• Lanzarote - Canary Islands - An Overview

  • By: DarwinU952 Added: 27-01-17
  • 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 most of them living on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria

    With seven different islands to choose from, a holiday in the Canary Islands has something for everyone. Find out why you should go and which island you should pick...

    Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is a firm favourite with Brits as it's possible to spend a week or two in the sun completely relaxing on a beach, but also to have a more active break playing golf, diving, hiking in Teide National Park or riding the waves on a surf board. And while families will love the attractions on offer like the water kingdom" Siam Park, those after wild nights out will enjoy the lively nightlife in resorts such as Playa de las Americas.

    Prepare to find yourself awe-struck at the extra-terrestrial landscapes of this extraordinary island, which boasts about 300 volcanoes. Even though all seven islands are of volcanic origin, Lanzarote has most recently felt the devastating effects of its volcanic eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries, when some 200 square kilometers were scorched and covered in ashes.

    The second largest of the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura, is still relatively unspoilt and whether you want to take the kids to a waterpark, to flop on a secluded spot of beach and completely relax, or to embrace the elements and windsurf, you'll find the perfect break for you.

    As the island is quite small, you can certainly 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.

    The volcanic nature of the island of Tenerife meant that the land has few natural beaches. Those that exist are characterised by black sand created from the island's volcanic rocks. The demand for tourist sun-bathing space, however, has led to the creation of resorts and man-made beaches, with golden sand having been imported in some cases. Some of the best beaches of Tenerife are Los Gigantes and San Juan in the west and Fañabe, in the South with its golden s, showers and excellent facilities. Also popular are Torviscas with its marina, Playa las Americas for its grey sandy stretches and los Cristianos' beach. Candelaria in the east has a little black shingle beach. Up north Puerto de la Cruz has a beach with fine black sand, and at Santa Cruz golden sand has been imported for its Terasitas beach.

    Getting there: Flights to Lanzarote from most major cities in Europe, as well as from the other islands, arrive at the Lanzarote Airport 5 km away from the capital, Arrecife. Ferries arrive at Playa Blanaca from Fuerteventura, La Palma, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria. Some of these ferries are legs of an overnight ferry from Cadiz , Spain.

    The Canary Islands' climate is ideal for a week of enjoying the sun and making trips across the islands. Summers are mostly between 25º and 30º during the day and still above

    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 individual islands in the Canary archipelago tend to have distinct microclimates. Islands such as El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera lying to the west of the archipelego have a climate which is influenced by the moist gulf stream. As one travels east toward the African coast, the influence of the gulf stream diminishes, and the islands become increasingly arid. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote the islands which are closest to the African mainland are effectively desert or semi desert. In conditions of its climate Tenerife is particularly interesting. The north of the island lies under the influence of the moist atlantic winds and is well vegetated, while the south of the island is arid.

    Getting there: Flights come into Fuerteventura Airport, 5 km outside of Puerto del Rosario, from the other islands and from most major European cities. Ferries arrive at Corralejo from Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria.

    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.

    Don't forget about the endless white sand beaches and turquoise waters, which may be enjoyed in Maspalomas , located next to an area of sand dunes, and also in Playa del Inglés, both of which make up the more popular areas for beach-going. For quieter beaches and pretty coves, try La Costa de Bañaderos or Playa de las Nieves, both of which offer incredible mountain views.

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

    Sun-worshippers are well served on Canary Island holidays. Read on to discover the best time to visit for you...

    Numerous other airlines serve Tenerife South though, the choice is wide.

    The Canary Islands host a number of events throughout the year which include parades, street parties and fiestas. Here are some of our top options...

    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.

    Dia de Canarias; May 30; throughout the Canary Islands: Canarian culture is celebrated on this public holiday to celebrate the autonomous Canary Islands' Parliament's first session in 1983.

    In these mountainous terrains, the ancient tradition of lenguaje silbado" is still used among inhabitants, a method of communication using whistling techniques to send messages between mountains. Continuing traditions like this is just one of the reasons Gomera attracts tourists looking for a more genuine experience off the beaten track.

    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.

    La Palma is also know as la isla bonita," or pretty island," because of its lush greenery, blue skies, and coasts formed by volcanic lava. The island was declared a Biosphere Reserve due to its treasure trove of ecological sites. Here you will find natural springs such as Nacientes de Marcos, volcanoes, gullies, and laurel woods like Bosque de El Canal.

    But the most spectacular site by far on the island is the National Park of La Caldera de Turburiente , a massive crater formed by the erosion of a volcano. With a perimeter of 9 kilometers and depth of up to 770 meters, this crater is one of the largest in the world. Covered with thick forests and home to a biological diversity of almost a hundred different plant species, its beauty can be appreciated from the surrounding mountains, and also from points such as Mirador de la Cumbrecita.

    Canarian cuisine is a mix between African cultures, Latin and Spanish. Most of Canarian cuisine is a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish, generally light meals, more easy to digest in a warm climate. Meat is usually consumed as a part of stews or as steaks.

    The local fish is fairly good. You will look for 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.

    The tapas concept is one of the most delicious Spanish contributions to international gastronomy. A Tapa is a light and small piece of food that Spaniards have either before lunch or dinner, usually with a glass of wine or beer. The Tapa can be presented in several ways. It can be made as a pincho (with a stick), as a mini-dish of a traditional recipe, as a canapé, etc...

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

    Gofio - Grain flour used especially at breakfast or to accompany potaje, a local stew.

    Arepas - tortas made from fine corn flour filled with minced meats, cheese, or nice mango.

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