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Gran Canaria  INFO & DIARY  1

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 GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)
Gran Canaria or Grand Canary Island is one of Spain’s Canary Islands, found 150 kilometres north-western of Africa. It covers 1,560 square kilometres, and the highest peak; Morro de la Agujereada is 1956 metres high. The island is of volcanic origin, mostly made of fissure vents. It has a round shape, with a diameter of approximately 50 kilometres.
The population is reaching one million, most found in Las Palmas. In antiquity, Gran Canaria was populated by the North African Canarii, who may have arrived as early as 500 BC. In the medieval period, after over a century of European incursions and attempts at conquest, the island was conquered on April 29, 1483, by the Crown of Castile, under Queen Isabella I.
According to the Köppen climate classification, Gran Canaria is considered to have a desert climate due to its severe lack of precipitation. Gran Canaria has consistent warm temperatures in spring, summer and autumn, and mild winters. Gran Canaria is noted for its rich variety of microclimates. Generally speaking though, the average daytime high ranges from 20 °C in winter to 26 °C in summer. Some cool nights occur in winter, but lows below 10 °C are unknown near the coast. Inland the climate is still mild but mountainous areas see the occasional frost or snow. Annual rainfall averages 228 mm, most of this falling in the cooler months, with July, August and September normally rainless.

Until the conquest, Gran Canaria had extensive forests, but then suffered extensive deforestation as a result of continuous logging, land divisions and other intensive uses. This reduced the forest cover to just 56,000 hectares, making the island the most deforested of the Canary Islands. However, in the twentieth century reforestation of the ridge of the island was begun, recovering some of the lost forest mass.

Approximately five hundred of the plant species on Gran Canaria are also found on the other islands, but there are more than a hundred species that grow only grow on Gran Canaria. I would like to see the caudiciforms: Astydamia latifolia, Bryonia verrucosa, Dioscorea communis, Dipcadi serotinum, Dracaena draco, Dracaena tamaranae, Ecballium elaterium, Euphorbia canariensis, Euphorbia balsamifera, Kleinia neriifolia, Pancratium maritimum, Semele androgyna, Umbilicus heylandianus and Withania aristata.
A few others are interesting, but I can't get confirmed they are found on Gran Canaria: Ficaria verna, Muscari graecum, Scilla latifolia and Urginea maritima.

Birds counts 48 species and Common Chiffchaff; Phylloscopus canariensis, Gran Canaria Blue Finch; Fringilla polatzeki, Blue Tit Subspecies; Parus caeruleus teneriffae and Atlantic Canary; Serinus canaria would be cool to see.
The reptiles counts four species: The large Canary Island lizard; Gallotia stehlini, which is endemic of the island and whose abundance is overwhelming, the Gran Canaria skink; Chalcides sexlineatus/simonyi, Boettger's Canary wall gecko; Tarentola boettgeri. I'm not sure Mediterranean House Gecko; Hemidactylus turcicus is endemic?
The mammals are made up by The Osorio shrew; Crocidura osorio and the bats: Plecotus teneriffae and Savi's pipistrelle; Hypsugo savii.

Well, I have to wait to November the 26.

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