The Canary Islands are a vast archipelago situated 100 km west of the southern Moroccan coastline. They are the eighth largest and most populous of Spain’s autonomous districts, covering an expansive 7,500 km2 and consisting of 1.5% of the total area of Spain. The main islands are El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Tenerife. In addition to these isles, the Canaries are home to a large number of smaller islets, such as Isla de Lobos and Roque del Oeste. Thanks to the island’s renowned natural beauty and easy-going atmosphere, the region is a haven for expats from a huge selection of nations. Of the island’s 2.1 million inhabitants, over 318,000 are estimated to be from overseas. There are numerous residents from mainland Spain and other autonomous Spanish territories, as well as large communities of Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and British expats. The religion of all of the Canary Islands is predominantly Roman Catholic.
Anyone relocating to the Canaries can look forward to enjoying bright sunshine almost all year round. The average temperatures remain consistently high throughout the seasons, rarely varying from 18°C (64.4°F) to 24°C (75.2°F). Due to the islands' close proximity to the coast of Africa and location just 4˚ from the famous tropic of cancer, the climate is subtropical. Despite this heat and sunshine, the diverse landscape includes incredible snow-peaked mountains. Each of the Canary Isles is unique with its own climate and scenery. La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the wettest and most humid. During the rainy season of November to February, these islands experience heavy precipitation and tropical rains. In contrast to this, the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are extremely dry and arid, and year-round bright sunshine is guaranteed.
All of the main Canary Islands have international airports, which are served by charter and discount airlines from nations around the world. The busiest airports are Tenerife North, Tenerife South and Aeropuerto Gran Canaria. Each of these three travel ports transfer over 10 million international passengers ever year. The countries that offer the most regular flights to the various islands of the Canaries are mainland Spain, Britain and Morocco. The Spanish ferry company Naviera Armas sails weekly from Mediterranean ports such as Madeira and El Aaiun in the Western Sahara. A one way ticket for a ferry trip from one of these ports costs around 46 EUR per person.