Canary Islands More Than Just Birds

While the Canary Islands may be known worldwide by the popular canary birds, they also have a rich history and attract tourists during the winter and spring months, especially for the famous flower festivals.

The nutrient rich volcanic land produces flowers, fruits and vegetables and has led most of the population to farm as well as work in shipping and tourism activities.

In the spring the big tourist draw is the Corpus Christi celebration part of the number of famous flower festivals taking place on Grand Canary and Tenerife islands. Colorful flower decoractions are hung on houses and public buildings and viewing them is a popular evening activity.

Visitors will find several islands making up the Canary group including Tenerife, Gomera, La Palma, Hierro, Grand Canary, Fuerteventura and Lazarote. The largest cities are Las Palmas and Tenerife.

The city of Las Palmas includes and beautiful and very busy harbor that attracts visitors.

The islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa and most visitors come from Europe though others come the short distance from northern Africa.

The major language is Spanish and the monetary unit is the Spanish peseta. The major religion is Roman Catholicism.

While the poplar and colorful yellow songbirds now called canaries were first discovered there, the islands were also known for their large number of dogs .

The Canary Islands officially has four national parks, of which two have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the other two declared a World Biosphere Reserve, these national parks are: (According to Wikimedia)

*Caldera de Taburiente National Park (La Palma): Created in 1954 and declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2002. It currently covers an area of 46.9 km.

*Garajonay National Park (La Gomera): Created in 1981 and declared in 1986 as a World Heritage Site. Its area is 3986 hectares at the core and some areas north of the island.

*Timanfaya National Park (Lanzarote): Created in 1974 and declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, together with the whole island. Occupies an area of 51.07 km , is located in the southwest of the island.

*Teide National Park (Tenerife): Created in 1954, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2007. It covers an area of 18,990 hectares, is the oldest and largest national park in the Canary Islands and one of the oldest in Spain. The Teide in 2010 became the most visited national park in Europe and second worldwide. Located in the geographic center of the island is the most visited National Park in Spain. Teide National Park was declared in 2007 as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.