A dozen Canary Islands facts that no travel guide will tell you. I´m going to surprise you. 12+1 curious facts about the Canary Islands that don’t appear in the history books.
We start with the first of the surprising facts of the Canary Islands. From the time of the first electrification in the world and the role of the Canary Islands in the history of lighting using electric bulbs.
1. First in electrical lighting. Santa Cruz de La Palma, was the first city in the Canary archipelago and the sixth in the world to have electricity in 1893. The first was Paris in 1879, followed from New York in 1882, then London in 1886, Barcelona in 1888 and the fifth, Madrid in 1891.
2. Face East. If you know the Canary Islands, have you noticed why the capitals of the Canary Islands are located on the eastern coasts? The seven Canary capitals face the East. This is because in the days of sailing ships, it was easier for them to set sail with the help of the trade winds.
Canary Islands facts: The Guaguas
3. The word guagua (bus) does not have Canarian origin. Although deeply rooted in the Canarian people, it comes from Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century. In Cuba there were a large number of Spanish immigrants, mostly from the Canary Islands and the north of the peninsula.
At the end of the 1898 war, the Americans took control of the island of Cuba and shortly after they introduced the line cars, which were not ordinary buses but large vans.
Van in English is wagon and is pronounced “wægən” or “guagon”, which through Hispanics derived from guaguon to guagua, and was “brought” by the Canaries upon their return.
In Galicia and on the peninsula they were known as line cars and in the Canary Islands the version used in almost all the Caribbean countries was adopted.
Canary Islands facts: Carnivals at the international level
4. Canary Carnaval. More Canary Islands facts: The carnivals of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are among the best in the world along with those of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and those of Venice in Italy.
5. Drag Queen. The election of the Drag Queen of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria carnivals began in 1998. This celebration has established itself as one of the most original contributions of this carnival. However, later it has been included in other Canarian carnivals and the rest of Spain.
6. Unique Canarian Coffee. The only coffee in Spain and Europe is produced in the Agaete valley, located on the island of Gran Canaria, being one of the most select in the world due to its spectacular flavor and body.
7. Islander Vodka. In the town of Ingenio, on the island of Gran Canaria, the purest vodka in the world is produced and due to this purity, what is expressed by its owners goes very well. leaves no hangover .
Named Blat, it is the only vodka in the world to have been certified by the United States health authorities as containing 0% impurities.
The entire process of the method used to obtain such purity is kept in the strictest secrecy, since even visits to the plant where it is made are prohibited.
Facts about Canary Islands: Canarian albino palm tree
8. Albino palm tree. In the town of Mirca, on the island of La Palma, there is the only specimen of the albino Canary Island palm (Phoenix canariensis). This plant is also known as the bicolor palm tree. The palm tree is a very rare botanical phenomenon. This case has been studied by university professors and botanists. All breeding attempts have failed.
9. Animal protection. In the Canary Islands, bullfighting has been prohibited since April 1991. However, it was not a deeply rooted tradition in the Canary archipelago.
The Canary Islands Law for the Protection of Animals, passed in that year, abolished bloody shows with animals. Among them, bullfighting, although cockfighting is still allowed but with certain restrictions.
10. Single Crab. In Los Jameos del Agua, in Lanzarote, lives a species of crab unique in the world, the famous blind crabs (Munidopsis polymorpha). Localy is named “Jameito”. The crab is located inside a volcanic tube that reaches the sea.
The darkness of the cave causes pigmentation deprivation. This discoloration gives a whitish color to this rare specimen. The Crabs are no more than a centimeter long. They are also known as “jameitos” and are the symbol of the Jameos del Agua.
Canary Islands facts: Canary whistling language
11. Canary whistle. The whistle of La Gomera is a language that only a few human groups in the world practice. The island whistle can express more than 4,000 words. It was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and has been studied in La Gomera schools since 1999.
12. Amazing canary pine. Canary Island pine is a unique botanical species due to its resistance to fire. For this reason is capable of regenerating after a fire.
13. Ecological Airport. The airport on the island of La Palma is the first airport complex in Spain to be supplied with wind energy.
What do you think of these Canary Islands facts? Did you know any?
Find your accommodation in the Canary Islands on this map
In Anaga, in Tenerife, there are more endemic plant species than in all of continental Europe.