The Canary Archipelago, or Fortunate Islands, as they are often called, owe their fame and fortune to their geographical location and climate. Of volcanic origin, the islands lie off the African coast and encompass such a variety of features that in the course of a day it is possible to pick bananas, throw snowballs, swim in the Atlantic and climb mountains. Tenerife is the largest of Canaries. The south features a desert with grotesque rock formations and chunks of cooled lava. Further north stretch miles of green fields of bananas, tomatoes and potatoes. Mountain slopes are dotted with beech, eucalyptus and pine trees. The coastline is as varied as the areas inland, offering black, grey and golden sand, cliffs, tame beaches and wild capes. A spectacular example of past volcanic activity is Canadas crater which rings Mount Teide – the main feature of the island. At 12,198 feet, the cone-shaped Teide is the highest Spanish summit and nearly always snow-capped. A cable car is available to the top.
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