The Fortunate Isles
The smaller islands are La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro which is the smallest and most southern. The Canaries were once referred to as the “Fortunate Isles”. These isles have strong links to Greek mythology. The Fortunate Isles are said to have been a paradise with no winter which were inhabited by the heroes of Greek mythology. This is a reference to the superb weather and endless summer here.
The Canary Islands enjoy a subtropical climate where the winters are mild and the summers are hot. The Canaries are known as an “Archipelago”, this name refers to a group or cluster of islands. According to a recent study, the population of the Canary Islands is around 2.2 million.
Biggest Canary Island
The biggest Canary Island according to size is Tenerife which covers an area of 785 square miles. You can check all the maps here to get an idea of the layout of the island. Tenerife also has the largest population of 900,000 inhabitants. Next we have Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
The super island of Tenerife is the most populated of the Canary Islands with around 900,000 inhabitants. This is more than any other Spanish island. Tenerife is also the most popular of this Archipelago with over 5 million visitors each year. Tourism is big business here, this island is home to some of the best resorts in the Canaries. This destination gets really busy over Christmas and peaks in March when the temperatures are much warmer.
The popular resorts of Playa de las Américas and Los Cristianos are located in the southwest of the island. This is also where you will find much of the nightlife. To the north is the more sophisticated Costa Adeje which is popular with the wealthy.
The island of Gran Canaria lies in the centre of the Canary Islands. Tenerife lies to the west and Fuerteventura to the east. The population of this island is not quite as big as Tenerife with some 850,000 inhabitants. Around 400,000 are currently living in the Capital City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the north.
The climate here is pretty good with normal temperatures of between 20 – 26 Celsius. This is one of the warmer islands during the winter and spring, especially April which is near perfect conditions. Tourism to Gran Canaria accounts for over 3.5 million visitors each year.
The beautiful island of Lanzarote is the most northern of all the Canary Islands. Lanzarote is the third most populated behind Tenerife and Gran Canaria. There are some 140,000 permanent inhabitants here. For land mass, Lanzarote is smaller than Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.
This island still attracts millions of visitors each year. In 2008, Lanzarote recorded over 5 million visitors. Lanzarote continues to generate high levels of tourism each year. The tourist resort of Puerto del Carmen attracts over 1 million visitors each year.