Spain has traditionally been one of the leading destinations not only for European but also for world tourism. Where are the Canary Islands? The Canary Islands are an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean located off the coast of northwestern Africa west of Morocco. The islands, of volcanic origin, lie approximately 100 km northwest of Africa. An archipelago consisting of 13 islands, of which seven main islands are inhabited, is an autonomous community of Spain.
Features of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands Spain: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Lanzarote, La Gomera, El Hierro are the main tourist destinations in Europe.
The islands are famous all over the world. Each of these islands has different characteristics with a varied landscape: beaches and deserts, mountain ranges and green forests, able to satisfy the different tastes of tourists. 83% of the population lives in Grand Canaria and Tenerife.
Names of the Canary Islands suitable for tourism:
- Gran Canaria;
- La Palma;
- El Hierro;
- La Gomera.
The Canary Islands have two capitals: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the second is located in the center of the archipelago on the island of Tenerife. The capital of the Canary Islands is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a large and densely populated city. The islands are located in a duty-free zone. Prices here are significantly lower and the choice is extensive.
Sights of the Canary Islands
Additional Information! The flora of the Canary Islands is unique in the world, as native plant species have not been found anywhere else since the Ice Age. About a hundred species of plants can be found only in Gran Canaria and nowhere else, not even on the other Canary Islands.
The largest species of wildlife on Gran Canaria are reptiles and birds, especially the Canary lizard, of which the numbers on the island are staggering. Dolphins and whales live in coastal waters.
Tenerife: Canary Islands
The green island of Tenerife is the largest and most populous island in Spain, with a varied landscape: forests, deserts, mountains, volcanoes and beautiful coastline, bustling modern cities and sleepy villages. The climate here is good almost all year round.
While in Tenerife it is worth visiting Loro Parque. The park is home to many species of parrots and penguins from all over the world. This zoo has the largest collection of parrots in the world. The park hosts shows featuring dolphins, killer whales, parrots and sea lions.
Canary Islands Teide is the third largest volcano in the world, and the highest peak in Spain, which is visible from almost all parts of the island. The hour-long cable car ride to the island’s highest peak is an unforgettable experience.
On the dormant volcano Pico del Teide you can see snow in winter. The volcano shares the climate throughout the island. Although the journey from north to south takes just over an hour, the temperature difference is obvious. In the north it is quite humid with tropical plants and vines, in the south it is hot and the soil is rocky and arid.
Of all the Canary Islands, Tenerife receives the most tourists. Every year in February, the island’s capital hosts one of the largest carnivals in the world – the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with lots of dancing, music and colorful costumes. Universidad de La Laguna is the oldest university in the Canary Islands.
Tenerife has beautiful beaches and a rich nightlife. In addition to volcanic beaches with black sand, Tenerife has, near the capital, Las Teresitas with light sand, which was introduced.
Pleasant weather all year round in Tenerife is suitable for a holiday in any month. In summer, the average temperature stays at 24-28 °C, and in winter it drops to 14-18 °C.
The third largest island is also a popular destination in the Canaries. with its exotic nature and beautiful sandy beaches, where there is the opportunity to engage in water sports
Compared to Tenerife, it is less green. Africa is not so far away, and you can feel it here. The island consists of volcanic lava fields, valleys, caves and beaches of different colors. The dark volcanic soil is very fertile,
Botanical Garden of Viera y Clavijo in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with 2,000 cacti and especially a variety of plants and flowers, many of which seem to be from another planet.
The fauna and flora are richer in the north than in the drier, drier south.
Palmitos Park is an unspoilt area home to over 200 species of birds such as flamingos, toucans and hummingbirds. A park with an aquarium, a garden of cacti and orchids, with performances by parrots and dolphins.
From northwest to southeast, the mountain range divides the island into two different climatic and landscape zones. The northern part has long strips of banana plantations along the coast, and the southern part is dry and hot. The northern and western coasts are quite steep and rocky, while the eastern and southern coasts slope gently into the ocean.
Note! The mild climate makes this place suitable for holidays all year round. The southern resorts of Gran Canaria have sandy beaches several kilometers long with hotels, restaurants and clubs. The coast of Maspalomas consists of 250 hectares of golden sand dunes. This is a protected nature reserve. There are many historical monuments on the island. The entire island has been declared a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
The capital of Gran Canaria is Las Palmas, which houses the palace of the island’s first rulers. The oldest district of the capital, La Vequeta, resembles a labyrinth of narrow streets with historic houses and beautiful courtyards. At the top of the Pico de Bandama volcano you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city of Las Palmas and see a huge volcanic crater 200 meters deep and one kilometer long, the territory of which is densely covered with orange, fig and palm trees.
In the northwest, near the town of Santa Maria de Guia, there are about 300 caves located at different levels of the rock.
Lanzarote: Canary Islands
Lanzarote is the fourth largest island and one of the three most visited islands. It is located 11 km northeast of Fuerteventura, near the island of La Graciosa.
This volcanic island has about 300 volcanoes (of which only one is active). The island’s once fertile plains have been transformed into fields of hardened lava, gray volcanic rock and copper-colored sand. Today the lava formations are a landmark of the island. The island of Lanzarote has been declared a national biosphere reserve under the protection of UNESCO.
The island has several dozen beautiful sandy beaches. The coastline is 250 kilometers long and there are only 30 kilometers of sandy beaches. These are small or medium-sized beaches, mostly golden or white sand.
On the southern coast of Lanzarote, in a picturesque bay, there are several sandy beaches. Costa Tequize, Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca are the most famous resorts on the island. The three-kilometer sandy beach of Playa de Famara stretches at the foot of high cliffs and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches.
In addition to relaxing on the beaches, interesting places to visit will be the Timanfaya National Park, the Montanas del Fuego mountains and the Jameos del Acqua caves.
Timanfaya National Park, with its volcanic landscape, occupies a quarter of the island. It will enchant you with a landscape with many craters and volcanoes. The Montanas del Fuego Mountains are a fiery mountain where lava bubbles to the surface and the smell of sulfur is in the air.
Lanzarote’s capital is Arrecife, where walkers will be enchanted by its landscape.
The closest island to the African continent, the oldest island, formed 70 million years ago as a result of volcanic activity.
Fuerteventura’s second largest island with the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago. It is located less than 100 km from the coast of Morocco. For thousands of years, sand from the Sahara has reached the coast of Fuerteventura, making the beaches some of the most beautiful in the world.
At first glance, it is an uninhabited island: a windswept landscape, sand and no plants. The northern part of the island is accessible to tourists, the southern part around Cofete is almost untouched. On the northeast coast is the Dunas de Corralejo National Park with sand dunes.
The area of this area is 27 square kilometers, and its peak is the Montana Roja volcano. This area is devoid of any traces of civilization. Goats are bred on the island for milk, and especially for the famous Majorero cheese. He is one of the best in the world.
Holidays in Fuerteventura offer vast white beaches full of sun and ideal conditions for water sports enthusiasts. The best beaches are on the Jandia Peninsula. The longest and most picturesque beach, 22 km long, is located in Costa Calma. The island has a harsher climate, mainly due to a colder wind called Gota Fria.
La Gomera Island
One of the smallest islands, 30 km east of Tenerife, was formed after a large volcanic eruption. It captivates with its mountainous landscape with deep gorges, laurel forests and terraced fields on the valley walls. Although the island is volcanic, there is a lot of greenery, and Garajonay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old forest, covering an area of 3,984 hectares, has centuries-old trees covered with moss. In the very center of the park there is a laurel grove – the largest laurel forest in the world.
The natural monument of Los Organos is a rock formed in the shape of an organ pipe. However, Los Organos can only be seen from the sea.
The capital and main port of La Gomera, San Sebastian de La Gomera, is associated with the figure of Christopher Columbus. While traveling around America, he allegedly stopped at the island of La Gomera in the port of San Sebastian to replenish his supplies. On the sidewalk, in the main square of Plaza de las Americas, there is a mosaic depicting the route of Columbus’s expedition, and there is also a statue of Christopher. The house where he stayed is today the island’s main tourist attraction.
The beaches are mostly rocky, but there are also pebbly and sandy ones. A popular black sand beach is Playa de la Caleta, which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches.
The island attracts tourists with its amazing untouched nature with beautiful beaches and tropical forests. Many consider it the most beautiful of all the Canary Islands.
The island is made up of volcanoes. The volcanic island has frequent rain and lush vegetation. Residents are mainly engaged in agriculture.
Additional information! Thanks to excellent climatic conditions, grapes, avocados and bananas thrive on the island. The garden plots are considered to be some of the best in all of the Canary Islands.
The capital of the island is Santa Cruz de la Palma, with many modern houses and a picturesque historical center in the spirit of colonial architecture.
One of the smallest inhabited islands in Spain, located furthest from Europe. The island of El Hierro has the highest concentration of volcanoes in the Canary Islands (more than 800).
There are also several natural pools in which you can swim. Diverse fauna and flora with some endangered species. El Hierro Biosphere Reserve has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. In July 2011, seismic activity was recorded here, causing an earthquake.
El Hierro is ideal for snorkeling and diving, with many dive schools for both beginners and experienced divers. The airport is a short walk from Valverde. From here you can reach Tenerife, Gran Canaria every day, and La Palma in the summer. El Hierro is sure to please lovers of nature, hiking and photography.
Canary Islands: airport. Air travel between the islands is seamless and each island has an airport. Ferry transport is longer, but cheaper and more convenient thanks to the bars and restaurants that operate on the ferries. The downside is the transfer on the way between more remote islands.
The large islands have a well-developed bus network, so you can get almost anywhere. There are also connections to small villages, but sometimes only once or twice a day. Thanks to the large tourist flow on the islands, there is no problem finding a taxi. Car rentals are easily available on all the main islands.
Climate in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are known as the Islands of Eternal Spring as they enjoy warm, sunny weather all year round with average temperatures ranging from 17°C to 28°C. Warm winds blowing from the Sahara provide a warm climate all year round with an average temperature of 18°C in winter and 24 °C in summer The islands lie in the path of cold sea currents, so the ocean temperatures are lower here. Closer to Africa, the islands of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are slightly warmer. The north coast is also slightly colder than the south. It’s cold at high altitudes and snow covers the top of El Teide.