Planning a vacation? Discover the beauty of the Canary Islands

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The Canary Islands is an exotic land where sandy beaches, majestic mountains and picturesque valleys await you, as well as boundless national parks, ancient volcanoes and relict forests.

Canary Islands – general information

The Canary Islands are an archipelago of about a dozen islands in the Atlantic Ocean and are administratively part of Spain. The archipelago has two capitals – Santa Cruz De Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The most interesting and memorable attractions of the archipelago are located on two islands, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Those who prefer a quiet holiday will also like Fuerteventura, luring quiet and cozy beaches.

The biggest attractions of Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest and most popular among tourists island of the archipelago. Its main attraction is rich nature.

Botanical Garden in Puerto de la Cruz

The park was founded at the end of 18th century by order of King Charles III of Spain who dreamed of a garden with plants from South America. Today, the garden brings together local, tropical and subtropical plants. The most interesting specimens include: a rubber tree that is more than 200 years old, the oldest representative of the garden’s flora; cottonwood trees that are more than 70 meters high and native to the Amazon; a chicle tree with round fruit resembling a mango; and the pseudopalm Carludovica Palmata, the leaves of which are used to weave Panama hats.

Loro Park in Puerto de la Cruz

Loro Park, Spanish for parrot park, is a picturesque place inhabited by various species of birds and animals. Among the most important and numerous inhabitants of this private garden are the parrots. The park was established 50 years ago and at that point was home to only 150 specimens. Today, the bird collection numbers over 4,000 specimens and is the largest in the world.

Besides, in Loro Park you can see white tigers, monkeys, crocodiles or lions. Flora lovers have a chance to visit the orangery with orchids.

Teide National Park

Teide National Park is the main attraction of the island including unique flora and fauna, as well as an ancient volcano with a height of over 3,500 meters. Climbing to the top of this natural monument is an obligatory stop for every tourist visiting Tenerife.

Pyramids of Güímar

Pyramids of Güímar are six step-like structures located in south-eastern part of Tenerife. Their origin is still disputed among scholars. For a long time it was believed that the structures were excavated by local farmers in the 20th century

This common opinion was challenged by a Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. He proved that the pyramids date back to ancient times and astronomical knowledge was used to build them. Like many other such structures, the pyramids at Güímar were built according to the position of the sun during the summer and winter solstices.

The laurel forest in the Anaga Mountains

Laurissilva is a laurel forest that is several millennia old. This type of natural monument is preserved only in a few places on Earth, although in ancient times it covered all of southern Europe

Laurissilva covers the mountain massif of Anaga, in the area of which there is a landscape park. The flora of the reserve includes 20 species of relict laurel trees. The climate of these places is humid and cool, so dense fog often hovers over them. The laurel forest is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jungle Park

On the territory of the Jungle Park in natural conditions live a variety of animals and birds: alligators, lions, panthers, sea bears, monkeys, parrots, eagles. The park is unique in that the local eagles are not wild, but trained. There are only a few places in the world that can boast of a similar achievement. Every day the park hosts a show with these magnificent birds.

Major attractions of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the archipelago, and a popular tourist destination. Holidaymakers are attracted here by the mild climate, beautiful beaches stretching over 60 km, as well as interesting monuments.

Las Palmas

One of the largest cities in the Canary Islands founded at the end of the 15th century. It is worth visiting because of the beautiful historical buildings and interesting museums.

The symbol of the city, and also the most important historical monument, is the Cathedral of Santa Anna. At the end of the 20th century the cathedral was granted the status of a historical monument.

There are many museums in the city, of which the most noteworthy are: The Canary Islands Museum, located in the historic Vegueta district of the city, the Néstor Museum displaying the works of the eminent Spanish painter Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre, and the Columbus Museum, located in a late 18th century building where the great explorer once lived.

Puerto de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán is a fishing town that has evolved over time into a popular resort. Today, the Puerto de Mogán is known as the “Venice of the Canary Islands”. And not without reason – the local harbour is connected to the fishing port by numerous waterways.

Maspalomas Dunes

The famous Dunas de Maspalomas are a natural wonder, created in the middle of the 18th century by an earthquake. The dunes stretch along the ocean for 5 km and have been protected as a natural monument for over 100 years.

Guayadeque Gorge

The Guanches, the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, once lived on the banks of the ravine. Tourists can see caves where the dead were buried, cave paintings and the remains of Guanche homes.

Main photo: Iulia Laslea/Unsplash

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