10 Things you maybe don't know about Canary Islands
The Canary Islands, more commonly known as the Fortunate Islands leave behind a few curiosities that you may not have known about:
Unique coffee in Spain and Europe
Canary Islands are very lucky to be the only place in Spain and Europe where coffee is grown. It is located in the town of Agaete in Finca de los Castaños, in Gran Canaria. The very favorable weather conditions of the island, as well as the presence of fruit trees such as orange, avocado or mango trees make it a perfect place for the growing and treatment of a high quality coffee.
The name of the Canary Islands doesn't come from the Canarian bird
Although it has been considered as such for many years, the name of the Canary Islands doesn't come from a commonly called canary bird specie. Although the two terms are closely related, the name of the Canary Islands comes from the term: "Can", which was the name of the dogs that inhabited the Canary Islands in past.
Christopher Columbus and the close relationship with the Canary Islands
Canary Islands was an important place in the expedition of Christopher Columbus towards his discovery of America. Gran Canaria and La Gomera were his places of transit, Canaries being the last harbours before his final journey to the Indies. So much so that Christopher Columbus settled on these two islands on his four expeditions to the New World (1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502).
Proof of this can be found in the house museum that takes its name. The fact is that Columbus' passage through the Canary Islands would give rise to an important and close relationship between America and the Canarian archipelago, due to the flow of goods, as well as the thousands of colonists who were brought to America from the Canary Islands for the colonization of the new world, thus creating new settlements founded by Canarians whose descendents don't forget their origins. Likewise, an important exchange of products and a trade that lasts until today was established.
Energy self-sufficiency of El Hierro and place of the smallest hotel in the world
Total self-supply from renewable energies may become a reality very soon. That is the short to medium term objective of El Hierro, to become "a 100% renewable island". For now, it is estimated that the percentage of supply is 60% and with a capacity to supply itself from clean energy for 24 days in a row, being also considered a World Record.
In addition, in La Frontera (El Hierro) is the smallest hotel in the world, with only 4 rooms. Built in 1830, it had the function of a customs office, and today it has become one of the most special corners of the Canary Islands and Spain, as well as being unique in the world.
Silbo Gomero: the language of an island
This is an amazing fact in the world and one that hasn't gone unnoticed by UNESCO in 2009, declaring it Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as well as being a source of pride and having an invaluable cultural value for all Gomeros. This articulated language, unique in the world, was developed for communication between the great distances between the ravines of La Gomera, and to make survival easier. Today, in Canary Islands there is a constant struggle to ensure that this tradition is not lost, with teaching in the island's schools.
Canaries: "A movie land"
The marvellous landscapes that Canary Islands offer haven't gone unnoticed by the most recognized Hollywood directors, being these countries the protagonists in many Hollywood movies. Since the famous movie Moby Dick in 1956, with the Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as the setting, some others like Fury of Titans, filmed in 2010 or Allies, where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would spend some days in the old part of the capital of Gran Canaria or in the Dunes of Maspalomas. Some of the films in the saga Fast and furious on the northern motorway between Las Palmas and Agaete (Puente de Silva) with the helicopter chase, as well as recent tv serie like: The Witcher with landscapes of the Roque Nublo, the ravine of Fataga, the west coast of Gran Canaria among others.
It can be said without any risk of being wrong that Canarias is a movie land!
Canarian Pine: the Canary Islands' Phoenix
The Canary Islands have an emblem of their extensive flora that makes it specia: Canary Pine. This endemic specie has a unique and special characteristic compared to any other species in the world: its capacity of resistance and tenacity against fire. This is because Canary pine is the only coniferous tree in the world that is resistant to fire in its capacity to regenerate itself, and it is also different from many other pines because it has three needles that can be more than 30 centimetres long and which collect the horizontal rain that bathes the Canary Islands in the form of millions of drops of water, thanks to the cold and damp air currents that Alisios Winds bring to our archipelago.
It is one of the most representative symbols of the Canary Islands in the world, because its millenary character as well as its physical characteristics, being the largest known, do not go unnoticed by the rest of the planet. It is located in the Parque del Drago in Icod de los Vinos, where many curious people come to see this unique specie in the world.
Atlantic Museum in Lanzarote: the first underwater museum of contemporary art in Europe
Another of the surprising data left by the Canary Islands, the first underwater space in the world where a museum has been built, with a surface area that reaches 2500 square meters and an altitude that reaches 14 meters. It is located in the Bay of Las Coloradas in the south of Lanzarote.
The largest botanical garden in Spain
Botanical Garden "Viera y Clavijo" or Canarian Garden is the largest botanical garden in Spain, is located in the north of the island of Gran Canaria between the villages of Tafira Alta and Tafira Baja and has an area of 27 hectares.
It was founded in 1952 by Don Matías Vega Gerrea, President of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria. It is a very special garden where a multitude of unique species in the world cohabit with each other and where a beautiful palm grove of the Canarian palm or Phoenix Canariensis doesn't welcome and in one of the paths we find the Dragos so typical of our Canarian land. We can also see a small Laurisilva forest, the Cactus Garden with thousands of succulent plants, a pine forest and among many other surprises this garden has the largest collection of plants belonging to the Macaronesian flora that are in danger of extinction.
As a typical animal specie of the Canary Islands it is worth mentioning the presence in this garden of the Giant Lizard of Gran Canaria that lives peacefully in the ravine that crosses it.
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