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Canary Islands (in spanish Islas Canarias), are group of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwestern coast of Africa, facing Morocco. Among the main cities, we find Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The main islands of the group, in descending order of size, are Tenerife; Fuerteventura, the nearest to the African mainland; Grand Canary (Grán Canaria); Lanzarote; La Palma; Gomera; and Hierro.

The islands are of volcanic origin. Of the volcanic peaks, the highest is called Pico de Teide, or Pico de Tenerife (3,715 m/12,188 ft). The Canaries are famous for their scenery and mild, dry climate. Precipitation occurs mainly during the winter season. In areas below about 400 m (about 1310 ft) elevation, the vegetation is typically northern African that includes the date palm, dragon tree, and cactus, and also at an impressive level are laurels, holly, myrtle, eucalyptus, pine, and a variety of flowering plants.

Farming and fishing are the principal industries. The volcanic soil of the Canaries is extremely fertile although severe droughts are common. The islands have no rivers, artificial irrigation is therefore a necessity in most cultivable areas. Among important crops are bananas, citrus fruits, sugarcane, peaches, figs, wine grapes, grain, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. Manufactured products include textiles and fine embroideries. Tourism is also considered one of the main industry, and the islands are a popular winter-resort area.

The islands were probably known to the Phoenicians and Carthaginians. As described by the Roman scholar Pliny, large numbers of wild dogs (Latin canes), roamed the islands, which he therefore named Canaria. Arab mariners reached the group in the 12th century, and it was visited in 1334 by French navigators. Pope Clement VI awarded the islands to Castilla in 1344. The French mariner Jean de Bethéncourt began the conquest of the islands in 1402 and was made king of the Canaries in 1404 by the Castilian ruler Henry III. Claimed by Portugal, the islands were recognized as Spanish possessions by a treaty negotiated in 1479. Spanish conquest of the islands was completed by the late 1490s.

The Canary Islands' population is estimated at 1,950,000

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