• What's Really Happening With Lanzarote - Canary Islands

  • By: DarwinU952 Added: 25-01-17
  • playa blancaThe Canary Islands are special autonomous community of Spain and are located off the northwest coast of Africa , about 100 kilometres (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are the closest to the mainland) from Morocco and the Western Sahara The Canary Islands, although technically coming under Spain and part of the EU , are autonomous with their own government and taxation systems. The total population is roughly 2.1 million with the majority of them living on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria

    Each of the Canary Islands (and their satellite isles) are extremely different in feel. Some people love one island, but hate another. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and your island encounters may be totally different to the experiences of another. While some of them are real beach destinations, like Fuerteventura, others combine culture and like Gran Canaria, Tenerife and nature. Whereas La Palma is very beautiful with a tropical feeling.

    Most notably, the islands form a formidable volcanic archipelago. Their landscapes include four of the highest peaks within Spanish territory and some mightily bizarre yet inspiring scenery: from black sand beaches with soaring cliffs to rugged, red, Mars-like panoramas. The breadth of these landscapes evokes regions from every corner of the planet, and even, sometimes, from others. Each of these seven islands is a completely different world, and adventure, in itself.

    The Canaries are split into 2 different communities: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

    This region of petrified lava make up the National Park of Timanfaya and its Mountains of Fire, where visions of a lifeless, prehistoric (or even apocalyptic) earth, with enormous craters of an incandescent red color, can be seen on a bus or even camel tour. Its unique atmosphere has made it a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the most impressive natural parks in all of Spain.

    As the island is fairly small, you can simply travel to its extremities and go on excursions by car. Heading north, you'll pass La Cueva de los Verdes, or Greens' Cave," created 3,000 years ago by lava streaming from an eruption, and also the Jameos de Agua, a network of subterranean caves and lakes and home to a rare species of blind crabs. At the northernmost point of the island, the prow-like Mirador del Rio extends over the ocean. Here at this windy spot, you can experience a magnificent panorama of the ocean and of the neighboring islet La Graciosa, which is a very recommendable ferry destination.

    Not only is Lanzarote home to bizarre and fantastic landscapes but also to beaches which can compete with any found in the tropics. The best ones are positioned in the southern part of the island. Playa Blanca, one of the most popular, has long stretches of clear sand and crystalline waters, and so does the nearby Las Coloradas beach. For a less touristy one, check out Papagayo , a beautiful large cove encircled by impressive cliffs.

    British tourists head to resorts such as Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Haria where accommodation is on offer for a range of budgets and tastes from all-inclusive five-star resorts and eco lodgings to budget apartments.

    Lanzarote is relatively small and a hiring a car will permit you to drive from one end of the island to the other easily. Be sure to visit Timanfaya National Park with moon-like l, Timanfaya Volcano, scape and steaming geysers; the Fundación César Manrique and the past home of the isl's famous artist and architect; and Los Jameos del Aguas, a huge collapsed lava tube with an underground lake and a stunning blue pool that can be used as a concert venue.

    South east of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria's golden sands and bright sunshine attract holidaymakers every year, and the island's natural beauty with huge stretches of dunes and pine forests make them fall in love with the destination.

    The largest resort on the island, Playa del Ingles, is on the south coast and offers fun-filled holidays for visitors who enjoy strolling down its promenade and drinking in the bars and clubs. Other popular resorts include Playa del Ingles' quieter neighbour, San Augustin; sophisticated Maspalomas with its world-famous sand dunes; pretty and exclusive Puerto Mogan; and stylish Meloneras.

    The other three islands that complete the Canaries - La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro- offer serene holidays away from the crowds as they are still relatively undiscovered and unspoilt. Only La Palma is served by direct flights from the UK into Santa Cruz de La Palma airport (SPM) while you can reach all three islands via flight or ferry from Tenerife.

    La Palma has celebrity connections - Madonna's song La Isla Bonita is rumoured to have been about the island and Manolo Blahnik was born there - but don't expect glitzy attractions when you arrive. Instead, visit the island for relaxing breaks taking in the beautiful scenery from rainforests to waterfalls and, if you are feeling active, long hikes in the mountains.

    Only a few cities in Africa are served, though Mauritania Airways started flying to a number of Mauritanian cities from 2009 onwards. Binter Canarias , has flights from Marrakech to the islands.

    Tenerife is serviced by two airports: Tenerife North (TFN) and Tenerife South (TFS).

    These airports receive a lot of flights from all over Europe , Tenerife South Airport having by far the most possibilities. Lowcost airlines like Easyjet (from London and Manchester ) and Ryanair have found their way as well, the last having most flights, including to/from Brussels , Dublin , Edinburgh , London , Glasgow , Madrid , Porto and Weeze (near Düsseldorf ).

    The Canary Islands' location off the North African Coast implies that they enjoy year-round sun. Lanzarote, for example, sizzles at around 28C in August. And even though you visit between November and February, you'll still be able to enjoy a blast of much-needed heat and can expect temperatures of up to 23C in November in Tenerife.

    Tenerife North Airport (TFN) is located about 10 kilometres from the city. Tenerife North mainly serves other Canary Islands , cities in mainland Spain , and several cities in Germany Also, two airlines fly here to/from Caracas in Venezuela

    The most surprising thing about the beaches in Tenerife are the stretches of thick, black sand found on some, for example on Playa de El Puertito and Playa del Roque on the eastern coast. In the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, two beaches are worth visiting: Las Teresitas, an artificial beach with 1,500 meters of sand taken from the Sahara desert, and Las Gaviotas, a remarkable nude beach with black sand. For extraordinary waves and even more opportunities to get out in the nude, check out the beautiful, hard-to-access beaches of Playa de los Patos and Playa de Bollullo.

    Tenerife Carnival; February; visit Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz for the biggest celebrations: Held just before Lent every year, this carnival sees tourists and locals partying into the night and includes a glitzy opening parade, the burial of the sardine" and the High Heels Marathon.

    This small island is formed by a sizable mountainous forest in its central area called Alto de Garajonay, a national park which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The abrupt coastline extends inwards and climbs up to 1,487 meters above sea level. Curiously, La Gomera was the last port of call before Columbus set off for the New World.

    The Canary Islands are linked by a smaller airline called Binter Canarias , which also has a flight to Marrakech from a couple of the islands.

    From desert camel rides to surfing on Lanzarote - where will your island adventure take you? Here are some ideas for what to do on your holiday...

    Families: For a day out with a difference, why not treat the family to a camel ride across the sand dunes of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria? From your elevated position, you'll be able to take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

    Active types: Catch some waves at Costa Teguise on Lanzarote. Whether you're a beginner or a well-seasoned pro, the ideal wind and wave conditions will give you plenty of opportunities to sharpen up your skills.

    Trasmediterránea and Fred Olsen , are the primary operators between the Canary Islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, Fuerteventura, El Hierro and La Gomera.

    An excursion by car around the island will take you to such places as Breña Baja on the east, a series of small coves with transparent waters which include the popular Playa de Cancajos. In the southernmost point, you will find the town of Fuencaliente , which is full of pine trees, vineyards, and volcanic craters. On the western coast, towns such as Puerto de Naos and Tazacorte have picturesque ports and attractive beaches. La Palma also has one of the world's most important telescopes at the International Astrophysical Observatory, situated near the island's highest mountain, Roque de los Muchachos.

    The local fish is pretty good. You will find a wide variety of international recipes of fish and seafood, too. Two popular fish dishes from Tenerife are Caldereta, a meal with tomatoes, goat meat and potatoes and the Sancocho Canario, a salted fish, usually white, in a mojo" sauce.

    This is the smallest island of the Canaries, as well as the least populated and least traveled, making it a perfect spot for those wishing to get away from it all and experience nature to its fullest. Its clean beaches and mountain scenery offer a relaxing, non-package tourist vacation.

    The Canary Islands are Europe's only exporter of plantain bananas. They are famously delicious here. These bananas are often fried and are also commonly found in the West Indies.

    Other attractions on El Hierro include its natural swimming pools of tranquil water at Tamaduste and Monacal, both located in the north. In La Frontera, separated from the rest of the island by mountains, you can taste some delicious products cultivated on its fertile lands: wines, smoked cheese, tortillas. A curious sight is the region of Sabinar, where the Sabinas, trees native to the island, can be seen. These trees are unlike any others, with their trunks bent over double and twisted into strange shapes by the strong winds of this region.

    Arepas - tortas created from fine corn flour filled with minced meat, cheese, or sweet mango.

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