Gran Canaria, an island with its own historic identity
Nov. 10, 2016, 12:56 p.m.
There are many legends about the creation of the Canary Islands, but its history is undeniable.
The true story of Canary Islands mingles with the amount of myths of ancient literature. Some legends even say that it was a magical place and its people came from a lost and unknown continent. It was then when they began to be identified by the Fortunate Islands. So many stories create some confusion among tourists about where their real origins come from. For all those who come to visit us at Dunas Hotels & Resorts and are curious about the origin of Gran Canaria, we recommend reading this brief summary of the history of the island.
The first historical references about Gran Canaria date back classical times. Its first inhabitants, known as Guanches or canarii, maintained close links with the North African area and the Berbers, who colonized the island in the middle of the first millennium B.C. However, the conquest of Gran Canaria was conducted by Europeans, under the leadership of the Catholic Monarchs. The resistance of the islanders made this an over five year’s venture. Finally, Pedro de Vera concluded the conquest which Juan Rejon had begun in 1483.
The conquest can be structured into three main phases: the first, the Aboriginal Period (B.C. - 1483). Although the exact year is unknown, many archaeologists argue that the first settlers of the islands came from North Africa and arrived in the first millennium B.C. The aborigines (Guanches) lived in a very primitive way, but the people of Gran Canaria were identified as those who greatly contributed to its culture. As proof of it we can still admire the pottery and their completely adapted cave-houses. The second, were the first European contacts (1341-1478). And third one, the Castellana conquest (1478-1483).
The latter is the most important of the three periods since it is when the island was conquered by Castilla that its present history began. For five long years and three prominent stages, the Crown tries to colonize Gran Canaria, finding, among other things, the resistance of the islanders. This is the main reason why the island took so long to be conquered. Pedro de Vera, who finally managed to conquer the island, needed reinforcements to achieve his goal.
Within the history of this island we can highlight, the colonial expansion of the British during the nineteenth century, who settled and developed their colonial strategy from the port of Gran Canaria; as well as the decline of the Spanish Empire in America, with the loss of its last colony; and finally, the administrative launch of the two provinces of the Canary Islands. The activity that the British established started to grow maritime tourism, and the rest followed up until nowadays’ tourism. As a result of this, the first economic activity of the island arose. Although wars prevented tourists from coming to the islands, in the fifties it was back and running, until it became the great economic engine of Gran Canaria.
Nowadays, it is not only the island of Gran Canaria, but all Islands of the archipelago that have tourism as their major industry. There are many different reasons why the islands are the perfect destination for many Europeans, i.e.: leisure, business, or just the excellent quality of life. Every year Gran Canaria welcomes thousands of tourists.
5 secret places in Gran Canaria
Amusement parks in Gran Canaria
What to see in 4 days in the Canary Islands
Which Canary island to visit in your vacation?
Cycling routes in Gran Canaria
Street Markets in South Gran Canaria
Cetaceans love the Canary Islands
The best of Gran Canaria for your holidays
Child Friendly Hotels in the Canary Islands
Top 5 landscapes in Gran Canaria
The 5 most beautiful beaches in Gran Canaria
Hiking in the Canary Islands (complete guide)
Tourism in Gran Canaria, the best guide to discover the island
5 best coves in Gran Canaria
The best tips to enjoy the Maspalomas Carnival 2019
Best Hotels in Southern Gran Canaria
Best All-Inclusive Hotels in the Canary Islands
Travelling to the Canary Islands in December? Indeed!
Best hotels in the Canary Islands
Best Family Hotels in Gran Canaria
What to see in San Bartolomé de Tirajana
Golf Courses in Gran Canaria to Play All Year Round
The best flea markets in Gran Canaria
Natural swimming pools in Gran Canaria
Ten curiosities of the Canary Islands
Where to skydive in Gran Canaria
Museums you must visit in Gran Canaria
Festivities in Gran Canaria
Best places to surf in Gran Canaria
Tourist routes in Gran Canaria
The best places to eat in Gran Canaria
The best beaches in the Canary Islands
What to see in the Canary Islands
What to do with children in Gran Canaria
Plans for a fun day with children in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Hiking Routes in the south of Gran Canaria
On May 30th we celebrate the Day of the Canary Islands
Gourmet Products of Gran Canaria’s Gastronomy
A brilliant day with the family at Playa del Inglés
Half day trip around Gran Canaria
A Kayak Route to discover the landscapes of Gran Canaria
Cetacean watching excursion in Gran Canaria
Easter Week in Gran Canaria
Route around the churches of Gran Canaria
Nautical activities in Gran Canaria
2018 Carnival in Gran Canaria
The best children-friendly beaches of Gran Canaria
The Benefits of a Holiday by the Sea
Christmas in the sun: #SunnyChristmas
Enjoy Gran Canaria’s unique autumn
The beaches of southern Gran Canaria
Those surprising secret corners of Arinaga, in Gran Canaria
Route GC-60 south of Gran Canaria
Enjoy our all-inclusive in the Canary Islands
Beaches in Gran Canaria for snorkelling
Organize your honeymoon on the Canary Islands
The best viewpoints of Gran Canaria
The Climate in Gran Canaria
The beaches of Gran Canaria
Plans for children in Gran Canaria
Travelling to Gran Canaria in Springtime
5 romantic plans in Gran Canaria
Why is Gran Canaria the perfect destination for your holidays?
2017 Gran Canaria’ Carnival
Gran Canaria, a perfect setting for movie shooting.
Municipalities of Gran Canaria
Essential Restaurants in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is the perfect place for beach and sea sports.
What do locals from Las Palmas do during their weekends?
Protect your skin from the sun in Gran Canaria
Caminos Reales in Gran Canaria
Drive around the island of Gran Canaria
Traveling to Gran Canaria in winter
Hiking trails in Gran Canaria
Get your luggage ready to come to Gran Canaria
Street Markets - in North and Center
The origins of tourism in Gran Canaria
Popular festivals of Gran Canaria
Touring around Gran Canaria
5 tips for traveling with children to Gran Canaria
Carnival 2016 on the island of Gran Canaria
3 Canarian cuisine dishes you must try when you visit Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria, the perfect springtime destination