Islands of Eternal Spring
All Canary Islands at a glance
The third largest island in the archipelago is like a miniature continent, with long bright sandy beaches, green canyons and unique natural landscapes. Due to the special landscape and the diversity of the local flora and fauna, almost half of the area of the island of Gran Canaria has been declared a biosphere reserve
From the coast to the mountains, Tenerife forms a world of contrasts: lonely black or long and bright sandy beaches, deep gorges, gigantic cliffs, bizarre volcanic lunar landscapes, exotic forests, lively tourist centers and cities as well as valleys strewn with banana plantations.
La Gomera attracts hikers in particular due to its large number of hiking trails and hidden areas that are of inestimable ecological value. In the center of the island is the Garajonay National Park, a forest made of laurel trees, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Highlights of the island are the millennial Sabina forest, the Don Justo cave in La Restinga, the Orchilla lighthouse and uniquely beautiful places. Particularly noteworthy are the many hiking trails on El Hierro, where you can explore the whole island in unspoiled nature.
La Palma is also known as "Isla Bonita" because of its breathtaking natural landscapes, its colors and the small villages and towns that were built in the colonial style. La Palma is also known for the large number of plant species, because plants can be found there from almost all vegetation zones on earth.
In Lanzarote you will find fantastic volcanic landscapes as well as beautiful places and monuments by the artist Cesár Manrique. Due to this architecture, which was integrated into the spectacular natural landscapes and thus harmoniously combines tradition and modernity, Lanzarote was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993.
Fuerteventura is known for endless white beaches but also for busy holiday areas and for the desert-like interior of the island, barren mountain slopes and lava rock fields. In a few valleys, palm trees grow occasionally. In the small coastal towns you can still admire the island’s typical architecture.
Interesting facts for trips to the Canary Islands
All Canary Islands now have an airport. From Germany you can book a direct flight to Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and La Palma. La Gomera and El Hierro also have an airport, but are only served by the other islands.
Statutory health insurance companies only provide insurance protection in state hospitals. Before you leave, inquire about the benefits of your health insurance. It is therefore recommended to take out travel health insurance or an insurance package.
Some of the Canary Islands are a paradise for water sports enthusiasts and for visitors who like to swim. However, swimming in the sea due to strong currents is not recommended on individual islands. Beautiful natural swimming pools often invite you to swim here.
The banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. / 2 p.m., and from October to May also on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m..
No document is required for German nationals to enter Spain – however, an ID card is required. For children, a children’s ID card, their own passport or entry in the family pass is required. The same provisions apply to almost all EU countries. Other nations can inquire at the Spanish consulate.
to eat and drink
The Spaniards go late for dinner. That is why most restaurants only open around 7:30 p.m..
The Canarian gastronomy is particularly characterized by the first-class seafood and fresh fish, such as Vieja (parrotfish), Cherne (wreckfish) and Merluza (hake). We also recommend pickled rabbit meat and the popular carne fiesta (a spicy roasted meat) and of course the lamb and goat stews. As a side dish to fish, meat or squid, locals prefer the “papas arrugadas” potatoes boiled with sea salt, which are eaten with the skin. A "mojo" sauce is served, the preparation of which is different on each island, but always consists of garlic and oil.
The flora of the Canary Islands is extremely varied and depends in particular on the nature of the soil, the altitude and the amount of rain in the respective region. There are a total of around 3,000 different plant species on the islands, of which around 1,200 are endemic. Due to the special climate almost everything thrives here: bananas, papaya, wine, oranges, lemons, potatoes, etc.
The euro is also the official currency in Spain. All common means of payment are accepted. You can find EC ATMs almost everywhere.
You don’t need any special vaccinations to go on holiday to the Canary Islands. A review and possible refreshing of the vaccinations against tetanus, polio, measles and hepatitis B is recommended. Medical care is good almost everywhere. The hospitals on the larger islands are of European standard.
You should bring rainproof clothing and a warm jacket outside the summer months, especially when hiking. Because of the trade wind in the mountains, a sweater and a light jacket are also recommended in summer.
The climate is as varied as the landscape. With average annual temperatures of 20 ° C and only slight annual fluctuations, the Canary Islands have a very special climate. Because of the north-east trade wind and the high mountains, the climate in the northeast of the western islands is cooler and wetter all year round. The wind from the Atlantic makes the summer months bearable.
Car / driver’s license
The German driving license is recognized. The prerequisite for renting a car is 1 year of driving experience and the minimum age of 21 years. However, some car rental companies require a minimum age of 23
Most of the shops are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, especially in the tourist centers, many supermarkets and shops are open continuously from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. or even longer or even on Sundays.
The Canary Islands are 1 hour behind German time.
Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., mostly longer in large cities.
The autonomous region of the Canary Islands is characterized by a climate that has tropical features. Even if the geographic latitude of the islands could actually prevail in a desert climate, the reality is completely different. Because they are located in the middle of the Atlantic, are blowed by trade winds, have a special relief structure and are washed by ocean currents, the Canary Islands enjoy a very mild climate with average annual temperatures of 20 ° C and only slight annual fluctuations. Especially in winter, the north-east trade wind has a significant impact on the western islands, in the north-east of which strong cloud formation can occur, which also bring rain.
sport and freetime
There are many opportunities for sporting activities in the Canary Islands. Wind or kite surfing, diving, hiking, sailing, cycling are just some of the leisure sports activities on offer.
The national and official language in the Canary Islands is Spanish. The most common foreign languages are English and German.
Driving a taxi is still cheap compared to Germany. Nevertheless, ask for the price beforehand. When the green light comes on on the The roof of the taxi can be stopped when driving past.
The country code to Germany is 0049. In Spain and on all islands you can now make almost all calls using mobile phones. The public phone booths (blue) can be used either with coins or with phone cards that are available in post offices. A high surcharge for making calls is generally required in hotels.
In all restaurants and hotels the service already included in the price. However, a small tip is accepted.
There is still unspoiled nature in the Canary Islands – do everything you can to keep it that way. Set a good example and don’t leave any waste behind. Many islanders are not yet aware of the problems that careless handling of waste brings. Also make sure to buy local products if possible.
Protect wild plants, because many species on the islands are endemic and only a small number can be found. Therefore, do not take endemic plants home with you.
Enjoy the unique landscapes in the Canary Islands, where people and nature still live largely in harmony.
The same traffic regulations apply as in Germany. The maximum speed inside closed towns is 50 km / h and outside 90 km / h. A speed limit of 120 km / h applies to expressways and motorways. The alcohol limit in Spain is 0.5 and there is a duty to fasten seat belts for drivers and passengers in both the front and rear seats.
WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS
In almost all accommodations you now have free internet access. In some places, WiFi is even available in public places.
Before the conquest by Spain in the 15th century, the Guanches lived on the Canary Islands. The numerous remains of culture are a valuable historical and cultural heritage.
Some cultural elements have been preserved, e.g. the whistle "el silbo" on La Gomera and numerous caves that were used by the Guanches as burial sites or living caves.
Columbus, who discovered America at the end of the 15th century, made a one-month stop in the Canary Islands because of a rudder rupture before continuing the journey.
Because of its location in the Atlantic, this group of islands was already a strategically important area in the Middle Ages, since merchant ships at that time crossed between Europe and America and stopped again on the islands. Finally, in 1852, the Canary Islands became a free trade area. In 1912 they received local self-government and since 1982 the Canary Islands have been an autonomous region. The beginnings of tourism in the Canary Islands go back to 1968.
This autonomous region consists of the seven large islands of Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, as well as from other small islands, to which i.a. Graciosa, Alegranza and Lobos count.
The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic off the north African coast, about 100 to 500 km west of Morocco, with a total area of about 7,492 sq km.
The island of Tenerife is the largest island with 2,057 sq km and El Hierro the smallest island with 269 sq km. The most important geographical elevation of the islands, the “Teide” volcano on Tenerife, is the highest peak in Spain at 3,718 meters. The different volcanic landscapes are fascinating. Discover the black lava fields in Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote, the deep gorges on Gran Canaria and the gigantic crater on La Palma. Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the Canaries, which is known for endlessly long, white beaches but also for busy holiday areas and for the desert-like interior of the island, barren mountain slopes and lava rock fields. In the center of the island of La Gomera is the Garajonay National Park, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Despite the geographical proximity of the individual islands of the Canary Islands, each one is different and unique and they all have incredibly beautiful natural landscapes that offer many surprises for the visitor. Here you can still find a unique rural environment, in which volcanoes that are still active today have created magical landscapes from lava, in which plants such as Dragon trees, Teidenattern heads or the famous Laurisilva forest, a laurel-like jungle-like forest, through which a hike is a special experience.
The Canarian historical heritage is represented everywhere in the villages and in the cities. In many places old mansions from the colonial period have been restored. Typical Canarian houses with their wooden balconies, beautiful courtyards, cobbled streets and carefully restored places that take visitors back to a past in which merchants and seafarers have left traces of their cultures.
In addition, the deep blue of the sea and the water temperatures, which are between 18 and 23 ° C all year round, tempt you to swim.
The climate is as varied as the landscape. With average annual temperatures of 20 ° C and only slight annual fluctuations, the Canary Islands have a special climate. Because of the north-east trade wind and the high mountains, the climate in the northeast of the western islands is cooler and wetter all year round.
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