Canary Islands

Area: 7477 km²
Population: 1.69 million
Capital: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (dual capitals)

The Canary Islands is one of Spain’s major tourist attractions.  The archipelago is located off the northwestern coast of Africa, in the Atlantic Ocean, and comprises seven large islands—Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro—and a number of islets, including La Graciosa, Alegranza and Lobos.  The region’s dual capitals are Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.  Although its latitude could lead one to think that it has a desert climate, the truth is very different.  Being in the midst of the Atlantic, it enjoys winds and currents that give it a very mild climate, with an average temperature of 20º C most of the year, with very few oscillations, except for in the mountainous areas, where it is cooler.  Rains vary from one area to another, although the annual average ranges from 300 mm (in the lowlands) to 500 mm (in the mountains).  All of this, together with an average of 300 days of sun annually, endow the Canary Islands with a climate considered one of the most in the world.

The coasts are generally bordered with long, sandy beaches, featuring reefs, capes, and deep bays, where scuba-diving is popular.  In some areas, such as the western and southern coasts of Gran Canaria islands, there are many steep cliffs.  The common characteristic of the Canary Islands is its volcanic terrain, with Teide Mountain being the highest peak in Spain, having an altitude of 3718 m.  Its impressive hotel infrastructure makes the Canary Islands one of the most important tourist destinations in Europe.


For more information:

Canary Islands tourism website