- Location: Location: Canary Island
- Attraction Type: Island
- Significance: Sub-tropical island known for its history and biodiversity
- Best time to Visit: Throughout the year. The temperature remains in the region of 18 to 24 degrees Celsius almost all year-round.
- Visiting Hours: During the day
- How to Reach: Canary Island can be reached on a ferry ( Acciona Trasmediterrí¡nea ) from mainland Spain. Flights to Tenerife are available from Morocco, UK and other European destinations apart from Spain.
- Nearest Airport: There are two airports on Tenerife island—–the Tenerife Norte( serving the inter-island traffic) and Tenerife Sur ( handling charter flights coming from Spain and mainland Europe and Africa)
Located off the coast of northwest Africa, Canary Island is a volcanic archipelago that belongs to Spain. The islands are a popular tourist spot as much for its rich history as for its varied wildlife. The name Canary island refers to “sea dogs” or monk seals which were found on the island. Though the monk seals are now extinct, a rich variety of birds and animals are found on the island. Most important of these endemic species include Canary and Tenerife Goldcrest among birds. Reptiles like the striped Canary island geckos and mammals like the Algerian hedgehog and the Canarian shrew are also found only on these islands. The sea surrounding the archipelago is home to a variety of fishes, sharks and 5 different species of turtles.
Made up of 7 different islands, the archipelago was known to the Greeks who called it the Happy Islands. For ages, it was also under Roman protection. Settlers on the islands included both Europeans and Arabs. Canary islands were a bone of fierce contention between the British, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Spanish. It was the Spanish who held it in the 20th century and they continue to hold it in spite of the upheavals related to dictatorial Franco rule and subsequent transition to democracy. Being close to Africa, the islands have had a strong African influence in demographics and culture.
Things to Do in Canary Islands
If you are visiting Canary islands, have a bit of time on your hands. There are 4 national parks to explore. The flora and fauna on these parks are found nowhere else and it is a unique opportunity to appreciate the biodiversity that is on offer. The volcanic geography of Pico del Tiede ( the highest peak), as well as the 257 km of beaches on this island, attracts many tourists. Lanzarote is a UNESCO biosphere reserve with volcanic cones and cacti and is a thing to behold.
On Tenerife, the largest island, attractions include nightlife, walking and whale watching. The Parrot Park here is a special attraction and houses other animals like the penguins and alligators too.
Other Activities in Canary Islands
If you care for culture and cuisine, Canary island will not disappoint you. The cuisine is unique because of dishes that include fishes, potato and wine made from Malvasian grape. The cuisine has been influenced by African and Latin American influences over the ages apart from the dominating Spanish influence.
The islands are also home to the unique whistling language—the “Silbo Gomero”, which was invented by the indigenous islands. Take your time to soak in the culture of the Canary island and you are sure to find that the ”jota” music and dance and the strumming of the timple guitar are resonating within you.
Canary Island has been a tourist hotspot since the 1960s when people from Britain, Germany, and other countries began to visit in large numbers. As a result, there is a wide variety of staying arrangements starting from the ultra-luxury and the expensive to more modest arrangements.
Some of the hotels on the island are mentioned below
1.Hotel Las Aguilas
Calle Doctor Barajas 19 – Puerto De La Cruz, Spain 38400
2.Royal Tenerife Country Club”” ApartHotel
Calle San Andreas – San Miguel De Abona, Spain 38620