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Gran Tour

A trip which allows us to see why Gran Canaria is called a continent in miniature. It starts early in the morning (but not at four a.m. – thus you will have time to eat breakfast), and the means of […]

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Palmitos Park

Park is a unique attraction which, unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to see. I hope that once I get back to Gran Canaria and I will compensate myself for this lack and see it on my own. Palmitos Park […]

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Dunas de Maspalomas

Dunas de Maspalomas occupy a length of about 6 km and a width of about 2 km . The top height of the dunes is 10 – 20 m. They were formed by the ocean water brought by wind and […]

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Underwater sightseeing

I did plan to dive at all, though I will not say that I did not want to. The travel agency stated the price of 75 EUR and it seemed to me that this was a bit too much. We […]

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Puerto de Mogan

It is a picturesque port town, surrounded by mountains, where I was only able to eat dinner in a dockside tavern. The historic tenement houses, lack of high hotels, and very climatic restaurants and cafes around the marina – all […]

 

La Palma – most active volcano of the Canary Islands

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La Palma, a Spanish island, is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off Africa. It is located at 28°40′ N, 17°52 W.

Description

La Palma is one of the Canary Islands, with an area of 706 square kilometres. Total population is about 80,000, of which 18,000 live in the capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma. Its geography is a result of the volcanic building of the island. The highest peaks reach about 2,400 meters from the sea level and additional more than 3,000 meters below sea level. The northern part of La Palma is dominated by the Caldera de Taburiente which with a width of nine kilometers and a depth of 1,500 meters is surrounded by the Cumbre Vieja, a ring of montains of 1,600 to 2,400 meters in height. Only the deep canyon Barranco de las Angustias leads into inner area of the caldera which is a national park. It can be reached only by hiking. The outer slopes are cut by numerous gorges which run from 2,000 meters down to the sea. Today only few of this carry water due to the water tunnels. Through the southern part of La Palma leds the ridge Cumbre Nueva formed by numerous volcanic cones build of ashes, a rather bizarre landscape. The southern cape Punta de Fuencaliente where the most recent volcanic activities took place consists of lava and ashes. La Palma is dominated by the colors blue, green and black. Blue is the surrounding ubiquituous sea. Green comes from the abudant plant life, the most variegate one can find in the Canary Islands. Black from the volcanics rocks that still fill the landscape, and from the numerous small beaches made of black sand.

Government

The island is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The island capital is Santa Cruz de la Palma. The other major city on the island is Los Llanos.

Volcano

The island was formed as a seamount by the volcanic activities like all of the Canary Islands. La Palma is the most active volcano of the Canary Islands and was formed 3 million years ago. It rises 3,500 meters from the seafloor to the sea surface and reaches a height of 2,426 meters above sea level. 500,000 years ago the primary volcano Taburiente collapsed whith a giant landslide which formed the Caldera de Taburiente. The known historic eruptions are:

  • 1470-1492 Montana Quemada
  • 1585 Tajuya near El Paso
  • 1646 Volcán San Martin
  • 1677 Volcán San Antonio
  • 1712 El Charco
  • 1949 Volcán San Juan, Duraznero, Hoyo Negro
  • 1971 Volcán Teneguía

During the 1949 eruption the western half of the Cumbre Vieja ridge slipped several metres downwards into the Atlantic Ocean. It is believed that this process was driven by the pressure caused by the rising magam heating and vaporising water trapped within the structure of the island. During some future eruption within the next few thousand years the western half of the island, weighing perhaps 500 billion tonnes, will slide into the ocean. This will generate a giant wave known as a megatsunami around a kilometre high in the region of the islands. The wave will fan out across the Atlantic and strike Africa and the Western American seaboard several hours later with a wave possibly 90 meters (300 feet) high causing massive devastation along the coastlines.

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El hierro – history and geography

Miradorlapeña2009

El Hierro, nicknamed Isla del Meridiano („The Meridian Island”) is a Spanish island. It is the smallest and furthest south and west of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is situated at 27°45′ north, 18°00′ west.

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History

The name of the island is derived from the Guanche language toponym Hero, though by the process of folk-etymology was transformed into „Hierro,” meaning iron in Spanish, due to its similarity to that word. Thus, Ferro (Latin ferrum, „iron”) was and is used as a name for the island. It is the name for the island in other languages, including French, German, and Danish). Pliny the Elder, who used Juba II as his source, names a series of Canary Islands, and it is believed that his Capraria may have been Hierro. The ancient Guanche people on the island, called bimbaches, were conquered by Jean de Bethencourt –more through the process of negotiation than by military action. Bethencourt had as his ally and negotiator Augeron, brother of the island’s native monarch. Augeron had been captured years previously by the Europeans and now served as mediator between the Europeans and the Guanches. In return for control over the island, Bethencourt promised to respect the liberty of the natives, but he eventually broke his promise, selling many of the bimbaches into slavery. Many Frenchmen and Galicians subsequently settled on the island. There was a revolt of the natives against the harsh treatment of the governor Lázaro Vizcaíno, but it was suppressed.

Geography

Like the rest of the chain, the island is sharply mountainous. It has an area of 278 km². Maximum high is situated in the middle of the island, in Malpaso, with 1.501 meters high. Like all the Canary Islands, El Hierro is a tourist destination. It is served by a small airport at Valverde and a ferry terminal, both of which connect to Tenerife.

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Tenerife – some facts

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Tenerife (English also Teneriffe) is a Spanish island, the largest of the seven Canary Islands. It is located at 28°19′N 16°34′W and has a surface area of 2 034 km². Like the rest of the Canary Islands, it is of volcanic origin. The highest point of Spain, Teide (3 718 m), is on this island.

 

Teide

Teide

The island is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The Anaga Mountain Range in the north of Tenerife

The largest city, Santa Cruz, is the capital of the island and seat of the cabildo insular (island government); it is also the capital of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and officially co-capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands together with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, although clearly behind this one in terms of population, industry, tourism or gross domestic produce. The village Güímar is the site of the mysterious Pyramids of Güímar. The island’s population is 778,071.

Tourism

Tourism is concentrated more in the south of the island, which is hotter and drier and especially around Playa de las Americas, and Los Cristianos. More recently coastal development has grown northwards from Playa de las Americas and now encompasses the former small enclave of La Caletta. In the north of the island the main developmnt for tourism has been in the town of Puerto de la Cruz. 800px-Anaga_2006

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Transportation

The island of Tenerife is served by two airports, the Los Rodeos or Tenerife Norte and the Reina Sofia Airport or Tenerife Sur. A fast, toll-free major highway (autopista del sur and autopista del norte) almost encircles the island, linking all the main towns. The exception is in the west from Adeje to Icod de los Vinos, which is traversed by a smaller mountain road. However, plans are now afoot to complete the autopista. Away from the major highway, driving is generally slow and difficult, with steep, winding narrow roads, mainly unlit and often with drops either side of the main carriageway surface. Public transport on the island is provided by a network of buses (Guaguas) and run by T.I.T.S.A. wo operate a fleet of modern, air-conditioned buses which, generally, run on time. Drivers are helpful and the mix of tourists and ‚locals’ (especially in the resort areas) makes for an interesting ride, not o mention one of the best ways to actually see the island.

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Gran Canaria travel