An Introduction to the Canary Islands
Commonly known as the Canaries, the Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago or island chain located off the Southern coast of Morocco. The islands consist of two Spanish provinces and are famous for their long perpetually warm summers, beautiful natural formations and subtropical climate. With golden sun-soaked beaches, crystal-clear waters and unique cultural flavors these islands are the perfect summer destination for winter vacationists. The Canaries consist of seven exquisite large islands and an additional six small ones, all of which are breathtakingly beautiful and remarkably diverse in their geography. The waters surrounding the isles teem with colorful marine life. Diving, fishing, snorkeling, hiking and sunbathing are all popular pass times, with the islands sunny beaches being the major attraction. The local people are carefree, inviting and culturally rich. There is nothing more spectacular than the Canary Islands.
As the largest island, Tenerife is also one of the most popular. The climate is warm, elegant and blissful and the atmosphere is magnificent and welcoming. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of Tenerife. It is a naturally beautiful city nestled in the fabled northeast quadrant of the isle. The island is home to some of the world’s best hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations. With eight professional golf courses, one of the world’s most highly acclaimed water parks and beautiful historical sights such as La Laguna Old Town and the Old Town of Orotava it’s no wonder Tenerife is one of the most popular destinations in the world – the islands highly esteemed sandy beaches soak in the sun as the waves gently lap against their shores. One beach in particular, the El Médano beach is enchantingly beautiful. Its golden-bronze sands merge seamlessly with the clear, warm and gentle ocean and it is tucked away from any urban areas. The volcano Teide has been dormant for more than a century. The Teno Rural Park, a popular sight is defined by its outlying massif – a beautiful volcanic landscape which has been shaped and characterized through time and space. Deep cliffs drop into the sea and the rugged, rich terrain offers a nostalgic beauty. Anaga Rural Park is one of the very rare locations on earth that is a sanctuary for prehistoric forestry. The park’s ancient beauty is breathtaking and the paths that lead through the deep green canopies and laurel vegetation seem to never end; the coolness and gentleness of the ancient forest is relaxing and rejuvenating. Tenerife is a perfect destination for summer loving vacationers and those who wish to leave everything behind.
Curiosity: Tenerife is home to Mount Teide the world’s 3rd highest volcano in the world and highest peak in Spain.
Over 150km of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear seas lie beneath almost endless sunny skies on the second largest Canary Island, Fuerteventura. Here the sun seems to never fade from the sky and the picturesque cities and towns are forever basked in a welcoming warmth. The island is renowned for its pristine and beautiful sandy coastline – Cofete beach, the most famous beach on the island is a completely unspoiled piece of natural wild coastline that will definitely amaze you, while Costa Calma beach with its smooth turquoise waters and silver-bronze sands, enchants all who visit there. The unique and stunning beach La Concha, El Cotillo is sheltered by a natural lava reef and is located near a small town. The capital Puerto del Rosario is a very pretty town with much to offer: world-class hotels, restaurants and beautiful sights, all with a Spanish twist. Betancuria Old Town the island’s first city built in the 15th century is the biggest cultural attraction on the island. An archaeological museum in the town displays its history and how the early inhabitants lived. This island is elegant, warm and wonderfully serene. A perfect escape from winter worries.
Curiosity: Fuerteventura is the oldest island of the archipelago and the last volcanic activity in Fuerteventura was around 5,000 years ago.
Also known as “The Miniature Continent” because of its diverse geography and climate and the many picturesque villages within its borders, the Gran Canaria island is the third largest island in the Spanish archipelago. The Gran Canaria island boasts 60km of blissful golden beaches, large desert areas, beautiful tropical forests, and even snow! All on one island. Gran Canaria is the second most populous island in the Canaries. The biggest city on the island, with its pristine sandy beachfront, known as Las Canteras beach, is a hub for those seeking a good time. The island is also famous for its spas, wellness facilities and health resorts. One of the main attractions on the island are the Maspalomas dunes, which are situated in a beautiful blended oasis-desert. The dunes are forever being molded by the elements and change their shape on a daily basis. Agaete and Puerto de Mogánis are two small towns on the island where one can relax, find peace, enjoy local food and drink and take in the scenery. One can visit the ancient Painted Caves or the Vegueta Old Town to explore the varied history of the island and the Nublo Rural Park is unique and fascinatingly beautiful.
Curiosity: The movie ‘Moby Dick’, was filmed on the beach of Las Canteras, Gran Canaria
This island is the fourth largest of the Canary Islands. Its capital is Arrecife – an exquisite city situated in the center-east of the island. With a mild desert-like climate Lanzarote is favored for it’s relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. The signature landscape of black and red rocks and rich earth is complemented by the deep levels of green springing from the vineyards and fields which grow upon the volcanic hill sides. Lanzarote is famous for it’s Malvasia ‘Designation of Origin’ wines, which are naturally produced from grapes grown in the La Geria wine region. The warm, sunny days on Lanzarote seem to continue ceaselessly, attracting sports people, beach goers and fitness enthusiasts from around the world. An interesting location to visit is the Timanfaya National Park. The park is situated over a young volcanic landscape and boasts some of the most amazing views to behold on the Canary Islands. The unique lava formations and the different colors and hews of the landscape are spectacular. There are beautiful golden-white beaches found on this island and clear blue waters encompass its borders. The Green Caves with their naturally embellished green, red and orange caverns and the Green Lagoon with its black sands and emerald waters are two beautifully amazing sights to behold.
Curiosity: Even Shakespeare was in love with Malmsey wine and he shows his passion in Othello by writing “Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used”.
Knows as the beautiful island, is home to amazing landscapes, grand volcanoes, deep green forests, and warm beaches. The island boasts strict light pollution laws and its clear, dark and mysterious night skies are world-famous for stargazing winning a Starlight award in recognition of this. The capital city of La Palma is Santa Cruz de la Palma – a beautiful city with beaches, hotels, restaurants and a dash of culture. The unique volcanic landscape of La Caldera de Taburiente National Park is breathtaking. Waterfalls cascade from the green hills and rich pines grow beside crystal streams that curve between the valleys. The Los Tilos Forest is famous for its tropical lushness and deep green aura – the clouds seem to envelope the entire forest creating a cool and refreshing paradise. The colorful and exquisite Santa Cruz de La Palma Old Town takes you back in time. Its wooden balconies, hanging vines and rainbow houses evoke a sense of peace and deep beauty. For those who love hiking, walking and a beautiful scenery the Volcano Route is regarded as one of the most beautiful hiking trails on the Canary Islands. The black sands and silver waters of Puerto Naos are unique and beautiful and its reef is a prime snorkeling location. La Palma is the perfect island for European tourists who wish to enjoy sun, fun and beauty.
Curiosity: La Palma airport is the first airport in Spain to be supplied by two wind turbines, a world pioneer in civil aviation using entirely green energy.
Steep weathered cliffs with turquoise waters bellow and small shielded beaches basking in the endless sun. This is La Gomera, famous for long and diverse running and walking trails through the beautiful landscape. This is an island imbued with magic. The capital San Sebastián de La Gomera is a beautiful city where dreams come true. And not far from the capital, the quaint and picturesque town of Agulo can be found. One of the most famous attractions on the island, the Garajonay National Park, with its massive ancient laurel forests is a must see. The mysterious tropical coolness of the trees is inviting and revitalizing. Valle Gran Rey, is a rich and fertile valley graced with scattered white-washed Spanish-style houses, black sand beaches and crystal waters. Los Órganos Natural Monument is an iconic formation of vertically layered lava pipes that resemble a massive natural church organ and Los Roques Viewpoint boasts some of the most magnificent views on the Canary Islands. Due to it’s diverse terrain and beautiful forest the island is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. La Palma is the perfect destination for those who enjoy an almost eternal summer!
Curiosity: The whistle, was declared by Unesco as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009, and recognised as an independent and unique canary language.