Gran Canaria (originally meaning “Great [Island] of Dogs”) is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago, with a population of 838,397 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago. Located in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 kilometres (93 mi) off the northwestern coast of Africa and about 1,350 km (840 mi) from Europe.
Gran Canaria is noted for its rich variety of microclimates. Generally speaking though, the average daytime high ranges from 20 °C (68 °F) in winter, to 26 °C (79 °F) in summer. Some cool nights occur in winter, but lows below 10 °C (50 °F) are unknown near the coast.
This island is called a “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with long beaches and dunes of white sand, contrasting with green ravines and picturesque villages. A third of the island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve byUNESCO.
The capital city is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Canteras Beach lies in the heart of the city, it is a protected area and diving zone. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also known for its annual Carnaval.