THE CANARY ISLANDS
2014.02.09 - 2014.03.03
the route prepared by Rolandas Liutika
In the time of year when in North Europe frost freezes our faces, it rains or snows for a long time, I suggest to go where rain falls only 5-15 days per year, where a forever summer lasts, where friendly people and delicious and inexpensive food the Canary Islands.
They belong to Spain; therefore we do not need any visa. In addition, the Canary Islands are a duty free zone, so the prices are sure to appreciate any of the travellers.
These Islands are on Sahara desert parallel, so the sun is always great, but not too hot, because the Atlantic Ocean cools the Islands. An average temperature here is a little different in winter and summer, day and night, from 17,6C in January up to 25 degrees in July (in shade). Each island has different relief, people density, size and vegetation, so just need to visit them all that fully get to know the Canaries.
I propose to begin the expedition from the Lanzarote Island, which is the most farthest to the East, only about 25 km from the coast of Africa. The island's surface is like on the Moon with 32 volcanic craters, the entire surface is covered with congealed lava after volcanic eruption in 1736. It is no surprise, that in this island has been filmed the movie One Million Years B.C.
After visiting the most interesting places of Lanzarote, within a few days, we move out 11km further by ferry (22,66) to the next Island Fuerteventura.
Fuerteventura is the oldest island in the Canary Archipelago, established about 20 million years ago after volcanic eruption. The highest point on the island is the Mount Khandia (807m) in the southwest part of it. The narrowest point of the island is 5km. Length of island is100 km, but even 50km stretches of white sand beaches. This island is the second largest, but the population density is small. We will see the coast with a broken passenger ship American Star (1994).
From Fuerteventura we move out to the West direction to Gran Canaria by ferry (3h; 38,19).
The Gran Canaria's capital city Las Palmas becomes the capital of the Canary archipelago every four years, alternating with the city of Santa Cruz (capital of Tenerife). In a small area of the island one can find sandy beaches and desert-like dunes, tropical woods and pine forests, plains, canyons and mountains (43% of the Islands are protected, there are 8 preserves). There is the El Cumbre mountain range (the highest peak Pico de Las Nieves at 1949m) in the middle of the Gran Canaria, which halves the island into two parts: the southern part is hold on from winds of the Sahara (dry, warm air temperatures, it contains all known sandy beaches), and the North one with rain clouds (a gorgeous vegetation, but cooler than the south one, here is located the city Las Palmas).
From Gran Canaria again by ferry (2.5h; 38,19) we move out to the biggest island by population (685 000) Tenerife.
In the centre of Tenerife is situated the volcano Teide (20 km in diameter, 3718 m high, and the third largest in the world) the second in the world by tourists visiting (after Fuji in Japan). The highest point of Spain is a natural barrier from stormy, wet weather, coming from Western Europe. The central mountain range divides the island into the southern and northern parts, different in its nature scenes and climatic conditions. Tenerife is reach in sights, so we spend most of time there. We will climb the Teide volcano, too. On 4th March, 2014, in capital city of Tenerife Santa Cruz will be a final day of carnival, which is second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro carnival.
After Tenerife, we move out by ferry (1h; 32,95) to the island of La Gomera.
There is the oldest trees forest in the world (!), very green one and refreshing extremely. The Garajonay National Park in La Gomera is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The island is famous, that American discoverer Christopher Columbus was stayed there three times by mistress of La Gomera Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio, including year 1492 Americas discovery date.
After La Gomera we move out to another island by ferry (1.5h; 39,35) La Palma.
The island is famous as the steepest island of the world; the area is 706 km2 only, but the height 2426m. The climate here in the chilly and wet, and the vegetation is lush. There is a volcano (8km wide crater) in the centre of La Palma, its botanical and geological significance gives it a national park status. On the top of the volcano is the International Astrophysical Observatory.
After visiting this spectacular island we will return to Tenerife by a night ferry (4h, 50,45), from which we will fly back home.