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The Canary Islands – Spain

October 25th, 2023

The Canary Islands, also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish autonomous community in the Atlantic Ocean. At their closest point to the African mainland, they are 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Morocco. The islands have a population of 2.2 million people and are the most populous special territory of the EU.   The population is mostly concentrated in the two capital islands: around 43% on the island of Tenerife and 40% on the island of Gran Canaria.

There are eight main islands (from largest to smallest in area) Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palm, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa. In ancient times, the island chain was often referred to as “the Fortunate Isles”. The Canary Islands are the southernmost region of Spain and the largest and most populous archipelago of Macaronesia. Because of their location, the Canary Islands have historically been considered a link between the four continents of Africa, North and South America and Europe.

The Canary Islands, especially Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote, are a major tourist destination, with over 12 million visitors per year. This is due to their beaches, subtropical climate, and important natural attractions, especially Maspalomoas  and Mount  Teide (a UNESCO site).  Mount Teide is the tallest peak in Spain.  The islands have warm summers and winters warm enough for the climate to be technically tropical at sea level.  The amount of precipitation and the level of maritime moderation vary depending on location and elevation. The archipelago includes green areas as well as desert. The islands’ high mountains are ideal for astronomical observation, because they lie above the temperature inversion layer. As a result, the archipelago boasts two professional observatories.

In 1927, the Province of the Canary Islands was split into two provinces. In 1982, the autonomous community of the Canary Islands was established. The cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are, jointly, the capitals of the islands.  Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in the 1910s.  In 1927, it was ordered by decree that the capital of the Canary Islands would be shared between two cities, and this arrangement persists to the present day. 

During the “Age of Sail”, the islands were the main stopover for Spanish galleons during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, which sailed that far south in order to catch the prevailing northeasterly trade winds. 

The placement of the colors is said to be derived from the actual physical location of the islands: white in the left, corresponding to Tenerife’s location in the west, the yellow on the right side, corresponding to Gran Canaria’s position in the east and blue in the middle, as the common color for both of them.

It wasn’t from birds that the Canary Islands got their name, but from a breed of dogs, or perhaps seals depending on what you believe. The name comes from the Latin word for dog, canaria, and was given by the first Europeans to arrive here.

The Presa Canario is a Spanish breed of large dog of mastiff or catch dog type. It originates in the autonomous region of the Canary Islands, and is found mostly in the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. It was formerly known as the Dogo Canario.

(Our friend, Byron, on Vancouver Island has one of these.)

Petrol price here is €1.27 a litre so about $3.50 USD a gallon – way cheaper than mainland Spain!

Beer:  Dorada Canaria

As mentioned in our last post, we made the decision to visit two of these islands, at the last minute.  Thank goodness for Europe’s budget airlines.

We booked three one way flights:

  • Madrid to Tenerife on RyanAir for €68 each
  • Tenerife to Gran Canaria on Binter Canarias (just about the only choice for inter island travel) for €84 each – residents pay much less. We considered the ferry but that was €80 each and this was way faster especially since the ferries don’t run as often this time of year
  • Gran Canaria back to Madrid on RyanAir for €37 each.


The flight landed a little bit early and we waited in line at the rental car agency for our VW Polo.

Since the weather was pretty good, dry and sunny, we headed down the “spine” of the island to El Teide National Park.

The road is a simple two lane highway that climbs up and up and up through the pine forest.  We could see lots of burnt and dead trees and when Fran googled it, it seems Tenerife suffered from summer heat like Greece, Sicily and Portugal this past summer.

On 15 August 2023, a forest fire broke out on the island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands of Spain. The fire, driven by the wind, heat, and low humidity levels, caused mass evacuations, widespread damage to the island’s flora and fauna, as well as power and water supply cuts in some of the affected municipalities. The fire reignited October 5th causing more evacuations but was under control and put out shortly thereafter. 

We had no intention of going up the expensive gondola to the top but stopped several times on the highway at pullouts for photos.

Teide, or Mount Teide, is a volcano on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain. Its summit (at 3,715 m (12,188’)) is the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic. If measured from the ocean floor, its height of 7,500 m (24,600’) makes Teide the third-highest volcano in the world after Hawaii’s Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, and is described by UNESCO and NASA as Earth’s third-tallest volcanic structure. Teide’s elevation above sea level makes Tenerife the tenth highest island in the world.

Teide started forming 170,000 years ago due to volcanic activity following a catastrophic landslide. Teide is an active volcano – the most recent eruption occurred in late 1909.

The volcano and its surroundings make up Teide National Park and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. Teide is the most visited natural wonder of Spain, the most visited national park in Spain and Europe. Teide Observatory, a major international astronomical observatory, is located on the slopes of the mountain.

Before the 1496 Spanish colonization of Tenerife, the native Guanches referred to a powerful figure living in the volcano, which carries light, power and the sun.  Teide was a sacred mountain for the aboriginal Guanches, so it was considered a mythological mountain, as Mount Olympus was to the ancient Greeks. The Guanches also believed that Teide held up the sky. Many hiding places found in the mountains contain the remains of stone tools and pottery. These have been interpreted as being ritual deposits to counter the influence of evil spirits, like those made by the Berbers of Kabylie. The Guanches believed the mountain to be the place that housed the forces of evil and the most evil figure, Guayota.

In 1492, when Christopher Columbus arrived at the island of Tenerife, his crew claimed to see flames coming from the highest mountain of the island (Teide).

We did drive as far as the gondola and you can’t see much of the volcano, of course, as you are too close, but on the way back, we stopped at the Valle de Las Piedras Arrancadas which was like a moon surface area:

We took a stroll around and walking on the pumice gravel reminded us of the sound of Rice Krispies – snap, crackle and pop!

It’s now nearly midday and we’re ready to eat and drink.  There’s nothing up in the park though so we drove down the north side of the ridge and made it to La Orotava – a city known for its balconies.  By now it’s definitely past noon, but do you think we could find a restaurant open for lunch?  Nada – all were just coffee shops and the bars/restaurants said they open at one.

So we walked further into the city (Fran was feeling pretty “hangry” by now) and visited the Casas de Los Balconies before finding a place to sit and have lunch near that which turned out to be a good choice as the menus were WAY cheaper!

Fran looked on, our go to for places to stay when we’re winging it and found us a one bedroom apartment for €73 and we took.  Guess she wasn’t thinking all that straight as she forget to put “AC” as a filter and although she did put “parking” there was none at the building but we did find a big free lot about two blocks away.

We got parked and then checked in before going for a walk to check out the area and get some groceries.   There is a tiny black beach and a large square near our hotel.  We stopped for a beer in an outside café, saw the beach and returned to our apartment for a nice evening in.

Thursday morning after exercising, Fran booked a tour for us for Friday to take a day trip to the island of La Gomera – the closest island to Tenerife.  Then we packed up and left to drive more around the island.  Our first stop was in the town of Icod de los Vinos to see the oldest Dragon Tree in the world.  We took a walk through the small pedestrian area that also had balconies similar to those we saw yesterday.

Now what is a dragon tree you ask?

The Canary Islands dragon tree or “drago”, is a subtropical tree native to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira, western Morocco, and possibly also in the Azores.  It was first described in 1762. 

It is an evergreen long lived tree with up to 15 m / 49′ or more in height and a trunk 5 m / 16′ or more in circumference, starting with a smooth bark that evolves to a more rough texture as it ages. When young it has a single stem. At about 10–15 years of age the stem stops growing and produces a flower spike with white, lily-like perfumed flowers, followed by coral berries. Soon a crown of terminal buds appears and the plant starts branching. Each branch grows for about 10–15 years and re-branches, so a mature plant has an umbrella-like habit. It grows slowly, requiring about 10 years to reach 1.2 metres (4 ft) in height, but can grow much faster.

So as you are now aware of what a dragon tree is, here’s why it’s called a dragon tree:

The dragon tree is known for its thick, red resin, called “dragon’s blood.” The tree got its name from one of Hercules’ legendary adventures. As the tale goes, Hercules was tasked with bringing back three golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides, guarded by a 100-headed dragon.

So we went to see El Drago Milenario, was declared a national monument in 1917 that is said to be over 1000 years old.

Currently it is the largest and longest-lived of its species known in the world. It measures about 18 meters in height and has a crown diameter of ~20 m, it has a perimeter at the base of the trunk of twenty meters and more than three hundred main branches. The flowers are small and numerous, they have 6 petals and as many stamens of a creamy green or very pale yellow tone and they cluster in striking inflorescences that protrude from the set of leaves. It is estimated that in years of good flowering it can produce up to fifteen hundred bouquets of flowers. The trunk has a huge cavity that rises up to 6 m high, which is accessed through a door. In 1985, a thorough renovation was carried out and a fan was installed inside the trunk to facilitate air circulation and prevent the proliferation of fungi. In 1993, the City Council of Icod de Los Vinos , at the proposal of the winning architects of the ideas competition held in 1984, diverted the road that passed a few meters from the dragon tree, and fortunately, today, this plant symbol of the Canary Islands is not in danger.

As you know if you’ve been reading this for a while, pretty much the only souvenirs we buy are things we can hang on our Christmas Tree (yeah, we know, it’s been a while since we’ve had a Christmas Tree!) and right at the spot where we were standing were a few crafts people selling their wares.  We checked them out and began speaking to an Argentinian couple who know live here and he makes love items from local things.

We bought a lovely little “plaque” with a picture of the tree and some black volcano sand in the background in the shape of the El Teide volcano.

We chatted with them for a while in Spanish (pretty good, eh?) and then went on our way.

Next stop in the late morning was to see Los Gigantes – giant cliffs.  It was a bit confusing to get parking but we did and then we took a stroll to a beach that was supposed to have great views of these cliffs.  Well, turns out the beach itself is closed but we could still see the cliffs and were able to take photos by putting the camera through the fence!

Note:  Here in Spain we seem to have trouble finding a place that’s open at noon to have our brunch.  Many cafes are open but don’t serve much besides pastries and the restaurants seem to open at one if you’re lucky.  Like in Argentina, they have siesta time too that starts at two and can go till 3 or 4 or 5.

We had hoped to eat at the beach with the view of Los Gigantes but that didn’t pan out.  We then decided to check out the Charco de Isla Cangrejo – a swimming hole  off Crab Island.  This was pretty cool.

We were parked about a klik from here so too far to get our swimsuits and there was pretty much no parking nearby.

On the way back to the car, we found a small restaurant serving lunch and stopped to have burgers.  While eating, Fran found us a place to spend two nights in the city of Los Cristianos so we are well positioned to take our day trip tomorrow.  We paid €150 for two nights here at Ona Los Clavos.

Check in at the accommodation we booked wasn’t till 4 so we thought we’d try and find a sandy beach to sit at.  Fran found a few and we tried to get to three of them, but it was impossible to find parking.  Here in late October, there are still TOO many tourists.  Can’t say I blame people as it’s sunny and 27C / 80F here – just about perfect!

This side of the island of Tenerife is much lusher than where we were yesterday and does not seem to have been affected by the recent fires.  This coast has tons of banana plantations as well; some out in the open, some under cover.

There are plenty of varieties of cacti, palm trees and other weird plants.

So we decided to head to the hotel anyway, hope to get in early (2pm) and if not, at least we could sit by the pool.  We were lucky and our apartment was ready.  Here we paid €150 for two nights.  It appears to be a time share where they rent out the unused rooms and there are plenty of Brits here.

We checked in, changed into our swimsuits and went to the pool.

It was so nice.  We had brought the pool noodles we bought in Cyprus (the curl up nicely inside a suitcase) and enjoy a nice float before sitting in the loungers getting beers and reading.

Life is good!

After cooling off, we walked into town and picked up a pizza to eat in our room.

Today we passed through 15 tunnels.


So Friday was our bus tour.  We walked over to the pickup point for the 8:25 pick up time, but it appears we are on “island” time as it was 20 minutes late.  We were driven to catch the9:30 catamaran that left at 9:50.  In order to board the ferry, we were given boarding passes and needed our passports.

Our guide, José, gave us a few facts about La Gomera.  He spoke in three languages: Spanish, German and English and we could tell from the Spanish information that he was not giving us all the info in English which seemed unfair.

He informed us that La Gomera is a hikers paradise with hundreds of trails, that the best beaches not reachable by car.  The other name for the island is Christopher Columbus because he stopped here on the 6th of  September 1492 before making it to the Bahamas on the 12th of October.  It is fifteen km from Tenerife.  The last eruption on this island was 2 million years ago!

Note:  many of the photos going forward are taken through a bus window with a cell phone so not the greatest we’re afraid.

Our first stop view over San Sebastián for about ten minutes but we didn’t get off ourselves.

It began to cloud over as we headed inland and our second stop at Mirador de la Laja was quite foggy:

The third stop was  at the Roque de Agando lookout.  It too was all fogged in but the guide had the driver wait 5 mins to see if it would “blow away” but no such luck.

We then entered Parque Nacional de Garajonay is at 1400 m / 4593’ and much of it is a rain forest.

We stopped in the park at Laguna Grande – a dry lakebed that now has a playground and bbq/picnic facilities.  It was raining lightly and we all got off to check it out.  There is a small, not very informative Information Centre and we checked that out and then took a boo a the “lake”.

The fifth stop was outside the town of Juego de Boas where the national park’s visitor centre is located.  There were many varieties of plants and some nice views as the rain was now behind us and it was pretty clear.  We had a clear view of El Teide on Tenerife and looking the other way, we could just barely make out the island of La Palma to the west but it was mostly in cloud.

Then it was just after two o’clock, the scheduled time for lunch.  We stopped at a restaurant called Las Rosas for typical Canarian food.  We had a choice of a fish or beef dish with a soup appetizer and a mango custard dessert.  There was water and wine included in the meal.  We sat at a table with an Austrian couple, a Finnish woman and an Estonian couple so the conversations were all in English.

Just before lunch we were given a “whistling demonstration”.

Silbo Gomero is a unique way of communicating through whistling that’s been used for thousands of years in La Gomera. Islanders developed this form of language as a way of sending announcements and messages across the wide valleys.

On the drive back to San Sebastian we drove around the town of Agulo which is said to be one of the top ten Spanish villages but we couldn’t make out why.  We did see a lot of banana plantations and apparently there are avocadoes grown here as well.

So the final stop was San Sebastian – the capital of the island and where the ferries all dock.  The weather had cleared nicely and it was now 30C / 86 F.  We check out the beach – a black sand beach –

And we walked into the town along the pedestrian main drag where we saw the Casa de Colon which was closed, the main church and later the Tower.

Gas on La Gomera was €1.35.

We had to be at the ferry docks for boarding at 5:15 for the 5:30 sailing which of course, left late – island time! – by about ten minutes.  We advised our guide that rather than taking the bus on the other side we were going to walk from the ferry terminal back to our hotel.  On that walk, we stopped to check out the two beaches in town:

Playa de Las Vistas in the late afternoon shadow:

And Play de Los Cristianos:

We passed through five tunnels today.

We drove 313 km / 194 mi on the Island of Tenerife.


Next day Saturday, the 28th, our flight to our next Canary Island was not until 4.  After getting up and having tea, we drove north to the capital, Santa Cruz, where we spent a few hours on the north side of the city at Playa de las Teresitas.  What a beautiful beach: nice sand, nice waves, wide beach especially at high tide and palm trees lining the back edge.  There were a few places for changing, fresh water showers and beach bars.  We were there by 9:30 and easily got two chairs and an umbrella in the front row for €6 for the day.

At 1:40 we changed, repacked and went to airport.

Passed through two tunnels enroute to the airport.

Our flight from Tenerife landed on time on Gran Canaria and the picking up of the rental car went smoothly.  We had booked it for 6pm today till 6pm Tuesday and they had no problem giving it to us nearly 90 minutes early.  It began to drizzle for a few moments as we left the airport but it didn’t last.  The temperatures here are similar to Tenerife if not slightly warmer – amazing to us for the end of October.

Gas here on Gran Caneria is about €1.299 per litre so about $5.19 USD per gallon.

It took about 30 minutes to get to Playa del Ingles, we stopped for groceries and then went to our accommodation: Isabel del Mar for which we paid €188 for two nights.

Here we had a small ground floor apartment across from the pool.  The place is secured with gates and right off the beach boardwalk which is above the each.  We have one bedroom and a very well equipped kitchen, a small terrace, use of a laundry room with a washer AND dryer, a roof top terrace, the pool and the apartment has AC, Wi-Fi but only street parking.

When we awoke Sunday morning the clocks had changed from Daylight Savings and the sun came up earlier.  Doug went for his run and then we went for a walk on the beach to check out the dunes.

On our walk back we could see the sunbeds getting snagged – 9:15 in the morning and so we snagged a couple of chairs in the front row, left our flip flops and Doug’s shirt to save them.   Here two sunbeds and an umbrella cost €7.50.

Upon returning to the apartment, Doug grabbed a few things and went back to the chairs while Fran did a few things online before joining him an hour later.

It was a lovely day at the beach once again!  We just love it here.

We returned to the apartment, showered and changed around 3:30, then went out to have dinner with a sea view and to catch what we could of the sunset – we are facing southeast here so although we couldn’t actually see the sun drop, we did see some colour in the sky.

On Monday, we had an 11 am reservation for a submarine tour in the town of Puerto Mogón.  This was a 45 minute tour that cost us €63 for us both.  About 30 people are on the tour and you descend to 24 m / 78’ below the surface.  Just outside the port here, a manmade reef of 3000 square metres was built in 2016-17 between two shipwrecks and the addition of various “pieces” like parts of roman columns.  They have begun to create a nice home for several types of fish and at times, there are rays and sharks as well as turtles.

When everyone is on board, a small boat guides the sub out of the harbour.

We didn’t have our hopes up too high and although we didn’t see a great deal of marine life, mostly palmetas, a barracuda, some small colourful fish on the bottom of whom the photos did not turn out and a couple of starfish, the experience was super cool.  Each two people have their own window:

And in front of you are audio guides to plug into in nine languages and a video screen that shows you what’s happening “up on deck” and get you to watch the entire submerging and ascension of the sub.  The sub passes by the reef in both directions so everyone gets a chance to see it all and during the passing, the video screen is showing you the photos of the sea life you many encounter.

  Before returning to the dock, you are allowed to ascend to the deck to watch the remote controlled docking after being returned to the port by the ship after the ascent.

We really enjoyed this and highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do it.

Now we wanted to explore the island of Gran Canaria inland so we head up the middle.  We had a few stops in mind and the weather was amazing for it.  It’s not as high here as on La Gomera so there’s no rain forest.

It was a beautiful drive and shortly after starting the drive we pulled over to eat the sandwiches Doug had put together that morning.

We stopped to see Roques Nublo: pics

And Roque Bentayga:

As well as all the lovely surrounding rock formations.  We did reach over 1000m a few times and once we were up at 1506 m.  The temperatures were around 28C – down low.

Then it was on to see the pretty town of Teror where it was cooler and cloudy and a mere 20C / 70F.

It’s a quaint tiny town with nice buildings and pedestrian alleys.

Approaching our night’s destination we drove all the “Camino del dragos” and then passed through the Azuaje Ravine with a picturesque windy drive:

We reached the small town of El Pagadora (sp) back on the coast (north) where Fran had booked a guesthouse for €95.  We had considered staying in the capital of Las Palmas but could find nothing under €220 and it’s only 15 km away.

Just before getting to the hostel, Doug saw huge waves on the beach and surfers.  We pulled over and watched for about fifteen minutes – the water was beautiful and the waves were the biggest we’d seen in a long time.

We arrived at Jacio House and were warmly welcome.  We had a queen bedroom with a private bath and use of the shared facilities which  included a kitchen, dining area, three seating areas outside and the use of the pool of the restaurant downstairs.  The hostess told us about a “charco” (a natural swimming area on a rocky shore sometimes with manmade barriers to make it safer) nearby and Fran wanted to go and this sounded better than getting in a pool.  We’d seen the one near Los Gigantes but didn’t get to use it.

We quickly changed quickly and decided to drive the kilometre over to Charco San Lorenzo so as not to have to walk back in wet bathing suits as there are no change rooms.

We arrived as the tide was getting rather high so couldn’t stay long.  We’d brought out pool noodles to help in case of large waves and the need for staying afloat.  The water was a little cool for Doug but Fran went in both pools and Doug took a quick dip but played the role of photographer more.  The rocks are very slippery so you really have to watch your footing.  We wished we’d remembered water shoes for this trip!

It was very refreshing and after about ten minutes we thought it wise to get out of the water and return.  We finished up our groceries for dinner and had a quiet night.

Today was a big tunnel count day: 30!

October 31st – happy Halloween.  They do appear to celebrate this holiday here in Spain as we’ve seen decorated houses and places of business.

Today we hoped to do several things but most did not pan out.  We left the hostel around 9 and headed into Las Palmas hoping to spend a few hours on the Playa there only to find out once we got there, there are no umbrellas on the beach because the water comes all the way up at high tide!  WE could see a great number of surfers here and watched them for a while.

Next stop was in the old part of Las Palmas to take a stroll.  Here we saw another statue of Columbus:

The old cathedral:

The dog statues out front (we were hoping they would be of the island’s dogs, but of the eight maybe one was but there was no signage.

We stopped by the Casa de Colon museum which was all decorated for Halloween but didn’t go in.

After stopping for some pastries at a bakery, we returned to the car and drove to the Botanical Gardens to see more dragon trees and hopefully find out the names of some of the cactus and other plants we’d seen.

The gardens were free and it was pretty big but the signage left much to be desired and we didn’t learn anything although we did take photos some nice plants and lots of dragon trees. We did see a few dragon trees in three spots

Even when we “google lensed” some plants, we couldn’t get much info.

So back at the hostel, the hostess had told us about a couple of beaches before the airport if we were interested; since the one in Las Palmas didn’t pan out, we were.  We checked out three but none had umbrellas for rent and it’s too sunny and hot (30C / 86 F) to sit on the dark sand beaches.

We thought  about sitting in a restaurant at the second beach but the way the sun was going, even the tables under the awnings were getting sun.

We tried one last beach she’d mentioned at Ojas de Grazo but the tide was in so the beach was unwalkable and the  restaurant she told us about (there’s only one) was closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

It’s now 2pm and our flight is at 8.  We decided screw, let’s return the car, change at the airport and buy a couple of lounges passes so that’s how we spent our last few hours in the Canary Islands – a little sad but we had a great time.

We passed through nine tunnels today.

We drove a total of 252 km / 156 mi on Gran Canaria.

We would definitely recommend these islands to visit especially if you like to hike as there are trails all over the islands (we didn’t have much time to do that) and there are lovely beaches not to mention the great weather!  It was a bit pricier than Cyprus but it’s further south so the season is much longer.

Fun Facts about the Canary Islands:

  1. The island of Fuerteventura is the oldest island. It is believed that perhaps at one time, both it and Lanzarote were one island. 
  2. The islands have four of Spains 12 national parks. Considering their size against mainland Spain, this is impressive! The four national parks are Caldera de Taburiente National Park on La Palma, Garajonay National Park on La Gomera, Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote and Tenerife’s Teide National Park – the most visited national park in Europe! Two of these have also been declared UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites.
  3. Believe it or not, the Canary Islands were inhabited by a giant lizard species called ‘giant gallotia’ before humans settled on the islands. They were roughly the size of Komodo dragons and can still be found on the island today – in the form of a much smaller relative of the original beast, though!

  1. In Lanzarote, there is a lake-like crater filled with trapped seawater that has a striking green hue. Why? It’s because of the unique kind of algae that grows here.
  2. The smallest and most southerly of the islands, El Hierro has recently become the first island to use 100% renewable energy, sourcing most of its power from the wind, as well as sun and water.
  3. As the island of Lanzarote is a volcanic, it has almost no soil or natural vegetation. So, in order to grow grapevines here, winemakers had to think outside the box. Unlike traditional vineyards which stretch high and wide, on Lanzarote you’ll find vineyards take the form of separate vines in individual craters. The volcanic soil of the island, black in colour, gives the wine a unique taste and is a must-try when visiting. 
  4. The islands sit just 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the African continent…but they are a full 1,700 kilometres (1,056 miles) from the Spanish mainland. You can even get a ferry between Fuerteventura and Morocco in less than four hours (it takes around 20 hours from Spain).
  5. The world’s worst ever aviation disaster happened in Tenerife. On March 27, 1977 two Boeing 747s collided on a foggy airport runway. 583 people were killed while one of the planes was taking off. Investigations revealed several reasons for the accident, which led to many changes in how pilots and flight control towers communicate. 
  6. Thanks to their dramatic and varying landscapes, movies as far back as One Million Years BC(1966) to the likes of The Land That Time Forgot (1975), Clash of the Titans (2010), and most recently Fast & Furious 6 (2013) have been filmed on various islands.