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The archipelago's beaches, climate and important natural attractions, especially Teide National Park and Mount Teide (the third largest volcano in the world), make it a major tourist destination, with over 12 million visitors per year, especially Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. The islands have a sub-tropical climate, with long hot days in summer and cooler days in winter.
During the Age of Dicovery, the Canaries were the main stopover for Spanish galleons on their way to America because of the favorable easterly winds.the Guanche kingdoms which existed in the islands unified themselves in 1520, with the Canary Islands only being annexed by Spain in 1868, and elevated to the status of semi-indepdendent state in 1917.