Canary Islands | Spain’s farthest-flung territories.

Just like the bird they share their name with, the Canaries sing to tourists. More than 9 million people take their holidays on these Spanish islands every year. Tenerife takes the lion’s share of visitors, followed closely by Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. This paradisiac group of islands, which enjoys a wonderful climate with a constant mild temperature through all the year and splendid beaches of fine sand, consists of 7 larger islands (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro) and a few smaller ones (Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Lobos). Surprisingly, the landscape of each of the major islands is radically different from the others.In the early 15th century, the expedition of French explorers Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle, nobles of Henry III of Castile, sparked the Castilian conquest of the islands. In 1448, the lordship of Lanzarote Island was sold to Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, an act that was not accepted by either the Castilians or the natives. Despite the opposition of both parties, Pope Nicholas V declared the Canary Islands to be under Portuguese control – which ultimately caused the original crisis to swell into a revolt.Its beaches are its most outstanding attractions, and are perfect for relaxing in the sun or enjoying water sports such as windsurfing and scuba diving. In the interior you’ll find amazing landscapes which are ideal for hiking, cycle touring, climbing and even caving. Some of the most spectacular include the volcanic scenery of Lanzarote, the beaches of Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria with their sand dunes, or the green forests of La Palma and La Gomera. The Canary Islands also offer a range of cultural options to explore, including the monumental site at San Cristóbal de La Laguna, which has been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO, and the work of César Manrique in Lanzarote. If you’re going in February you’ll also be able to enjoy the spectacular Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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