The Canary Islands are an archipelago of seven main islands and two smaller islands, all of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of north-west Africa, and form an autonomous community of Spain.
The name Canary comes from the Latin “canis” (dog) given the large amount of wild dogs (called Presa Canario or Dogo Canario) who populated the archipelago.

HISTORY
Some scientific data date the first settlements of the “Guanche” people, around 200 BC.
The “Guanche” were tall and strong build, with fair eyes and hair.
The settlers came around 1400 by the Normans and later by Spaniards.
The main Canarian ports were used by all European settlers who went to the New World; the presence of Columbus in the Canaries is documented.

The islands from largest to smallest are:

  • Tenerife (capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife);
  • Fuerteventura (capital Puerto del Rosario);
  • Gran Canaria (capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria);
  • Lanzarote (La Graciosa) (capital Arrecife);
  • La Palma (capital Santa Cruz de la Palma);
  • La Gomera (capital San Sebastián de la Gomera);
  • El Hierro (Valverde capital).

Beach Mogan

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The islands enjoy a very mild climate throughout the year which can be very dry or rather humid, with average temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees. This climatic variability gives rise to great biological, landscape and geology diversity.

NATIONAL PARKS

  • National Park of Caldera de Taburiente (La Palma): created in 1954 and declared World Biosphere Reserve in 2002 along with the entire island.
  • Garajonay National Park (La Gomera): created in 1981 and declared in 1986 Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO. From 2012 the park and the entire island are a Biosphere Reserve.
  • Timanfaya National Park (Lanzarote): created in 1974 and declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 along with the entire island. It is a volcanic park. There are more than 25 volcanoes, including the Montaña de Fuego, Montaña Rajada or Caldera Corazoncillo.
  • Teide National Park (Tenerife): created in 1954, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. In the park there is the Teide Observatory, also known as Observatorio de Izaña.

MUSEUMS
In the museums of the islands there are collections of archaeological and human remains of prehistoric archipelago, of the history of the islands and about science and technology. Some of the most important museums of the archipelago are:

  • Museum of Nature and Man: located in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, houses a collection of “Guanche” mummies.
  • Canary Museum: in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Preserve ceramic vessels of different types and decorative beauty; and a large collection of skeletal remains of the ancient inhabitants of the island.
  • Archaeological Museum of Puerto de La Cruz: located in the city of Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife). Houses one of the most important collections of “Guanche” aboriginal pottery of the Canaries.
  • Cueva Pintada Museum (Painted Cave) of Gáldar: located in the Archaeological Park Cueva Pintada, in the municipality of Gáldar (Gran Canaria). The cave was discovered in the nineteenth century.
  • Anthropology museum of Tenerife: it is located in the building “Casa de Carta” in Valle de Guerra (in the municipality of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife) and its main function is to do research, preserve and propagate Canarian popular culture.
  • Elder Museum of Science and technology: it is located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It has laboratories to make live science and a great cinema room.
  • Science and cosmos Museum: it is in San Cristobal de La Laguna in Tenerife.
    Modern Art Atlantic Centre: located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
  • Museum of the History of Tenerife: in the building of “Casa Lercaro”, in San Cristobal de la Laguna (Tenerife). It makes know the history of the island of Tenerife from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.
  • Canarian’s Museum of Cetaceans: located in Puerto Calero, in the municipality of Yaiza (Lanzarote).

Mountain Timadaba

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CUISINE AND LOCAL PRODUCTS
The Canarian cuisine has been influenced by the legacy of the “Guanche” and the Latin American tradition.
Gofio”: toasted corn flour. Ii is consumed in various forms: mixed with milk, or with honey, is also used to eat it mixed with vegetable or fish soups.
Papas arrugadas”: potatoes cooked in their skins in salted water and eaten with “mojo” a garlic-based sauce.

How to get to Canary Islands:
By ship: port of Cadiz, port of Malaga.
By plane: flights with Iberia, Ryanair