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CANARY ISLANDS
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ABOUT CANARY ISLANDS

The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean some 1.500 Km. southwest from the Spanish main land. Geographically they lie in front of the Atlantic coasts of Africa. People used to call them the 'Islas Afortunadas' (fortunate islands) for its nearly permanent good climate. These islands are volcanic and constitute an authentic natural paradise with extraordinary geological value and an exhuberant nature. It is without any doubt the most relevant tourism destination in Spain due to its permanent Spring weather, its amazing beaches, seaside resorts and the numerous possibilities for entertainment. The islands are seven: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

FUERTEVENTURA
camel in TeideCamel travel
Tourism office:
Av. Primero de Mayo, 33.

General information: 15.551 inhabitants. Capital: Puerto del Rosario. Altitude: 16 metres above sea level.

Fuerteventura is the largest island (in coast kilometres) and geologically it is the oldest of them all (around 30 million years). It's also the one with less volcanic activity. Wide plateaus dominate the lanscape of this island. Apart from its magnificent beaches it offers many possibilities for fishing and sea sports, like windsurf or the more trendy kite-surf. It's also a good place for small-game (rabbit, paldrige). The lanscape is very dry and flat. In the 18th century it was used as a food storage base for the other islands.

In tourism it offers two different areas of relevance: 'Corralejo', to the north, with a vast accommodation choice and restaurants, and 'Jandía' to the south, also with a superb coastline, many hotels, bungalows, apartments, shopping areas, etc. Gastronomically it is a bit poor, but certainly most foods have to do with fresh fish or 'jareado', goat meat and some suprisingly good cheeses. The 'majorero' cheese ranks among the best in Spain and has become a usual sourvenir. Another good variety of cheese is the 'Queso de la flor del Guía'.

LA GOMERA
General information
:
6.010 inhabitants. Main town is 'San Sebastián de La Gomera'. Aiport 34 Km. from San Sebastián.

Celebrations: 'Fiestas patronales San Sebastián', January 20th. 'Los Remedios', July 2nd. 'Fiestas colombinas', in September.

Also known as the 'Isla Colombina' in memory of the last western point where Christopher Coulumbus was before setting his sails to America. La Gomera is the second largest island in surface with a complicated orography due to the carvings, canyons and cliffs created by erosion. The lansdscape is varied with protected forests at the national park of 'Garajonay' with a much admired nature of particular interest to biology lovers. One of the most common trees in the island is the palm tree as woud correspond to this climate.

Some places of interest are: 'La fortaleza', big round geological formation in the form of a hole, 'Laguna Grande', a vast plateau with some rare vegetation, 'La degollada de Peeraza', the place where it is said the first murder ever in this island took place, and 'Roque Agando'. La Gomera is a great place for rural tourism lovers, with many trecking possibilities and where open-air sports find its perfect environment.

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA
Tourism office:

Plaza Comandante Ramón Franco
(opposite to the 'Santa Catalina' park)

General information: 355.563 inhabitants. Gando Airport 20 Km. from Las Palmas city.

Celebrations: 'Santa Ana', July 26th.

The city of Las Palmas was founded in 1478 following an urbanistic model of Sevilla with a rich area and a commercial area. The river that used to cross the city dried up and today has been burried under a highway. Gran Canaria is an example of cosmopolitan city. The closeness to Africa, the mixed tourists all year round and the Russian, Cuban, Korean and Japanese fishing fleets provide an interesting human landscape that also has enriched the variety of foods one can find in the city: Chinese, Japanese, Libanese, Iranian, Indian, French, Russian, Bulgarian, Escandinavian, Korean, Hungarian, Argentinian,... apart form more traditional foods from regional Spain. It might be the city in Spain that offers a wider choice of restaurants outside Madrid or Barcelona. But the visit to the island would be incomplete without the experience of the other parts with different landscapes, towns, villages, with a lot of authentic feeling.

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE
Tourism office:
Plaza de España.
Edificio del Cabildo Insular.

General information: 203.787 inhabitants. Playa de las Américas: 76 Km from Santa Cruz.

Tenerife is the largest of all the Canary Islands (2.034 Km2). Like the rest of the islands it's a perfect vacation place for its climate and landscape. Average maximum temprature in rarely above 24°C, and minimum averages rarely fall below 14°C except in the mountains. Nature in this island is inmensly important, specially the park of the mount 'Teide'.

The landscape is desertic in the south and forest covers many parts of the north with the alisian winds hitting its coast regularly, forming a cloudy ceiling some days. There are many trails for trecking in wild nature. The national park of Teide holds a powerful volcanic area with a large variety of autoctonous plants in contrast with the mineral richness of the volcanic rock.

EL HIERRO
General information:
3.687 inhabitants. Main town is Valverde.

Celebrations: 'Romería de la Virgen de Los Reyes' first Sunday of July.

El Hierro is a small island (287 Km2) that reaches an altitude of 1.501 meters at the 'Pico de Malpaso'. It only hosts two municipalities, Valverde and Frontera. Valverde is the head town to an area of 105 Km2 and is placed in the interior in a region called "Las Brunas", difficult lands filled with volcanic formations. Quite near, on the coastline, the port of 'La Estaca' and the beach of 'Tamaduste' complete the places of interest. To the east, Frontera is famous for its local wines and pineapple. They have traditional figues and a popular dessert called 'quesadillas'. Good fishery and cheese makers abound. The island holds the natural habitat of some huge lizzards, the 'lagartos de Salmor' nearly extinguished and protected by law.

LA PALMA
General information:
18.000 inhabitants. Main town Santa Cruz de La Palma.

La Palma island is located to the northeast of the islands. Also known with the name of "Isla Bonita" (pretty island) all its landscape is dominated by a huge valley-like round geological formation called 'La Caldera de Taburiente', one of the biggest in the world of its kind. The inside of this formation is today a national park and can only be accessed by foot or with 4x4 vehicles (book in advance). Once you are there you can enjoy the multitude of plants belonging in this ecosystem and the beauty of nature in this rare and beatuiful environment tunnelled by water ways.

Another singular view of this island is the Route of the Volcanoes, a path through different volcanic formations one of which , the'Teneguía', became active in 1971. The uniqueness of the landscape can be admired also from road trips as well as in trecking tracks having the island a quite complete road network that reaches all parts of the territory. Forest tracks have been made available and directions signs in them will help you find your way.

LANZAROTE
Tourism office:
at the airport
General information:
18.000 inhabitants. Main town: Arrecife.

Impressive fields of solidified lava make up this island. The island had different volcanic activity periods throughout its history. From the nature viewpoint of Montaña Rajada you can admire a vast sea of dry lava that reaches the coastline. Waves and bizarre shapes of lava have created a picturesque landscape. Inhabitants have learned to live alongside this unusual landscape, and have suceeded in farming melons, onions, tomatoes and also vines in 'La Geria'.

There are two prehistoric caves of interest: 'Cueva de los Verdes' (Haría) with its spectacular rock formations, and the 'Cueva de los Jameos del Agua' also a natural spectacle. Both have car-parks in case you reach them by car.

Beaches in this island have good waves for windsurfers. The popular ones have a beach cleaning service. 'El Papagayo' beach is one of the most popular and unspoilt and has fine white sand. It lies between two cliffs forming a small inlet. The rocky setting is ideal for snorkelling as the waters are usually calm here.

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