from Tenerife. Buy natural oils, body lotions, and the best gift for a smoking man will be Canarian cigars, which are not worse than Cuba, but less exotic. In order to make delicious cooking at home buy goat cheese Maxorrata from Fuerte and almogrote from Homer, and the sauce "Mojo", which you can add to your usual dishes. And if you want to surprise the family, then bring for them the Canaries National costume, which are sold in all sizes. Such gift will surely impress your family. The national costume will cost about 100 euros, but it is worth of it.

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Interesting facts about Canary Islands

  1. It is a myth that the islands became its name from the canary birds. Quite opposite – the birds were named after the paradise islands.
  2. Canary islands are made up of volcanic rock. There are many active and non active volcanoes on the islands. Surprisingly, in the volcanic regions there are plants whichcan survive after the eruption of lava.
  3. If you think that the canary birds are bright and yellow, you are wrong. In fact, birds look like sparrows, grey and unattractive. Yellow canaries have to thank the Italian breeders for their bright color.
  4. Each island has its own saint patron. For example, for the island of Palma it is Snow Madonna.
  5. Each year, the locals celebrate the great festival of banana harvest, which is 400 million kg. 
  6. In ancient times, the Canary Islands called “lucky islands” and it is easy to understand why! Description of the Canary Islands is found in the great Homer and Plato.



Canary Islands are beautiful tourist destination. No wonder that luxury exotic holidays on the islands are always associated with the Canary Islands. It's the place where you can leave all your routine troubles and just enjoy life. Enjoy the sea, beach, culture and socialize with people who have different way of life.


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