Facts about Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria’s name originally meant “Great Island of Dogs”. It belongs to a Spanish archipelago known as the Canary Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 150 kilometers from the northwestern coast of Africa and approximately 1350 kilometers fromEurope. Gran Canaria is situated at southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. Gran Canaria has a volcanic nature professed with fissure vents comprising the island. It has a surface area of 1,560 km2 with the highest altitude of 1,949 meters characterized by Pico de las Nieves. It is rounded in shape with a diameter of approximately 50 km.

The island has a population of 838,397, comprising about forty percent (40%) of the total population of the Canary Islands. It is ranked as the second most populated island in the archipelago afterTenerife.

According to history, Gran Canaria was first inhabited by the Canarii Guanches. They are believed to have moved to the island sometime between 1000 BCE and 100 BCE. They originally called Gran Canaria as “Tamaran” or Land of the Brave. On April 29, 1943, the island was completely succumb to the power of the Europeans (French and Portuguese), after over a century of attacks with the aim of conquering the island, through a campaign of theKingdomofCastile, with the support of Queen Isabella I. The campaign lasted for five years which appeared to be a valuable advancement in the expansion of a unifiedSpain.

The island’s capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, was founded on June 24, 1478 with the name “Real de Las Palmas”. The name was given by Juan Rejon, the leader of the Castilian Army which is invading them at that time. In 1942, while on his way to theAmericas, Christopher Columbus docked in theportofLas Palmas. In this present date,Las Palmasis regarded as the largest city and the capital of the autonomous community of theCanary Islands. Aside from that, it is the ninth largest city inSpain.Las Palmaspresents various engaging activities for tourists like sight-seeing, shopping, or bathing on its world famous beaches.

Almost half of Gran Canaria’s territory, that is about 667 km2 (42.7% of the island), is under the protection of the Red Canaria de Espacios Naturales Protegidos also known as the Canary Islands Network for Naturally Protected Areas. The network in the Canary Islands Archipelago protects a total of 146 sites of which 33 are located in Gran Canaria which is the second most protected island in the group.

Apart from this protected areas, there is a considerable number of campsites in Gran Canaria which are allowed for tourists. There are also camping areas which are typically pieces of land where plenty of camper vans park. Though wild camping is not allowed in Grand Canaria there are a few number of beaches, such as Guavedra, Tiritaña and Venguera where people camps in tent. Aside from these, there are some authorized camp sites in and near natural parks where people are allowed to stay, when needed permission are obtained.



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