Religion in Canary Islands, Spain
Almost all Canarians are supporters of the Roman Catholic Church. Catholicism is deeply rooted in the life of the locals. There are many Catholic cathedrals, churches and other places of worship in the Canary Islands.
A small part of the population of the Canary Islands professes Protestantism. These are local residents – Canarians, and foreigners – Americans, British, a small number of Spaniards from the continent.
There are also groups of foreigners professing Islam or Hinduism in the Canary Islands. These are mainly people from North Africa and South Asia.
Transport in Canary Islands, Spain
According to Fun-Wiki, the only form of public transport is the scheduled buses. The fare is paid at the entrance through the front door of the driver.
All taxis on the island are white cars with a green light. Most taxi drivers are honest and provide good service, but don’t miss tipping opportunities.
Car rental companies offer a fairly wide range of models and prices. If the offer sounds very tempting, immediately ask if insurance and taxes are included in the price of the service. To rent a car, you need to have a license.
Several companies offer bicycles, mopeds, scooters and motorcycles for hire.
Plant and Animal World in Canary Islands, Spain
Holidays in Tenerife are, first of all, enjoying the magnificent nature and the huge variety of its landscapes. Tenerife has an extremely diverse vegetation, large forested mountains and vast lands that grow bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and other agricultural products.
Due to the exceptional climatic features of the island of Tenerife, it is possible to create a familiar habitat for many plants.
In addition, historically, Tenerife has become a mandatory stopover at the crossroads to the East, South and West of Africa and America, which contributed to the importation of a wide variety of flora species that now grow in the numerous gardens that adorn the island. All areas of the island have their own special vegetation. Everywhere you can find flowers of extraordinary beauty, which are listed in botanical catalogs.
For example, a bright yellow moon flower of American origin, or a bird of paradise – strelitzia reguine, characteristic of Tenerife – grown for decorative purposes, this flower retains its freshness for a long time, or a Christmas flower, whose homeland is Mexico. Strelitzia can be ordered before departure and take home a piece of the Canary Islands – they can easily withstand the flight in the luggage compartment.
The island has preserved the legendary dragon tree and Canarian laurel, which are found only in the form of fossils in other areas of the Mediterranean. The dragon tree is the symbol of the archipelago. Although it grows very slowly, the height of the trees reaches 20 m and above. Since ancient times, the Romans and Guanches were aware of many useful and healing properties of the resin of this tree, which was called “dragon’s blood” (it acquired a bright red color in the air).
A variety of plants were brought to the island – from the fig-shaped cactus with its needle-shaped fruits and the American agave to luxurious flowering ornamental trees and shrubs in the alleys and parks, which are in abundance here. In cities, the smell of eucalyptus makes you forget about the gassed streets.
The Canary Islands are of undeniable interest to botanists – out of 575 rare plants that exist on the territory of the Macronesian archipelagos (which includes the Canary archipelago), 514 grows in the Canaries, and mainly on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
In the mountains, a tree, amazing in its qualities, grows – the Canarian pine – it is able to gain a foothold even on bare volcanic rock. Canarian pine is easily restored after a fire – if the trunk burns down by 80%, then this is not a problem – soon the tree comes to life again. Canary pine is very durable and even fireproof, which is why it is highly valued as a building material. Canarian hand-carved balconies are made from it to order, and this pleasure is not at all cheap.
Unlike vegetation, the animal world is not so diverse. Among the domestic animals on the islands, the most common are Canary goats, sheep, pigs, as well as cattle. Horses, donkeys and camels were brought from Europe and Africa. Of the mammals living in the natural environment, moufflons have survived, now living mainly in the Teide National Park. They hunt rabbits here with a gun and a tame African polecat.
Among the reptiles, the harmlessness of which is well known here, lizards predominate. And the most common bird is a gray-green canary, which got its name for its harmonious singing (siren in ancient Greek mythology). This bird was first brought to Europe in the 15th century, where it was highly valued. In the XVIII century. became so popular as a house bird that a new name was assigned to the islands: Bird Islands. In the mountainous regions, the red deer and the Pyrenean ibex have been preserved. There are many fish in the waters of the Atlantic, mainly sardine, herring, cod, anchovies and various types of shellfish.
Banks in Canary Islands, Spain
Numerous branches of banks exist on each island, in the largest cities. Despite the large number of local savings banks, they operate very slowly. In general, the banking system of Spain, including the Canary Islands, is quite heavily bureaucratized and does not particularly care about the convenience of customers.
Banks are open from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 to 16.30.
Money in Canary Islands, Spain
The date of January 4, 1999 was an important milestone in the development of the world economy: the single pan-European currency – the euro – began its official existence.
11 European countries, including Spain, fixed the mutual exchange rates of their currencies, pegging them to the euro. New euro banknotes entered circulation in 2002 and were issued in seven denominations, namely 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.
Change coins are represented by eight denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros. The former Spanish national currency is the peseta (ESP). In 2002, it was withdrawn from circulation, although on checks in shops the prices are both in euros and in pesetas.
You can exchange currency at any exchange office, bank, hotel or tourist complex.
It is unprofitable to carry dollars to Spain, the exchange rate is much lower than the official one, and not all banks will take 100-dollar bills.
Rate: 1 Euro (EUR) = 1.05 USD
Political State in Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands are one of the seventeen autonomous regions of Spain. The head of state is King Juan Carlos I. The supreme body of executive power is the government. Legislative functions and control over the activities of the government are carried out by the General Cortes (Parliament), consisting of two chambers – the Senate and the Congress of Deputies.
Tenerife holds 15 seats in Parliament, the body of government that, in addition to its legislative role, sets the island’s budgets and names representatives on the mainland. Tenerife also has its own island council which has some powers of self-government and assumes responsibility for the day-to-day management of local services.
As part of Spain, they are part of the European Union, however, this membership has certain specifics due to the distance, economic features and historical traditions of the islands.
The capital of the Canaries is divided between the two largest cities of the islands: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas. The regional government moves from one island to another every four years, i.е. after the parliamentary elections.
Population in Canary Islands, Spain
1 million 600 thousand people permanently live in the Canary Islands, and the number of tourists exceeds five million a year.
The official and spoken language is Spanish. The Canarians speak Castilian, but much softer and faster than the Spaniards on the mainland. In addition, the Canarian vocabulary is very rich in “canarisms”, which came mainly from the Guanche language, which sometimes creates additional difficulties in communication. But, as a rule, this is observed only in provincial small towns.