Geographic data: the Canary Islands consist of seven main islands and six islets. Their northernmost edge is situated 29º & 25´ N and their southernmost edge, 27º & 38´ N. Their maximum altitude is 3,718 meters (Peak of el Teide, on Tenerife).

Politic data:The Canary Islands are one of Spain’s Autonomous Communities and are fully integrated into the European Union as one of its outermost regions. The immigration and customs laws of the EU therefore apply in the Islands, with certain special features. The Canary Islands have their own Economic and Fiscal Regime, with advantages for companies established in the region. The Islands have an autonomous government and an autonomous parliament with wide-ranging legislative powers. On a further administrative level, there are seven Island Councils (Cabildos), and the Islands are divided into 87 municipalities.

Area: The total area is 7446 square kilometres, consisting of 1114 kilometres of coastline and 257 kilometres of beaches. El Hierro, the smallest island, has an area of 269 square kilometres, while Tenerife, at the opposite end of the scale, has 2034. Gran Canaria has an area of 1560 square kilometres, La Palma 708 and La Gomera 369. The area of Fuerteventura is 1660 square kilometres and that of Lanzarote is 846.

Demographic data: 1.995.833 inhabitants (2006), with an average population density of 268 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Currency: Euro.

Language: Spanish.

Annual average temperature: 22º Celsius / 71.6º Fahrenheit.

Timetables and holiday calendar: The Canary Islands follow the GMT time throughout the year, except between the months of April and October when it is GMT+1. The holidays for 2010 in the entire Autonomous Community are the following: 1st and 6th January, 1st and 2nd April, 1st and 31st May, 15th August, 12th October, 1st November and 6th, 8th and 25th December. Apart from these, each island has a holiday and each municipality can choose two more days.

Infrastructures: 8 airports and 41 ports including marinas and fishing ports.

Environmental data: The Canary Islands have four national parks, 141 protected natural spaces and four Biosphere Reserves. Altogether, there are 1,386 autochthonous species and 540 endemic species.

Tourist figures: In 2006, the number of incoming foreign tourists was 9,530,039. Accommodation facilities include 166,296 hotel bed places (in 575 establishments) and 228,603 non-hotel bed places (in 2,482 establishments). There are 21 golf courses, 9 conference centres and 6 gaming casinos.

Business hours: from 09:00 until 13:00 and from 16:00 until 20:00, although large shopping centres are open all day.



On the Canaries, the islands themselves are the greatest treasure. So close to each other and yet so different, they all boast the most incredible landscapes so the visitor can explore all the facets of an amazing and fanciful natural world.

Here you will find a unique rural setting where you will encounter volcanoes with magical landscapes created by lava, untamed woodlands, pinewoods, immense expanses of dunes, coastlines and mountainous areas, in spaces that are protected because of their rich bio-diversity and their numerous indigenous species which include dragon trees, junipers and viper’s bugloss.

Rural tourism on the islands is a unique experience. You can stay at houses that conserve all the flavour of days gone by or in small, friendly hotels with a family atmosphere; in the mountains or in picturesque villages where hospitality is a tradition; near the sea or in the silence of the countryside - it is up to you.

The gentle temperatures of the islands enable you to enjoy all the open-air leisure options 365 days a year: you can follow the footpaths on foot, on horseback or riding a camel, make a bicycle tour or go canyoning down the ravines that are brimming with vegetation; or explore the mysteries of the volcanic tubes, climb incredible walls of rock or dive in the crystal-clear waters and find yourself surrounded by rays and amberjacks.

From the air, the Canary Islands are just as spectacular. There is nothing better than to para-glide over the mountains and beaches in order to absorb all their beauty.

The Canary Islands are part of the region of Macaronesia, one of the most important in the world for their rich bio-diversity. Exclusive to this region is laurisilva, a virgin laurel woodland which once covered the entire Mediterranean basin and which has its last redoubt here.

The Canaries have 141 protected areas, four of which are are National Parks. There are four Biosphere Reserves and a total of 1,386 native plants, 546 of which are peculiar to these Islands.

The clarity of the sky and limited light contamination have led to the installation of two international astronomical observatories from which, among others, significant solar studies are carried out.

The Archipelago has hundreds of volcanoes and a rich variety of ecosystems and microclimates, which enable certain protected animals to survive such as the white-tailed and Bolle’s laurel pigeons, the Canarian lizard known as the tizón, the blue chaffinch and the osprey.
Protected Areas

The Canary Islands has the greatest number of protected natural areas of any region in Spain with a total of 146 natural areas protected in one form or another representing almost 45% of the islands surface. On the other hand, the Canary Islands is the fourth richest region of the world in endemic plant species, with about 600.

For more information please see: Natural Spaces Network of the Canary Islands. (only Spanish)


There must be a thousand ways to enjoy the sea and on the Canaries you will find each and every one of them. Blue, crystal-clear and full of life, the waters around the islands remain at a temperature of between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius throughout the year so that they are perfect at any time.
The islands provide you with the best possible conditions for sailing in any size of boat. The cooling trade winds moderate the temperature and at the same time make it possible to make exciting trips with intense channels of wind often reaching strengths of up to six on the Beaufort scale.

You will often sail accompanied by free-living whales and dolphins, an unforgettable spectacle of nature. The Canaries have some ideal spots that are well known throughout the world by amateurs and professionals alike of sports such as windsurfing or kite-surfing, with beaches with almost permanent wind and perfect waves where the most skillful and daring astonish the spectator with spectacular leaps. Surfing, bodyboarding, water-skiing and jet-skiing are other options.

Following the islands’ coastline, you will come across incredible landscapes rising out of the sea: volcanic bays with brilliant black volcanic sand, gigantic cliffs, mysterious rocks, peaceful beaches, endless expanses of dunes, grottos and natural swimming pools.
The underwater scenery of the islands open up an entire universe for lovers of diving. You will see striking and brightly-coloured plants and animal life, including rays, amberjacks and moray eels that are easily found in many parts of the Canaries.

Big-game fishing is another option for which the islands are especially well provided. The Atlantic, thanks to the Gulf Stream, known here as the Cold Canarian Current, is particularly rich in such highly-appreciated species as the blue marlin, specimens of which have been caught weighing over 800 kilos. In the modern yachting marinas, you can find superb berths or companies from whom you can easily hire a boat with or without crew.
But many people simply prefer the pleasure of getting a tan beside the sea on any of the island’s magnificent beaches. Leisure activities for all ages are also very varied in the main bathing areas, where you can easily hire pedalos, floating tricycles or take a parascending flight, so as to get a better view of the coast from the sea.


Enjoy the real taste of exquisite Canarian cooking, in which tradition and modernity go hand in hand to create delicious dishes.

Characterised by its simplicity and the freshness and quality of the produce of land and sea, the cuisine of the islands could surprise the palate with its imaginative specialities: fish such as the vieja or cherne; seafood such as limpets, winkles and shrimps; rabbit meat, which is especially tasty when prepared in salmorejo sauce, carne fiesta and lamb and goat’s kid casseroles are only a few mouth-watering examples.


Superb cheeses, a rich variety of different kinds of honey and traditional cake and dessert-making will astound you together with the quality of excellent wines from grapes grown in the rich volcanic soil and with a centuries-old tradition.

The variety of sports that can be practiced on the Canary Island´s is closely linked to the mildness of the island's climate. The absence of extreme temperature variations makes it possible to practice practically any type of outdoor sport during any time of the year. It is for this reason that the islands have become a winter training centre for many European sports clubs in recent years.

These clubs come to the islands for a few weeks, especially during the winter months, to train their elite players and athletes, in order to get them into shape for their big competitions. Furthermore, many important regional, national and international sports events are held in various parts of the island throughout the year.

The islands have a long tradition of spectator sports, such as soccer, basketball and motor rallies, in addition to autochthonous sports, such as Canarian wrestling, juego del palo (lit. pole game), and lateen sailing. It is said that sports is part and parcel of the Canarian character.

And for those who want to combine their vacations with sports activities, there are hotels that present specific sports activities or which have contracts with sports centres for certain services, including golf, tennis, paddling, sailing and windsurfing.

The more adventurous types are catered for by professional centres that are specialised in the latest and more risky sports, such as gliding, paragliding, solo rock climbing, hang gliding, the island being the ideal place for practising these sports, by virtue of the presence of the trade winds and the special mountainous features of the terrain.

The geographic situation of the Canary Islands and their charm as a tourist resort necessitates special requirements in terms of public safety. None of the other communities has similar conditions to these islands. Therefore, the Canary Islands could not `import´ an external security pattern capable of covering citizens’ needs and also the needs of millions of visitors. The Government of the Canary Islands has consequently turned to a unique public safety system, specially designed for these islands and not only for present needs but also capable of facing future challenges regarding the same.

Nowadays, this autonomous community is considered a pioneer at European level in the implementation of a Comprehensive Security Plan, the main objective being to turn the archipelago into a calm and safe place through the coordination of all services related to public safety.

Emergency Call: 1-1-2 (free of charge 24 hours service, English spoken)