The Canary Islands – the Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago just off the northeast coast West African continent, located 100 km west of the border between Morocco and Western Sahara. The Canary Islands are a Spanish autonomous community and an outer zone of the European Union. The islands are (largest to smallest): Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. The Canary Islands are legally recognized as a national of Spain. Geographically it is part of the African continent.
The archipelago of beaches, climate, natural attractions and important, particularly Teide National Park and Mount Teide (the third largest volcano in the world), making it a major tourist destination, with over 12 million visitors a year, mainly in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. The islands have a subtropical climate with long hot summers and winters, moderately warm.  Because of its location above the temperature inversion layer, the islands are ideal for astronomical observations. For this reason, two professional observatories, the Teide Observatory in Tenerife and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory was on La Palma island, built on the islands.
The capital of the Autonomous Community is by the cities of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas province divided. Las Palmas is the largest city in the Canary Islands since 1768, except for a brief period in 1910. From 1833, the territorial division of the Kingdom of Spain and 1927 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the only capital of the Canary Islands until 1927, when a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands are divided as to present.The it remains the third largest city Canary Islands, La Laguna (World Heritage) in Tenerife.
During the time of the Spanish empire in the Canary Islands is the main reason for the Spanish galleons stopping on the way to America were from the East because of the favorable wind direction.
The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin Insula Canaria, meaning “Island of the Dogs”, a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, called King Juba II of Mauritania , Canary Island, because he is “very important, many of Annex dogs.”
Another hypothesis is that the dogs were called in fact a kind of monk seal (Canis marinus or “sea bear”, a Latin term for “seal”) was in danger of extinction and is no longer present in the islands Canary. The population density of seals was perhaps the characteristic that most struck the few ancient Romans who established contact with the islands of the sea have
Alternatively, it is said that the first inhabitants of the island, the Guanches used to worship dogs, and they mummified dogs in general treated as sacred animals. The ancient Greeks also knew people who live far west of the “dog head” principles, dogs are worshiped on the island. Some assume that the Canary Islands and the ancient Egyptian dog-worship cult of Anubis dog-headed god are closely related, but there is no explanation, which was first given.
Tenerife, with 865,070 inhabitants, is both the Canary Islands and Spain, the most populated island. Tenerife is the largest island of the archipelago. The island of Fuerteventura is the second largest of the archipelago and is located 100 km off the African coast. The islands form the Macaronesia ecoregion with the Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira and the wild. The archipelago consists of seven large and several smaller islands, which are all of volcanic origin. The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the highest mountain in Spain, and the third largest volcano in the world on a volcanic island in the ocean. All the islands except La Gomera have been active in the millions of years, four of them (Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro) have historical records of eruptions since European discovery. The islands rise out of Jurassic oceanic crust associated with the opening of the Atlantic. Underwater magmatism commenced during the Cretaceous period, and reached the ocean surface during the Miocene. The islands are considered a separate section of the province Atlas Mountains Physiographic, part of the larger African Alpine System division.
Depending on the location of the islands regarding the Northeast trade winds, the climate is mild and wet or very dry. Several native species are laurel forests.
Accordingly, each island in the Canary Islands tend to have different microclimates. These islands of El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera is located west of the islands have a climate that is influenced by the flow of humid Gulf. They are good, even at a low level and have large areas of vegetation of subtropical laurel forest. As you move towards the African coast to the east, will reduce the influence of the Gulf Stream, the islands and drier. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the islands that are closest to the mainland of Africa, are actually desert or semidesert. Regarding the climate in Tenerife is very interesting. The north of the island is under the influence of Atlantic winds and wet are well covered, while the south of the island around the tourist resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos is dry.
The island rises to 4000 meters and the height at which a relatively moist cool climate prosper, endemic pine forests of Pinus canariensis. Many of the species in the Canary Islands, as the Canary Island pine and the dragon tree, Dracaena draco are endemic, as Sabin Berthelot and Philip Barker Webb in their epic work, The Natural History Of Canary Islands (1835-1850) has found.
The islands are in alphabetical order:
El Hierro, the westernmost island, covers 268.71 km ², making it the smallest of the main islands, and the least populated with 10,753 inhabitants. The entire island was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2000. Valverde is the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Ferro is also known, was it ever be as the westernmost country in the world.
Fuerteventura, with an area of 1.660 km, is the second largest island of the archipelago, and the second most easterly. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It has a population of 100,929. As the oldest of the islands, it is one that is more eroded: the climax is the highlight of the Bramble, at an altitude of 807 m. The capital is Puerto del Rosario.
Gran Canaria has 845,676 inhabitants. The capital, Las Palmas (377,203 inhabitants), is the most populous city and from the State Capital with the Canary Islands Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Gran Canaria surface area is 1560 km ². In the center of the island lie the Roque Nublo (1813 m) and Pico de las Nieves (“Peak of Snow”) (1949 m). In the south of the island, the dunes of Maspalomas (Gran Canaria) are, is the tourist attraction.
La Gomera has an area of 369.76 square kilometers and is the second most populated island, with at least 22,622 inhabitants. Geologically, it is one of the oldest in the Archipelago. The island’s capital is San Sebastian de La Gomera. Garajonay National Park can be found here.
Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the archipelago and one of the oldest, and showed signs of recent volcanic activity. It has an area of 845.94 square kilometers and a population of 506 139 inhabitants, including the adjacent islands of the archipelago Chinijo. The capital is Arrecife, with 56,834 inhabitants.
The archipelago includes the islands of La Graciosa Chinijo, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. It has an area of 40.8 square kilometers and a population of 658 inhabitants, all of them in the island of La Graciosa. At 29 km ², La Graciosa is the smallest inhabited island of the Canaries, and the largest island of the archipelago Chinijo.
La Palma, with 86,528 inhabitants in an area of 708.32 square kilometers in its entirety a biosphere reserve. He shows no signs of recent volcanic activity, although the volcanic eruption in recorded Teneguía last in 1971. Furthermore, it is the second highest of the Canary Islands, with the Roque de los Muchachos (2423 m) the highest point. Santa Cruz de La Palma (known on the island simply as “La Palma”) is the capital.
Tenerife is an area of 2034 square kilometers, the largest island of the Canaries. In addition, 906,854 people in the most populated island of the archipelago and Spain. Two of the islands most important cities are located on: The capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna (World Heritage). San Cristobal de La Laguna, the second largest city of the island is home to the oldest university in the Canary Islands. Teide at 3718 meters the highest mountain in Spain and also a World Heritage Site.