Canary Islands, basically an archipelago, consist of seven islands and many other islets. The islands are truly Spanish and of volcanic origin. Located in North Atlantic Ocean, they form the autonomous community of the Canary Islands. They were formed by the ‘Canary hotspot’ and offer more than 500 beaches. It is said that because of the climate and the location of this archipelago, the islands are perfect for astronomical observation. The Canary Islands are known by various names, such as Fortunate Islands, Garden of the Hesperides and the Atlantida, by the Celtics, Greeks and Romans. The beaches and the climate form a very important part of the island’s natural attractions. The islands are also home to the third tallest volcano called Mount Tiede. If these facts have already captured your attention and you want to learn more, scroll further to find out some fun and interesting facts about Canary Islands.
Image: Carrie Finley-Bajak@flickr
Area: 7,493 km2
Capital: Santa Cruz and Las Palmas
Population: 2,117,519 (2011)
Official Languages: Spanish
Interesting & Fun Facts About Canary Islands
- Two cities share the status of being the capital city of Canary Islands: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
- The official language of Canary Islands is Spanish.
- The currency of Canary Islands is Euro.
- The term 'Islas Canarias' has been derived from the Latin term Insula Canaria, meaning ‘Island of the Dogs’.
- The northernmost island is La Palma and is referred to as 'la Isla Bonita', owing to its immense natural beauty.
- Many historical records claim that the Portuguese had discovered the Canaries way back in 1336. However, there is very little or no evidence to support the statement.
- Canary Islands is the eighth most populous of Spain’s autonomous communities.
- Canary Islands boast of a rich cultural heritage and music.
- Immigrants from Spain, Portugal and Italy make up majority of the population of Canary Islands.
- Majority of the inhabitants of Canary Islands follow Christianity - they are predominantly Roman Catholics. However, one can also find a decent number of Protestants contributing to the population. Many Africans, following Islam, have also settled in the Canary Islands. People following Hinduism can also be found here.
- The Canary Islands are warm all year round, including winters.
- The ‘Lucha Canaria’, which is a favorite Canarian pastime, is also known as Canarian Wrestling and is the island’s very own sport. It is believed to be one of the earliest forms of wrestling.
- The Canary Islands are closest to the equator than any other island in the world.
- The third tallest volcano in the world, Mount Tiede, is located in these islands.
- Tenerife is the biggest island amongst all the Canary Islands.
- Four of Spain's thirteen national parks are located in the Canary Islands.
- The economy of Canary Islands is primarily based on tourism.
- The most important festival of Canary Islands is the carnival held in February.
- Some volcanoes are still active in the Canary Islands. The place has also a record of the most number of volcanic eruptions in Spain, during the Modern Era.
- Canary Islands house 15 incredible golf courses.
- Scuba diving and underwater photography are the most popular activities in Canary Islands.
- The Canary Islands serve as home to the endangered Loggerhead Turtle.
- It is interesting to know that the sea currents coming from the coasts of Canary Islands were used to lead ships away to America.
- The international boundary of Canary Islands is still a matter of dispute between Spain and Morocco.
- Canary Islands are blessed with rich flora and diverse fauna. European and African species of birds can be found here. Talking about marine life, one can also find variety here - a combination of North Atlantic, Mediterranean and endemic species.
- Canarian Wrestling, a unique form of sport native to the islands, is quiet popular.