World Travel Guides

Canary Islands - Introduction

Introduction to Canary Islands

Tiled seats and fountain, Plaza del 25 de Julio, Isla de la Tenerife

The Canaries are a seething mass of oiled flesh, and offer the worst of mass tourism: concreted shorelines, tacky apartment blocks, and bars where you can pretend you've never left home; but they also offer some of the best beaches within easy escape from a snowy European winter.

Full country name: Canary Islands
Area: 7,447 sq km
Population: 1.84 million
People: Spanish, North African, small Latin American and northern European communities
Language: Spanish; Castilian
Religion: Roman Catholic
Government: Spanish autonomous region
Head of Government: Prime Minister José María Aznar
GDP: US$219 million
GDP per capita: US$14,000
Annual Growth: 3.5%
Inflation: 4.3%
Major Industries: Tourism.
Major Trading Partners: France, Germany, Italy
Member of EU: yes

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