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Your hotel in Canary Islands

Canaries in general

The Canary Islands are situated beteen 100 to 500 kilometres west of Africa and about 1½ hours flying time south of the Iberian Peninsula. In the winter, from October to April, they are the nearest destination for European tourists to enjoy a sunshine and beach holiday.

Climate on the Canaries

People say the climate of the Canary Islands is the best in the world. They are often referred to as "the islands of eternal spring". The climate in the Canary Islands is determined by many factors. Their location on the Tropic of Cancer would be much too hot, especially in summer, if it weren"t for the consistently cool Canary Current, an offshoot of the Gulf Stream and the trade winds which keep out the hot air from the nearby Sahara desert. Temperatures in summer rarely exceed 28°C and in winter rarely drop below 22°C. Nightime temperatures are no more than 5°C cooler than those during the day.

Prolonged heat waves, which sometimes occur at the Mediterranean resorts, do not occur in the Canary Islands. However, when the trade winds stop for 2 or 3 days, hot air from the Sahara can come to the Canary Islands. This phenomenon is known as a Calima and can be particularly uncomfortable during the summer months, although it usually lasts only 3 days. The Sirocco is a stormy Calima and brings sand from the Sahara to the Canary Islands.

Maspalomas Lighthouse in Gran Canaria
Maspalomas Lighthouse in Gran Canaria

The Sirocco wind typically blows for 2 or 3 days and is responsible for the formation of the giant sandy beaches on the three eastern islands of the Canaries. Such beaches do not exist on the western islands.

The main wind direction is from north to south. In winter, the northern parts of the Canary Islands are more humid. The very high mountains transform clouds to rain. In the southern regions it is almost always dry, even in winter. The garden landscapes, are irrigated using water held in reservoirs, high in the mountains.

Volcanoes of the Canaries

Mount Teide in Tenerife
Mount Teide in Tenerife

The Canary Islands were formed by shifting tectonic plates and an underlying hot spot in the Earth"s crust. Geologically the islands are young. Fuerteventura arose approximately 22 million years ago, Lanzarote 15.5 million years ago, Gran Canaria 14.5 million years ago. Tenerife, La Gomera, the gorgeous La Palma and El Hierro are the youngest islands and were formed between 2 million and 1.2 million years ago. Currently, volcanic activity is not expected in the Canary Islands so tourists are free to enjoy the beautiful beaches, with the fantastic panoramic mountain backdrop.

Economy of the Canaries

Taburiente Volcano of La Palma
Taburiente Volcano of La Palma

The Canary Islands have an ideal location for tourism. They are the nearest destination from Europe which allow a winter beach holiday. The economic situation is very difficult. A little more than 2 million people inhabit the two main islands and five smaller islands. The distance between the islands is too great so they cannot be connected with bridges. Therefore, the market is very small. Due to the distance from the Spanish mainland, manufacturing of goods in the Canary Islands is not practical.

There is little agriculture because the ground is very rocky. The warm climate allows fruit and vegetables to be grown all year round, even when it is not possible in the Northern European countries.

Many tourists expect goods to be much cheaper than in northern Europe. This is not the case. Most goods are imported from mainland Spain, some 1,000 kilometres away. The people in the Canary Islands earn much less than those in Northern Europe. The EU and Spain subsidise costs a little and the islands have special taxation systems, such as 5% VAT, no tobacco tax and very low taxes on fuel. The price of other goods are same as in northern Europe.