The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago and the most southern region of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometers west of Morocco. Eight main islands belong to the complex: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa as well as many smaller islands and islets. The Canary Islands have a population of 2,153,389 inhabitants and the total area of the archipelago is 7,493 km2.
The climate is tropical and desertic, moderated by the sea. There are a number of microclimates and the classifications range mainly from semi-arid to desert. However, the majority of the Canary Islands have a hot desert climate. There also exists a subtropical humid climate which is very influenced by the ocean in the middle of the islands of La Gomera, Tenerife and La Palma, where the laurisilva forests grow.
Important natural attractions, like the desert of Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park with Mount Teide in Tenerife make it a lovely holiday destination. It is the highest mountain in Spain, and the third tallest volcano on Earth on a volcanic ocean island. All the islands except La Gomera have shown volcanic activity in the last million years.
Underwater magmatism commenced during the Cretaceous, and reached the ocean's surface during the Miocene. The islands are considered as a distinct physiographic section of the Atlas Mountains province, which in turn is part of the larger African Alpine System division.
Four of Spain's thirteen national parks are located in the Canary Islands, more than any other autonomous community. Two of these (Garajonay National Park and Teide National Park) have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the other two (Caldera de Taburiente National Park and Timanfaya National Park) are part of Biosphere Reserves.
The Canary Islands offer numerous marvelous places to visit and give passengers, due to their warm winter climate (average 19-20 degrees), the chance to enjoy the great sailing conditions and top anchorage spots also in winter. Flora and fauna are impressive and landscapes show a lot of white sandy beaches but also black sandy beaches due to the volcanic soil of several islands.