The Islands and tiny Islets which make up the Canary archipelago are the tips of underwater volcanoes, claimed for the Spanish in the 14th Century.
The Canary Islands are now divided into two provinces; the western islands are mountainous, dominated by Tenerife’s Mount Teide whereas the eastern islands like Lanzorote are flat and boast beautiful and uncrowded beaches.
Tenerife offers the widest range of tourist attractions of any of the Canaries, with its spectacular volcanic scenery and distinctive black sands. There are plenty of watersports on offer and a vibrant nightlife. Lanzarote is an equally popular destination, yet the island has retained much of its older character, with its volcanic landscape greatly unaffected by tourism. Gran Canaria is the most visited of the Canary Islands and Las Palmas is the biggest city in the Canaries. The city offers a great beach and vibrant atmosphere, from the modern shops of the city centre to the Spanish quarter of Barrio Vegueta. Lying close to the Moroccan shore, Fuerteventura is the most sparsely populated of the Canary Islands. There is wonderful diving off the remote Barlovento coast, which is home to the island’s best subtropical marine life.