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The Seven Canary Islands

Posted by admin on July 26, 2015
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Tenerife

Tenerife
Island
Clockwise from top: Dracaena draco, Roques de Anaga, Teide National Park, Traditional Canarian house and Auditorio de Tenerife.

Clockwise from top: Dracaena dracoRoques de AnagaTeide National Park, Traditional Canarian house and Auditorio de Tenerife.
Flag of Tenerife
Flag
Map showing location of Tenerife
Map showing location of Tenerife
Coordinates: 28°16′7″N 16°36′20″WCoordinates28°16′7″N 16°36′20″W
Country  Spain
Autonomous Community  Canary Islands
Province Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Capital and Largest City Escudo de armas de Santa Cruz de Tenerife.svgSanta Cruz de Tenerife (Pop. 221,956)
Area
 • Total 2,034 km2 (785 sq mi)
Highest elevation (Teide) 3,718 m (12,198 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 889,936[1]
 • Density 442/km2 (1,140/sq mi)
 • Ethnicities Spanish, other minority groups
Time zone UTC (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+1 (UTC+1)
Website www.tenerife.es

Tenerife (/tɛnəˈrf/Spanish: [teneˈɾife]) is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands;[2] it is also the most populated island of Spain,[2] with a land area of 2,034.38 square kilometres (785 sq mi) and 898,680 inhabitants,[3] 43 percent of the total population of the Canary Islands.[2] Tenerife is also the largest and most populous island of Macaronesia.

About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most of any of the Canary Islands.[4] It is also one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain.[5] Tenerife hosts one of the world’s largest carnivals and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is attempting to become a World Heritage Site.[6] Tenerife is served by two airportsTenerife North Airport and Tenerife South Airport, and is the tourism and economic centre of the archipelago.[7][8]

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island and the seat of the island council (cabildo insular). The city is capital of the autonomous community of Canary Islands (shared with Las Palmas), sharing governmental institutions such as Presidency and ministries. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands, until a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present.[9][10]

The island is home to the University of La Laguna, which was founded in 1792 and is the oldest university in the Canaries. San Cristóbal de La Laguna (a World Heritage Site) is the second city of the island and the third one of the archipelago. The city of La Laguna was also capital of the Canary Islands until Santa Cruz replaced it in 1833.[11]

Tenerife also has the highest elevation of Spain, a World Heritage Site that is the third largest volcano in the world from its base, El Teide.[12]Also located on the island Macizo de Anaga since 2015 is Biosphere Reserve[13] and is the place that has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.[13] The island’s capital contains the architectural symbol of the Canary Islands, the modern Auditorio de Tenerife.[14][15]

Toponymy

The island’s former inhabitants, the Guanches, referred to the island as Achinet or Chenet (variant spellings are found in the literature). According to Pliny the YoungerBerber king Juba II sent an expedition to the Canary Islands and Madeira and gave the Canary Islands its name because he found particularly ferocious dogs (canaria) on the island.[16] Juba II and Ancient Romans referred to Tenerife as Nivaria, derived from the Latin word nix (nsg.gsg.nivisnpl.nives), meaning snow, in clear reference to the snow-covered peak of the Teide volcano.[17] On the other hand, maps dating to the 14th and 15th century, from authors like Bontier and Le Verrier refer to the island as Isla del Infierno, literally meaning “Island of Hell”, a reference to the volcanic activity and eruptions of Mount Teide.

Finally, Teide is also responsible for the name of the island widely used today,[citation needed] named by the Benahoaritas (natives of La Palma) with a derivation from the words tene (“mountain”) and ife (“white”). Later, after colonisation, the Hispanisation of the name resulted in the adding of a letter “r” uniting both words to obtain the name Tenerife as a result.[18][19]

Panoramic of Teide National Park

Demonym

The formal demonym used to refer to the people of Tenerife is Tinerfeño/a, also used colloquially is the term Chicharrero/a.[20] However, in modern society, this is generally only given to inhabitants of the capital, Santa Cruz. The term “chicharrero” was once a derogatory term used by the people of the former capital of La Laguna, in reference to the poor inhabitants and fishermen of Santa Cruz. It was used in reference to the fishermen who would survive by catching poor quality mackerel and citizens who ate potatoes of a low quality.[20] However, as Santa Cruz grew in commerce and status, replacing La Laguna as capital of Tenerife in the 19th century during the reign of Fernando VII, the inhabitants of Santa Cruz ironically began using the insult to honour the new status of the city at La Laguna’s expense.[20]

History

The earliest known human settlement in the islands date to around 200 BC, by people known as the Guanches.[21]

Territorial organisation before the conquest (The Guanches)

About one hundred years before the conquest, the title of mencey was given to the monarch or king of the Guanches of Tenerife, who governed a menceyato or kingdom. This role was later referred to as a “captainship” by the conquerors. Tinerfe el Grande, son of the mencey Sunta governed the island from Adeje in the south. However, upon his death, his nine children rebelled and argued bitterly about how to divide the island. Two independent achimenceyatos were created on the island, and the island was divided into nine menceyatos, with the menceyes within them forming what would be similar to municipalities today.[22] The menceyatos and their menceyes (ordered by the descendants of Tinerfe who ruled them) were the following:

Territorial map of Tenerife before the conquest

There was also the achimenceyato of Punta del Hidalgo, governed by Aguahuco, a “poor noble” who was an illegitimate son of Tinerfe and Zebenzui.

Spanish conquest

Alonso Fernandez de Lugopresenting the native kings of Tenerife to Ferdinand and Isabella

In December 1493, the Catholic Monarchs (Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon) granted Alonso Fernández de Lugo the right to conquer the island of Tenerife. In April 1494, coming from Gran Canaria, the conqueror landed on the coast of present-day Santa Cruz de Tenerife and disembarked with about 2,000 men on foot and 200 on horseback.[23] After taking the fort, the army prepared to move inland, later capturing the native kings of Tenerife and presenting them to Isabella and Ferdinand.

The menceyes of Tenerife adopted differing responses to the conquest. They divided themselves into the side of peace (Spanish: bando de paz) and the side of war (Spanish: bando de guerra), with the first including the menceyatos of Anaga, Güímar, Abona and Adeje, and the second group with the Tegueste, Tacoronte, Taoro, Icoden and Daute. The opposing group tenaciously fought the conquerors delaying the conquest of the island for two years. Castillian forces under the Adelantado (“military governor”) de Lugo suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Guanches in the First Battle of Acentejoin 1494, but the Guanches were eventually overcome by superior technology and surrendered to the Crown of Castile on 25 December 1494.[23]

As in the rest of the islands, many of the natives were enslaved, especially those belonging to the side of war, while a good part of the native population succumbed to diseases such as influenza and probably smallpox, to which they lacked resistance. After the conquest, and especially in the following century, there was a mass movement of colonization and repopulation with the arrival of immigrants from the diverse territories of the growing Spanish Empire (Portugal, Flanders, Italy, Germany).

Tenerife’s forests were gradually reduced by population growth and the need to clear land for agriculture for local consumption and for export. This was the case with the introduction of sugar caneat the beginning of the 16th century while in the following centuries, the island’s economy centred on the use of other crops such as wine grapes and plantains.[24]

Slavery and plantations

As on the other islands of the same group, much of the native population of Tenerife was enslaved or succumbed to diseases at the same time as immigrants from various places in Europe associated with the Spanish Empire (Portugal, Flanders, Italy, Germany) settled on the island. Native pine forests on the island were cleared to make way for the cultivation of sugarcane in the 1520s; in succeeding centuries, the island’s economy was centered around the cultivation of other commodities such as wine and cochineal for making dyes, as well as bananas.

Emigration to the Americas

Tenerife, like the other islands, has maintained a close relationship with Latin America. From the start of the colonization of the New World, many expeditions stopped at the island on their way to the Americas, and added to their crews with many tinerfeños who formed an integral part of the conquest expeditions or simply left in search of better prospects. It is also important to note the exchange in plant and animal species that made those voyages.[25]

After a century and a half of relative growth, based on the grape growing sector, there was an extended emigration of families especially to Venezuela and Cuba. Also by these times there was a new interest on the part of the Crown of populating those empty zones in the Americas to pre-empt the occupation by foreign forces as had happened with the English in Jamaica or the French in the Guianas or western Hispaniola, so Canary islanders including many tinerfeños left for the New World. The cultivation of new crops of the Americas, such as cocoa in Venezuela and tobacco in Cuba, contributed to the population exodus from towns such as Buenavista del Norte, Vilaflor or El Sauzal in the late 17th century. Witness to the emigration history of the island is the foundation in the outskirts of Santo Domingo of the village of San Carlos de Tenerife in 1684. This village founded by tinerfeños was created with the strategic purpose of protecting the town from the French established in the western side of Hispaniola. Between 1720 and 1730 the Crown moved 176 families, including many tinerfeños to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. In 1726, about 25 island families migrated to the Americas to collaborate on the foundation of Montevideo. Four years later, in 1730, another group left which would found the following year the city of San Antonio in Texas. Later, between 1777 and 1783, the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife sent a new group to ultimately help in the foundation of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, and also some groups went to Florida.[25]

Emigration to the Americas (mainly Cuba and Venezuela) continued during the 19th and early 20th century due to economic problems and isolation. In the last few decades, with newer island protectionist economic laws and the resurgence of the tourism industry, the migration flows have reversed, and today Tenerife receives an influx of people, including the return of many descendants of the islanders, some of whom had left five centuries earlier.[25]

Military history

Admiral Nelson wounded at Tenerife

The most notable conflict was the British invasion of Tenerife in 1797.[26] On 25 July 1797, Admiral Horatio Nelson launched an attack at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, now the capital of the island. After a ferocious fight which led to many casualties, a defence was organised by General Antonio Gutiérrez de Otero y Santayana to repel the invaders. Nelson lost his right arm from cannon fire, widely believed in legend to have been the cannon Tiger(Spanish: Tigre) as he was trying to disembark on the Paso Alto coast.[24]

On 5 September 1797, another attempt was made in the Puerto Santiago region and was repelled by the inhabitants of Santiago del Teide, who threw rocks at the British from the heights of the cliffs of Los Gigantes.

The island was also attacked by Robert BlakeWalter RaleighJohn HawkinsWoodes Rogers.[27]

Modern history

Between 1833 and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands, until in 1927 a decree ordered that capital status be shared with Las Palmas, as it remains at present.[9][10]

Tourists began visiting Tenerife in large numbers in the 1890s, especially the northern towns of Puerto de la Cruz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.[28]Independent shipping business, such as the Yeoward Brothers Shipping Line, really aided to boast the tourist industry during this time.[29] The naturalist Alexander von Humboldt ascended the peak of Mount Teide and remarked on the beauty of the island.

Before his rise to power, Francisco Franco was posted to Tenerife in March 1936 by a Republican government wary of his influence and political leanings. However, Franco received information and in Gran Canaria agreed to collaborate in the military coup that would result in the Spanish Civil War; the Canaries fell to the Nationalists in July 1936. In the 1950s, the misery of the post-war years caused thousands of the island’s inhabitants to emigrate to Cuba and other parts of Latin America.

Tenerife was the site of the worst accident ever in commercial aviation. Known as the “Tenerife airport disaster“, the airliner collision took place on March 27, 1977, at Los Rodeos airport in the north of the island and two Boeing 747 airplanes were involved.

Geography

The oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife rose from the Atlantic Ocean by volcanic eruption which gave birth to the island around twelve million years ago.[30] The island as it is today was formed three million years ago by the fusion of three islands made up of the mountain ranges of AnagaTeno and Valle de San Lorenzo,[30] due to volcanic activity from Teide. The volcano is visible from most parts of the island today, and the crater is 17 kilometres (11 miles) long at some points.

Geology

Map of Tenerife

Tenerife is a rugged and volcanic island sculpted by successive eruptions throughout its history. There are four historically recorded volcanic eruptions, none of which has led to casualties. The first occurred in 1704, when the Arafo, Fasnia and Siete Fuentes volcanoes erupted simultaneously. Two years later, in 1706, the greatest eruption occurred at Trevejo. This volcano produced great quantities of lava which buried the city and port of Garachico. The last eruption of the 18th century happened in 1798 at Cañadas de Teide, in Chahorra. Finally, and most recently, in 1909 that formed the Chinyero cinder cone, in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, erupted.[31]

The island is located between 28° and 29° N and the 16° and 17° meridian. It is situated north of the Tropic of Cancer, occupying a central position between the other Canary Islands of Gran CanariaLa Gomera and La Palma. The island is about 300 km (186 mi) from the African coast, and approximately 1,000 km (621 mi) from the Iberian Peninsula.[32] Tenerife is the largest island of the Canary Islands archipelago, with a surface area of 2,034.38 km2 (785 sq mi)[33] and the longest coastline amounting to 342 km (213 mi).[34]

In addition, the highest point, Mount Teide, with an elevation of 3,718 m (12,198 ft) above sea level is the highest point in all of Spain,[35] is also the third largest volcano in the world from its base in the bottom of the sea. For this reason, Tenerife is the tenth highest island worldwide. It comprises about 200 small barren islets or large rocks including Roques de AnagaRoque de Garachico, and Fasnia adding a further 213,835 m2 (2,301,701 sq ft) to the total area.[33]

Origins and geological formation

Tenerife formation

Tenerife is an island created volcanically, building up from the ocean floor 20–50 million years ago.[36]

According to the theory of plate tectonics, the ascent of magma originating from the Earth’s mantle is produced by the effects of tectonic activity from faults or fractures that exist at the oceanic plate. These fractures lie along the structural axes of the island itself, forming themselves from the Alpine orogeny during the Tertiary Period due to the movements of the African plate.

Underwater fissural eruptions originated from the pillow lava, which are produced by the rapid cooling of the magma when it comes in contact with water, obtaining their peculiar shape. This pillow-lava accumulated, constructing the base of the island underneath the sea. As this accumulation approached the surface of the water, gases erupted from the magma due to the reduction of the surrounding pressure. The volcanic eruptions became more violent and had a more explosive character, and resulted in the forming of peculiar geological fragments.[36]

After long-term accumulation of these fragments, the birth of the island occurred at the end of the Miocene Epoch. The zones on Tenerife known as Macizo de TenoMacizo de Anaga and Macizo de Adeje were formed seven million years ago; these formations are called the Ancient Basaltic Series or Series I. These zones were actually three separate islands lying in what is now the extreme west, east, and south of Tenerife.[37]

A second volcanic cycle called the Post-Miocene Formations or Latest Series II, III, IV began three million years ago. This was a much more intense volcanic cycle, which united the Macizo de Teno, Macizo de Anaga and Macizo de Adeje into one island. This new structure, called the Pre-Cañadas Structure (Edificio pre-Cañadas), would be the foundation for what is called the Cañadas Structure I. The Cañadas Structure I experienced various collapses and emitted explosive material that produced the area known as Bandas del sur (in the present-day south-southeast of Tenerife).[36]

Subsequently, upon the ruins of Cañadas Structure I emerged Cañadas Structure II, which was 2,500 metres (8,202 feet) above sea level and emerged with intense explosive activity. About one million years ago, the Dorsal Range (Cordillera Dorsal) emerged by means of fissural volcanic activity occurring amidst the remains of the older Ancient Basaltic Series (Series I). This Dorsal Range emerged as the highest and the longest volcanic structure in the Canary Islands; it was 1,600 metres (5,249 feet) high and 25 kilometres (16 miles) long.[36]

About 800,000 years ago, two gravitational landslides occurred, giving rise to the present-day valleys of La Orotava and Güímar.[36] Finally, around 200,000 years ago, eruptions started that raised the Pico Viejo-Teide area in the centre of the island, over the Las Cañadas caldera.[36]

Orography and landscape

The uneven and steep orography of the island and its variety of climates has resulted in a diversity of landscapes and geographical and geological formations, from the Parque Nacional del Teide with its extensive pine forests, juxtaposed against the volcanic landscape at the summit of Teide and Malpaís de Güímar, to the Acantilados de Los Gigantes (Cliffs of the Giants) with its vertical precipices. Semidesert areas exist in the south with drought-resistant plants. Other areas range from those protected and enclosed in mountains such as Montaña Roja and Montaña Pelada, the valleys and forests with subtropical vegetation and climate, to those with deep gorges and precipices such as at Anaga and Teno.

Central heights

The principal structures in Tenerife, make the central highlands, with the TeidePico Viejo complex and the Las Cañadas areas as most prominent. It comprises a semi-caldera of about 130 km2 (50 sq mi) in area, originated by several geological processes explained under the Origin and formation section. The area is partially occupied by the Teide-Pico Viejo strato-volcano and completed by the materials emitted in the different eruptions that took place. A known formation called Los Azulejos, composed by green-tinted rocks were created by hydrothermal processes.[24][36][38]

South of La Caldera is Guajara Mountain, which has an elevation of 2,718 metres (8,917 feet), rising above Las Cañadas del Teide. At the bottom, is an endorheic basin flanked with very fine sedimentary material which has been deposited from its volcanic processes, and is known as Llano de Ucanca.[24][36][38]

The peak of Teide, at 3,718 metres (12,198 feet) above sea level and more than 7,500 metres (24,606 feet) above the ocean floor, is the highest point of the island, Spanish territory and in the Atlantic Ocean. The volcano is the third largest on the planet, and its central location, substantial size, looming silhouette in the distance and its snowy landscape give it a unique personality.[39]The original settlers considered Teide a god and Teide was a place of worship.

In 1954, the Teide and the whole area around it was declared a national park, with further expansion later on. In addition, in June 2007 it was recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.[40]To the west lies the volcano Pico Viejo (Old Peak). On one side of it, is the volcano Chahorra o Narices del Teide, where the last eruption occurred in the vicinity of Mount Teide in 1798.

The Teide is one of the 16 Decade Volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.

Massifs

The uneven contours of the Anaga massif

The Anaga massif (Macizo de Anaga), at the northeastern end of the island, has an irregular and rugged topographical profile where, despite its generally modest elevations, the Cruz de Taborno reaches a height of 1,024 metres. Due to the age of its material (5.7 million years), its deep erosive processes, and the dense network of dikes piercing the massif, its surface exposes numerous outcroppings of both phonolitic and trachytic origin. A large number of steep-walled gorges are present, penetrating deeply into the terrain. Vertical cuts dominate the Anagan coast, with infrequent beaches of rocks or black sand between them; the few that exist generally coincide with the mouths of gorges.[24][36][38]

Teno massif—Cliffs of the Giants area

The Teno massif (Macizo de Teno) is located on the northwestern edge of the island. Like Anaga, it includes an area of outcroppings and deep gorges formed by erosion. However, the materials here are older (about 7.4 million years old). Mount Gala represents its highest elevation at 1342 metres. The most unusual landscape of this massif is found on its southern coast, where the Acantilados de Los Gigantes (“Cliffs of the Giants”) present vertical walls reaching heights of 500 metres in some places.[24][36][38]

The Adeje massif (Macizo de Adeje) is situated on the southern tip of the island. Its main landmark is the Roque del Conde (“Count’s Rock”), with an elevation of 1001 metres. This massif is not as impressive as the others due to its diminished initial structure, since in addition to with the site’s greater geologic age it has experienced severe erosion of its material, thereby losing its original appearance and extent.[24][36][38]

Dorsales

The Dorsal mountain range or Dorsal of Pedro Gil covers the area from the start at Mount La Esperanza, at a height of about 750 m (2,461 ft), to the center of the island, near the Caldera de Las Cañadas, with Izaña, as its highest point at 2,390 m (7,841 ft) (MSLP). These mountains have been created due to basaltic fissural volcanism through one of the axis that gave birth to the vulcanism of this area.[24][36][38]

The Abeque Dorsal was formed by a chain of volcanoes that join the Teno with the central insular peak of Teide-Pico Viejo starting from another of the three axis of Tenerife’s geological structures. On this dorsal we find the historic volcano of Chinyero whose last eruption happened in 1909.[24][36][38]

The South Dorsal or Dorsal of Adeje is part of the last of the structural axis. The remains of this massive rock show the primordial land, also showing the alignment of small volcanic cones and rocks around this are in Tenerife’s South.[24][36][38]

Valleys and ravines

Valleys are another of the island’s features. The most important are Valle de La Orotava and Valle de Güímar, both formed by the mass sliding of great quantities of material towards the sea, creating a depression of the land. Other valleys tend to be between hills formed by deposits of sediments from nearby slopes, or simply wide ravines which in their evolution have become typical valleys.[24][36][38]

Tenerife has a large number of ravines, which are a characteristic element of the landscape, caused by erosion from surface runoff over a long period. Notable ravines include Ruiz, Fasnia and Güímar, Infierno, and Erques, all of which have been designated protected natural areas by Canarian institutions.[24][36][38]

Panorama of Valle de La Orotava

Coastline

The coasts of Tenerife are typically rugged and steep, particularly on the north of the island. However, the island has 67.14 kilometres (41.72 miles) of beaches, such as the one at El Médano, surpassed only in this respect by the island of Fuerteventura.[41] There are many black sand pebble beaches on the northern coast, while on the south and south-west coast of the island, the beaches have typically much finer and clearer sand with lighter tones.[24][36][38]

Volcanic tubes

Lava tubes, or volcanic pipes are volcanic caves, usually in the form of tunnels formed within lava flows more or less fluid reogenética duration of the activity. Among the many existing volcanic tubes on the island stands out the Cueva del Viento, located in the northern town of Icod de los Vinos, which is the largest volcanic tunnel in the European Union and one of the largest in the world, although for a long time was even considered the largest in the world.

Climate

Tenerife is known internationally as the “Island of Eternal Spring” (Isla de la Eterna Primavera).[42] The island, being on a latitude of the Sahara Desert, enjoys a warm climate year-round with an average of 18–20 °C in the winter and 24–26 °C in the summer and high sunshine totals. The moderate climate of Tenerife is controlled to a great extent by the tradewinds, whose humidity, principally, is condensed over the north and northeast of the island, creating cloud banks that range between 600 and 1,800 metres in height. The cold sea currents of the Canary Islands also have a cooling effect on the coasts and its beaches and the topography of the landscape plays a role in climatic differences on the island with its many valleys.

Major climatic contrasts on the island are evident, especially during the winter months when it is possible to enjoy the warm sunshine on the coast and experience snow within miles, 3,000 metres (9,843 feet) above sea level on Teide.[38] There are also major contrasts at low altitude, where the climate ranges from arid (KöppenBWh) on the southeastern side represented by Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Mediterranean (Csa/Csb) on the northwestern side in Buena Vista del Norte and La Orotava.[43]

The north and south of Tenerife similarly have different climatic characteristics. The windward northwestern side of the island receives 73 percent of all precipitation on the island, and the relative humidity of the air is superior and the insulation inferior. The pluviometric maximums are registered on the windward side at an average altitude of between 1,000 and 1,200 metres, almost exclusively in the La Orotava mountain range.[38] However, although climatic differences in rainfall and sunshine on the island exist, overall annual precipitation is low and the summer months from May to September are normally completely dry. Rainfall, akin to Southern California, can also be extremely erratic from one year to another.[44]

[hide]Climate data for Santa Cruz (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 21.0
(69.8)
21.2
(70.2)
22.1
(71.8)
22.7
(72.9)
24.1
(75.4)
26.2
(79.2)
28.7
(83.7)
29.0
(84.2)
28.1
(82.6)
26.3
(79.3)
24.1
(75.4)
22.1
(71.8)
24.6
(76.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.2
(64.8)
18.3
(64.9)
19.0
(66.2)
19.7
(67.5)
21.0
(69.8)
22.9
(73.2)
25.0
(77)
25.5
(77.9)
24.9
(76.8)
23.4
(74.1)
21.3
(70.3)
19.4
(66.9)
21.5
(70.7)
Average low °C (°F) 15.4
(59.7)
15.3
(59.5)
15.9
(60.6)
16.5
(61.7)
17.8
(64)
19.5
(67.1)
21.2
(70.2)
21.9
(71.4)
21.7
(71.1)
20.3
(68.5)
18.4
(65.1)
16.6
(61.9)
18.4
(65.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 31.5
(1.24)
35.4
(1.394)
37.8
(1.488)
11.6
(0.457)
3.6
(0.142)
0.9
(0.035)
0.1
(0.004)
2.0
(0.079)
6.8
(0.268)
18.7
(0.736)
34.1
(1.343)
43.2
(1.701)
225.7
(8.887)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.0 7.2 6.9 5.5 2.9 0.9 0.2 0.8 2.7 6.1 8.8 9.4 59.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 178 186 221 237 282 306 337 319 253 222 178 168 2,887
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[45]
[hide]Climate data for Tenerife South Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 21.7
(71.1)
22.0
(71.6)
23.1
(73.6)
23.1
(73.6)
23.9
(75)
25.4
(77.7)
27.7
(81.9)
28.4
(83.1)
27.9
(82.2)
26.8
(80.2)
24.8
(76.6)
22.8
(73)
24.8
(76.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.4
(65.1)
18.5
(65.3)
19.3
(66.7)
19.5
(67.1)
20.4
(68.7)
22.1
(71.8)
24.0
(75.2)
24.7
(76.5)
24.5
(76.1)
23.4
(74.1)
21.5
(70.7)
19.7
(67.5)
21.4
(70.5)
Average low °C (°F) 15.2
(59.4)
15.0
(59)
15.6
(60.1)
16.0
(60.8)
17.0
(62.6)
18.8
(65.8)
20.2
(68.4)
21.1
(70)
21.1
(70)
20.0
(68)
18.2
(64.8)
16.5
(61.7)
17.9
(64.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 16.6
(0.654)
19.9
(0.783)
14.7
(0.579)
7.4
(0.291)
1.1
(0.043)
0.1
(0.004)
0.1
(0.004)
1.3
(0.051)
3.6
(0.142)
11.9
(0.469)
26.3
(1.035)
30.3
(1.193)
133.3
(5.248)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 1.8 2.2 1.9 1.1 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.6 1.6 1.9 3.5 15.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 193 195 226 219 246 259 295 277 213 214 193 195 2,725
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[46]
[hide]Climate data for La Laguna (1981-2010) – Tenerife North Airport(altitude: 632 m)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.0
(60.8)
16.7
(62.1)
18.2
(64.8)
18.5
(65.3)
20.1
(68.2)
22.2
(72)
24.7
(76.5)
25.7
(78.3)
24.9
(76.8)
22.5
(72.5)
19.7
(67.5)
17.1
(62.8)
20.5
(68.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.1
(55.6)
13.4
(56.1)
14.5
(58.1)
14.7
(58.5)
16.1
(61)
18.1
(64.6)
20.2
(68.4)
21.2
(70.2)
20.7
(69.3)
18.9
(66)
16.5
(61.7)
14.3
(57.7)
16.8
(62.2)
Average low °C (°F) 10.2
(50.4)
10.0
(50)
10.7
(51.3)
10.9
(51.6)
12.0
(53.6)
14.0
(57.2)
15.7
(60.3)
16.6
(61.9)
16.5
(61.7)
15.2
(59.4)
13.3
(55.9)
11.5
(52.7)
13.0
(55.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 80
(3.15)
70
(2.76)
61
(2.4)
39
(1.54)
19
(0.75)
11
(0.43)
6
(0.24)
5
(0.2)
16
(0.63)
47
(1.85)
81
(3.19)
82
(3.23)
517
(20.37)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11 10 10 10 7 4 3 3 5 10 10 12 95
Avg.relative humidity (%) 76 75 71 74 72 73 69 69 71 74 75 79 73
Mean monthly sunshine hours 150 168 188 203 234 237 262 269 213 194 155 137 2,410
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[46]
Buenavista del Norte
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
167
17
12
95
17
11
70
17
12
18
17
12
12
19
13
9
20
14
1
22
17
3
23
18
4
23
17
90
21
16
207
19
15
122
17
13
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [47]

Water

The volcanic ground of Tenerife, which is of a porous and permeable character, is generally the reason why the soil is able to maximise the absorption of water on an island of low rainfall, with condensation in forested areas and frost deposition on the summit of the island also contributory causes.[48]

Given the irregularity of precipitation and geological conditions on the island, dam construction has been avoided, so most of the water (90 percent) comes from wells and from water galleries (Horizontal tunnels bored into the volcano) of which there are thousands on the island, important systems that serve to extract its hydrological resources.[49] These tunnels are very hazardous, with pockets of volcanic gas or carbon dioxide, causing rapid death.[50]

Pollution and air quality

The Canary Islands have low levels of air pollution thanks to the lack of factories and industry and the tradewinds which naturally move away contaminated air from the islands. According to official data offered by the Health and Industry Ministry in Spain, Tenerife is one of cleanest places in the country with an air pollution index that is below the national average.[51] Despite this, there are still agents which affect pollution levels in the island, the main polluting agents being the refinery at Santa Cruz, the thermal power plants at Las Caletillas and Granadilla, and road traffic, increased by the high level of tourism in the island. In addition the island of Tenerife like at La Palma light pollution must be also controlled, to help the astrophysical observatories located in the island’s summits.[52] Water is generally of a very high quality, and all the beaches of the island of Tenerife have been catalogued by the Ministry of Health and Consumption as waters suitable for bathing.[53]

Flora and fauna

The island of Tenerife has a remarkable ecological diversity in spite of its small surface area, which is a consequence of the special environmental conditions on the island, where its distinct orography modifies the general climatic conditions at a local level, producing a significant variety of microclimates. This diversity of natural microclimates and, therefore, habitats, means that a rich and diverse flora (1400 species of plants) exists on the island, with well over a hundred entirely endemic to Tenerife.[54] Endemic species include Vipers bugloss, Teide white broom, Teide violet etc. The fauna of the island has many endemic invertebrates and unique reptile, bird and mammal species. The fauna of Tenerife includes some 400 species of fish, 56 birds, five reptiles, two amphibians, 13 land mammals and several thousand invertebrates, along with several species of sea turtleswhales and dolphins. Before the arrival of the aborigines, Tenerife and the Canaries were inhabited by now-extinct endemic animals, including a giant lizard (Gallotia goliath) and a giant rat (Canariomys bravoi).[55]

The vegetation of Tenerife can be divided into six major zones that are directly related to altitude and the direction in which they face.

  • Lower xerophytic zone: 0–700 m. Xerophytic shrubs that are well adapted to long dry spells, intense sunshine and strong winds. Many endemic species. Spurges, cactus spurge (Euphorbia canariensis), wax plants (Ceropegia spp.), etc.
  • Thermophile forest: 200–600 m. Transition zone with moderate temperatures and rainfall, but the area has been deteriorated by human activity. Many endemic species: Juniper (Juniperus cedrus), dragon trees (Dracaena draco), palm trees (Phoenix canariensis), etc.
  • Laurel forest: 500–1000 m. Dense forest of large trees, descendants of tertiary age flora, situated in a zone of frequent rainfall and mists. A wide variety of species with abundant undergrowth of bushes, herbaceous plants, and ferns. Laurels, holly (Ilex canariensis), ebony (Persea indica), mahogany (Apollonias barbujana), etc.
  • Wax myrtle: 1000–1500 m. A dryer vegetation, poorer in species. It replaces the degraded laurel forest. Of great forestry importance. Wax myrtles (Myrica faya), tree heath (Erica arborea), holly, etc.
  • Pine Forest: 800–2000 m. Open pine forest, with thin and unvaried undergrowth. Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis), broom (Genista canariensis), rock rose (Cistus spp.), etc.
  • High mountain: over 2000 m. Dry climate, intense solar radiation and extreme temperatures. Flora well adapted to the conditions.[54]

Protected natural areas

Map showing the classification of protected areas in Tenerife

Nearly half of the island territory (48.6 percent),[56] is under protection from the Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos (Canary Islands Network for Protected Natural Areas). Of the 146 protected sites under control of network in the Canary Islands archipelago,[57] a total of 43 are located in Tenerife, the most protected island in the group.[58] The network has criteria which places areas under its observation under eight different categories of protection, all of them are represented in Tenerife. Aside from Parque Nacional del Teide, it counts the Parque Natural de Canarias (Crown Forest), two rural parks (Anaga and Teno), four integral natural reserves, six special natural reserves, a total of fourteen natural monuments, nine protected landscapes and up to six sites of scientific interest. Also located on the island Macizo de Anagasince 2015 is Biosphere Reserve[13] and is the place that has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.[13]

Administration

Law and order

Building of the Presidency of the Canaries Autonomous Government in Santa Cruz

Tenerife island’s government resides with the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife[59] located at the Plaza de España at the island’s capital city. The political Canary organization does not have a provincial government body but instead each island has its own government at their own Cabildo. Since its creation in March 1913 it has a series of capabilities and duties, stated in the Canary Autonomy Statutes (Spanish: Estatuto de Autonomía de Canarias) and regulated by Law 14/1990, of 26 July 1990, of the Régimen Jurídico de las Administraciones Públicas de Canarias.[60]

The Cabildo is composed of the following administrative offices; Presidency, Legislative Body, Government Council, Informative Commissions, Spokesman’s office.

Municipalities

Map of Municipalities in the island of Tenerife

The island, itself part of a Spanish province named Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is divided administratively into 31 municipalities.

Only three municipalities are landlocked: TeguesteEl Tanque and Vilaflor. Vilaflor is the municipality with the highest altitude in the Canaries (its capital is 1,400 meters high).

The largest municipality with an area of 207.31 kilometres (128.82 mi) is La Orotava, which covers much of the Teide National Park. The smallest town on the island and of the archipelago is Puerto de la Cruz, with an area smaller than 9 km2.[33]

It is also common to find internal division, in that some cities make up a metropolitan area within a municipality, notably the cities of Santa Cruz and La Laguna.

Below is an alphabetical list of all the municipalities on the island:

Counties

The counties of Tenerife have no official recognition, but there is a consensus among geographers about them:[61]

  • Abona
  • Acentejo
  • Anaga
  • Valle de Güímar
  • Icod
  • Isora
  • Valle de La Orotava
  • Teno

Flags and heraldry

Flag of Tenerife

Coat-of-arms of Tenerife

The Flag of Tenerife was originally adopted in 1845 by the navy at its base in the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Later, and at present, this flag represents all the island of Tenerife. It was approved by the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife and the Order of the Government of the Canary Islands on 9 May 1989 and published on 22 May in the government report of the Canary Islands and made official.[62]

The coat-of-arms of Tenerife was granted by royal decree on 23 March 1510 by Ferdinand the Catholic at Madrid in the name of Joan I, Queen of Castile. The coat-of-arms has a field of gold, with an image of Saint Michael (the island was conquered on the saint’s feast day) above a mountain depicted in brownish, natural colors. Flames erupt from the mountain, symbolizing El Teide. Below this mountain is depicted the island itself in vert on top of blue and silver waves. To the right there is a castle in gules, and to the left, a lion rampant in gules. The shield that the Cabildo Insular, or Island Government, uses is slightly different from that used by the city government of La Laguna, which utilizes a motto in the arms’ border and also includes some palm branches.[63]

Natural symbols

The official symbols from nature associated with Tenerife are the bird Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla teydea) and the Canary Islands dragon tree (Dracaena draco) tree.[64]

Demographics

Locals at the Semana Santa (Easter) in Los Realejos

According to INE data of 1 January 2011, Tenerife has the largest population of the seven Canary Islands and the most populated island of Spain with 908,555 registered inhabitants, of whom about 25 percent (220,902) live in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and nearly 50 percent (424,200) in the metropolitan area of Santa Cruz–La Laguna.[65]Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna are physically one urban area, so that together they have a population of over 382,331 inhabitants.[66][67]

After the city of Santa Cruz the major towns and municipalities are San Cristóbal de La Laguna (144,347), Arona (72,328), La Orotava (40,644), Adeje(38,245), Los Realejos (37,224), Granadilla de Abona (36,224), and Puerto de la Cruz (31,131). All other municipalities have fewer than 30,000 inhabitants, the smallest municipality being Vilaflor with a population of 1,900. In addition to the registered population, there are numerous non-registered residents, primarily tourists.

Demographic evolution of Tenerife

Recently Tenerife has experienced population growth significantly higher than the national average. In 1990, there were 663,306 registered inhabitants, which increased to 709,365 in 2000, an increase of 46,059 or an annual growth of 0.69 percent. However, between 2000 and 2007, the population rose by 155,705 to 865,070, an annual increase of 3.14 percent.[68]

These results reflect the general trend in Spain where since 2000 immigration has reversed the general slow down in population growth, following the collapse in the birth rate from 1976. However, since 2001 the overall growth rate in Spain has around 1.7 percent per year, compared with 3.14 percent on Tenerife, one of the largest increases in the country.[69]

Economy

Harbour

Tenerife is the economic capital of the Canary Islands.[7][8] Even though Tenerife’s economy is highly specialized in the service sector, which makes 78 percent of its total production capacity, the importance of the rest of the economic sectors is key to its production development. In this sense, the primary sector, which only represents 1.98 percent of the total product, groups activities that are important to the sustainable development of the island’s economy. The energy sector which contributes 2.85 percent has a primary role in the development of renewable energy sources. The industrial sector which shares in 5.80 percent is a growing activity in the island, vis-a-vis the new possibilities created by technological advances. Finally, the construction sector with 11.29 percent of the total production has a strategic priority, because it is a sector with relative stability which permits multiple possibilities of development and employment opportunities.[70]

Tourism

Puerto de la Cruz, in the North, during winter, featuring background snowy mountains

Tourism is the most prominent industry in the Canaries, which are one of the major tourist destinations in the world.

In 2014, 11,473,600 tourists (excluding those from other parts of Spain) came to the Canary Islands. Tenerife had 4,171,384 arrivals that year, excluding the numbers for Spanish tourists which make up an additional 30 percent of total arrivals. According to last year’s Canarian Statistics Centre’s (ISTAC) Report on Tourism the greatest number of tourists from any one country come from the United Kingdom, with more than 3,980,000 tourists in 2014. In second place comes Germany followed by Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Russia and Austria.

Tourism is more prevalent in the south of the island, which is hotter and drier and has many well developed resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. More recently coastal development has spread northwards from Playa de las Americas and now encompasses the former small enclave of La Caleta (a favoured place for naturist tourists). After the Moratoria act passed by the Canarian Parliament in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, no more hotels should be built on the island unless they are classified as 5 star-quality and comprise different services such as Golf Courses or Congress facilities. This act was passed with the goal of improving the standard of tourism service and promoting environmentally conscious development.

The area known as Costa Adeje (Las Américas-Los Cristianos) has many world-class facilities and leisure opportunities besides sea and sand, such as quality shopping centres, golf courses, restaurants, waterparks, animal parks, and a theatre suitable for musicals or a Congress Hall.

In the more lush and green north of the island the main development for tourism has been in the town of Puerto de la Cruz. The town itself has kept some of its old-harbour town charm mixed with northern European influences. Still, the tourist boom in the 1960s changed the outlook of the town, making it cosy and cosmopolitan at the same time, and a favourite for the more mature traveller (notably the German and Spanish tourist).

In the 19th and most of the 20th century large numbers of foreign tourists came, especially British, showing interest in the agriculture of the islands. With the world wars, this sector weakened, but the start of the second half of the century brought new forms of tourism. At first emphasis was on Puerto de la Cruz, for the kindness of the climate, and for all the attractions that the Valle de la Orotava concentrated, but following the attraction of the sun and beaches, around 1980 was born the tourist boom of south Tenerife, where emphasis was on cities like Arona or Adeje, shifting to tourist centres like Los Cristianos o Playa de Las Americas, that today house 65 percent of the hotels that were on the island. Tenerife receives more than 5 million tourists every year, of the canary islands Tenerife is the most popular. However, this data also reflects the large quality of resources that tourism consumes (space, energy, water etc.)[24][71]

Agriculture and fishing

The Botanic Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz

Since tourism dominates the Tenerifian economy, the service sector is the largest, but industry and commerce contribute 40 percent of the non tourist economy.[72] The primary sector has lost its traditional importance in the island, to the industrial and service sectors. Agriculture contributes less than 10 percent of the island’s GDP, but its contribution is vital, as it also generates indirect benefits, by maintaining the rural appearance, and supporting Tenerifian cultural values.

Agriculture is centred on the northern slopes, and is also determined by the altitude as well as orientation: in the coastal zone, tomatoes and bananas are cultivated, usually in plastic enclosures, these high yield products are for export to mainland Spain and the rest of Europe; in the drier intermediate zone, potatoes, tobacco and maize are grown, whilst in the South, onions are important.[24]

View of fields around Anaga

Bananas are a particularly important crop, as Tenerife grows more bananas than the other Canary Islands, with a current annual production of about 150,000 tons, down from the peak production of 200,000 tons in 1986. More of 90 percent of the total is destined for the international market, and banana growing occupies about 4200 hectares.[73] In order of importance; after the banana, come tomatoes, grapes, potatoes and flowers. Fishing is also a major contributor to the Tenerifian economy, as the Canaries are Spain’s second most important fishing grounds.

Industry and commerce

Commerce in Tenerife plays a significant role in the economy which is enhanced by tourism, representing almost 20 percent of the GDP, with the commercial center Santa Cruz de Tenerife generating most of the earnings. Although there are a diversity of industrial estates that exist on the island, the most important industrial activity is petroleum, representing 10 percent of the island’s GDP, again largely due to the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife with its refinery. It provides petroliferous products not only to the Canaries archipelago but is also an active in the markets of the Iberian Peninsula, Africa and South America.

Monuments

Castillo de San Andrés, declared of National Tourist Interest Center

There are many monuments on the island, especially from the time after the conquest, we can highlight the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the Church of the Conception of La Laguna and the Church of the Conception in the capital. The Basilica of Candelaria|Basílica de Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria can be found on the island (Patron of Canary Islands). The island also has several archaeological sites of Guanche time (prior to the conquest), which generally are cave paintings that are scattered throughout the island, but most are found south of the island, such as, Cambados The Archaeological Area and the archaeological site of El Barranco del Rey both in Arona.[74] We could also highlight the Cueva de Achbinico (first shrine Christian of the Canary Islands, Guanche vintage-Spanish). In addition there are some buildings called Güímar Pyramids, whose origin is uncertain. Also noteworthy on the island are the defensive castles located in the village of San Andrés, as well as many others throughout the island.

Among other impressive structures is the Auditorio de Tenerife, one of the most modern in Spain, which can be found at the entry port to the capital (in the southern part of Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife). Another prominent structure is the Torres de Santa Cruz, a skyscraper 120 meters high (the highest residential building in Spain and one of the tallest skyscrapers in the Canary Islands).[75]

Culture and arts

Literature

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Antonio de Viana, a native of La Laguna, composed the epic poem Antigüedades de las Islas Afortunadas (Antiquities of the Fortunate Isles), a work of value to anthropologists, since it sheds light on Canarian life of the time.[76] The Enlightenment reached Tenerife, and literary and artistic figures of this era include José Viera y ClavijoTomás de Iriarte y Oropesa, Ángel Guimerá y Jorge, Mercedes Pinto and Domingo Pérez Minik, amongst others.

Painting

During the course of the 16th century, several painters flourished in La Laguna, as well as in other places on the island, including Garachico, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz. Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana and Gaspar de Quevedo, considered the best Canarian painters of the 17th century, were natives of La Orotava, and their art can be found in churches on Tenerife.[77]

The work of Luis de la Cruz y Ríos can be found in the church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia, in Puerto de la Cruz. Born in 1775, he became court painter to Ferdinand VII of Spain and was also a miniaturist, and achieved a favorable position in the royal court. He was known there by the nickname of “El Canario.”[78]

The landscape painter Valentín Sanz (born 1849) was a native of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes de Santa Cruz displays many of his works. This museum also contains the works of Juan Rodríguez Botas (1880–1917), considered the first Canarian impressionist.[79]

Frescoes by the expressionist Mariano de Cossío can be found in the church of Santo Domingo, in La Laguna. The watercolorist Francisco Bonnín Guerín (born 1874) was a native of Santa Cruz, and founded a school to encourage the arts. Óscar Domínguez was born in La Laguna in 1906 and is famed for his versatility. He belonged to the surrealist school, and invented the technique known as decalcomania.[80]

Sculpture

The arrival from Seville of Martín de Andújar Cantos, an architect and sculptor brought new sculpting techniques of the Seville school, which were passed down to his students, including Blas García Ravelo, a native of Garachico. He had been trained by the master sculptor Juan Martínez Montañés.[81]

Other notable sculptors from the 17th and 18th centuries include Sebastián Fernández MéndezLázaro González de OcampoJosé Rodríguez de la Oliva, and most importantly, Fernando Estévez, a native of La Orotava and a student of Luján Pérez. Estévez contributed an extensive collection of religious images and woodcarvings, found in numerous churches of Tenerife, such as the Principal Parish of Saint James the Great (Parroquia Matriz del Apóstol Santiago), in Los Realejos; in the Cathedral of La Laguna; the Iglesia de la Concepción in La Laguna; the basilica of Candelaria, and various churches in La Orotava.

Music

Canarian timple

An important musician from Tenerife is Teobaldo Power y Lugo Viña, a native of Santa Cruz and a pianist and composer, and author of the Cantos Canarios.[82] The Hymn of the Canary Islands takes its melody from the Arrorró, or Lullaby, from Power y Lugo Viña’s Cantos Canarios.[83]

Folkloric music has also flourished on the island, and, as in the rest of the islands, is characterized by the use of the Canarian Timple, the guitar, bandurrialaúd, and various percussion instruments. Local folkloric groups such as Los Sabandeños work to save Tenerife’s musical forms in the face of increasing cultural pressure from the mainland.[84]

Tenerife is the home to the types of songs called the isafolíatajaraste, and malagueña, which are a cross of ancient Guanche songs and those of Andalusia and Latin America.

Architecture

Architecture in Santa Cruz (Plaza de España)

Auditorio de Tenerife, icon of architecture in Canary Islands[85]

Tenerife is characterized by an architecture whose best representatives are the local manor houses and also the most humble and common dwellings. This style, while influenced by those of Andalusia and Portugal, nevertheless had a very particular and native character.[38]

Of the manor houses, the best examples can be found in La Orotava and in La Laguna, characterized by their balconies and by the existence of interior patios and the widespread use of the wood known as pino tea (“pitch pine“). These houses are characterized by simple façades and wooden lattices with little ornamentation.[38]There are sash windows and it is customary for the chairs inside the house to rest back-to-back to the windows. The interior patios function like real gardens that serve to give extra light to the rooms, which are connected via the patio by galleries frequently crowned by wood and stone.

Gadgets like stills, water pumps, benches and counters, are elements that frequently form part of these patios.[38]

Traditional houses generally have two storeys, with rough walls of variegated colours. Sometimes the continuity of these walls is interrupted by the presence of stone blocks that are used for ornamental purposes.[38]

The government buildings and religious structures were built according to the changing styles of each century. The urban nuclei of La Orotava and La Laguna have been declared national historical-artistic monuments.[86]

In recent years, various governments have spearheaded the concept of developing architectural projects, sometimes ostentatious ones, designed by renowned architects–for example, the remodeling of the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz de Tenerife by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Other examples include the Playa de Las Teresitas project by the Frenchman Dominique Perrault; the center known as Magma Arte & Congresos; the Torres de Santa Cruz; and the Auditorio de Tenerife (“Auditorium of Tenerife”). The latter, by the Spaniard Santiago Calatrava, lies to the east of the Parque Marítimo (“Maritime Park”), in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and is characterized by its sail-like structure, which evokes a boat, and has become a symbol for the city and island,[87] which makes Santa Cruz de Tenerife one of the Spanish cities with the most futuristic buildings.

Crafts

Traditional costume

Distinctive representatives of craftsmanship on the island are Tenerife Lace (calado canario), which is drawn work embroidery, and the intricate doiliesknown as rosetas, or rosette embroidery, particularly from Vilaflor. The lace, often made for table linen, is produced by the intricate and slow embroidering of a stretched piece of cloth, which is rigidly attached to a wooden frame and is finished with illustrations or patterns using threads that are crossed over and wound around the fijadores, or pins stuck in a small support made of cloth.[88] These decorated, small pieces are afterwards joined, to produce distinct designs and pieces of cloth.[89]

Another Tenerife-based industry is cabinetwork. The north of the island produced various master craftsman who created distinctive balconies, celosias, doors, and windows, as well as furniture consisting of pieces made in fine wood. Basketmaking using palm-leaves was also an important industry. Other materials are chestnut tree branches stripped of their leaves and banana tree fibre (known locally as la badana).[90]

Pottery has a long history harking back to the production of ceramics by the Guanches. The Guanches were unfamiliar with the potter’s wheel, and used hand-worked clay, which gave their pottery a distinctive look. Pottery was used to produce domestic objects such as pots and grills, or ornamental pieces such as bead collars or the objects known as pintaderas, which were pieces of pottery used to decorate other vessels.[24]

Traditional celebrations

Annual performance to honour “Our Lady of Candelaria” at Socorro Beach, Güímar

Carnival of Santa Cruz

Perhaps the most important festival of Tenerife, popular both on a national and international level, is the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest (Fiesta de Interés Turístico Internacional).[91] The carnival is celebrated in many locations in the north and south of the island, but is largest in scope in the city of Santa Cruz.[92] Contests are celebrated, and the carnival includes bands of street musicians (murgas), groups of minstrels (rondallas de Tenerife), masquerades (comparsas), and various associations (agrupaciones). Once the Queen of the festival is elected, the first part of the carnival ends, and thereafter begins the actual street carnival, in which large numbers of people gather in the centre of Santa Cruz, with the carnival lasting ten days.[93]

Pilgrimages (Romerías)

The most traditional and widespread religious festivals on the islands are the pilgrimages or romerías.[94] These events, which incorporate Christian and non-Christian elements, are celebrated by various means: with wagons and floats, plowing teams and livestock, in honor of the patron saint of a particular place. The processions are accompanied by local dances, local dishes, folkloric activities, local arts and crafts, local sports, and the wearing of traditional dress of Tenerife (trajes de mago).

The origins of these events can be attributed to the parties and celebrations held by the richest classes of the island, who would gather to venerate their patron saints, to which they attributed good harvests, fertile lands, plentiful rainfall, the curing of sicknesses and ending of epidemics, etc. They would thus give homage to these saints by consuming and sharing the fruits of their harvest, which included the locally cultivated wines. These have developed into processions to mark festivals dedicated to Saint Mark in Tegueste, where the wagons are decorated with the fruits of the earth (seeds, cereals, flowers, etc.); to Saint Isidore the Laborer in Los Realejos; to Saint Isidore the Laborer and Maria Torribia (Saint Mary of the Head) in La Orotava; Saint Benedict in La Laguna; Virgin of Candelaria in Candelaria; Saint Roch in Garachico; and Saint Augustine in Arafo.

Holiday of the Virgin of Candelaria

The Virgin of Candelaria is the patron of the Canary Islands; a feast is held in her honor two times a year, in February and August. The Pilgrimage-Offering to the Virgin of Candelaria is celebrated every 14 August in this event is a tradition that representations of all municipalities of the island and also of all the Canary archipelago come to make offerings to their patron. Another significant act of the feast of the Virgin of Candelaria is called “Walk to Candelaria” held on the night of 14 to 15 August in which the faithful make pilgrimage on foot from various parts of the island, even coming from other islands to arrive at Villa Mariana de Candelaria.

On 2 February we celebrate the feast of the Candelaria. Also on this day come to town many members of the Virgin.

Holiday of the Cristo de La Laguna

It is celebrated every 14 September in honor of a much venerated image of Christ in the Archipelago, the Cristo de La Laguna, is held in the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

Corpus Christi

Soil Tapestry in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Square) in La Orotava

The religious festival of Corpus Christi is particularly important, and is traditionally celebrated with floral carpets laid in the streets. Particularly noteworthy are the celebrations in La Orotava where a very large carpet, or tapestry, of different coloured volcanic soils, covers the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (town square). These soils are taken from the Parque Nacional del Teide, and after the celebration, are returned, to preserve the National Park. The celebration of Corpus Christi in Orotava has been declared of Important Cultural Interest among the official Traditional Activities of the Island.[95]

Easter

Among the numerous other celebrations that define Tenerifian culture, Easter remains the most important. This is celebrated across the island, but is particularly notable in the municipalities of La Laguna, La Orotava and Los Realejos, where elaborate processions take place on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day, or “Resurrection Sunday”. Holy Week in the city of San Cristobal de la Laguna is the largest of the Canary Islands.[96]

Religion

As with the rest of Spain, Tenerife is largely Roman Catholic.[97] However, the practice of other religions and denominations has increasingly expanded on the island due to tourism and immigration, as IslamHinduismBuddhismEvangelicalismJudaism and Afro-American religion.[98] Minority religions are stationed in the island: Chinese Religions,[99]Bahá’í[99] and the neopaganism native form, the Church of the Guanche People,[99] among others.

An important Roman Catholic festival is the celebration of the feast day associated with the Virgin of Candelariapatron saint of the Canary Islands, who represents the union of the Guanche and Spanish cultures.[100] The Guanches became devoted to a Black Madonna that Christian missionaries from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura left on a beach near the present-day Villa Mariana de Candelaria, which gave rise to the legends and stories associated with the Virgin. These legends fueled the cult of the Virgin and the pilgrimages to Candelaria that have existed to this day on the island. Another cult to the Virgin Mary exists in the form of Our Lady of Los Remedios (la Virgen de Los Remedios), who is patron of the Roman Catholic diocese of Tenerife (Diócesis Nivariense).

In Tenerife born two Catholicsaints who were of the greatest missionaries in the American continentPeter of Saint Joseph Betancur and José de Anchieta. The first was a missionary in Guatemala and founder of Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem (the first American-born religious order), the second was a missionary in Brazil, and was one of the founders of São Paulo and of Rio de Janeiro. It also highlights the figure of the mystic Mary of Jesus de León y Delgado. This nun died with a reputation for holiness and is highly revered throughout the Canary Islands. Her body is intact in the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena in San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

Principal Roman Catholic places of worship on the island include:

  • The Basilica of Candelaria (in Candelaria): The place where the image of the Virgin of Candelaria can be found, this sanctuary is built in neoclassical style, and is visited daily by the parishioners, who visit the Villa Mariana out of devotion to the Virgin.
  • The Cathedral of La Laguna (in San Cristóbal de La Laguna): The seat of the Diocese of Tenerife (known as the Diócesis Nivariense, or Nivarian Diocese), the cathedral is a place of devotion for Our Lady of Remedies (la Virgen de Los Remedios). A combination of neo-Gothic and neoclassical architectural elements, it is now being restored and rebuilt.
  • Real Santuario del Cristo de La Laguna (in San Cristóbal de La Laguna): Is one of the most important spiritual temples Canaries, this is because inside is venerated miraculous image of the Cristo de La Laguna, which is one of the most revered religious images of the Canary Islands and a symbol of the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
  • Principal Parish of Saint James the Great (Parroquia Matriz del Apóstol Santiago): Situated in Villa de Los Realejos, this parish church was the first Christian church built on the island after its conquest by Castilian forces, and is dedicated to Saint James the Great, due to the fact that the conquest was completed on the saint’s feast day, that is, 25 July, in the year 1496. It was, along with the Parish of the Conception of La Laguna, one of the first parishes of the island.
  • The Church of the Conception of La Laguna (Iglesia de la Concepción de La Laguna): One of the most ancient buildings on Tenerife, its construction was ordered by Alonso Fernández de Lugo. It has been declared a National Historic Monument. Around this church were established the dwellings and framework that formed the nucleus of the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

Other important churches include the Church of the Conception in La Orotava (Iglesia de la Concepción); the churches of San Agustín and Santo Domingo in La Orotava; the church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia in Puerto de la Cruz; the church of San Marcos in Icod de los Vinos; the church of Santa Ana in Garachico; and the Church of the Conception (Iglesia de la Concepción) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The first saint of Tenerife[101] and Canary Islands[102] was Santo Hermano Pedro de San José Betancurt, born in the town of Vilaflor, Tenerife. His shrine is a cave in Granadilla de Abona, near the coast, where he lived in his youth.

Education

University of La Laguna, the oldest and largest university in the Canary Islands

Formal education in Tenerife began with the religious orders. In 1530, the Dominican Order established a chair of philosophy at the convent of La Concepción de La Laguna. Still, until well into the 18th century Tenerife was largely without institutions of education.

Such institutions finally began to develop thanks to the work of the Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País (“Royal Economic Society of Friends of the Country”), which established several schools in San Cristóbal de La Laguna. The first of these was an institute of secondary educationestablished in 1846 to fill the gap left by the closure of the Universidad de San Fernando (see University of La Laguna).[103] An 1850 annex to this building was the Escuela Normal Elemental, the archipelago’s first teachers’ college or normal school, which became the Escuela Normal Superior de Magisterio from 1866 onward. These were the only institutions of higher education until the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera created several institutions. A turning point came around the time of the rise of the Second Spanish Republic. From 1929 to 1933 the number of schools nearly doubled.

Shortly after this, though, the start of the Spanish Civil War and the following dictatorship of Francisco Franco constituted a considerable reversal. Education in the hands of religious orders had a certain importance on the island until the 1970 Ley General de Educación (“General Law of Education”) shifted the balance from religiously based education to public education. Public schools continued their advance during and after the post-Franco Spanish transition to democracy. Tenerife today has 301 centers of childhood education (preschools), 297 primary schools, 140 secondary schools and 86 post-secondary schools.[104] There are also five universities or post-graduate schools, the University of La Laguna, the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (National University of Distance Learning), the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo(Menéndez Pelayo International University), the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (University of Alfonso X the Wise) and the Universidad de Vic (Escuela Universitaria de Turismo de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, “University School of Tourism of Santa Cruz de Tenerife”). The largest of these is the University of La Laguna.

Science and research

Teide Observatory, part of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Astrophysics Institute of the Canaries)

While Tenerife is not prominent in the history of scientific and academic research, it is the home of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries). There is also an Instituto de Bio-Orgánica Antonio González (Antonio González Bio-Organic Institute) at the University of La Laguna. Also at that university are the Instituto de Lingüística Andrés Bello (Andrés Bello Institute of Linguistics), the Centro de Estudios Medievales y Renacentistas (Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies), the Instituto Universitario de la Empresa (University Institute of Business), the Instituto de Derecho Regional (Regional Institute of Law), the Instituto Universitario de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales (University Institute of Political and Social Sciences) and the Instituto de Enfermedades Tropicales (Institute of Tropical Diseases). This last is one of the seven institutions of the Red de Investigación de Centros de Enfermedades Tropicales (RICET, “Network of Research of Centers of Tropical Diseases”), located in various parts of Spain.

Puerto de la Cruz has the Instituto de Estudos Hispánicos de Canarias (Institute of Hispanic Studies of the Canaries), attached to Madrid’s Instituto de Cultura Hispánica. In La Laguna is the Canarian delegation of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC, Superior Council of Scientific Investigations), the Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias (Canarian Institute of Agrarian Investigation), the Instituto de Estudios Canarios (Canarian Institute of Studies) and the Centro Internacional para la Conservación del Patrimonio (the International Center of the Conservation of Patrimony).

Other research facilities in Tenerife are the Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, the Instituto Vulcanológico de Canarias, the Asociación Industrial de Canarias, the Instituto Tecnológico de Energías Renovables (Technological Institute of Renewable Energy) and the Instituto Oceanográfico de Canarias in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Museums

Guanche figures at Pueblo Chico in La Oratava

The island boasts a variety of museums of different natures, under dominion of a variety of institutions. Perhaps the most developed are those belonging to the Organismo Autónomo de Museos y Centros,[105] which include the following:

  • Museum of Nature and Man: located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this museum exhibits the natural riches of the Canary Islands and of the pre-Hispanic people who inhabited these. The Museum of Nature and Man is a world reference in regard to preservation of mummies. The complex is composed of three museums:
    • The Museum of Natural Sciences
    • The Architectural Museum of Tenerife
    • The Canarian Institute of Bioanthropology
  • Museum of the History of Tenerife: located in the city of La Laguna, the history of museum presents an overview of the institutional, social, economic and cultural development of the Island in from the 15th to 20th centuries.
  • The Museum of Science and the Cosmos, also located in La Laguna adjacent to the property of the Instituto de Astrofísica as a museum about the laws and principles of nature, from those of the cosmos to those of the human body.
  • The Museum of Anthropology of Tenerife, in La Laguna as well, more specifically in Valle de Guerra is a public institution for the investigation, conservation and spread of popular culture
  • The Centro de Documentación Canario-Americano (CEDOCAM, Center for Canarian-American Documentation), located in La Laguna has a mission of strengthening cultural relations and elements of common identity between the Canaries and the Americas, through such means as conservation, information and diffusion of their shared documentary patrimony.
  • The Centro de Fotografía Isla de Tenerife (“Island of Tenerife Photographic Center”) located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers an annual program of expositions that allows contact with tendencies and works of various renowned and emergent photographers of the Canaries. In the future, this center will share a headquarters with the Instituto Óscar Domínguez de Arte y Cultura Contemporánea (Óscar Domínguez Institute of Art and Culture).
  • The Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA, “Tenerife Arts Space”) also in Santa Cruz de Tenerife was founded to promote knowledge of the many contemporary tendencies in art and culture among the local population and visitors, by organizing cultural, scientific, educational and technical activities.

Independent of the Organismo Autónomo de Museos y Centros are:

  • The Municipal Museum of Fine Arts in the Tenerifan capital has a permanent exhibit of the paintings and sculptures of José de RiberaFederico MadrazoJoaquín Sorolla and such Canarian artists as Manolo Millares and Óscar Domínguez.
  • The Casa del Vino-La Baranda (“House of Wine-La Baranda”), a member of the Asociación de Museos del Vino de España (Association of Wine Museums of Spain,[106] is located in the municipality of El Sauzal. Its facilities include a rustic, historic hacienda, a museum of the history of viticulture in Tenerife, a restaurant serving typical Tenerifan food, a wine store, an audiovisual hall, and a tasting room.
  • The Casa de la Miel (“House of Honey”) is an annex to the Casa del Vino-La Baranda, and was established by the Cabildo Insular to support and develop the apicultural (bee-keeping) sector on Tenerife. The visitor’s center of the Casa de la Miel offers exhibits about the history of this industry on the island and how apiculture is conducted, as well as information services and opportunities to taste Tenerifan denominación de origen honeys.[107]
  • The Museum of Iberoamerican Artisanship is located in the old convent of San Benito Abad, in La OrotavaEl centro se encuadra dentro del programa de divulgación que ejecuta el Center for Documentation of Artisanship in Spain and America,[108] The Foundation is financed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional(Spanish Agency of International Cooperation), the Comisión Nacional “Quinto Centeneario” (“Fifth Centenary” National Commission), the Consejería de Industria y Comercio del Gobierno de Canarias (Council of Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canaries), and the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife. It has five galleries, specialized in popular musical instruments, textiles / new designs in artisanship, ceramics, fibers, and popular art.
  • The Archaeological Museum of Puerto de La Cruz in the city of the same name is located in a traditional casona (a type of house dating from the 18th–19th century), offers an archival collection comprising more than 2,600 specimens of items from the Guanche culture, and a document collection named after researcher Luis Diego Cuscoy.[109]
  • The Regional Military Museum of the Canaries, is located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, more specifically in the Fuerte de Almeyda district. Its galleries present all of the military history of the de Canaries, including the repelling of the attack by British Admiral Horatio Nelson, as well as other events and battles waged in the islands. Separate from the Regional Military Museum are files providing the Intermediate Military Archive of the Canaries and the Military Library of the Canary Islands.[110]

Media

Along with many Spanish-language radio and TV stations, Tenerife has two official English-language radio stations. Coast FM broadcasts a mix of adult contemporary music and is the only local news service to broadcast in English. As the larger of the two stations, Coast FM can be heard across Tenerife and much of the Canary Islands from its transmitters on 106.6, 92.2 and 89.4. Energy FM is a non-stop music station that also broadcasts local news and information on the hour.

Transport and communications

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The island of Tenerife is served by Tenerife North – Los Rodeos Airport (GCXO) and Reina Sofía Airport (GCTS).

Los Rodeos Airport, the smaller of the two, is located near the metropolitan area Santa Cruz-La Laguna (423,000 inhabitants). It serves inter-insular flights as well as national and European flights, and for the last two years, a weekly service to Venezuela. Reina Sofía Airport (south) is the busiest Airport in Tenerife, ranking 7th in Spain. It typically serves the mass of regular and vacation charter flights constantly arriving from most of Europe. Los Rodeos Airport was also the site of the Tenerife Airport Disaster, which killed 583 people and is the deadliest air accident in history.

The other way to arrive on Tenerife is by ferry, either to Santa Cruz de Tenerife or Los Cristianos, near Playa de Las Américas.

A network consisting of two fast, toll-free motorways (TF1 and TF5) encircles nearly the entire island, linking all the main towns and resorts with the metropolitan area. The exception is in the West, from Adeje to Icod de los Vinos, which is traversed by a smaller winding mountain road. However, plans are in progress to complete the motorway, which caused a heavy debate between the environmentalists and the local businessmen.

Away from the major motorways, there is a network of secondary and communal roads, varying from wide to steep, winding narrow roads, mainly unlit and often with drops on either side of the main carriageway surface.

Public transport on the island is provided by an extensive network of buses and run by TITSA, who operate a fleet of modern, air-conditioned buses.[111] TITSA buses cover most of the island and they are fairly frequent. For more than one journey, customers can purchase BonoBus cards at €12 or €30 which work out much cheaper than single cash fares; on boarding stick the BonoBus card in the green bonobus box, and tell the driver where you want to go. The BonoBus can be purchased at many newsagents, most bus stations, and at Tenerife South (Reina Sofia) Airport in the Alpizpa souvenir shop, opposite gate 47 (Departures). The Bonobus is also valid on the tram in the capital, Santa Cruz (See Below).

A rental car is sometimes a good option for discovering the remote wilderness regions, although TITSA do operate reliable bus services in the remotest spots, such as the Teno Massif via Masca (355), and up the Anaga mountains (247). TITSA even run two daily services up Mount Teide – from Puerto de la Cruz (348) and from Los Christianos/Las Americas (342) up to the Teide Parador, Teleferico cable car, Montana Blanca and El Portillo. The only car rental companies that actually have offices in the airports are: Autoreisen, Avis, Cicar, Europcar, Goldcar (only south airport) and Hertz.[112][113][114]

The metropolitan Area formed by Santa Cruz and La Laguna is served by the Tranvía de Tenerife (English: Tenerife Tram) which opened in early 2007, after 3 years of intensive works. The fairly lengthy line from Santa Cruz up the hill to La Laguna serves almost 20 stops. A second line within La Laguna was added in 2009.

Teno, the westernmost point in the island

Roads

TF5 motorway approaching Santa Cruz

The main means of transportation in Tenerife is by highways. The most important of these are the Autopista del Surand the Autopista del Norte (the North and South Motorways), which run from the metropolitan zone to the south and north, respectively. These two motorways are connected by means of the Autovía de Interconexión Norte-Surin the outskirts of the metropolitan zone. Within the network of roads on the island of Tenerife there are other minor roads that used to include the highway from San Andres and Santa Cruz (Holy Cross in English).[115]

Also planned is the construction of a bypass road north of the metropolitan area of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Laguna. This aims to provide dual cores to Guamasa and Acorán, by way of Los BaldíosCenteneroLlano del MoroEl SobradilloEl Tablero, and El Chorrillo, among other neighbourhoods. The route will be approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) long and will cost an estimated 190 million euros (270 million in American dollars).[116]

Airports

Tenerife North Airport

Tenerife is most easily reached by air. There are two airports: Reina Sofia (or Tenerife South Airport), in the south, and Tenerife North Airport, also called Los Rodeos, near Santa Cruz. Each has flights to the capitals of the other islands and to cities throughout Europe, as well as to CaracasDakar, and Miami. Overall, Tenerife has the highest annual passenger count and the greatest number of arrivals, made more popular by the frequency of cheap flights from many European destinations. Tenerife North Airport was the site of the deadliest accident in aviation history: in 1977 two Boeing 747s collided on a runway, killing 583 people. The Tenerife North Airport combined with the Tenerife South Airport, gather the highest passenger movement in the Canary Islands with 12,764,375 passengers (AENA report[117]). Given the two airports on the island of Tenerife is the most popular tourist and performing more operations of the Canary Islands.[118][119]

Ports

Besides air transport, Tenerife has two principal maritime ports: the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Puerto de Santa Cruz), which serves the various capitals of the Canary Islands, especially those in the west; and the Port of Los Cristianos (Puerto de Los Cristianos), which serves the various island capitals of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The first port also has passenger services, which connect with the mainland port of Cádiz (and vice versa). There are plans to build a new port in the south of the island, in Granadilla de Abona, and in another in the west, at Fonsalía.[120] The Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the first fishing port in the Canary Islands with approximately 7,500 tons of fish caught, according to the Statistical Yearbook of the State Ports 2006 (the latest of which is changing). Following this report is the largest port number of passengers recorded. Similarly, the second port of Spain moving ship and loaded into cars, only surpassed by the Port of Algeciras Bay.[121] In the port’s facilities include a border inspection post (BIP) approved by the European Union, which is responsible for inspecting all types of imports from third countries or exports to countries outside the European Economic Area.

Buses (guaguas)

Tenerife has an extensive system of buses, which are called guaguas in the Canary Islands. The bus system is used both within the cities and also connects most of the towns and cities of the island. There are bus stations in all of the major towns, such as the Intercambiador de Transportes de Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Taxis

Travelling by Taxi is a low cost and convenient way to get from the airport to your resort, especially if you have a family or a lot of luggage. You will find a taxi rank outside any airport terminal (Tenerife North and Tenerife South). Look for the sign pointing to the nearest taxi rank. The taxis operate all night and there are several hundred of them so you don’t have to worry about not being able to catch a cab.

Tramway

Tramway servicing between Santa Cruz and La Laguna

From 2007, the Tenerife Tram connects Santa Cruz de Tenerife and La Laguna through the suburb of Taco. There are 20 stops and it covers a distance of 12.5 km (7.8 mi) in 37 minutes. It calls at some points of interest including Tenerife’s two major hospitals, the university complex of Guajara, and a number of museums and theatres. Concerning its power supply, it will support development of further wind farms to provide it with 100 percent clean energy.[122]

Railway plans

By 2005, plans for a light-rail network linking the capital with the South had been approved by both the Tenerife Council and the Canary Islands Government, though the discussion with the central Spanish Government stalled on budget issues.[123] The original intent was to establish two railway systems that would serve the northern and southern sides of the island connecting these with the capital.[124] By March 2011, these intentions had been replaced by advanced plans for a single 80 km (50 mi) high-speed rail line, the “South Train” which would connect Santa Cruz de Tenerife with Adeje via Santa Maria de Añaza, Candelaria, San Isidro, Tenerife South Airport, and a main stopover station at Adeje which would be designed to service up to 25,000 passengers per day. Trains would run every 15 minutes during rush hours, and would achieve speeds up to 220 km/h (137 mph). The project, which involves 9 tunnels, 12 false tunnels (together 22.1 km) and 33 viaducts (8.3 km) has been budgeted at EUR 1.7 bn. It has met staunch opposition from local environmentalists.[125] An alternate plan for a high speed Transrapid maglev has also been put forward.[126][127]

Sports

Main article: Sport in Tenerife

On the island of Tenerife, a large number of sports are practised, both outdoors and indoors in the various facilities available throughout the island.The sports are numerous -Diving,Rock Climbing,Walking,Cycling,Sailing,Golf,Surfing,Go- Carting,Paragliding – the all year round weather makes it ideal for a wide variety of outdoor sports. There are also many indoor sporting facilities including fully equipped including ‘Tenerife Top Training’ centre in Adeje on the South of the Island.

Healthcare

The main hospitals on the island are the Hospital Universitario de Canarias and the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria. Both are third-level hospitals, with specialist facilities that serve all of the Canary Islands.[128] They are both affiliated with the education and research network of the Universidad de La Laguna. However, they belong to different bodies, since first one is under the directives of the Servicio Canario de la Salud (Canarian Health Service).[129][130]

In addition, two new peripheral hospitals in the North and South areas of the island are being constructed, located in the municipalities of Icod de los Vinos and Arona respectively. These centers will function, according to their classification, as second level hospitals, with services of hospitalization, advanced diagnosis, ambulances and emergencies, and rehabilitation, etc. There are also a total of 39 centers of primary care and specialized clinics which complete the sanitary infrastructure of Tenerife.[131]

Gastronomy

Fish

Due to the geographic situation of Tenerife, the island enjoys an abundance of fish of various kinds. The species that are consumed the most are the Combtooth blennies (viejas), as well as sea bream (sama), red porgy (bocinegro), gold lined bream (salema), grouper (mero), and various and abundant types of Thunnus. The Atlantic mackerel (caballa), sardine (sardine), and Jack mackerels (chicharros) are also consumed frequently. Moray eels (morenas) are also eaten, usually fried. Most seafood is cooked simply, usually boiled, or prepared “a la espalda” (cut into two equally shaped pieces along the spine) or “a la sal” (baked in salt). These dishes are usually accompanied by mojo (a local sauce) and wrinkly potatoes.[24][38]

Meat

The typical festive meat dish of marinated porctacos is a very popular dish prepared for town festivities in ventorrillos, bars and private homes.[132] Rabbit in salmorejogoat, and of course beef, pork and poultry are also regularly consumed.[24][38]

Canarian wrinkly potatoes[edit]

Canarian wrinkly potatoes, with red mojo

The fish dishes along with the meats are often accompanied by wrinkly potatoes (papas arrugadas). This is a typical Canarian dish which simply refers to the way the cooked potatoes look. They are boiled in their skins, in water with lots of salt, and the water is allowed to evaporate, leaving a salty crust.[24][38]

Mojos

Mojo, a word probably of Portuguese origin, describes a typical Canarian sauce, served as an accompaniment to food. The sauces come in a variety of colours, flavours and textures, and are usually served cold, often in separate dishes, for the diner to choose how much to apply. Green mojo usually includes coriander, parsley, and garlic; whilst red mojo is piquant, and made from a mix of hot and sweet peppers. A wide variety of other ingredients are also used, including; almonds, cheese, saffron and fried bread.[24][38] Mojos are served with most meat, and some fish, dishes, and are often used on potatoes, or bread is dipped into them.

Cheeses

Tenerife exports about 3,400 tons of cheese per year, representing about 50 percent of the output of the island, and about 25 percent of the entire Canary Islands.[citation needed]

After the conquest of the Canary Islands, one of the first commercial activities to be started was cheese production. The sale of cheese provided the inhabitants with an income and cheese was even used as a form of currency for exchange and sale, becoming a crucial product in agricultural areas of the island.

Cheese grew to become one of the most commonly produced and consumed products on the island and is regularly served as part of a starter course or as a snack. Farms at AricoLa Orotavaand Teno produced a variety of cheeses, including soft cheeses, cured, smoked and were mostly handmade. Today the main product is goat cheese, although certain amounts are made from sheep’s or cow’s milk, and according to the Registro General Sanitario de Alimentos, the general health registry, around 75 different cottage cheeses are produced.[133] The cheeses of the Canaries have generally received good international reviews, noted for their sweetness which differentiates them from certain other European cheeses.[24][38][134] In particular, Tenerifan cured goats cheese was awarded best cheese in the world final of the 2008 World Cheese Awards held in Dublin, Ireland.[135]

Cheeses from Tenerife now have a quality mark promoted by the Fundación Tenerife Rural, to standardize their quality in an attempt to publicize the qualities of the cheese and improve its marketing.[133]

Gofio

Gofio escaldado

Gofio is one of the more traditional elements of cooking on the island, It is made with cereal grains that are roasted and then ground. Increasingly used to make a gofio on the island is wheat although there are other types, and they are often made with chick peas. Relatively common is a mixed-type with wheat. It was served as main food to the guanches even before the Spanish conquest. In later times of scarcity or famine it was a staple of the popular Canarian diet. Today it is eaten as a main dish (gofio escaldado) or an accompaniment to different dishes, meats, fishes, soups, desserts. Some famous cooks have even made gofio ice cream, receiving good comments from the critics.[24][38]

Confectionery

Confectionery in Tenerife is represented and strongly influenced by La Palma, with confections like bienmesabeleche asadaPríncipe Albertofrangollohuevos molesquesillo, etc.[24][38]

Wines

Viniculture in the archipelago, and especially in Tenerife dates back to the conquest, when the settlers brought a variety of vines to plant. In the 16th and 17th centuries, wine production played an important role in the economy, and many families were dedicated to the culture and business. Of special mention is malvasía canary, considered the best wine of Tenerife and at the time one of the most desired wines in the world, being shipped across to the major warehouses of Europe and America.[136] Writers such as William Shakespeare and Walter Scott make reference to the wine in some of their works.[137] Tenerife has 5 main wine growing regions. These include AbonaValle de GüímarValle de La OrotavaTacoronte-Acentejo and Ycoden-Daute-Isora.[138]

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tenerife is twinned with:

Photos

References

  1. Jump up ^ http://www.ine.es/jaxiT3/Datos.htm?t=2910
  2. Jump up to: a b c “Instituto Nacional de Estadística. (National Statistics Institute)”. Ine.es. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  3. Jump up ^ Cifras de población referidas al 01/01/2011 Real Decreto 1612/2011, de 7 de diciembreInstituto Nacional de Estadística
  4. Jump up ^ Terra Noticias. “Canarias recibe 593.604 turistas extranjeros durante el mes de julio, un 16% menos que los registrados en 2008”. Noticias.terra.es. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  5. Jump up ^ Posicionamiento turístico de Tenerife
  6. Jump up ^ [1][dead link]
  7. Jump up to: a b Ricardo Melchior: “Tenerife es el motor de la economía canaria”
  8. Jump up to: a b Datos corporativos de CajaCanarias
  9. Jump up to: a b Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 en wikisource
  10. Jump up to: a b Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 en el sitio web oficial del Gobierno de Canarias
  11. Jump up ^ arquba.com. “San Cristóbal De La Laguna – Arquitectura Y Construccion”. Arquitectuba.com.ar. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  12. Jump up ^ Parque nacional del Teide: web oficial de Turismo de Tenerife
  13. Jump up to: a b c d El macizo de Anaga alberga mayor concentración de endemismos de toda Europa
  14. Jump up ^ Auditorio Tenerife, información
  15. Jump up ^ Correos emite seis sellos con obras emblemáticas de la arquitectura española e incluye el Auditorio de Tenerife
  16. Jump up ^ O’Brien, Sally and Sarah Andrews. (2004) Lonely Planet Canary Islands “Lonely Planet”. p. 59. ISBN 1-74059-374-X.
  17. Jump up ^ Charles Knight, The English Cyclopaedia, 1866, Bradbury, Evans
  18. Jump up ^ Abreu Galindo, FR. J. Historia de la conquista de las siete islas de Canaria (in Spanish). Goya. ISBN 978-84-400-3645-2.
  19. Jump up ^ Bethencourt Alfonso, Juan (1997). Historia del pueblo guanche (in Spanish). Francisco Lemus Editor SL. ISBN 978-84-87973-10-9.
  20. Jump up to: a b c Real Academia Española
  21. Jump up ^ “g”. Nido Language Travel. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
  22. Jump up ^ El Portal de las Islas Canarias
  23. Jump up to: a b Rumeu de Armas, Antonio (2006). La conquista de Tenerife 1494–1496. Instituto de estudios canarios. ISBN 978-84-88366-57-3.
  24. Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Hernández, Pedro (2003). Natura y Cultura de las Islas Canarias. Tafor. ISBN 978-84-932758-0-8.
  25. Jump up to: a b c (Spanish) Canary government article on the emigration to the Americas throughout history
  26. Jump up ^ (Spanish) Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar de Canarias
  27. Jump up ^ (Spanish) Asociación canaria para la enseñanza de las ciencias- Viera y Clavijo
  28. Jump up ^ Página web Ayuntamiento Puerto de la Cruz
  29. Jump up ^ http://www.tenerifenews.org.es/2013/08/linked-with-the-islands/
  30. Jump up to: a b “Origins of the island”. About Tenerife.com. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
  31. Jump up ^ (Spanish) Instituto Geográfico Nacional
  32. Jump up ^ García Rodríguez (1990). Atlas interinsular de Canarias. Editorial interinsular canaria. ISBN 978-84-86733-09-4.
  33. Jump up to: a b c Estadísticas de la Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias
  34. Jump up ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística
  35. Jump up ^ Red de Parques Nacionales (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente)
  36. Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Gran Enciclopedia Virtual Interactiva de Canarias
  37. Jump up ^ Información del Cabildo de Tenerife
  38. Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x González Morales, Alejandro (2000). Canarias isla a isla (clima). Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria. ISBN 84-7926-357-1.
  39. Jump up ^ Estudio geológico sobre el Teide del CSIC
  40. Jump up ^ Página web oficial de la UNESCO (en inglés)
  41. Jump up ^ Estadísticas del Gobierno de Canarias
  42. Jump up ^ Tenerife Site from the Canary Islands Government – Página de Tenerife del Gobierno de Canarias
  43. Jump up ^ Información de Turismo de Tenerife
  44. Jump up ^ “More variable tropical climates have a slower demographic growth” (PDF). Hal.archives-ouvertes.fr. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  45. Jump up ^ “Valores Climatológicos Normales. Santa Cruz De Tenerife”.
  46. Jump up to: a b “Standard Climate Values. Tenerife Sur Aeropuerto”.
  47. Jump up ^ Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial
  48. Jump up ^ Página oficial de turismo de Tenerife
  49. Jump up ^ Información del Consejo Insular de Aguas de Tenerife
  50. Jump up ^ “Chesapeake Bay Journal : Article”. Bayjournal.com. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  51. Jump up ^ Portal sobre contaminación atmosférica
  52. Jump up ^ Asociación Tinerfeña de Amigos de la Naturaleza
  53. Jump up ^ Información sobre la Calidad del agua de baño
  54. Jump up to: a b Cabildo de Tenerife (Flora y Fauna: introducción)
  55. Jump up ^ Según la Página Web del Gobierno de Canarias
  56. Jump up ^ La protección de los espacios naturales en Canarias (Gobierno de Canarias)
  57. Jump up ^ Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos
  58. Jump up ^ Relación de los Espacios Naturales protegidos de Tenerife
  59. Jump up ^ Cabildo de Tenerife
  60. Jump up ^ Competencias atribuídas al cabildo según la Ley 14/1990 de 26 de julio
  61. Jump up ^ Comarcas de la isla de Tenerife, Gran Enciclopedia Virtual de Canarias
  62. Jump up ^ Orden de 9 de mayo de 1989, por la que se aprueba la bandera de la isla de Tenerife
  63. Jump up ^ Información del Cabildo de Tenerife
  64. Jump up ^ Ley 7/1991, de 30 de abril, de símbolos de la naturaleza para las Islas Canarias
  65. Jump up ^ Datos del proyecto AUDES5 [2]—áreas urbanas.
  66. Jump up ^ Dos ciudades, una Isla y un millón de opciones
  67. Jump up ^ Santa Cruz-La Laguna
  68. Jump up ^ Evolución histórica de la población de Tenerife (ISTAC)
  69. Jump up ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística
  70. Jump up ^ (Spanish) Informe elaborado por el Observatorio Económico de Tenerife (SOFITESA)
  71. Jump up ^ Principal’!A1 Estadísticas de Turismo de Tenerife
  72. Jump up ^ Página oficial de Turusmo de Tenerife
  73. Jump up ^ Estadísticas de la Asociación de Productores de Plátanos de Canarias (ASPROCAN)
  74. Jump up ^ [3] Monumentos y patrimonio de Tenerife
  75. Jump up ^ Edificio residencial más alto de España
  76. Jump up ^ Revista multimedia (Mundo Guanche)
  77. Jump up ^ Arte en Canarias (recogido por el Gobierno de Canarias)
  78. Jump up ^ Página oficial del ayuntamiento de Puerto de la Cruz
  79. Jump up ^ Página oficial de Turismo de Tenerife
  80. Jump up ^ Noticia del diario El País
  81. Jump up ^ Cofradía del Nazareno (Los Realejos)
  82. Jump up ^ Alemán, Gilberto. Teobaldo Power. Idea. ISBN 978-84-96161-15-3.
  83. Jump up ^ Parlamento de Canarias (información acerca del Himno de Canarias)
  84. Jump up ^ Información del periódico El Día
  85. Jump up ^ Auditorio Tenerife, information (in Spanish)
  86. Jump up ^ Ministerio de Cultura de España (Patrimonio histórico)
  87. Jump up ^ Tenerife Convention Bureau (información sobre centros de congresos)
  88. Jump up ^ “Todo Tenerife – Welcome to Tenerife”. Todotenerife.es. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  89. Jump up ^ Museo Casa de Los Balcones
  90. Jump up ^ Información turística de Tenerife sobre el arte de la cestería
  91. Jump up ^ Página oficial del Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  92. Jump up ^ Información del Cabildo Insular acerca de todos los carnavales de Tenerife
  93. Jump up ^ Apartado de Fiestas de la página web del Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  94. Jump up ^ Turismo de Tenerife
  95. Jump up ^ Página del ayuntamiento de la Villa de La Orotava
  96. Jump up ^ Semana Santa en La Laguna 2010
  97. Jump up ^ Información turística de España
  98. Jump up ^ Religiones entre continentes. Minorías religiosas en Canarias.
  99. Jump up to: a b c Un 5% de canarios profesa una religión minoritaria
  100. Jump up ^ Noticia recogida por el diario La Opinión de Tenerife
  101. Jump up ^ CANONIZACIÓN DEL BEATO HERMANO PEDRO DE SAN JOSÉ DE BETANCURT
  102. Jump up ^ Intemporales: “Hermano Pedro, primer santo de las Islas Canarias”
  103. Jump up ^ Página de la Universidad de La Laguna
  104. Jump up ^ Consejería de Educación, Universidades, Cultura y Deportes
  105. Jump up ^ Organismo autónomo de museos y centros
  106. Jump up ^ Socios de la Asociación de Museos del Vino de España
  107. Jump up ^ Página de la Casa de la Miel de Tenerife
  108. Jump up ^ Official site of the Museo de Artesanía Iberoamericana
  109. Jump up ^ Fondo museográfico del espacio
  110. Jump up ^ Official site of the Centro de Historia y Cultura Militar de Canarias
  111. Jump up ^ “Tenerife’s main bus service, TITSA, is efficient and covers the island well. Most of the vehicles are new, air conditioned, clean and painted white and green.” Barrett, Pam (2000) Insight Guide Tenerife and Western Canary Islands (4th ed.) Insight Guides, APA Publications, Singapore, p. 280, ISBN 1-58573-060-2
  112. Jump up ^ Car Rental Companies in Tenerife North Airport
  113. Jump up ^ Car Rental Companies in Tenerife South Airport
  114. Jump up ^ Autoreisen rent a car
  115. Jump up ^ Red de carreteras de Tenerife
  116. Jump up ^ Plan Insular de Ordenación de Tenerife
  117. Jump up ^ [4][dead link]
  118. Jump up ^ Informe estadístico anual (2007) de Aena
  119. Jump up ^ Aeropuertos de Tenerife
  120. Jump up ^ Página web de la Autoridad Portuaria de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  121. Jump up ^ Anuario estadístico de Puertos del Estado
  122. Jump up ^ webpage
  123. Jump up ^ Navarro, Ricardo Melchior (23 October 2005) “Apuesta por el transporte público” El Dia(English: Odds for Public Transportation)
  124. Jump up ^ Referring to train project
  125. Jump up ^ http://www.webcitation.org/5wyynDTWX
  126. Jump up ^ “Transrapid Revival on the Canary Islands? Berlin Pushes Industry on High-Speed Maglev Rail”Speigel Online. April 22, 2011.
  127. Jump up ^ “Maglev System on the Island of Tenerife”. October 10–13, 2011.
  128. Jump up ^ Información del Gobierno de Canarias sobre hospitales y servicios de referencia
  129. Jump up ^ Hospital Universitario de Canarias
  130. Jump up ^ Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria
  131. Jump up ^ Información del Gobierno de Canarias sobre los centros de atención primaria y especializada de Tenerife
  132. Jump up ^ Fiesta Meat-Carne de fiesta de Tenerife(Official Canary Islands Tourism)
  133. Jump up to: a b Web Oficial del Cabildo de Tenerife
  134. Jump up ^ Cheeses of Tenerife-El queso tinerfeño (Official Canary Islands Tourism)
  135. Jump up ^ Artículo recogido en el periódico digital canarias24horas.com
  136. Jump up ^ Información de las Jornadas de comercialización y marketing vitivinícola desarrolladas por HECANSA
  137. Jump up ^ Información del Cabildo de Tenerife en relación con los vinos de Tenerife
  138. Jump up ^ Denominaciones de origen (Casa del vino-La Baranda)
  139. Jump up ^ La ocupación para el primer mes del vuelo Tenerife-Miami de Air Europa alcanza ya el 70 por ciento
  140. Jump up ^ El acto de hermanamiento entre Tenerife y Santo Domingo, en octubre

 

La Gomera

La Gomera
Flag of La Gomera.svg

GO Canarias.png
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 28°06′N 17°08′W
Archipelago Canary Islands
Area 369.76 km2 (142.77 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,487 m (4,879 ft)
Highest point Garajonay
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community Canary Islands
Province Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Largest settlement San Sebastián de la Gomera (pop. 8451)
Demographics
Population 21,952 (as of 2006)
Map of La Gomera.jpg

Volcanic plugs in the centre of La Gomera

Laurisilva of Garajonay, in La Gomera.

Los Órganos, La Gomera.

La Gomera (pronounced: [la ɣoˈmeɾa]) is one of Spain‘s Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. In area, it is the second-smallest of the seven main islands of this group. It belongs to the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Its capital is San Sebastián de La Gomera, where the headquarters of the Cabildo are located.

Political organisation

La Gomera is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is divided into six municipalities:

The island government (cabildo insular) is located in the capital, San Sebastián.

Ecology

The island is of volcanic origin and roughly circular; it is about 22 kilometres (14 miles) in diameter and rises to 1487 m (4,878 feet) at the island’s highest peak, Alto de Garajonay. Its shape is rather like an orange that has been cut in half and then split into segments, which has left deep ravines or barrancos between them. The uppermost slopes of these barrancos, in turn, are covered by the laurisilva – or laurel rain forest, where up to 50 inches of precipitation fall each year.

The upper reaches of this densely wooded region are almost permanently shrouded in clouds and mist, and as a result are covered in lush and diverse vegetation: they form the protected environment of Spain’s Garajonay National Park, which was declared a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1986. The slopes are criss-crossed by paths that present varying levels of difficulty to visitors, and stunning views to seasoned hikers.

The central mountains catch the moisture from the trade wind clouds and yield a dense jungle climate in the cooler air, which contrasts with the warmer, sun-baked cliffs near sea level.

Between these extremes one finds a fascinating gamut of microclimates; for centuries, the inhabitants of La Gomera have farmed the lower levels by channelling runoff water to irrigate their vineyards, orchards and banana groves.

Culture

The local wine is distinctive, and is often accompanied with a tapa (snack) of local cheese, roasted pork or goat meat. Other culinary specialities include almogrote, a cheese spread, and miel de palma, a syrup extracted from palm trees.

The inhabitants of La Gomera have an ancient way of communicating across deep ravines by means of a whistled speech called Silbo Gomero which can be heard 2 miles away.[1] This whistled language is indigenous to the island, and its existence has been documented since Roman times. Invented by the original inhabitants of the island, the GuanchesSilbo Gomero was adopted by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century and survived after the Guanches were entirely assimilated.[1] When this means of communication was threatened with extinction at the dawn of the 21st century, the local government required all children to learn it in school. Marcial Morera, a linguist at the University of La Laguna has said that the study of silbo may help understand how languages are formed.[1]

In the mountains of La Gomera, its original inhabitants worshipped their god, whom they called Orahan; the summit and centre of the island served as their grand sanctuary. Indeed, many of the natives took refuge in this sacred territory in 1489, as they faced imminent defeat at the hands of the Spaniards, and it was here that the conquest of La Gomera was drawn to a close. Modern-day archaeologists have found several ceremonial stone constructions here which appear to represent sacrificial altar stones, slate hollows or cavities. It was here that the Guanches built pyres upon which to make offerings of goats and sheep to their god. This same god Orahan, was known on La Palma as Abora and on Tenerife and Gran Canaria as Arocan. The Guanches also interred their dead in caves.Today, saints, who are worshipped through village festivals, are principally connected with Christianity. But in some aspects, the Guanches’ god-like idealising of Gomeran uniqueness plays a role as well besides their pre-Christian and pre-colonial implication and shows strong local differences.[2]

Christopher Columbus made La Gomera his last port of call before crossing the Atlantic in 1492 with his three ships. He stopped here to replenish his crew’s food and water supplies, intending to stay only four days. Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio, the Countess of La Gomera and widow of Hernán Peraza the Younger, offered him vital support in preparations of the fleet and he ended up staying one month. When he finally set sail on September 6, 1492 she gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which became the first to reach the New World. After his first voyage of Discovery, Columbus again provisioned his ships at the port of San Sebastián de La Gomera in 1493 on his second voyage to the New World, commanding a fleet of 17 vessels. He visited La Gomera for the last time in 1498 on his third voyage to the Americas. The house in San Sebastián in which he is reputed to have stayed is now a tourist attraction.

Genetics

An autosomal study in 2011 found an average Northwest African influence of about 17% in Canary Islanders with a wide interindividual variation ranging from 0% to 96%. According to the authors, the substantial Northwest African ancestry found for Canary Islanders supports that, despite the aggressive conquest by the Spanish in the 15th century and the subsequent immigration, genetic footprints of the first settlers of the Canary Islands persist in the current inhabitants. Parallelling mtDNA findings (50.1% of U6 and 10.83% of L haplogroups),[3] the largest average Northwest African contribution (42.50%) was found for the samples from La Gomera.[4] According to Flores et al. (2003), genetic drift could be responsible for the contrasting difference in Northwest African ancestry detected with maternal (51% of Northwest African lineages) and paternal markers (0.3–10% of Northwest African lineages) in La Gomera. Alternatively, it could reflect the dramatic way the island was conquered, producing the strongest sexual asymmetry in the archipelago.[5]

Notable natives and residents

 

La Palma

La Palma
Flag of La Palma with CoA.svg

Flag of La Palma
LP Canarias.png
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 28°40′N 17°52′W
Archipelago Canary Islands
Area 708.32 km2 (273.48 sq mi)
Highest elevation 2,426 m (7,959 ft)
Highest point Roque de los Muchachos
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community Canary Islands
Province Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Largest settlement Los Llanos de Aridane(pop. 21,145 (2011))
Demographics
Population 85,225[1] (as of 2013)
Density 122 /km2 (316 /sq mi)

La Palma (Spanish pronunciation: [la ˈpalma]), also San Miguel de La Palma, is the most north-westerly of the Canary IslandsSpain. La Palma has an area of 706 km2 making it the fifth largest of the seven main Canary Islands. The total population is about 86,000, of which 18,000 (2003 data) live in the capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma and about 20,000 (2004 data) in Los Llanos de Aridane. La Palma has “sister city” status with El Dorado HillsCaliforniaUnited States.

In 1815, the German geologist Leopold von Buch visited the Canary Islands. It was as a result of his visit to Tenerife where he visited the Las Cañadas caldera and then later to La Palma where he visited the Taburiente caldera, that the Spanish word for cauldron or large cooking pot – “caldera” – was introduced into the English language geological vocabulary.

Origins and geology

La Palma, like the other islands of the Canary Island archipelago, is a volcanic ocean island. The volcano rises almost 7 km (4 mi) above the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. There is road access from sea level to the summit at 2,426 m (7,959 ft),[1] which is marked by an outcrop of rocks called Los Muchachos (“The Lads”). This is the site of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, one of the world’s premier astronomical observatories.

La Palma’s geography is a result of the volcanic formation of the island. The highest peaks reach over 2,400 m (7,874 ft) above sea level, and the base of the island is located almost 4,000 m (13,123 ft) below sea level. The northern part of La Palma is dominated by the Caldera de Taburiente, with a width of 9 km (6 mi) and a depth of 1,500 m (4,921 ft). It is surrounded by a ring of mountains ranging from 1,600 m (5,249 ft) to 2,400 m (7,874 ft) in height. Only the deep Barranco de las Angustias (“Ravine of Anxiety”) ravine leads into the inner area of the caldera, which is a national park. It can be reached only by hiking. The outer slopes are cut by numerous gorges which run from 2,000 m (6,562 ft) down to the sea. Today, only few of these carry water due to the many water tunnels that have been cut into the islands structure.

From the Caldera de Taburiente to the south runs the ridge Cumbre Nueva – the New Ridge, which despite its name is older than the Cumbre Vieja – Old Ridge. The southern part of La Palma consists of the Cumbre Vieja, a volcanic ridge formed by numerous volcanic cones built of lava and scoria. The Cumbre Vieja is active – but dormant, with the last eruption occurring in 1971 at the Teneguía vent which is located at the southern end of the Cumbre Vieja – Punta de Fuencaliente, (The Point of the Hot Fountain). Beyond Punta de Fuencaliente, the Cumbre Vieja continues in a southerly direction as a submarine volcano.

Volcano

Satellite image of La Palma, with the Caldera de Taburiente visible (north is to the lower right)

A view of the island looking south

Like all of the Canary Islands, La Palma originally formed as a seamount through submarine volcanic activity. La Palma is currently the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands and was formed three to four million years ago. Its base lies almost 4,000 m (13,123 ft) below sea level and reaches a height of 2,426 m (7,959 ft) above sea level. About a half a million years ago, the volcano, Taburiente, collapsed with a giant landslide, forming the Caldera de Taburiente. Erosion has since exposed part of the seamount in the northeren sector of the Caldera. Since the Spanish occupation, there have been seven eruptions – all of which have occurred on the Cumbre Vieja:

  • 1470-1492 Montaña Quemada
  • 1585 Tajuya near El Paso
  • 1646 Volcán San Martin
  • 1677 Volcán San Antonio
  • 1712 El Charco
  • 1949 Volcán Nambroque or San Juan: Duraznero, Hoyo Negro and Llano del Banco
  • 1971 Volcán Teneguía

During the 1949 eruption – which commenced on the fiesta of San Juan (St John) 24 June 1949 at the Duraznero, and 8 July 1949 Llano del Banco vents on the Cumbre Vieja, an earthquake, with an epicentre near Jedy, occurred. This is considered to have caused a 2.5 km (2 mi)-long crack which Bonelli Rubio (1950)[2] named “La Grieta” – (the crack), to form, with a width of about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and a depth of about 2 m (6 ft 7 in). It attains a maximum displacement of ~4 m (13 ft) in the vicinity of the Hoyo Negro to Duraznero vents. It is not traceable southward from the Duraznero vent. North of the Hoyo Negro it traverses downslope and is traceable for ~1500 m. It should be noted that the total distance from the southern rim of the Duraznero vent to the Llano del Banco is ~4 km. In 1951 Ortiz and Bonelli-Rubio published further information in respect of the eruption and associated phenomena that occurred before and during the eruption.[3] There is no indication that the crack has penetrated the edifice of the volcano and due to the absence of Minas Galerias (water tunnels) within the Cumbre Vieja there is no possibility of examining the internal structure of the flank. Carracedo et al;[4] consider that the crack is superficial and inactive, and have not penetrated the volcano’s edifice. This means that claims that the flank is in danger of failing are unfounded. However the lack of supporting evidence has not stopped claims that the flank is in danger of failing.

Tsunami scenarios

In a programme transmitted by the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Horizon broadcast on 12 October 2000, two geologists (Day and McGuire) cited this crack as proof that half of the Cumbre Vieja had moved towards the Atlantic Ocean (Day et al; 1999,[5] and Ward and Day, 2001[6]). They postulate that this process was driven by the pressure caused by the rising magma heating water trapped within the structure of the island. They hypothesised that during a future eruption, the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja, with a mass of approximately 1.5 x1015 kg, could slide into the ocean. This could then potentially generate a giant wave which they termed a “megatsunami” around 650 m (2,133 ft)-900 m (2,953 ft) high in the region of the islands. The wave would radiate out across the Atlantic and inundate much of the eastern seaboard of North America about 7 hours later, many of the islands in the Caribbean and northern coasts of South America between six to eight hours later. They estimate that the tsunami will have waves possibly 50 m (164 ft) or higher causing massive devastation along the coastlines. Modelling suggests that the tsunami could inundate up to 25 km (16 mi) inland – depending upon topography. The basis for Ward and Day (2001)[6] modelling the collapse of a much larger portion of the western flank than that that the currently visible surface crack indicates as being potentially unstable, was based on geological mapping by Day et al; (1999).[5] In this paper they argue that a large part of the western flank has been constructed in the scar of a previous collapse and therefore sits upon unstable debris.

However, nowhere in their paper do Ward and Day, (2001),[6] make any claim about the imminent collapse of the flank. They state that they have modelled the worst-case scenario, and as a result they state “…A future collapse has the potential to cause a tsunami which may devastate the east coast of the USA and other locations…”.

The claim also was explored in a BBC docu-drama called End Day which went through several hypothetical scenarios of disastrous proportions.

In 2002 the Tsunami Society (Pararas-Carayannis, 2002[7]), published a statement stating “… We would like to halt the scaremongering from these unfounded reports…” The major points raised in this report include:

  • The claim that half of Cumbre Vieja dropped 4 m (13 ft) during the 1949 eruption is erroneous, and contradicted by physical evidence.
  • No evidence was sought or shown that there is a fault line separating a “block” of La Palma from the other half.
  • Physical evidence shows a 4 km (2 mi) long line in the rock, but the models assumed a 25 km (16 mi) line, for which no physical evidence was given. Further, there is no evidence shown that the 4 km (2 mi) long line extends beyond the surface.
  • There has never been an Atlantic megatsunami in recorded history.

A survey carried out by Moss et al; (1999)[8] reported that the western flank is stable with no indication of aseismic creep being recorded.

In 2001 Carracedo et al;[4] stated that they consider the 1949 crack to be a shallow and inactive surface expression. They do suggest that the crack should be monitored, but consider the possibility that the edifice is unstable as being almost non-existent.

Murty et al; (2005)[9] claim that the morphology of the Atlantic Ocean prevents the generation and propagation of trans-oceanic tsunamis.

In 2006 professor Jan Nieuwenhuis of Delft University of Technology simulated several volcanic eruptions and calculated it would take another 10,000 years for the flanks to become sufficiently high and unstable to cause a massive collapse.,[10]

An underwater eruption that began in September 2011 south of the island of El Hierro, gave rise to more speculation about the possibility of a megatsunami.[11][12] As each island in the archipelago is an independent edifice often several tens of kilometres away from the adjacent island it is considered improbable that volcanic activity on one island will influence the other islands.

Climate

La Palma has a mild and consistent subtropical semi-arid climate. Which in the Köppen climate classification is represented as BSh.

[hide]Climate data for La Palma Airport 33m (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.0
(80.6)
31.0
(87.8)
32.8
(91)
36.6
(97.9)
32.4
(90.3)
29.4
(84.9)
38.4
(101.1)
38.0
(100.4)
36.8
(98.2)
34.4
(93.9)
31.6
(88.9)
28.0
(82.4)
38.4
(101.1)
Average high °C (°F) 20.6
(69.1)
20.7
(69.3)
21.2
(70.2)
21.6
(70.9)
22.6
(72.7)
24.1
(75.4)
25.5
(77.9)
26.3
(79.3)
26.6
(79.9)
25.5
(77.9)
23.5
(74.3)
21.8
(71.2)
23.33
(74.01)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.1
(64.6)
18.0
(64.4)
18.5
(65.3)
18.9
(66)
20.0
(68)
21.7
(71.1)
23.1
(73.6)
23.9
(75)
24.0
(75.2)
22.8
(73)
20.9
(69.6)
19.3
(66.7)
20.77
(69.38)
Average low °C (°F) 15.5
(59.9)
15.3
(59.5)
15.7
(60.3)
16.2
(61.2)
17.4
(63.3)
19.2
(66.6)
20.7
(69.3)
21.4
(70.5)
21.3
(70.3)
20.2
(68.4)
18.3
(64.9)
16.7
(62.1)
18.16
(64.69)
Record low °C (°F) 9.4
(48.9)
10.9
(51.6)
10.2
(50.4)
10.0
(50)
11.0
(51.8)
15.2
(59.4)
14.9
(58.8)
16.7
(62.1)
16.4
(61.5)
15.3
(59.5)
10.0
(50)
10.0
(50)
9.4
(48.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 49
(1.93)
57
(2.24)
33
(1.3)
19
(0.75)
7
(0.28)
2
(0.08)
1
(0.04)
1
(0.04)
12
(0.47)
41
(1.61)
70
(2.76)
80
(3.15)
372
(14.65)
Avg. rainy days 5 4 4 3 1 0 0 0 2 5 7 8 40
Mean monthly sunshine hours 141 146 177 174 192 188 222 209 187 175 140 138 2,089
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[13]

Naming

La Palma is nicknamed “Isla Bonita”[14] (“beautiful island”).

Government

The island is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The island is divided into 14 municipalities:

Economy

The local economy is primarily based on agriculture and tourism. Platanos (or bananas) are grown throughout the island with many banana farms on the western side of the island in the valley of Los Llanos de Aridane. Other crops include: Strelitzia (bird of paradise) flowers, oranges, avocados and grapes (which grow well in the volcanic soil). The wine from the grapes is prized. Local ranchers herd cows, sheep and goats (from which they make goat cheese).

Fisherman operating from Santa Cruz, Tazacorte and Puerto Naos catch fish for the local markets.

Flora and fauna

As with all the Canary Islands, La Palma has several endemic species.

La Palma has abundant plant life (which is the most diverse in the Canary Islands).[citation needed]

Although large areas have been deforested, the upland areas of La Palma retain some of the temperate cloud forest, or laurisilva (laurel forest), dominated by Laurus, but including Juniperus cedrus (Canary Islands juniper) and other trees. This is a relic of the Pliocene subtropical forests which used to cover all the Canary Islands.

The Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis) is endemic to all the western Canary Islands, whilst Genista stenopetala, or sweet broom and Spartocytisus supranubius, a white broom known locally as Retama del Teide, are native to La Palma and Tenerife. Echium webbii, a variety of Echium virescens (Tower of jewels) is endemic to La Palma, as are Ceropegia fusca and Ceropegia dichotoma; varieties of Cardoncillo.

Several animals are native or endemic to La Palma, including the:

In addition, many other animals have been introduced, including rabbits and Barbary sheep, or aoudads, which have become a serious threat to endemic flora

biosphere reserve was established in 1983, and extended and renamed in 1997 and 2002

History

At the time of European colonization, the Canary Islands were inhabited by native Canarians, referred to collectively as Guanches, although the natives of La Palma are more correctly known as Auaritas (See Canary Islands in pre-colonial times). The origin of these natives is unclear but they are believed to share common ancestry with the Berbers of North Africa. The Guanches had a Neolithic culture divided into several clans led by chiefs. Their name for La Palma was Benahoare. The main remnants of this culture are their cave dwellings, enigmatic petroglyphs and paved stone paths through the mountains. After the Spanish occupation of La Palma, the native Canarians vanished by either being killed, sold into slavery or by assimilating into the Spanish population.

It is believed that the Canary Islands were known to the Phoenicians and Greeks, but the earliest written evidence is by the Roman writer Pliny The Elder, who quoted Juba II of Numidia, but Juba’s writings were subsequently lost. The Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello reached the archipelago in 1312 and remained for two decades until expelled by a native uprising. In 1404 the Spaniards began the conquest of the islands. Though the first landing on La Palma was in 1405, it took until 1493 and several bloody battles until the last resistance of the natives was broken. The conqueror of La Palma was Alonso Fernández de Lugo, who defeated Tanausu, the last king on the island. He ruled the area known as Acero (Caldera de Taburiente). Tanausu was ambushed after agreeing to a truce arranged by Fernández de Lugo and Juan de Palma, a Guanche who had converted to Christianity and who was a relative of Tanausu.

For the next two centuries, settlements on La Palma became rich as the island served as a trading post on the way to the New World. La Palma received immigrants from CastileMajorcaFlandersPortugal and Catalonia.

Religion

The island is predominately Roman Catholic and since 1676, has been known for the festival of Fiestas Lustrales de la Bajada de la Virgen de las Nieves (The bringing down of the virgin of the snow, Candelaria), which has a rich history, from the time of the Bishop of the Canaries, Bartolomé García Ximénez. The festival features the dancing of “enanos” or midgets. The costumes that people wear have a hole at the top of the hat to allow them to see out, while giving the appearance of dancing midgets. People come from all over the world for the celebration which happens every five years. The image of the virgin is taken down from her sanctuary and paraded around the city with the festival lasting nearly two weeks before she is returned. Each island has a patron saint and “Virgen de las Nieves” (The virgin of the snow) is the patron saint of La Palma. Many women on the island have the name “Nieves” in honor of this.

Transport

La Palma has a road network of some 1,200 km (746 mi). All the main roads are asphalted and in a good state, although there are many sharp bends, some very narrow. In order to reach some small hamlets in the north of the island it is necessary to travel on earth tracks. A good paved road approximately 180 km (112 mi), circumscribes the island. Several bus routes exist that unite the main localities on the island.

There is a road that runs from Los Llanos de Aridane to the capital city of the island Santa Cruz de La Palma (known by locals as simply Santa Cruz). This road is a two-lane highway that includes a pair of two-lane tunnels that go right through the top of the mountain. The older tunnel is shorter (1,100 m (3,609 ft)) and higher than the newer tunnel (2,880 m (9,449 ft)). When traveling from one side of the mountain to the other it is common to enter one side in complete clouds (the east side) and come out to the sunny side (western side). This is due to the clouds not being able to cross the mountains, an effect caused by the counter trade wind.

La Palma Airport serves the island, and several airlines run services to and from it. There is also ferry service to and from the island in the city of Sta. Cruz.

Water tunnels

The most famous structures of La Palma are the minas galerias (water tunnels) which carry the water from sources in the mountains to cities, villages and farms (mainly banana plantations). La Palma receives almost all of its water supply due to the mar de nubes (sea of clouds), stratocumulus cloud at 1,200 m (3,937 ft)-1,600 m (5,249 ft) altitude, carried on the prevailing wind which blows from the north-east trade winds. The water condenses on the long needles of the trees and other vegetation, it then either drips onto the ground or runs down the trunk etc., into the ground. Eventually it collects inside the rock-strata, and is then drained via the galerias into aqueducts and pipes for distribution. The galerias have been cut into the rocks over centuries. To visit the galerias a permit is required. It is possible to walk alongside many of the aqueducts, a popular activity for tourists (similar to the levadas of Madeira). The tour to the Marcos y Corderos waterfall and springs is also popular.

There is an extensive network of irrigation canals in the valley of Los Llanos de Aridane. These canals carry water from the mountains throughout the valley and allow for the cultivation of bananas, avocados, flowers, and other plants. Each farmer gets a scheduled “turn” to fill an irrigation tank with water 24 hours of the day. If a farmer’s turn is at 2 AM he will wake up and make sure to fill his tank when possible so as to have sufficient water for his farm.

These round tanks typically gather moss and lilly pads upon which frogs make their habitat.

Observatories

A sea of clouds below the William Herschel Telescope

Due to the location of the island and the height of its mountains, some 2,400 m (7,874 ft) above sea level, a number of international observatories have been built on the Roque de los Muchachos. The particular geographical position and climate cause clouds to form between 1,000 m (3,281 ft) and 2,000 m (6,562 ft), usually leaving the observatories with a clear sky. Often, the view from the top of the volcano is a sea of clouds covering the eastern part of the island. Telescopes at the observatory include:

The DOT and the SST have been specifically built to study the Sun.

Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura
Flag of Fuerteventura with coat of arms.png

Flag of Fuerteventura
FU Canarias.png
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 28°20′N 14°1′W
Archipelago Canary Islands
Total islands 7
Area 1,660 km2 (640 sq mi)
Highest elevation 807 m (2,648 ft)
Highest point Pico de Jandía
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community Canary Islands
Province Las Palmas
Largest settlement Puerto del Rosario(pop. 28,357)
Demographics
Population 74,983 (as of 2003)
Density 45 /km2 (117 /sq mi)

Morro Jable

Fuerteventura (pronounced: [fweɾteβenˈtuɾa]; loosely translated as “Strong Winds” or a corruption of the French term for “Great Adventure”)[1] is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, politically part of Spain. At 1,660 square kilometres (641 sq mi), it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in May 2009.

History

Precolonial history

The first settlers are believed to have arrived here from North Africa – the word Mahorero (Majorero) or Maho is still used today to describe the people of Fuerteventura and comes from the ancient word ‘mahos’ meaning a type of goatskin shoe worn by the original inhabitants. They lived in caves and semi-subterranean dwellings, a few of which have been discovered and excavated revealing relics of early tools and pottery. In antiquity, the island was known as Planaria, among other names, in reference to the flatness of most of its landscape.

In the 11th century BC, the Phoenician settlers arrived in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. Several Spanish and Portuguese expeditions occurred in about 1340 around the island and the island were inhabited by Maurs and were afflicted with European slave holders. By the time of the conquest, the island was divided into two Guanches kingdoms, one following the king Guize and the other Ayoze. The territories of these tribes were called Maxorata (in the north) and Jandía (in the south). The kingdoms were separated by a wall whose remains are still preserved today. The wall crossed the La Pared isthmus. The ancient name for the island, Erbania, refers to that wall.

The conquest

The conquest began in 1402, commanded by Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de la Salle.[2] They arrived with only 63 sailors out of the original 283 as so many had deserted. After arriving and settling in Lanzarote, the invaders made their first excursions to the neighbouring islands. In 1404, Bethencourt and Gadifer founded Betancuria, the first settlement on the island. After numerous difficulties, Gadifer took charge of the invasion, while Bethencourt went to the Spanish peninsula to seek the recognition and support of the Castilian king.

Betancuria church.

In 1405, the French conqueror Jean de Béthencourt completed his conquest of the island and gave his name to the former capital, Betancuria, on the west coast (Puerto Rosario took over the mantle as island capital in 1835). The name of the island itself comes from fuerte (strong) and ventura (wind) as mentioned by mallorcan navigator Angelino Dulcert in 1339.

The first census showed a population of 1,200 inhabitants. Following that, the population increased gradually. In 1476 the territory became the Señorío Territorial de Fuerteventura, a subject of the Catholic Monarchs.[3] Over the years, the island has been invaded by the Spanish, French and the English.

Colonial Fuerteventura

The island suffered from various pirate incursions. A Berber expedition invaded in 1593, sweeping as far as the capital. Various castles were built to protect against this type of attack. The castles were built all along the coast. The population all moved inland as a second protective measure. Because of the invasions, the first Captain General was sent to Fuerteventura, charged with defending the island in the name of the crown. With him came a number of Sergeant Majors. Betancuria became the religious capital of the island[4]

The military regiment was created in 1708. Its colonel assumed the title of Governor at Arms, a hereditary lifetime appointment which stayed in the hands of the Sánchez-Dumpiérrez family. Over time they acquired more power in the other islands through the family of Arias de Saavedra, the Lady of Fuerteventura.[5] The same year, the religious leader created the Assistant Parish of La Oliva and Pájara, to launch in 1711. On 17 December 1790 he created the Assistant Parish of Tuineje, which became a new parish division on 23 June 1792 under the bishop Tavira with lands including part of the Jandía peninsular with a population of 1,670 inhabitants. In 1780 the barrilla growing economy began.[6]

In 1852, the free trade zone was extended by Isabella II to the Canary Islands. The military rule over the island which began from 1708 dissolved in 1859 and Puerto de Cabras (now Puerto del Rosario) became entirely the new capital.

Caleta de Fuste and its castle.

The Canary Islands obtained the right to self-govern in 1912.

In 1927, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote became part of the province of Gran Canaria.

By the 1940s the island had an airport (just west of Puerto del Rosario on the road to Tindaya, still visible today).

Tourism arrived in the mid-1960s with the building of the present airport at El Mattoral and the first tourist hotels.

The seat of the island government (cabildo insular) is in Puerto del Rosario. A total of 74,983 people (2003) live on the island.

Since the island is close to Africa, many illegal immigrants try to enter the European Union through it, by a dangerous boat trip from Morocco.

Environment

Geography

The elongated island has an area of 1,660 km2 (641 sq mi). The island is 100 kilometres (62 miles) long and 31 kilometres (19 miles) wide. It is part of the province of Las Palmas. It is divided into six municipalities:

100 individual settlements are distributed through these municipalities. A nearby islet, Islote de Lobos, is part of the municipality of La Oliva.

Located just 100 km (62 mi) off the coast of north Africa, it is the second biggest of the islands, after Tenerife, and has the longest beaches in the archipelago. The island is a destination for sun, beach and watersports enthusiasts. It lies on the same latitude as Florida and Mexico and temperatures here rarely fall below 18 °C (64 °F) or rise above 32 °C (90 °F). There are no fewer than 152 beaches along its coastline — 50 km (31 mi) of fine, white sand and 25 km (16 mi) of black volcanic shingle.

Geology

Fuerteventura is the oldest island in the Canary Islands dating back 20 million years to a volcanic eruption from the Canary hotspot. The majority of the island was created about 5 million years ago and since then has been eroded by wind and other weather. On the seabed off the west coast of the island rests a block of rock 22 km (14 mi) long and 11 km (7 mi) wide, which appears to have slid off the island largely intact at some point in prehistory, similar to the predicted future collapse of Cumbre Vieja, a geological fault on the neighboring island, La Palma. The last volcanic activity in Fuerteventura was between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.

The highest point in Fuerteventura is Mount Jandía (807 m) in the southwestern part of the island. Geographical features include Istmo de la Pared which is 5 km (3 mi) wide and is the narrowest part of Fuerteventura. The island is divided into two parts, the northern portion which is Maxorata and the southwestern part called the Jandía peninsula.

Typical xerophytic vegetation in Fuerteventura. This should be contrasted with the laurisilva forests on the islands of El HierroLa Gomera and La Palma which are exposed to the Gulf Stream.

Beaches

Fuerteventura was chosen among 500 European destinations by the Quality Coast International Certification Program of the European Coastal and Marine Union as one of the most attractive tourist destinations for visitors interested in cultural heritage, environment and sustainability.[7]

Climate

The black-sand beach at Ajuy.

The climate on Fuerteventura is pleasant throughout the year. The island is also often referred to as the island of eternal spring. The sea adjusts the temperature making the hot Sahara winds blow away from the island. The island’s name in English translates as “strong fortune” or “strong wind”, the Spanish word for wind being viento. During the winter months, temperatures average a high of 22 °C (72 °F) and a low of around 15 °C (59 °F), whereas during the summer a mean high of 28 °C (82 °F) and a low of 20 °C (68 °F) can be expected. Precipitation is about 147 mm (6 in) per year, most of which falls in autumn and winter. October is the month with highest rainfall.

A sandstorm known as the Calima (similar to the Sirocco wind that blows North from the Sahara into Europe) blows southwestward from the Sahara Desert and can cause high temperatures, low visibility and drying air. Temperatures during this phenomenon rise temporarily by approximately 10 degrees Celsius. The wind brings in fine white sand, visibility can drop to between 100 to 200 m (328.08 to 656.17 ft) or even lower and can even bring African locusts to the island.

Foodplant of Pontia daplidice on Fuerteventura. It is pollinated by Amegilla cavifrons.

[hide]Climate data for Fuerteventura
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.5
(83.3)
29.0
(84.2)
34.0
(93.2)
38.0
(100.4)
36.7
(98.1)
41.6
(106.9)
43.0
(109.4)
43.6
(110.5)
37.9
(100.2)
36.5
(97.7)
34.8
(94.6)
29.5
(85.1)
43.6
(110.5)
Average high °C (°F) 20.2
(68.4)
20.6
(69.1)
21.6
(70.9)
22.3
(72.1)
23.5
(74.3)
25.0
(77)
26.9
(80.4)
27.2
(81)
26.9
(80.4)
25.4
(77.7)
23.5
(74.3)
21.2
(70.2)
23.7
(74.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.2
(63)
17.5
(63.5)
18.2
(64.8)
18.8
(65.8)
20.0
(68)
21.6
(70.9)
23.5
(74.3)
24.0
(75.2)
23.7
(74.7)
22.3
(72.1)
20.3
(68.5)
18.3
(64.9)
20.4
(68.7)
Average low °C (°F) 14.2
(57.6)
14.4
(57.9)
14.8
(58.6)
15.3
(59.5)
16.5
(61.7)
18.3
(64.9)
20.1
(68.2)
20.7
(69.3)
20.4
(68.7)
19.1
(66.4)
17.2
(63)
15.3
(59.5)
17.2
(63)
Record low °C (°F) 8.0
(46.4)
8.0
(46.4)
8.0
(46.4)
9.5
(49.1)
11.6
(52.9)
13.0
(55.4)
14.0
(57.2)
15.0
(59)
15.0
(59)
12.0
(53.6)
10.5
(50.9)
9.0
(48.2)
8.0
(46.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 17
(0.67)
17
(0.67)
14
(0.55)
6
(0.24)
1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3
(0.12)
9
(0.35)
12
(0.47)
26
(1.02)
105
(4.13)
Avg. rainy days 3 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 16
Mean monthly sunshine hours 197 193 226 241 272 279 288 288 238 228 210 192 2,841
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[8]

Wildlife

The island is home to one of the two surviving populations of the threatened Canarian Egyptian vulture. It is also inhabited by many wild dogs and cats. On the barren, rocky land there are Barbary ground squirrels and geckos. Fuerteventura also hosts several migratory and nesting birds. The island has significant populations of the collared dove, common swifts and several finch species especially in the vicinity of holiday developments.

Euphorbia regis-jubae, foodplant of Hyles tithymali.

Despite its arid climate, the island is also home to a surprisingly large insect fauna. Butterflies which commonly occur on the island include the clouded yellow (Colias hyale) and the bath white (Pontia daplidice) which feeds on xerophytic cruciferae. The island is also home the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and its close African relative Danaus chrysippus. Around holiday developments such as Caleta de Fuste, water is relatively abundant, and dragonfly species including the blue emperor, Anax imperator and the scarlet darter, Crocothemis erythraea can be found. The islands sand dunes and shoreline are home to a number of bee and wasp species including the large Eumenid caterpillar hunting wasp, Delta dimiatipenneand the striking blue banded bee, (Amegilla canifrons).

The hunting wasp Delta dimiatipenne.

Hawkmoths also occur on the island. One of the more notable species is Hyles tithymali which feeds on endemic spurges such as Euphorbia regis-jubaeAcherontia atropos, the deaths-head hawkmoth also occurs on the island presumably feeding on members of the Solanaceae, for example, Datura innoxia and Nicotiana glauca which are common weeds in the vicinity of human habitation.

Demographics

The People’s University Building, a branch of UNED (Puerto del Rosario).

Population

The island has a population of 74,983.[9] Throughout its long history, Fuerteventura has suffered from a population decline due to the economic situation and the climate, which have made it into a desert island. However, the development of tourism during the 1980s has caused the population to grow year on year since then, doubling it in a little less than a decade.

In 2005, with 86,642 registered inhabitants,[10] the Fuerteventura population was formed by the following:

  • Born on the island: 30,364
  • Born on another Canary Island: 13,175
  • Born elsewhere in Spain: 20,938
  • Born in other countries: 22,165

Comparing this data with the 2001 census shows that the number of permanent residents born on the island has increased by just 3,000. The number who have moved in from abroad has increased by 22,910, making this the biggest contributor to population growth in recent years.[11]

Education

The island has 116 schools,[12] with a total of 14,337 pupils.[13] Of these, 45 are primary schools, ten are secondary schools, six are for Baccalaureatestudents and four are vocational colleges.[14]

Fuerteventura also has a centre linked with the National University of Distance Education, offering courses in many subjects including economicsbusiness studieslawhistory and tourism.[15]

State administration

Fuerteventura is governed by the Island Department of the Government of Spain, which holds the rank of a Government Subdepartment. The government building is located in the centre of the capital city, in front of the parish church of the Virgin of Rosario, the patron saint of Puerto del Rosario municipality.

This institution is charged with representing the Government of Spain on the island, and managing all the functions that are not under control of the Canarian Government. This includes the following public services:

  • Island Security Forces (National Police and Guardia Civil
  • Puerto del Rosario port and Fuerteventura Airport
  • Tax Agency
  • Customs
  • the Maritime and Coastguard department
  • Driving licences, Traffic and Highways
  • Immigration – the Immigration Detention Centre and residential permits
  • Social Security
  • Red Cross
  • Seprona (the Nature Protection Service)
  • Passports

Since 30 June 2007, the island’s governor has been Eustaquio Juan Santana Gil.[16] 4

Island Council of Fuerteventura

The councils, formed as part of the Councils Act of 1912, administer the Canary Islands and have two principal functions. On one hand, they perform services for the Autonomous Community, and on the other, they are the local government centre for the island. In the 2003 elections, Mario Cabrera González was elected as president representing the Canarian Coalition, with 31.02% of the votes, followed by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party with 27.53%, represented by the Vice President Domingo Fuentes Curbelo.

Municipalities

City Council of Puerto del Rosario.

The island is divided into six municipalities with their respective city councils which form part of the FECAM (Federation of Canarian Municipalities). They are governed by the basic legislation of the local regime and their respective organic rules. The populations of the municipalities are as follows:(Population data from INE 2009)

In turn, these municipalities are organised into two associations: the Mancomunidad de Municipios del Centro-Norte de Fuerteventura formed from La Oliva and Puerto del Rosario, and the remaining municipalities make up the Mancomunidad de Municipios del Centro-Sur de Fuerteventura.[17]

Economy

Fuerteventura coastline.

The economy of Fuerteventura is mainly based on tourism. Primary tourist areas are located around the existing towns of Corralejo in the north and Morro Jable in Jandia, plus the purely tourist development of Caleta de Fuste, south of Puerto del Rosario. Other main industries are fishing and agriculture (cereals and vegetables). The famous Majorero cheese is locally made from the milk of the indigenous majorera goat.

In 2009, Fuerteventura recorded the highest EU regional unemployment rate at a NUTS3 level, at 29.2 percent.[18]

Tourism

The first tourist hotel was built in 1965 followed by the construction of Fuerteventura Airport at El Matorral, heralding the dawn of a new era for the island. Fuerteventura, with its 3,000 sunshine hours a year, was placed firmly on the world stage as a major European holiday destination.[19] While having fully developed tourist facilities, the island has not experienced the overdevelopment found on some other islands and consequently caters for visitors attracted by its rugged natural beauty.

The summer Trade Winds and winter swells of the Atlantic make this a year-round surfers’ paradise, with more exposed areas on the north and west shores such as Corralejo and El Cotillo proving most popular. Wind surfing takes places at locations around the island. Sailors, scuba divers and big-game fishermen are all drawn to these clear blue Atlantic waters where whales, dolphins, marlin and turtles are all common sights. With many hills present throughout the Island, hikers are also attracted to this Island.[20]

Excellent sandy beaches are found in many locations. Western beaches, such as those around El Cotillo, can experience strong surf. The beaches adjoining the extensive sand dunes east of Corralejo are popular, as are the more protected extensive sandy shores of the Playa de Sotavento de Jandia on the southeastern coast between Costa Calma and the Morro Jable. Naked sun bathing and swimming are the norm on beaches away from inhabited areas.

Much of the interior, with its large plains, lavascapes and volcanic mountains, consists of protected areas, although there are organised tours and vehicular access across them.

Mountaintop of Cardón (619 m), viewed from the west.

Art and culture

Traditional holidays

Candidates compete to be Queen of the Rose Festival in 2001Puerto del Rosario.

Like the rest of the Canaries, Carnival is traditionally one of the biggest festivals celebrated on the island. It is celebrated in different ways in all the towns during February and March. These festivities have a different theme each year. They include activities such as parades and galas to choose the Carnival King.

Concerts and festivals

There are many concerts and festivals held in the auditoriums, such as the Festival of Canarian Music. They are also held in smaller venues across the island, featuring bands such as Estopa, Van Gogh’s Ear, and King Afrhica.

  • Lebrancho Rock: in 2004, the Town Hall of Puerto del Rosario started this initiative for the growing number of local bands who had been performing in the area for years but had not had the chance to play at the same event.
  • Fuertemusica: like Lebrancho Rock, this festival aims to encourage the local or emerging groups. It started in the same year. This festival is mainly for groups that are already known in the music world. It takes place in El Cotillo.

Festival Internacional de Cometas/International Kite Festival is held on the second week of November each year centering on the Corralejo Beaches. It attracts kitefliers and kite surfers from all over Europe. It is popular because the winds are warm and constant and the beaches become filled with hundreds of colourful kites of all shapes and sizes.[21]

Auditoriums

Members of the National Dance Company in the Puerto del Rosario Auditorium on 25 July 2000.

Fuerteventura has three auditoriums. These are used for all types of performing art. They are also used for non-artistic purposes, such as conferences, charity galas and political meetings.

  • The Isle of Fuerteventura Auditorium
  • Gran Tarajal Auditorium
  • Corralejo Auditorium

Central library

The Central Library of the Island is located in Antigua’s city centre, in the public university. In addition to providing the traditional library services, it has an 180-seat multipurpose room, air conditioning, a wifi zone, and a multimedia room used for seminars, presentations, film festivals etc.

Museums and exhibition spaces

The museum in Betancuria.

The island has several museums with different themes and plenty of exhibition spaces, both public and private. These include:

  • The Antigua Windmill Craft Centre
  • The Salt Museum
  • The Atalayita Archeological Interpretation Centre

Sculpture park

In addition to the museums, the capital Puerto del Rosario has an open-air sculpture park consisting of around 100 sculptures by different artists scattered across the city. Most of them were created for the International Symposium of Sculpture celebrated annually since 2001. During the festival, artists come from all over the world to erect their sculptures in the open air, in full view of passers by.

Main sights

Sites of interest include Corralejo and El Jable to the north which are made up of fine sand dunes whilst the south is filled with long beaches and remote bays. The constant winds blowing onto the beaches provide a paradise for windsurfingSurfing is common on the west and north coasts where there are large waves. Windsurfing is common around Corralejo and Playas de Sotavento and wave sailing (windsurfing on the waves) on the coast along the northern half of the island. El Cotillo is a small fishing village in the north-west of the Island famous for a very long beach to the south of the village and few very calm beaches to the north. The northern beaches frequented by snorkeling enthusiasts and sun worshipers alike are referred to as lakes by the locals.

The wreck of the American Star (SS America) seen in July 2004 from land side.

At Cofete on the western side of Jandía a remote and imposing house – Villa Winter – looks out to sea across wide and generally empty beaches. It was reputedly built by a Mr Winter on land given by Generalisimo Franco. Despite being one of the most beautiful part of Fuerteventura Cofete has very little touristic facilities.

For a time, the beaches were home to a popular accidental attraction. On 18 January 1994 the once-beautiful and proud United States Lines ocean liner SS American Star (former America, USS West PointAustralis) was beached in Playa de Garcey during a severe storm. Within a year, it broke in two and later lost its back half. By 2007 the rest of the severely deteriorated ship had collapsed onto its port side, gradually keeling over further and almost completely submerged. By 2008-2012, most of the remains finally slipped below the surface.

Food

Majorera cheese.

The cuisine is fairly basic due to the customs and climate conditions. They share this simplicity with the other Canary islands, and similarly to them, they use a large quantity of fish. They also use whatever they can grow in the near-barren land. This includes papas arrugadas, a dish of wrinkled potatoes usually served with mojo, which is a hot pepper sauce or with puchero canario, a meat stew.

Seafood is prepared in many ways traditionally, such as pejines (salted fish),[22] jareas,[23] or sancocho (a type of stew) made from fish, generally the grouper,[24] corvina or sama, boiled after salting, and served with mojo, potatoes, or gofio (a type of grain). People are also very keen on the mussels and limpets collected on the island’s coasts.

They also use meat such as beef and pork to make different dishes or simply to for braising, but their main meat is goat, both from the kids and from the older animals. They eat the goat roasted or stewed. Goats are not only useful for their meat – the Fuerteventurans also use the milk to make the cheese majorero, which has won many prizes. The majorero is mostly made of goats milk, and occasionally it is up to 15% ewes milk. It is cured in pimento oil or gofio meal. Majorero and palmero cheese are the only two Canarian cheeses with protected denomination of origin.

Sport

Many sports are commonly played in Fuerteventura, both in the open air and in sports centres across the island.

Native sports

These are the Canarian sports found on the island:

Canarian wrestling

The wrestling takes place in a ring of sand called the terrero. Inside it, the two contestants try to knock each other over. Fuerteventura has 14 terreros distributed through all the towns except Betancuria.

  • Antigua: Terrero de Antigua.
  • La Oliva: Terrero Venancio Guerra and Terrero de Villaverde.
  • Pájara: Terrero Miguel Díaz La Lajita, Terrero de Morro Jable a Terrero de Pájara.
  • Puerto del Rosario: Terrero de Casillas del Angel, Terrero Manuel Nieves, Terrero de Puerto Cabras, Terrero de Tefía a Terrero de Tetir.
  • Tuineje: Terrero de Gran Tarajal, Terrero de Tamasite, and Terrero Pedro Sánchez in Tarajalejo.

The island also has a school wrestling league organized by the council and a programme to promote this sport in clubs. Twelve wrestling schools participate in this, based in Antigua, Costa Calma, El Matorral, La Lajita, Lajares, Las Playitas, Morro Jable, Puerto del Rosario, Tefía, Tetir, Unión Sur and Villaverde.

Juego del Palo

An exhibition during FEDETUR 2000, in Pozo Negro (Antigua) on 23 September 2000

Juego del Palo is a Canarian martial art which literally translates as game of the stick. It is played by two players both armed with sticks. They aim to defeat each other without making contact with their opponent’s body. The origin of this game is unclear. All we know is that it is based on a method of combat used by the precolonial Canarian people.

Fuerteventura has the following Palo clubs:[25]

  • Club-Escuela Dunas de Corralejo.
  • Club-Escuela Huriamen de Villaverde.
  • Club-Escuela Puerto Cabras.
  • Club-Escuela Sorinque de Gran Tarajal.

Canarian boules

This is a similar game to the French Pétanque which is actually played very little on the island, although there are a few teams and courts. Basically the game consists of scoring points by rolling a ball to get it as near as possible to an object called a mingue or boliche. It is played on a rectangular sand or earth pitch which is 18–25 metres long and 3.5–6 metres wide.

Watersports

The sea and climate conditions make the island the perfect place for a huge variety of watersports.

Surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing

Windsurfing in Corralejo.

Many types of surfing are popular on the island, including traditional surfingwindsurfing (where the board is propelled by a sail) and most recently kitesurfing. The island has many schools and courses dedicated to teaching these sports.

The sports where Fuerteventura has the most impact internationally are windsurfing and kitesurfing, mainly due to the International Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Championship. This has run since 1985 and is held at Playas de Sotavento in Pájara municipality. Many important wind and kitesurfing figures compete in this championship, such as the several-times world windsurfing champion Björn Dunkerbeck and Gisela Pulido, the very young kiteboarding champion from Tarifa.

Many Canarian windsurfers are on the Canarian Waveriders circuit, which has been based in Corralejo since 2005.

Diving

Diving schools are just as frequent as surfing ones, all around the coast of Fuerteventura. Unlike the other islands of the archipelago, Fuerteventura has a shelf which at some points goes up to 30 km (19 mi), making it an ideal place to practice this sport.

Two of the most useful points for diving are the coast off Playa del Matorral in the South, and the zone between Lobos Island and Corralejo in the north. It is here in Corralejo that the International Sea and Submarine Photography Festival takes places, known as Fimarsub Corralejo – Lobos. During the festival there are beginners’ lessons, professional dives, lessons in underwater photography, screenings and other events related to the sport.

Swimming

There are lots of swimming pools on the island but the most obvious place to swim is in the open sea. There is an annual swim from Lobos Island to Fuerteventura, held every year since 1999. The event attracts amateur swimmers from all over the Canaries and Spain, and also swimming professionals such as David Meca and Maarten Van der Weijden, the paralympist Jesús Collado Alarcón who won gold medals for 100m backstroke and butterfly in Athens 2004, and Xavi Torres Ramis, the paralympic champion in Barcelona ’92, Sydney and Atlanta.

Sailing

The harbour at Caleta de Fuste (Antigua)

The island holds competitions involving different types of boat, such as the lateen and the Optimist. An interesting event is the Tour of Fuerteventura by Kayak, which is organised as a series of stages rather than a competition, and is an easy way to explore the island.

Fishing

The most notable competition here is the Gran Tarajal Fishing Open.

Other sports

Since 2004 the Marcha Ciclotourista has been held in La Oliva and the Criterium Ciclista has been held in Corralejo (also part of the La Oliva municipality) since 2005. Participants include Euskaltel-EuskadiT-Mobile and a team from Orbea. These competitions have contributed to local interest in the sport and the first professional local team, the Fuerteventura-Canarias, was formed, initially run by Óscar Guerrero, director of Kaiku, although they have not competed for the past few seasons.

There are various motocross circuits on the island, including Los Alares in Antigua and Isla de Fuerteventura in Puerto del Rosario municipality. They hold regular trials, some of which form part of the Canarian Regional Motocross Championship. Throughout the year there are gravel rally races. Two are part of the Canarian Dirt Rally Championship. These are the Antiguan Rally and the La Oliva Rally.

The island’s main football clubs are UD Pájara Playas de Jandía and CD Corralejo, who play in Group XII of the Spanish Tercera División.

The resort Playitas on the south coast is since around 2008 equipped with a 50 m swimming pool and has become a destination for triathlon training camps for Europeans. An annual race called Challenge Fuerteventura is held there on the half ironman distance.

People

Inauguration of the statue by Emiliano Hernández in honour of Manuel Velázquez Cabrera on 08 November 2001.

  • Manuel Velázquez Cabrera: born in Tiscamanita in 1863, the politician and lawyer who created the island’s council.
  • Juan Ismael: the painter, cartoonist and poet born in La Oliva in 1907, considered one of the great Canarian surrealists.
  • Eustaquio Gopar: born in Tuineje in 1866. He was one of the Spanish soldiers involved in the Siege of Baler together with Major Rafael Alonso Mederos, who died of beri-beri during the siege. On his return Eustaquio became mayor over his native people. He held this post both during the republic and under Franc

Lanzarote

Lanzarote
Native name: Lanzarote
Nickname: Lanza
Flag of Lanzarote with coat of arms.png

Flag of Lanzarote
LZ Canarias.png
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 29.035°N 13.633°WCoordinates29.035°N 13.633°W
Archipelago Canary Islands
Total islands 7
Major islands Gran CanariaTenerife
Area 845.9 km2 (326.6 sq mi)
Highest elevation 671 m (2,201 ft)
Highest point Peñas del Chache, Famara
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community Canary Islands
Province Las Palmas
Largest settlement Arrecife (pop. 55,203)
Demographics
Population 142,132 (as of 2012)
Density 227,6 /km2(5,895 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Spanish, other minority groups

Lanzarote (/ˌlænzəˈrɒti/Spanish pronunciation: [lanθaˈɾote, lansa-]), a Spanish island, is the easternmost of the autonomous Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 km (78 mi) off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km (621 mi) from the Iberian Peninsula. Covering 845.9 square kilometers (327 sq mi), it is the fourth largest of the islands. The first recorded name for the island, given by Angelino Dulcert, was Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus, after the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello, from which the modern name is derived. The island’s name in the native language was Tyterogaka or Tytheroygaka, which may mean “one that is all ochre” (referring to the island’s predominant colour).[1]

Geography

Lanzarote is located 11 km (7 mi) north-east of Fuerteventura and just over 1 km (0.62 mi) from Graciosa. The dimensions of the island are 60 km (37 mi) from north to south and 25 km (16 mi) from west to east. Lanzarote has 213 km (132 mi) of coastline, of which 10 km (6 mi) are sand, 16.5 km (10 mi) are beach, and the remainder is rocky. Its landscape includes the mountain ranges of Famara (671 meters (2,201 ft))[2] in the north and Ajaches (608 m) to the south. South of the Famara massif is the El Jable desert which separates Famara and Montañas del Fuego. The highest peak is Peñas del Chache rising to 670 meters (2,198 ft) above sea level. The “Tunnel of Atlantis,” the largest underwater volcanic tunnel in the world, is part of the Cueva de los Verdes lava tube.

Climate

Lanzarote has a desert climate according to the Köppen climatic classification.[3] The little precipitation is concentrated to winter months.

[hide]Climate data for Lanzarote Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.9
(82.2)
29.0
(84.2)
32.7
(90.9)
36.3
(97.3)
42.6
(108.7)
40.7
(105.3)
42.9
(109.2)
43.6
(110.5)
40.5
(104.9)
36.0
(96.8)
34.2
(93.6)
27.5
(81.5)
43.6
(110.5)
Average high °C (°F) 20.7
(69.3)
21.3
(70.3)
22.9
(73.2)
23.5
(74.3)
24.6
(76.3)
26.3
(79.3)
28.2
(82.8)
29.1
(84.4)
28.6
(83.5)
26.7
(80.1)
24.2
(75.6)
21.8
(71.2)
24.8
(76.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.4
(63.3)
17.9
(64.2)
19.0
(66.2)
19.6
(67.3)
20.8
(69.4)
22.6
(72.7)
24.3
(75.7)
25.2
(77.4)
24.7
(76.5)
23.0
(73.4)
20.7
(69.3)
18.6
(65.5)
21.1
(70)
Average low °C (°F) 14.0
(57.2)
14.3
(57.7)
15.0
(59)
15.7
(60.3)
16.8
(62.2)
18.8
(65.8)
20.4
(68.7)
21.2
(70.2)
20.8
(69.4)
19.4
(66.9)
17.2
(63)
15.4
(59.7)
17.4
(63.3)
Record low °C (°F) 8.0
(46.4)
9.0
(48.2)
8.3
(46.9)
9.5
(49.1)
11.5
(52.7)
12.4
(54.3)
15.4
(59.7)
16.6
(61.9)
15.5
(59.9)
12.0
(53.6)
10.9
(51.6)
9.0
(48.2)
8.0
(46.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 16.5
(0.65)
18.2
(0.717)
12.5
(0.492)
5.2
(0.205)
1.5
(0.059)
0.1
(0.004)
0.0
(0)
0.5
(0.02)
2.2
(0.087)
9.9
(0.39)
14.7
(0.579)
29.3
(1.154)
110.6
(4.357)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 4 18
Mean monthly sunshine hours 203 201 241 255 297 292 308 295 248 235 207 196 2,978
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[4]

Geology

View over a lava field towards the Montañas del Fuego.

Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canary Islands and has a volcanic origin. It was born through fiery eruptions and has solidified lava streams as well as extravagant rock formations. The island emerged about 15 million years ago as product of the Canary hotspotAlfred Wegener‘s study of the island while visiting in 1912 showed how it fitted in with his theory of continental drift. The island, along with others, emerged after the break-up of the African and the American continental plates. The greatest recorded eruptions occurred between 1730 and 1736 in the area now designated Timanfaya National Park.

Demographics

As of 2010, 139,000 people live on Lanzarote[5] which is an increase of 9.4% from 2006 (127,000).[6] The seat of the island government (Cabildo Insular) is in the capital, Arrecife, which has a population of 59,000.[5] The majority of the inhabitants (73.9%) are Spanish, with a sizable number of residents from other European nations, mainly British (4.0%), Germans (2.6%) and Irish (2.5%).[7] Other populous groups include immigrants from ColombiaMoroccoEcuadorWestern AfricaChina and India, which constitute a large proportion of the remaining 15.6% of the population.

Ethnic Group Population  % of Lanzarote’s Population
Spanish 99,998 73.9%
Colombian 5,703 4.2%
British 5,420 4.0%
Moroccan 3,606 2.7%
German 3,450 2.6%
Irish 3,378 2.5%
Ecuadorians 1,950 1.4%
Other ethnicities 11,758 8.7%

The island has an international airport, Arrecife Airport, through which 5,438,178 passengers travelled in 2008.[8] Tourism has been the mainstay of the island’s economy for the past 40 years, the only other industry being agriculture. The emblem of Lanzarote is a demon because the early settlers interpreted their first experience of a volcanic eruption as the work of the devil.

Lanzarote is part of the province of Las Palmas, and is divided into seven municipalities:

Biodiversity

Vines growing in volcanic lapilli in the La Geria region of Lanzarote. The low, curved walls are traditionally used to protect the vines from the constant wind.

Animals

Apart from bats and other mammals which accompanied humans to the island (including the dromedary which was used for agriculture and is now a tourist attraction), there are few vertebrate species on Lanzarote. These include birds (such as falcons), and reptiles. Some interesting endemic animals are the Gallotia lizards, and the blind Munidopsis polymorpha crabs found in the Jameos del Agua lagoon, which was formed by a volcanic eruption. The island is also home to one of two surviving populations of the threatened Canarian Egyptian vulture.

Fungi

There are 180 different species of lichen-forming fungi. These survive in the suitable areas like rock surfaces, and promote weathering.

Plants

There are five hundred different kinds of plants on the island of which 17 species are endemic. These plants have adapted to the relative scarcity of water, in the same way as succulents. They include the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis), which is found in damper areas of the north, the Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis), ferns, and wild olive trees (Olea europaea). Laurisilva trees which once covered the highest parts of Risco de Famara are rarely found today. After winter rainfall, the vegetation comes to a colourful bloom between February and March.

The vineyards of La Gería (a sub-zone of the Lanzarote Denominación de Origen wine region), with their traditional methods of cultivation, are a protected area. Single vines are planted in pits 4–5 m wide and 2–3 m deep, with small stone walls around each pit. This agricultural technique is designed to harvest rainfall and overnight dew and to protect the plants from the winds. The vineyards are part of the World Heritage Site as well as other sites on the island.

History

Lanzarote was probably the first Canary Island to be settled. The Phoenicians may have settled there around 1100 BC, though no material evidence survives. The Greek writers and philosophers HerodotusPlato and Plutarch described the garden of the Hesperides, a mythic orchard at the far West of the world, which some like to identify with the Canaries.

The first known record came from Pliny the Elder in the encyclopedia Naturalis Historia on an expedition to the Canary Islands. The names of five islands (then called Insulae Fortunatae, the “Fortunate Isles”) were recorded as Canaria (Gran Canaria), Ninguaria (Tenerife), Junonia Major (La Palma), Plivalia (El Hierro) and Capraria (La Gomera). Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, the two easternmost Canary Islands, were only mentioned as the archipelago of the “purple islands”. The Roman poet Lucan and the Greek astronomer and geographer Ptolemy gave their precise locations.[9] After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Canary islands were ignored until 999 when the Arabs arrived at the island which they dubbed al-Djezir al-Khalida and other names.

In 1336, a ship arrived from Lisbon under the guidance of Lanzarote da Framqua, alias Lancelotto Malocello. A fort was later built in the area of Montaña de Guanapay near today’s Teguise. Castilian slaving expeditions in 1385 and 1393 seized hundreds of Guanches and sold them in Spain, initiating the slave trade in the islands.[10]

Jean de Béthencourt arrived in 1402, heading a private expedition under Castilian auspices. Bethencourt first visited the south of Lanzarote at Playas de Papagayo, and within a matter of months the French overran the island, which lacked mountains and gorges to serve as retreats for the small remaining population of Guanches, so many of whom were taken away as slaves, it was said that only 300 men remained. In 1404, the Castilians with the support of the King of Castile came and fought the local Guanches, who were further decimated. The islands of Fuerteventura and El Hierro were later similarly conquered. In 1477 a decision by the royal council of Castile confirmed a grant of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, with the smaller islands of Ferro and Gomera to the Castilian nobles Herrera, who held their fief until the end of the 18th century.[11]

In 1585, the Ottoman admiral Murat Reis temporarily seized Lanzarote. In the 17th century, pirates raided the island and took 1,000 inhabitants to slavery in Cueva de los Verdes.

From 1730 to 1736 (for 2,053 days), the island was hit by a series of volcanic eruptions, producing 32 new volcanoes in a stretch of 18 km (11 mi). The minister of Yaiza, Don Andrés Lorenzo Curbelo documented the eruption in detail until 1731. Lava covered a quarter of the island’s surface, including the most fertile soil and eleven villages. One hundred smaller volcanoes were located in the area called Montañas del Fuego, the “Mountains of Fire”.

In 1768, drought affected the deforested island, and winter rains did not fall. Much of the population was forced to emigrate to Cuba and the Americas. Another volcanic eruption occurred within the range of Tiagua in 1824 which was less violent than the major eruption between 1730 and 1736.

In 1927, Lanzarote, along with Fuerteventura, became part of the province of Las Palmas.

In 2007, a team from the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and a team from the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain uncovered the prehistoric settlement at El Bebedero yielding about 100 Roman potsherds, nine pieces of metal, and one piece of glass. The artifacts were found in strata dated between the first and 4th centuries. The finds show that Romans did trade with the Canaries, though there is no evidence of settlements.[9]

Biosphere Reserve controversy

The island has a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve protected site status. According to a report in the Financial Times, this status was endangered by a local corruption scandal. Since May 2009, police have arrested the former president of Lanzarote, the former mayor of Arrecife and more than 20 politicians and businessmen in connection with illegal building permits along Lanzarote’s coastline. UNESCO has threatened to revoke Lanzarote’s Biosphere Reserve status, “(i)f the developments are not respecting local needs and are impacting on the environment”.[12][13]

The President of the Cabildo of Lanzarote denied “any threat to Lanzarote’s UNESCO status”.[14]

Notables

Among the notables who have lived on the island are César Manrique, an artist; José Saramago, a Portuguese Nobel Prize for Literature winner who died there, and Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark and husband, Carlos Morales Quintana, and Jean Arriete Prud’homme (Surname later hispanicized to Perdomo), a French nobleman who arrived with Jean de Béthencourt and gave his name to the village of Arriete.

Lanzarote in Culture and Art

Film

Music Video

Literature

Gallery

Hacha Grande, in the south of the island, viewed from the road to Papagayo beach.

Salinas de Janubio, in the west of the island.

Crater and laguna in El Golfo.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria
Flag of Cabildo Gran Canaria con escudo.PNG

GC Canarias.png
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 27°58′N 15°36′W
Area 1,560 km2 (600 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,949 m (6,394 ft)
Highest point Pico de Las Nieves
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community Canary Islands
Province Las Palmas
Largest settlement Las Palmas(pop. 383,308)
Demographics
Population 838,397 (as of 2010)

Gran Canaria (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡɾaŋ kaˈna.ɾja]; originally meaning “Great [Island] of Dogs”) is the most populous island of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago, with a population of 838,397 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago. Located in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 kilometres (93 mi) off the northwestern coast of Africa and about 1,350 km (840 mi) from Europe.[1]

Gran Canaria was populated by the Canarii (Guanches), who may have arrived as early as 500 BC. The Canarii called the island Tamarán or Land of the Brave. After over a century of European (French, Portuguese…) incursions and attempts at conquest, the island was conquered on April 29, 1483, after a campaign that lasted five years, by the Crown of Castile, with the support of Queen Isabella I, a conquest which turned out to be an important step towards the expansion of the unified Spain.

The capital city of Las Palmas was founded on June 24, 1478, under the name “Real de Las Palmas”, by Juan Rejón, head of the invading Castilianarmy. In 1492, Christopher Columbus anchored in the Port of Las Palmas (and spent some time on the island) on his first trip to the Americas. Las Palmas is, jointly with Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.

Geography

Topography of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria 3D

Gran Canaria is located southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. The island is of volcanic origin, mostly made of fissure vents. Gran Canaria’s surface area is 1,560 km² and its maximum elevation is 1,949 meters (Pico de Las Nieves). It has a round shape, with a diameter of approximately 50 km.

Geology

About 80% of the volume of the island was formed during the Miocene period, between 14 and 9 million years ago. This is called the “Old Cycle” and is estimated to have lasted some 200,000 years and have emitted about 1000 km3, mostly of fissural alkali basalt. This cycle continued with the emission of trachytesphonolites and peralkaline rocks. This period was followed by one of erosion, which lasted some 4 million years.[2]

A second cycle of volcanic eruptions, known as the “Roque Nublo cycle”, took place between 4.5 and 3.4 million years ago. This shorter cycle emitted about 100 km3. Most of the inland peaks were formed by erosion from these materials. This period also started with fissural basalts, but ended with violent eruptions of pyroclastic flows. Some phonolitic features, like the Risco Blanco, were also formed in its last stages.[2]

The third or recent cycle is held to have started some 2.8 million years ago and is considered to be still active. The last eruptions are held to have occurred some 3500 years ago.[2]

The changes in volume and, therefore, weight of the island have also caused the island to rise above the previous sea level during erosive periods and to sink during eruptive periods. Some of these “fossil beaches” can be seen in the cliff faces of the more eroded northern coast.[3]

Municipalities

Municipalities of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is divided into twenty-one municipalities:

The island has a population of 845,676 with 378,628 (year 2005) of those in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife.[4] Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital of the province of Las Palmas, and also one of the two capitals of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, along with Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Transportation

Passport stamp from Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria has roads encircling the whole island and extending into the mountain areas. In the late 20th century, its motorways, among the first in the Canary Islands, were opened and run around Las Palmas, and were later extended to the north coast and the airport and subsequently to the south coast in response to increased tourist traffic. The high-speed motorways are GC1GC2, and GC31, and dual carriageways GC4 and GC5. The western and the northwestern parts, with the fewest inhabitants, are linked only with main roads.

Gran Canaria Airport (IATA: LPA) is the only commercial airport on the island. The large number of aircraft and passengers passing through it each year make it one of the busiest in Spain. Gran Canaria is also responsible for all air traffic control in the Canaries.

The most important ports in the island are the Port of Las Palmas, in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Arguineguín, which exports cement from a large factory; and Arinaga, located in the major industrial zone of Canaries and one of the major ones of Spain. The ports which transport the most passengers are the Port of La Luz and the Port of Las Nieves, located in the municipality of Agaete. Plans for a railway network linking the capital with the south have been approved by both the Gran Canaria Cabildo and the Canary Islands Government, though the discussion with the central Spanish Government hinges now on budget.

Climate

Gran Canaria is noted for its rich variety of micro climates. Generally speaking though, the average daytime high ranges from 20 °C (68 °F) in winter, to 26 °C (79 °F) in summer. Some cool nights occur in winter, but lows below 10 °C (50 °F) are unknown near the coast. Inland the climate is still mild but mountainous areas see the occasional frost or snow. Annual rainfall averages 228 mm (9.0 in), most of this falling in the cooler months, with July, August and September normally rainless. Rainfall is unevenly distributed through the island with some areas being much drier than others. Cloud cover and sunshine is often quite variable during the cooler months, and there can be several rather cloudy days at times in winter. Summers are generally quite sunny however, with the south of the island being most favoured.

[hide]Climate data for Gran Canaria Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 20.8
(69.4)
21.2
(70.2)
22.3
(72.1)
22.6
(72.7)
23.6
(74.5)
25.3
(77.5)
26.9
(80.4)
27.5
(81.5)
27.2
(81)
26.2
(79.2)
24.2
(75.6)
22.2
(72)
24.2
(75.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.9
(64.2)
18.2
(64.8)
19.0
(66.2)
19.4
(66.9)
20.4
(68.7)
22.2
(72)
23.8
(74.8)
24.6
(76.3)
24.3
(75.7)
23.1
(73.6)
21.2
(70.2)
19.2
(66.6)
21.1
(70)
Average low °C (°F) 15.0
(59)
15.0
(59)
15.7
(60.3)
16.2
(61.2)
17.3
(63.1)
19.2
(66.6)
20.8
(69.4)
21.6
(70.9)
21.4
(70.5)
20.1
(68.2)
18.1
(64.6)
16.2
(61.2)
18.0
(64.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 25
(0.98)
24
(0.94)
13
(0.51)
6
(0.24)
1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
9
(0.35)
16
(0.63)
22
(0.87)
31
(1.22)
151
(5.94)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 5 22
Mean monthly sunshine hours 184 191 229 228 272 284 308 300 241 220 185 179 2,821
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN),[5] Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[6]

Tourism

Wild Side Story ensemble from Stockholm rehearses in Gran Canaria to perform for tourists in 2000

This island is called a “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with long beaches and dunes of white sand, contrasting with green ravines and picturesque villages.[7] A third of the island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The number of annual visitors is 2.2 million (2,200,000). Most of the tourists visit the southern part of the island. The north tends to be cooler, while the south is warmer and sunny. The east coast of the island is flat, dotted with beaches, while the western coast is rockier and mountainous.

The island possesses 32 Natural Protected Spaces,[8] that they emphasize the Rural Park of Nublo, The Doramas Jungle, the Azuaje Ravine, Tamadaba, Pino Santo, etc.

Maspalomas Lighthouse at the southern end of the island.

In the south there is a large bird park, Palmitos Park, as well as many beach resort communities. Resorts are concentrated in the central eastern part of the southern coast in the Maspalomas area, which includes the towns of San AgustínPlaya del Inglés and Meloneras. The Maspalomas Dunes are located between Playa del Inglés (“The Englishman’s Beach”) and the distinctive 19th century Maspalomas lighthouse.

In Tarajalillo, an Aeroclub exists from where tourist flights can be taken over the island.

Still further to the west along the southern shore, in the Municipality of Mogán, are the communities of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán, a village referred to as “Little Venice” on account of its many canals.

Other attractions include Cocodrilos Park, Roque Nublo (an 80 m monolith), Cenobio de Valerón with about 290 caves, Cueva Pintada the most important archaeological park in Canary Islands and the botanical gardens Jardin Canario (in Tafira Alta) and Cactualdea (in La Aldea de San Nicolás).

El Dedo de Dios, or “God’s Finger” was a rocky spire jutting from the sea in Puerto de las Nieves, and was previously the signature attraction of the Canary Islands until it was destroyed by Tropical Storm Delta, that crossed the archipelago on November 2005.[9]

Other well-known rock formations are El Cura (also known as El Fraile), The Frog (La Rana), Bentayga, the Roque de Gando, and the Peñón Bermejo. The highest peak of the island is the Pico de las Nieves, at 1,950 metres (6,400 ft).

The capital city is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Canteras Beach lies in the heart of the city, it is a protected area and diving zone. Las Palmas is also known for its annual Carnaval. It was the first stop of Christopher Columbus’ expedition on his way back from the Americas, a commemoration of which is the Hermitage of San Antonio Abad, where the navigator prayed, and the Casa de Colón. Other attractions in the capital city include the Museo Canario (the most important archaeology museum in the archipelago), the Cathedral and the Plaza del Espíritu Santo. In Teror the shrine of Virgen del Pino, patron saint of Gran Canaria, can be found.

The town of Agüimes, on the eastern part of the island, has been carefully restored, and its town centre, centered around its old church and a peaceful square, now evokes the quiet living of a traditional Canarian town. The district also has some of the best preserved cave dwellings, in the protected area of the Guayadeque Ravine, where even the church has been built into the hillside and visitors can find a number of popular cave restaurants. The district also includes the most renowned scuba diving area on the island: the marine reserve at the playa de El Cabrón just outside the town of Arinaga.

Other important towns are Telde, very well known due to the sales of hot dogs on the Salinetas coast, and Vecindario (within the municipality of Santa Lucía de Tirajana) and Gáldar important diving zone. In Arucas there is a Neogothic temple, popularly known as “Arucas’ Cathedral”, as well as a large fertile plain where bananas are grown. In Gáldar and its surroundings there is also a banana-growing plain and some remarkable archaeological remains, such as Cueva Pintada or Cenobio de Valerón’s communal silos, ancient tombs, and the port of Sardina del Norte (one of the island’s ports where, as in Las Palmas’, Christopher Columbus used to get supplies for his ships).

Heading west along the southern coast is the fishing city of Arguineguín in the Municipality of Mogán.

Protected natural areas

The “Dunas de Maspalomas”, in southern Gran Canaria

Nearly half of the island territory — 667 km² (42.7% of island) — is under protection from the Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos (Canary Islands Network for Protected Natural Areas). Of the 146 protected sites under control of network in the Canary Islands archipelago,[10] a total of 33 are located in Gran Canaria, the second most protected island in the group. [11] There are seven different categories of protection:

  1. Six nature reserves — El Brezal, Azuaje, Los Tilos de Moya, Los Marteles, Las Dunas de Maspalomas and Güigüi (total 7,153.1 ha)
  2. Two integral nature reserves — Inagua and Barranco Oscuro (total 3,955,5 ha)
  3. Two natural parks — Tamadaba and Pilancones (total 13,333 ha)
  4. Two rural parks — Nublo and Doramas (total 29,893.4 ha)
  5. Ten natural monuments — Amagro, Bandama, Montañón Negro, Roque de Aguayro, Tauro, Arinaga, Barranco de Guayadeque, Riscos de Tirajana, Roque Nublo and Barranco del Draguillo (total 5,264.9 ha)
  6. Seven protected landscapes — La Isleta (in the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Pino Santo, Tafira, Las Cumbres, Lomo Magullo, Fataga and Montaña de Agüimes (total 12,680.9 ha)
  7. Four sites of scientific interest — Jinámar, Tufia, Roque de Gando and Juncalillo del Sur (total 276.2 ha).[12]

El Hierro

El Hierro
Nickname: Isla del Meridiano
HI Canarias.png
ES El Hierro.PNG
Geography
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 27°45′N 18°00′WCoordinates27°45′N 18°00′W
Archipelago Canary Islands
Area 268.71[1] km2(103.75 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,501 m (4,925 ft)
Highest point Malpaso
Country
Spain
Autonomous Community Canary Islands
Province Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Largest settlement Valverde (pop. 5,797)
Demographics
Population 10,162 (as of 2003)
Density 37 /km2 (96 /sq mi)

Flag of El Hierro

El Hierro, nicknamed Isla del Meridiano (the “Meridian Island”), is the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Islands (an Autonomous Community of Spain), in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, with a population of 10,162 (2003).

Name

Africa by Gerardus Mercator 1595, ‘Fierro’ is not yet on the prime meridian

The name El Hierro, although spelled like the Spanish word for ‘iron’, is not related to that word. The H in the name of the metal is derived from the Fof Latin ferrum (compare higa for ‘fig’). The H in the name of the island dates back to the time in Old Spanish orthography when the distinction between the letters I and J was not yet established and a silent h was written before word-initial ie to ensure that the i was read as a semivowel, not as the consonant [ʒ].

The confusion with the name of the metal had effects on the international naming of the island. As early as the 16th century, maps and texts called the island after the word for ‘iron’ in other languages: Portuguese Ferro, French l’île de Fer,[2] and Latin Insula Ferri.

Nevertheless, the origin of the name ero or erro or yerro is not definitely known. It is thought to be derived from one of several words in the Guanche language of the pre-Hispanic inhabitants, known as Bimbaches. Juan de Abreu Galindo (in a manuscript translated and published by George Glas in 1764) gives the native name of the island as Esero (or Eseró), meaning ‘strong’. [3] Richard Henry Major, however, in notes on his translation of Le Canarien, observes that the Guanche word hero or herro, meaning ‘cistern’, could easily have lapsed into hierro by a process of folk etymology.[4] It is believed that the Bimbaches had to construct cisterns to save fresh rainwater. The Gran diccionario guanche[5] gives the meaning of the Guanche word hero in Spanish as “fuente” (‘spring [water source]’).

History

Virgen de la Caridad Chapel

The ancient natives of the island, called Bimbaches, were subjected to Spanish rule by Jean de Béthencourt – more by the process of negotiation than by military action. Béthencourt had as his ally and negotiator Augeron, brother of the island’s native monarch. Augeron had been captured years before by the Europeans and now served as mediator between the Europeans and the Guanches. In return for control over the island, Béthencourt promised to respect the liberty of the natives, but his son eventually broke his promise, selling many of the bimbaches into slavery. Many Frenchmen and Galicians subsequently settled on the island. There was a revolt of the natives against the harsh treatment of the governor Lázaro Vizcaíno, but it was suppressed.

Landslides and tsunami

There is evidence of at least three major landslides that have affected El Hierro in the last few hundred thousand years.[6] The most recent of these was the ‘El Golfo’ landslide that occurred about 15 thousand years ago, involving collapse of the northern flank of the island. The landslide formed the El Golfo valley and created a debris avalanche with a volume of 150–180 km3Turbidite deposits related to this landslide have been recognized in drill cores from the Agadir Basin to the north of the Canary Islands.[7] Detailed analysis of these deposits suggests that the slope failure did not occur as a single event but a series of smaller failures over a period of hours or days. Local tsunami are likely to have been triggered by these landslides but no evidence has been found to confirm this.[6]

Coast El Golfo, El Hierro

2011 seismic activity

The Instituto Vulcanológico de Canarias (Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands) and National Geographic Institute’s seismic monitoring station located in Valverde detected increased seismic activity beginning on 17 July 2011.[8] The seismic monitoring network was increased in density on July 21 to allow better detection and location of the seismic events.[8] There was an earthquake swarm with in excess of 400 minor tremors between 20 July and 24 July;[8] by 27 July a further 320 earthquakes had been recorded.[9] On 25 August there were reports that some horizontal deformation had been detected, but that there was no unusual vertical deformation.[10] At that time, the total number of tremors had exceeded 4000.[10] By the end of September, the tremors had increased in frequency and intensity, with experts fearing landslides affecting the town of La Frontera, and also a small possibility of a volcanic eruption through a new vent. Emergency services evacuated several families in the areas at most risk, and made plans to evacuate the island if necessary.[11] Between 4.15 and 4.20am on 10 October 2011 the earthquake swarm changed behaviour and produced a harmonic tremor.[12] Harmonic tremors are produced by magmamovements and can indicate that an eruption has begun. A small submarine eruption began, 7 km south of La Restinga.[13] As of 7 November 2011 a confirmed surtseyan type of eruption phase has started at the fissure. On December 4, 2011 the eruption was ongoing with vigorous phreatic bubbles emerging.[14]

Flora and fauna

El Hierro giant lizard

El Hierro is home to many unique species, such as the critically endangered El Hierro giant lizard (Gallotia simonyi), for which there is a captive breeding programme, allowing its reintroduction.[15]

The interior of the island contains thermophilous juniper forest, evergreen woodlands and pine forest.[15]

Climate

The climate of El Hierro depends on the area. The climate ranges are from humid subtropical climate in the center of the island, to hot semi-arid (BSh) and to desert climate (BWh) in coastal parts (according to the Köppen climate classification). Although the temperatures are very influenced by the ocean. This is the climate chart from Valverde airport, which is the only airport in the island and also the island’s capital airport:

[hide]Climate data for Hierro Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.5
(81.5)
29.4
(84.9)
32.6
(90.7)
33.2
(91.8)
31.4
(88.5)
32.0
(89.6)
32.4
(90.3)
33.8
(92.8)
33.3
(91.9)
34.2
(93.6)
32.4
(90.3)
28.3
(82.9)
34.2
(93.6)
Average high °C (°F) 20.9
(69.6)
20.8
(69.4)
21.4
(70.5)
21.6
(70.9)
22.6
(72.7)
24.0
(75.2)
25.0
(77)
26.1
(79)
26.5
(79.7)
25.6
(78.1)
23.7
(74.7)
22.2
(72)
23.3
(73.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 18.8
(65.8)
18.6
(65.5)
19.0
(66.2)
19.3
(66.7)
20.3
(68.5)
21.7
(71.1)
22.8
(73)
23.7
(74.7)
24.1
(75.4)
23.3
(73.9)
21.6
(70.9)
20.0
(68)
21.1
(70)
Average low °C (°F) 16.6
(61.9)
16.4
(61.5)
16.7
(62.1)
17.0
(62.6)
17.9
(64.2)
19.3
(66.7)
20.5
(68.9)
21.3
(70.3)
21.7
(71.1)
20.9
(69.6)
19.5
(67.1)
17.8
(64)
18.7
(65.7)
Record low °C (°F) 8.0
(46.4)
9.0
(48.2)
9.2
(48.6)
10.0
(50)
10.0
(50)
10.0
(50)
14.0
(57.2)
14.2
(57.6)
15.2
(59.4)
11.0
(51.8)
12.0
(53.6)
9.6
(49.3)
8.0
(46.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 28
(1.1)
29
(1.14)
20
(0.79)
14
(0.55)
2
(0.08)
1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
2
(0.08)
12
(0.47)
26
(1.02)
33
(1.3)
170
(6.69)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 3 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 4 19
Avg. relative humidity (%) 74 76 74 74 74 75 77 78 77 76 74 74 75
Mean monthly sunshine hours 140 158 184 197 233 229 210 234 210 189 157 143 2,339
Source #1: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (normals 1971-2010) [16]
Source #2: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (extremes only 1973-present) [17]

Geography, flora and fauna

Satellite image of El Hierro

In 2000, El Hierro was designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, with 60% of its territory protected to preserve its natural and cultural diversity.[15]

Like the rest of the Canary Islands chain, El Hierro is sharply mountainous and volcanic, only one eruption has ever been recorded on the island from the Volcan de Lomo Negro vent in 1793. The eruption lasted a month.

El Hierro is a 268.71 km2[1] island, formed approx 1.2 million year ago[18] after three successive eruptions, the island emerged from the ocean as a triangle of basaltic dykes topped with a volcanic cone more than 2,000 metres high.[19] With continued activity resulting in the island expanding to have the largest number of volcanoes in the Canaries (over 500 cones, another 300 covered by more recent deposits), together with approximately 70 caves and volcanic galleries, including the Cueva de Don Justo whose collection of channels is over 6 km in length.[19] Landslides have reduced the size and height of the island.[19] The current highest point is situated in the middle of the island, in Malpaso, 1501 meters high.

Tourism and transportation

Mirador de la Peña, El Hierro

Like all of the Canary Islands, El Hierro is a tourist destination. It is served by a small airport—El Hierro Airport at Valverde—and a ferry terminal, both of which connect to Tenerife. Though El Hierro has a Parador, hotel accommodations are generally in small family enterprises; as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, El Hierro has limited construction to less than half of its total surface and buildings to two floors, maintaining its traditional look and social structure more than the other six major Canary Islands.

Political organization

The island is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and includes three municipalities:

Valverde is situated in the northeast and Frontera in the west, both contain several villages.

The seat of the island government (cabildo insular) is in the town of Valverde, which houses approximately half of the island’s population.

The “Meridian Island”

Main article: Ferro Meridian

Part of map of Upper Silesia (1746) with Latin message: Longitudines numeratæ à primo Meridiano per Ins[ula] Ferri

El Hierro was known in European history as the prime meridian in common use outside of the future British Empire. Already in the 2nd century A.D., Ptolemy considered a definition of the zero meridian based on the western-most position of the known world, giving maps with only positive (eastern) longitudes. In the year 1634, France ruled by Louis XIII and Richelieu decided that Ferro’s meridian should be used as the reference on maps, since this island was considered the most western position of the Old World. (Flores Island lies further west, but the Azores were not discovered by Europeans until the early 15th century, and their identification as part of the Old World is uncertain.) It was thought to be exactly 20 degrees west of the Paris meridian, so indeed the exact position of Ferro was never considered. Old maps (outside of Anglo-America) often have a common grid with Paris degrees at the top and Ferro degrees offset by 20 at the bottom. Louis Feuillée also worked on this problem in 1724.

Energy

Assembly of the first of five wind turbines with 2.5 MW each, which are the island’s only electricity supply.

According to the Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce, El Hierro will become the first island in the world to be energy self-sufficient. This will be achieved through a €54 million project combining a greater than 11 megawatt wind farm and two hydroelectric projects.[20][21][22][23]

This hydro-eolic project, created by the local Gorona del Viento El Hierro consortium with financial aid from the European Union, and officially inaugurated in 2015, consists of five wind turbines of type E-70 capable of producing 11.5 megawatts of wind power to supply electricity for approximately 11,000 residents, an additional number of tourists, and three water desalination facilities. The hybrid wind/pumped hydro storage system stores surplus wind powerby pumping water up 700 meters (approximately 2,300 feet) to fill the crater of an extinct volcano. When winds are calm or when demand exceeds supply, water is released from the crater to generate 11.3 MW of electricity, filling an artificial basin created at the bottom of the extinct volcano. Water in the lower basin is then pumped back up again to the upper reservoir when there is excess wind power.[23]

The closed-loop hybrid wind/hydro system is expected to save approximately US$4M per year (calculated with January 2011 oil prices) previously spent on about 40,000 barrels of crude oil imported annually, and makes the island completely self-sufficient for electrical energy.[23] [24]

El Hierro as a global hub for arts and sustainability: Bimbache openART Festival

The Bimbache openART Festival and Global Initiative for Arts and Sustainability, founded in 2005 by German-born guitarist Torsten de Winkel and other community activists, is an ambitious and non-profit effort at creating an interdisciplinary platform which seeks to bridge traditional divides, both on a musical and human level, in a globalizing world. The festival is a contribution of the international artist community to El Hierro’s “Sustainable Island” program and collaborates with scientists and sustainability-oriented organizations from around the world.

El Hierro in literature

The island of Hierro is mentioned in Umberto Eco‘s novel The Island of the Day Before (L’isola del giorno prima, 1994), a novel about a 17th-century Italian nobleman trapped on an island on the International Date Line

Notes

  1. Jump up to: a b Instituto Geográfico Nacional: Islas e islotes con superficie superior a 1 Km²
  2. Jump up ^ Bory de St.-Vincent, J.B.G.M. (28 March 1803), Essais sur les Îles Fortunées et l’antique Atlantide, ou Précis de l’Histoire générale de l’Archipel des Canaries, Paris: Baudoin, p. 14
  3. Jump up ^ Abreu Galindo, Juan de (1764), The History of the Discovery and Conquest of the Canary Islands, London: R. and J. Dodsley, pp. 24–25
  4. Jump up ^ Bontier, Pierre; Le Verrier, Jean (1872), The Canarian, New York: Burt Franklin, p. 124
  5. Jump up ^ Osorio Acevedo, Francisco (2003), Gran diccionario guanche : el diccionario de la lengua de los aborígenes canarios, Tenerife: Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria
  6. Jump up to: a b Masson, D.G.; Watts A.B., Gee M.J.R., Urgeles R., Mitchell N.C., Le Bas T.P. & Canals M. (2002). “Slope failures on the flanks of the western Canary Islands” (PDF). Earth-Science Reviews(Elsevier) 57 (1-2): 1–35. Bibcode:2002ESRv…57….1Mdoi:10.1016/S0012-8252(01)00069-1. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  7. Jump up ^ Masson, D.G.; Harbitz C.B., Wynn R.B., Pedersen G. & Løvholt (2006). “Submarine landslides: processes, triggers and hazard prediction”Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (London: Royal Society) 364 (1845): 2009–2039. Bibcode:2006RSPTA.364.2009Mdoi:10.1098/rsta.2006.1810. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  8. Jump up to: a b c “Canary Islands Government Monitors El Hierro Earthquake Swarm”. 24 July 2011.
  9. Jump up ^ “More Than 720 Earthquakes Recorded On El Hierro In One Week”. 27 July 2011.
  10. Jump up to: a b “El enjambre sísmico de El Hierro suma más de 4.000 terremotos” (in Spanish). 25 August 2011.
  11. Jump up ^ Tom Worden (2011-09-28). “Evacuation of smallest Canary Island begins after earthquake ‘swarm’ sparks fears of volcanic eruption”Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  12. Jump up ^ “Seismogram for El Hierro”. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  13. Jump up ^ http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/Instituto/Geografico/Nacional/apunta/erupcion/submarina/marcha/Hierro/elpepusoc/20111010elpepusoc_5/Tes
  14. Jump up ^ “Canary Island volcano: A new island in the making?”BBC News. 4 December 2011.
  15. Jump up to: a b c “Biosphere Reserve Information, Spain, Isla de El Hierro”.
  16. Jump up ^ “Valores climatológicos normales. Hierro Aeropuerto” (in Spanish). Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  17. Jump up ^ “Valores extremos. Hierro Aeropuerto” (in Spanish). Agencia Estatal de Meteorología. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  18. Jump up ^ Juan Carlos Carracedo, Simon Day: Canary Islands. Classic Geology in Europe 4. Harpenden, Terra, 2002, Page 2 ISBN 978-1-903544-07-5
  19. Jump up to: a b c “El Hierro. Geología” (in Spanish).
  20. Jump up ^ “El Hierro to be the first island in the world solely powered by renewable energy”.
  21. Jump up ^ El Hierro 100% RES web site with articles, animation and references to partner organizations
  22. Jump up ^ Article titled “Sun, wind and water The new El Hierro island’s allies” in pdf format
  23. Jump up to: a b c Andrés Cala. Tiny Spanish Island Has a Huge Stake in the Future, New York Times, 19 January 2011; NYTimes.com website, 20 January 2011; & International Herald Tribune, 19 January 2011.
  24. Jump up ^ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/06/wind-power-spain-electricity-2013?CMP=twt_gu

References

  1. Jump up ^ Situación y Clima. Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
  2. Jump up to: a b c Araña, V and Carracedo, J.C: Canarian Volcanoes, Volume 3: Gran Canaria, pp. 8, 24. Editorial Rueda, Madrid, 1978.
  3. Jump up ^ Oscillations of up to 400 metres in the level corresponding to sea level have occurred in geological history. The highest point known is in the Bay of El Confital, Las Palmas (130m above current sea level) while subaerial materials have been extracted from a well at 230m below sea level in the area of La Aldea. Araña, V and Carracedo, J.C: Canarian Volcanoes, Volume 3: Gran Canaria, pp. 13. Editorial Rueda, Madrid, 1978.
  4. Jump up ^ Population data corresponding to January 2010, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística
  5. Jump up ^ “Weather Information for Las Palmas”.
  6. Jump up ^ “Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)”.
  7. Jump up ^ Gran Canaria – Official Canary Islands Tourism
  8. Jump up ^ Espacios Naturales Protegidos de Gran Canaria Font: Gobierno de Canarias
  9. Jump up ^ BBC NEWS – Tropical Storm Delta batters Canaries
  10. Jump up ^ Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos
  11. Jump up ^ Relación de los Espacios Naturales protegidos de Gran Canaria
  12. Jump up ^ http://www.gobcan.es/cmayot/espaciosnaturales/tabla.html

References

  1. Jump up ^ “Diccionario Ínsuloamaziq-Tyterogaka”.
  2. Jump up ^ Photo: Famara Official Tourism Office of the Canaries
  3. Jump up ^ [1]
  4. Jump up ^ “Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)”.
  5. Jump up to: a b “Datos de Lanzarote – Población de derecho de Lanzarote según municipio”. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  6. Jump up ^ “Datos de Lanzarote — Población de derecho de Lanzarote según municipio”. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  7. Jump up ^ “Informe sobre la Población de Lanzarote — Marzo 2006” (pdf). Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  8. Jump up ^ “Tráfico de pasajeros, operaciones y carga en los aeropuertos españoles 2008” (pdf). Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  9. Jump up to: a b “Roman Trade with the Canary Islands”. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  10. Jump up ^ Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: the biological expansion of Europe 900-1900 (Cambridge) 1986:87, citing John Mercer, The Canary Islands, Their Prehistory, Conquest and Survival 1980:148-59.
  11. Jump up ^ Henry Kamen, Empire: how Spain became a world power, 1492-1763 2002:11.
  12. Jump up ^ Barr, Caelainn; Mulligan, Mark (July 5, 2010). “Lanzarote faces losing its eco status”Financial Times (London, Madrid). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  13. Jump up ^ Building craze threatens to end Lanzarote’s biosphere status The Independent. 7 July 2010
  14. Jump up ^ Greenslade, Roy (2010-07-08). “Canary Islands protests at Financial Times investigation”Greenslade Blog (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  15. Jump up ^ Diamandis, Marina (30 January 2015). “Marina and the Diamonds: ‘I killed Electra Heart with sleeping pills'”. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2015.

References

  1. Jump up ^ About Fuerteventura | Flicks Bar Corralejo
  2. Jump up ^ “Fuerteventura History – The Conquest of Fuerteventura”. Fuerteventura.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  3. Jump up ^ Se reconoce al conquistador su dominio sobre la isla. Fuente: Ayuntamiento de Tuineje.
  4. Jump up ^ The principal economic motor of the epoch was orchilla, cereal and cattle. Source: Tuinejecouncil.
  5. Jump up ^ El marqués de Vallehermoso intenta que la población se ponga a favor del poder de la corona frente al señorío. Source: La Oliva council
  6. Jump up ^ Reseña histórica Source: Tuineje council
  7. Jump up ^ Fuerteventura as sustainable tourism destination
  8. Jump up ^ “Standard climate values for Fuerteventura”.
  9. Jump up ^ 2009 January data. Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España
  10. Jump up ^ INE: Cifras Oficiales de Población (1 January 2009) Padrón Municipal de Habitantes (Las Palmas province)
  11. Jump up ^ The total population in 2001 was 60,273 inhabitants. Source: Instituto Canario de Estadística (ISTAC)
  12. Jump up ^ 2003-2004 data. Only two of the centres are private. Source: Instituto Canario de Estadística(ISTAC)
  13. Jump up ^ 2003-2004 data. Puerto del Rosario has 6,468 alumni of Enseñanzas de Régimen General. Tuineje is the second largest with 2,647 Source: Instituto Canario de Estadística (ISTAC)
  14. Jump up ^ 2003-2004 data. Most of these centres are in Puerto del Rosario. At the other extreme, Betancuria only has 3 infant schools and 3 primary schools. Source: Instituto Canario de Estadística (ISTAC)
  15. Jump up ^ The centre is directed by Esteban Rodríguez Pérez. Source: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
  16. Jump up ^ Orden MAPU/2145/2007, 12 July (BOE 16 July 2007)
  17. Jump up ^ associations provinces of Las Palmas. Source: Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas
  18. Jump up ^ Eurostat. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/region_cities/regional_statistics/data/main_tables
  19. Jump up ^ Sarah Andrews, Josephine Quintero (2007). Canary Islands, 4th editionCanary Islands(Lonely Planet).
  20. Jump up ^ Noel Rochford (2007). Landscapes of Fuerteventura, A Countryside Guide, 4th editionLandscapes of Fuerteventura, A Countryside Guide (Sunflower Books).
  21. Jump up ^ http://www.laoliva.es/ver_evento.php?id_evento=16
  22. Jump up ^ Little sun-dried salted fish roasted or burned in a dish with a little alcohol.
  23. Jump up ^ Octopusgilt-head bream or other fish washed and placed in the sun to dry.
  24. Jump up ^ Groupers are a group of 20 genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of perciformes. They have a robust body, with a large head resulting in globulous eyes and large mandibles.
  25. Jump up ^ Relación de clubes federados. Fuente: Federación del Juego del Palo Canario

References

  1. Jump up to: a b ISTAC “Instituto Canario de Estadistica” (In Spanish). Retrieved April 24, 2009
  2. Jump up ^ Bonelli Rubio, J.M., 1950. Contribucion al estudio de la erupcion del Nambroque o San Juan. Madrid: Inst. Geografico y Catastral, 25 pp.
  3. Jump up ^ Ortiz, J.R., Bonelli Rubio, J.M., 1951. La erupción del Nambroque (Junio-Agosto de 1949). Madrid: Talleres del Instituto Geográfico y Catastral, 100 p., 1h. pleg.;23 cm
  4. Jump up to: a b Carracedo, J. C; Badiola, E. R; Guillou, H; de la Nuez, J; and Pérez Torrado, F. J; 2001. Geology and Volcanology of La Palma and El Hierro, Western Canaries. Estudios Geol. 57, (5-6) 175-273.
  5. Jump up to: a b Day, S. J; Carracedo, J. C; Guillou, H. & Gravestock, P; 1999. Recent structural evolution of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, La Palma, Canary Islands: volcanic rift zone re-configuration as a precursor to flank instability. J. Volcanol. Geotherm Res. 94, 135-167.,
  6. Jump up to: a b c Ward, S. N. & Day, S. J; 2001. Cumbre Vieja Volcano; potential collapse and tsunami at La Palma, Canary Islands. Geophys. Res. Lett. 28-17, 3397-3400. http://www.es.ucsc.edu/~ward/papers/La_Palma_grl.pdf
  7. Jump up ^ Pararas-Carayannis, G; 2002. Evaluation of the Threat of Mega Tsunami Generation from Postulated Massive Slope Failure of Island Stratovolcanoes on La Palma, Canary Islands, and on The Island of Hawaii, George , Science of Tsunami Hazards, Vol 20, No.5, pp 251-277.
  8. Jump up ^ Moss, J.L., McGuire, W.J., Page, D., 1999. Ground deformation monitoring of a potential landslide at La Palma, Canary Islands. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 94, 251–265.
  9. Jump up ^ Murty, T. S; Nirupama, N; Nistor, I; and Rao, A. D. 2005. Why the Atlantic Generally cannot generate trans-oceanic tsunamis? ISET J. of Earhquake Tech. Tech. Note., 42, No. 4, pp 227-236.
  10. Jump up ^ New research puts ‘killer La Palma tsunami’ at distant futurePhysOrg.com, September 20, 2006.
  11. Jump up ^ Mark Johanson, Volcanic Eruption in Canary Islands Produces Large Sea StainsInternational Business Times, October 14, 2011.
  12. Jump up ^ Canary Island volcanic eruption may be imminent, Catholic Online New consortium, September 29, 2011.
  13. Jump up ^ “Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)”.
  14. Jump up ^ Holly Hughes; Sylvie Murphy; Alexis Lipsitz Flippin; Julie Duchaine (2 February 2010). Frommer’s 500 Extraordinary Islands. John Wiley & Sons. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-470-50070-5.

References

  1. Jump up to: a b c Laura Plitt (11 January 2013). “Silbo gomero: A whistling language revived”BBC News. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  2. Jump up ^ Jaehnichen, G. (2011). Steps into the future: San Isitdro’s procession dance. In: Jaehnichen & Chieng, (eds.) Preserving creativity in music practice. Universiti Putra Malaysia Press.http://www.mercado-mallorca.com/canaries.htm 2012
  3. Jump up ^ Fregel et al.(2009) The maternal aborigine colonization of La Palma (Canary Islands) Euro J Hum Gen 17:1314-1324
  4. Jump up ^ Pino-Yanes M, Corrales A, Basaldúa S, Hernández A, Guerra L, et al. 2011 North African Influences and Potential Bias in Case-Control Association Studies in the Spanish Population. PLoS ONE 6(3): e18389. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018389
  5. Jump up ^ Flores, C., Maca-Meyer, N., Pérez, J. A., González, A. M., Larruga, J. M. & Cabrera, V. M. 2003 A predominant European ancestry of paternal lineages from Canary Islands. Ann Hum Genet 67, 138–152. doi:10.1046/j.1469-1809.2003.00015.x
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