Total Area: 7 main islands covering 7,447 km²
Population Total (2009): 2,098,593
Ethnic Groups: 71% Canarian, 12.5% Spanish, 16.5% foreign (European, African, Latin American)
Population Density: 281/km²
Voltage: 220v, standard European plugs.
The Spanish territory of the Canary Islands is situated just 100km off the west coast of Africa and some 1800km due south from Madrid, on the same latitude as the Western Sahara and Florida. The 7 islands form part of a larger archipelago known as Macronesia, which also includes the Portuguese islands of Madeira & The Azores as well as the Cape Verde Islands of Senegal.
It is this geographical position that gives the Canary Islands its enviable, year round climate and a rich and varied culture, with influences from Europe, Africa and the Americas... so much more than the image of "bucket and spade" tourism.
The environmental importance of the Canaries has international recognition; the islands are home to 3 World Heritage sites, 3 protected Marine Reserves and 5 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, including the ENTIRE islands of La Palma, Lanzarote and El Hierro. This is great news for the film producer, as it means there are diverse range of pristine locations that "feel" remote and far away, but are actually easily accessible.
For the film & TV producer or photographer, there are many advantages to using the Canary Islands as a shooting location:
- Just 4 hours flying time from Northern Europe and always on the same time-zone as London.
- Politically stable with a modern infrastructure and numerous international airports and plenty of modern 4 & 5 star hotels.
- A reliable internal transportation system of ferries and island hopping flights.
- An established film & TV industry with an experienced & multilingual crew and modern equipment available.
- Often called "a continent in miniature", the islands offer up a diverse range of natural locations in one easily containable space; from deserts to rainforests and mountains to desolate beaches.
- A large variety of different architectural interiors and exteriors from modern cities to tiny mountain villages and chill out bars to colonial churches.