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Gran Canaria - Canaries - Spain

The Canaries lie in the Atlantic Ocean, south west of Spain and north west of Africa, directly in front of the coast of Morocco. Due to this geographical location, the islands always have been an important station for the navigation between Europe, Asia and America.These islands boast a fair, spring like climate year-round. Visitors flock to the islands' casinos, golf courses, tennis courts and natural wonders, including good beaches of white, gold and black sand. The Canaries today consist of seven islands divided, Four Main Islands Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Lanzarote and three smaller Islands which are not as popular La Palma, Gomera, Hierro.

The province of Las Palmas brings together the major island of Gran Canaria and the lesser ones of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife encompasses Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and Hierro. Exploring the Canaries you move from sub-tropical vegetation to volcanic semi-deserts, from verdant cliffs and gorges to sand dunes by the sea shore. Already Greeks and Romans reported on this archipelago of volcanic origins, and called it the Happy Islands, In 1496 the islands became part of the Spanish kingdom, and the ships of Christopher Columbus stopped here on their travel to discover the New World.

Wine was the main export of the Canaries until the grape blight of 1853; its place was taken by cochineal until aniline dyes came into general use. Today the leading exports are bananas, sugarcane, tomatoes, potatoes, and tobacco, which are grown where irrigation is possible. There is fishing on the open seas, and the Canaries, with their subtropical climate and fine beaches, have become a major tourist centre. An oil refinery and other large-scale industries are located at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.