The Canary Islands are located near the northern coast of Africa and these islands are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. There are seven large islands – Tenerife, El Hierro, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Gomera and La Palma- and these form an autonomous region. In addition there are some smaller islands like Alegranza, Graciosa and Lobos. The population of this autonomous region as on 1st January 2008 was about 2.1 million.
Prehistoric animals such as giant lizard, giant rats, etc. inhabited Canary Islands prior to the arrival of the aborigines. Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians visited these islands. First century Roman author cum philosopher Pliny the Elder has stated that there were no inhabitants when Carthaginians visited this place; however they saw ruins of great buildings.
The Canary Islands are famous for their tropical climate. The maximum and minimum average temperatures in these islands are 28°C in August and 15 °C in January.
Art and Culture
The following museums are popular in these islands:
1.House-Museum Monument to farm workers San Bartolomé – created by César Manrique, Canary Islands sculptor and architect.
2.La Alcogida Eco-museum Puerto del Rosario – designed mainly for educating children.
3.Municipal Museum of Fine Arts Santa Cruz de Tenerife – exhibits works of Ribera (Saint Joseph), Joaquín Sorolla (Portrait of Fernando Viscaí), 16th century Flemish school,(Nava Triptych) and works by Canary painters.
4.Museum of Natural Sciences Santa Cruz de Tenerife – dedicated mainly for research on Canary Islands’ geology, flora and fauna.
5.Gáldar archaeological site Gáldar – contains remains of the pre-Hispanic culture.
6.Carta Palace Santa Cruz de Tenerife – is an 18th century building combining the Baroque and Neoclassic styles.
The cuisines of Canary Islands consist of traditional Spanish recipes combined with African and Latin-American cuisines.
The following items are popular.
1.Papas Arrugadas – potatoes with their skin are boiled in salt-water and served with Mojo picon, which is hot sauce of oil, chili-peppers, garlic and paprika.
2.Gofio – is the main staple diet. Wheat, Barley and maize are roasted and ground into flour and used in many recipes – soups, desserts, stews, sauces, ice cream, etc.
3.Caldereta and Sancocho Canario – are salted fish in a Mojo sauce.
4.Potaje de Berros – is a hot-pot of chick-peas that is well known.
Sports and Entertainment
The following sports are unique to Canary Islands.
1.Game of the sticks – in this the opponents’ fence using long sticks.
2.Shepard’s jump – involves using a long stick in order to vault over an open area.
Duty free shopping is quite popular in Canary Islands. You could take advantage of this.
The economy is mainly dependent on tourism that contributes 32% of the GDP. In addition many agricultural items such as tomato, potato, onion, sugarcane, grapes, vines, peaches, almonds, etc. also contribute to the strength of the economy.