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 off the northwestern coast of Africa and about 1,350 km from Europe.
Gran Canaria is noted for its rich variety of microclimates. Generally speaking though, the average daytime high ranges from 20 °C in winter, to 26 °C in summer. Some cool nights occur in winter, but lows below 10 °C 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 by UNESCO.