There are seven islands that make up the Canary Islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Each with their own unique landscape but similar beginnings. These islands ‘volcanic origins are to thank for this.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven islands and the most populated Spanish island. As the most popular tourist destination in the Canary Islands it should be your first stop on your island discovery tour. This island is known for its whale watching. Up to 26 species are found just off the southwest coast, including killer whales, blue whales and even pilot whales. Immersing yourself in nature present, this island is perfect for a day stop. Next on the tour is Gran Canaria. This World Biosphere Reserve boast 60km of beaches with golden sand and calm waters such as Las Canteras beach. The island has perfect conditions to anchor your catamaran in its shallow waters to enjoy a quick swim. The next island stop is Lanzarote, situated just 125km away from the African coast this island has been a World Biosphere Reserve since 1995. The black and red volcanic rocks, formed from eruptions, at the Timanfaya National Park will have you questioning if you have stepped onto another planet. The fourth island to visit is Fuerteventura. 150 km of white sand beaches and emerald green waters are not the only reason the island earned the honor UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status in 2009. By chartering a catamaran charter in the Canary Islands, you will be able to visit Cofete beach, it is one of the most famous “virgin beaches” as there is no development. After, this island your next stop is La Palma. This entire island was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2002. The perfect place to stargaze and to study astronomy from your catamaran as strict light pollution laws were enacted in 1989. La Palma is the perfect place for all travelers. Its famous Puerto Naos boasts black sand beaches that are ideal for not only sunbathing but snorkeling over enchanting reefs or to go parasailing over the beach. The second to last stop is La Gomera also a World Biosphere Reserve since 2011, this island captivates each person that sets foot on land. Through the wind you will be able to hear whistling language of Silbo Gomero understood by all native to La Gomera. Ending your tour at El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands will not be disappointing. The perfect place to relax and find peace, El Hierro is 1st island to be 100% self-sufficient using only renewable energy. This is the ideal island for divers or those interested in the underwater world. There was a 2011 underwater eruption, since then the marine ecosystem has come back full force and you are able to explore it at any of the 46 dive sites the island has to offer.
The archipelago had a long and rich history which can be seen today at every island. They were formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions. The original inhabitants of the archipelago, the Guanches, although mostly assimilated are still on the islands. Through these people and the people who have migrated between the South Americas and the islands it’s history and culture have been kept alive. The language in the Canary Islands is Spanish however, it has a dialect like that of Southern Spain and sounds very similar to the Cuban dialect of Spanish.
Another important part of Canary Island culture you will be able to experience by catamaran charter in the Canary Islands, you will be able to experience the native cuisine. It is especially different from its Spanish counterpart. Several dishes are prepared with a special flour made from roasted grains called Gofio, it can be used for food either salty or sweet. Typically eaten by natives for breakfast with milk. Lunch and dinner made with gofio are usually salty porridges made by mixing it with soup and it is called Gofio Escaldado. There is a large cactus like plant called Tunera, known as the Prickly Pear in English, and it gives a sweet but hard to retrieve fruit, Tunos. However, if you are lucky to get your hands one of these special fruits you must peel it and enjoy but beware of the seeds. Also, very famous and traditional are the papas arrugadas, potatoes, which are nothing like those that come to mind when we hear the word potato. The volcanic earth and climate make them smaller with a particular texture and taste. Served in the skin with salt and spicy sauce, mojo picon, these potatoes regularly accompany most meals. The hearty traditional Sancocho canario, is a dish that features a fresh whole cooked fish, spiced served with the gofio and papas arrugadas. The perfect destination with something new to discover at every island, the Canary Islands is an endless adventure that your taste buds will never forget.
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