The Canary Islands (also referred to as The Canaries) are a Spanish archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa, about 100 km (62 miles) West of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. They consist of seven volcanic islands stretching over 500 km. From West to East the islands are: El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. They cover
Its beaches, climate and natural attractions, especially Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park and Mount Teide in Tenerife (the 3rd tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination. More than 12 million visitors visit every year, mostly Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote
The volcanic origin of the islands creates dramatic scenery, with huge lava flows, intrusions, ash and pumice dominating the landscape. On beaches the sand is generally black, unless white sand has been imported from North Africa to satisfy the tourists. There are some observatories on the island. To move around on the islands you have to rent a car or take flights to get to the other islands. Between several islands there are ferries.