Interesting facts about the Canary Islands

facts about the Canary Islands

I guess that you have heard the name of the Canary Islands before. It is easy to understand that they are a complex of islands. And also you might know that it is a popular travel destination. But what other interesting facts about the Canary Islands do you know? Having just returned from Fuertaventura – one of the most popular Canary Islands I wanted to share some facts for you today.

Let’s state some basic facts about the Canary Islands before we move on to more fun information. The Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago, and it is located close to the northwest part of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. This archipelago consists of eight islands, the largest of which is Tenerife. They all are famous for their beautiful beaches and their stunning natural landscapes. You can roam around the islands easily by hiring a car from Enjoy Travel. Sitting back in a comfortable car and enjoying the view is the best way to get from one amazing place to another.

Since we have covered the basics, let’s learn some fun facts about the Canary Islands – one of the most popular holiday destinations for UK tourists.

How were the Canary Islands formed?

All eight islands of the archipelago were formed by volcanic eruptions that occurred about 70 million years ago. Their location hints that they used to be part of Africa. There are still active volcanoes in the islands, and the last eruption was recorded in 2021.

It is worth mentioning that the volcanic mountain El Teide is the third tallest volcano in the world, and the highest mountain in Spain.

facts about the Canary Islands

Giant Lizards

The gallotia goliath, a giant lizard, used to live in the Canary Islands. There are bone remains which prove that this type of lizard existed, since it is now extinct. It is believed that they could grow about 1 metre long.

The Canary Islands and the canary

Most people think of a canary, the small yellow or orange songbirds, when they hear about the Canary Islands. This leads them to believe that the islands got their name after those birds. However, this is not true. The reality is that the opposite happened; this adorable bird species was named after the Spanish archipelago.

How did the islands get their name?

Once the first European settlers got ashore in the Canary Islands, they were met with what seemed like big dogs, and this is why they named the islands ‘Islas Canarias’. Canarias is the latin word for dogs. It should be noted, however, that there is some speculation that what those Europeans had seen was not really dogs, but seals.

facts about the Canary Islands

A whistling language

Silbo Gomero is a language that, instead of sounds that correspond to words, use whistle sounds to communicate any message. What is great about this type of language is that whistling can travel further than shouting, meaning that people that are very far away are still able to hear and communicate with each other. This language is used in La Gomera, the second smallest island in the archipelago.

We hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about the Canary Islands and that it gives some food for though for your next family holiday there!