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Article by: Bars in Spain S.L. contactus@barsinspain.com Published: 14/12/2007

Not everyone wants to start their new life in mainland Spain. If you’re looking for somewhere a little further from the beaten track to settle, buy a holiday home or start a business ...the Canary Islands could be the perfect answer.......

As Bars in Spain proudly opens it's first office in Gran Canaria, we explore the jewel in Spain’s geographical crown … The Canary Islands. Could this be your dream destination?

The Islands …. Essential Facts

The Canary Islands are situated 150 km off the coast of the Western Sahara in the Atlantic ocean and consist of seven major islands, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, El Hierrro, Gomera and La Palma. There are also a group of lesser known smaller islands, Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Lobos

The Canary Islands are estimated to be around 30 million years old and their existence was known, or at least discussed, in ancient times.

The Greeks and Romans were amongst the first to document the archipelago and commented on the remarkable volcanic features of the islands. They also named them the Happy Islands, Garden of the Hesperides and Atlantida! ... Some historians even believed that this was where the location of the legendary continent Atlantis was hidden.

In 1496 the islands became part of the Spanish kingdom and were visited by Christopher Columbus on his journey to discover the New World. Their ownership was challenged over the years by the French, the Dutch and of course the Brits who all believed they had a claim to the islands, but the Spanish held on tight and in 1821 The Canaries were declared a province of Spain. The official language in all the islands is Spanish

( Castillian ) and the official religion is Roman Catholic.

While Tenerife and Fuerteventura are amongst the largest of the islands, Gran Canaria has the largest population.

The Canary Islands, along with their neighbours Maderia, the Azores, Cape Verde and some parts of Morocco are often known as the ‘Macaronesia’. The African coast is approx 210 km from the Canaries and Cadiz, the closest European port, is around 1250 km north of Gran Canaria.

The Canaries enjoy an extremely mild climate, in fact the weather there is often considered amongst the best of the world and some call it ‘eternally Spring’. Temperatures are constant year round with average temperatures in the summer ranging between 26 ºC and 28 ºC (79 – 82 °F), and often exceeding 30 °C (86 °F), and in the winter months between 22 ºC and 24 ºC. Thanks to these temperatures, visitors and residents in the Canaries can enjoy almost year round sunbathing and water sports!

As well as the Volcanic landscape ( the setting for many famous movies ), the wonderful beaches and excellent climate, The Canaries are also well known as one of the great gastro centers. The cuisine of Canary Islands combines traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin-American influences.

A very simple and well-known recipe is Papas Arrugadas, potatoes boiled in salt-water without peeling and served with Mojo, a hot sauce of oil, garlic, chili-peppers and paprika.

If you are a fan of fish then you will feel most at home in the Islands where a wide variety of fish are available . Among the most typical regional recipes are Caldereta and Sancocho Canario, salted fish in a Mojo sauce. Several of the islands have a typical cheese-speciality of their own, best known are the smoked cheese of La Palma and Flor de Guía of Gran Canaria.

The Canaries are also well known for their exotic fruits, which are the base of several excellent desserts and sweets. Platanos Fritos, fried bananas, are in great demand.

Among the islands' wines the Malvasía from Lanzarote should not be missed and the red-wines of Hierro, La Palma and Taraconte in Tenerife should be sampled! Another of the islands' alcoholic specialities is Honey-Rum.

The question is not so much 'why The Canary Islands' as why not?

Fancy finding out a little more about the individual Canary Islands .... read on .....

GRAN CANARIA

Gran Canaria and Tenerife are located in the centre of the Canary Islands’ archipelago. The ‘round island’ as it is known because of it’s circular shape – is 47 km (29 miles) wide and covers an area of 1,532 sq km. Its highest peak, Pozo de Las Nieves (1949 m/6431 ft above sea level), is situated right in the centre of the island.

Gran Canaria is the third largest island of the Canaries and boasts 236 km of coast with sandy beaches, predominantly located on the southeast coast. This is also the area where you’ll find the famous beaches of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas with their amazing sand dunes. The southwest and west coasts are dominated by cliffs, and in the north and northeast of the island the coastline is very diversified, offering a wide variety of beaches and coves. The centre of the island is mountainous with a few high peaks and many gorges radiating out towards the sea.

Gran Canaria has a reputation for being the most cosmopolitan of the islands and has a large and lively capital Las Palmas. The population of Gran Canaria is young in comparison with that of the rest of the country and Europe, given the fact that the largest part of the population is between the ages of 15 and 45 years!

Gran Canaria is often referred to as a ‘mini continent’ ….not only because it happens to be situated between 3 other continents itself, Africa, Europe and the Americas, but also for its variation in weather which is affected by the Gulf flow and landscape around the island. The north is usually cooler than the sometimes fiery heat of the south. Inner regions, being mountainous, can be cloudier and colder with more rain.

Most of the tourist trade is situated around the resorts along the South coast. The most important of these are San Agustin, Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas and Puerto Rico. Puerto de Morgan is a pretty port and well worth a visit.

The capital city of Las Palmas is a favourite for tourists for a day’s shopping, sight seeing or just chilling out on Las Canteras beach.

 

External Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=104

Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=104

Please contact the author at contactus@barsinspain.com for more information.

 

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