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Tourist taking a photo of the colourful balconies on Avenida Marítima in Santa Cruz de la Palma, La Palma

A cultural trip to the Canary Islands

Canary Islands

Many cultures have spent time on these islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, creating a distinctive identity born of hundreds of years of cultural mixing. Influences from different parts of the world, Africa, Europe, and the Americas have given rise to a rich culture that you can enjoy on every one of the eight islands.

Canary Island Culture

The first inhabitants of the islands, the indigenous peoples, created a culture that was expressed in many ways, through sculpture, ceramics, and other intangible cultural forms such as traditions and customs that have survived until today. Song, dance, and other more unusual elements such as Canarian wrestling and the silbo gomero, a unique whistling language used in the mountains. Cultural expressions that you can discover for yourself at the diverse festivals that are celebrated on all the islands. 


With a strong colonial flavour, the architecture of the islands shares more similarities with that of Latin America than it does with the buildings of the Iberian Peninsula. Even so, the islands do have a few examples of contemporary architecture, like the Alfredo Krause Auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and also some gems that are a perfect blend of architecture and nature, such as César Manrique’s Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote.

View of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium from the beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria


Thanks to the cultural melting pot that is the Canary Islands, here you’ll find examples of different artistic styles such as Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque. Furthermore the islands have produced great artists such as César Manrique, Néstor de la Torre, Manuel Millares and Óscar Domínguez. Currently you can admire some of the works by these artists at the Espacio de las Artes in Tenerife and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Palma. Come to the Canaries and discover the cultural mix of these open, creative islands.

Entrance to the César Manrique Foundation in Tahiche, Lanzarote
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