"Fortunate Islands!" Canary Islands by Birsen
Canary Islands Travel Guide: 4,842 reviews and 10,895 photos
Once known to the ancient Romans as the Fortunate Islands, the Canary Islands were named after the large dogs (Canes) found living on the islands. Located off the northwestern coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are one of the most popular tourist destination on the planet, especially with Europeans. The Canaries today consist of seven islands divided, for administrative purposes, into two areas. The province of Las Palmas brings together the major island of Gran Canaria and the lesser ones of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife encompasses Tenerife and its satelite islands of la Gomera. La Palma and Hierro. Within the archipelago there is a variety so extreme that it is easiest to refer to it as a mini-continent. The isles share an eternal spring climate but they differ dramatically amongst each other. Exploring the Canaries you move from sub-tropical vegetation to volcanic semi-deserts, from verdant cliffs and gorges to sand dunes by the sea shore.
One wonders to this day when and how the ancients learnt about this little paradise which Herodotus called the Garden of Hesperides, Homer the Elysian Fields and Pliny the Fortunate isles. Modern contact with the Canaries began to develop in the Middle Ages as sailors from peninsular Spain arrived to plunder the isles of their orchids, which were used to make dye, and of their inhabitants, who were enslaved. Conquest in earnest only began with the Norman adventurer Jean de Bethencourt who, in 1402, claimed Lanzarote on behalf of his feudal lord. Henry III of Castile. In 1483, during the region of the Catholic Monarchs, Pedro de Vera established a base in Gran Canaria and in 1496 Alonso Fenández de Lugo won control of Tenerife. From then on colonization started in earnest.
Because of their tropical location just off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands enjoy permanent spring-like conditions.
The weather is dry (often windy), with year-round high temperatures near 72 degrees. 100% sunshiny days are commonplace. Rainfall is sparse, with most falling in the winter months.
The islands are the remaining cones of long-extinct volcanoes, some very steep. The highest point (the highest point in all of Spain's territories) is the Pico de Teide Mountain, located on Tenerife. It's 12,195 ft., (3,718m) tall.
- Pros:Year around summer holiday, great Canarian hospitality, amazing landscapes...
- Cons:Too good to have cons:))
- In a nutshell:Fortunate islands!
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