The Canary Islands, or simply the Canaries, lie at the eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean about 100 km/60 miles west of southern Morocco. They’re a volcanic archipelago (still steaming in 2011) and although part of Spain, offer a distinct feel and culture; one of the European Union’s outermost regions.
The seven largest islands, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, read like a list of top European tourist destinations. Sometimes called “The Fortunate Islands” thanks to their subtropical climate, year-long sunshine and sandy beaches, the Canaries are a diver’s paradise and attract visitors from Europe and further afield.
The Canaries boast hundreds of dive featuring dramatic underwater landscapes and abundant, colourful marine life. They are bathed by the Gulf Stream, which keeps the water between 17-18° C/63-64° F in winter and 23°C/73°F in summer. The water is exceptionally clear and the region’s many dive shops have plenty of safe dive sites suitable for beginners, which make this a top spot to get your PADI all year round.