Canary Islands Travel Guide

The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries are a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities and an outermost region of the European Union. The islands include (from largest to smallest): Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste.

The islands have a subtropical climate, with long warm summers and moderately warm winters. The capital of the Autonomous Community is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Province of Las Palmas. The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning “Island of the Dogs”, a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained “vast multitudes of dogs of very large size”. The overwhelming majority of native Canarians are Roman Catholic with various smaller foreign-born populations of other Christian beliefs such as Protestants from northern Europe.

Below are a list of the islands which make up the popular Spanish destination of the Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest island of the Canarian Archipelago. It has a surface area of 2,034 square kilometres and is in a central position between the islands of Gran Canaria, La Gomera and La Palma. It is located over 1000 kilometres from the Spanish mainland. The shape of the island looks like an irregular triangle. Its three corners are formed by the Anaga, Teno and Adeje Massifs and at its centre, rising above the Cañadas Caldera is Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 3,718 metres above sea-level……….
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Fuerteventura, with a surface of 1,660 km², is the second-most extensive island of the archipelago, as well as the second most oriental. It has been declared aBiosphere reserve by Unesco. It has a population of 100,929. Being also the most ancient of the islands, it is the one that is more eroded: its highest point is the Peak of the Bramble, at a height of 807 m. Its capital is Puerto del Rosario…….
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Gran Canaria has 845,676 inhabitants. The capital, Las Palmas (377,203 inhabitants), is the most populous city and shares the status of capital of the Canaries with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Gran Canaria’s surface area is 1,560 km². In center of the island lie the Roque Nublo (1,813 m) and Pico de las Nieves (“Peak of Snow”) (1,949 m). In the south of island are the Maspalomas Dunes (Gran Canaria), these are the biggest tourist attractions……..
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Lanzarote, is the easternmost island and one of the most ancient of the archipelago, and it has shown evidence of recent volcanic activity. It has a surface of 845.94 km², and a population of 139,506 inhabitants including the adjacent islets of the Chinijo Archipelago. The island’s name in the native language was Titerro (y) gatra, which may mean “the red mountains”……..
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La Palma, with 86,528 inhabitants, covering an area of 708.32 km² is in its entirety a biosphere reserve. It shows no recent signs of volcanic activity, even though the volcano Teneguía entered into eruption last in 1971. In addition, it is the second-highest island of the Canaries, with the Roque de los Muchachos (2,423 m) as highest point. Santa Cruz de La Palma (known to those on the island as simply “La Palma”) is its capital……..
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