The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands form part of Macaronesia, geographic area of the Atlantic Ocean which includes the islands outside the Straits of Gibraltar (Canary Islands, Azores, Cape Verde) and whose meaning is “Islands of the Blessed”.
They are administratively part of Spain, but constitute an Autonomous Community, and they benefit from a reduced tax regime (7% IGIC vs. 22% IVA in the peninsula).
The Canaries’ Archipelago is made up of 4 main islands and 3 small ones: Tenerife (the largest), Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and the small La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera.
Gran Canaria and Tenerife host the two capitals of the Autonomous Community, respectively Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
They’re all volcanic islands with a subtropical climate, in fact they’re located at a much lower latitude than the rest of Europe (the same of Florida); the closest land to them is Morocco / Western Sahara.
7 WONDERFUL MICROCOSMS
Which island do you want to visit?
DO YOU KNOW…?
• Christopher Columbus had his base in the Canary Islands for his exploration beyond the Atlantic Ocean. We can find his residence in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the historical neighborhood of La Vegueta.
• Tenerife hosts the tallest mountain in Spain: El Teide… obviously a volcano.
• The first men on mission to the moon were shown images of the “lunar landscape”: the typical landscape of Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote, entirely composed of volcanoes and craters, to provide them an idea of the way our natural satellite could be.
• The inhabitants of La Gomera speak a dialect totally made of whistles – unique in the world.
• The island of El Hierro is completely self-sufficient in terms of energy resources, thanks to its wind farms.
• Gran Canaria hosts a real miniature desert: the Maspalomas Dunes, a landscape that’s one of a kind, considering that Europe has no deserts.
• Lanzarote is the only one of the Canary Islands where camels are autochthonous.
• Fuerteventura has 152 beaches, mainly fine and white/golden sand.
• The Museo Atlántico, first underwater museum in Europe, is located in Lanzarote.
• It is believed that the Canary Islands might be what’s left of the lost Atlantis.
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