Las Palmas, officially Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a city and capital of Gran Canaria island, in the Canary Islands, on the Atlantic Ocean.
It is the capital (jointly with Santa Cruz de Tenerife), the most populous city in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, and the ninth-largest city in Spain with a population of 383,308 in 2010. It is also the fifth-most populous urban area in Spain and (depending on sources) ninth- or tenth-most populous metropolitan area in Spain.
Las Palmas is located in the northeastern part of the island of Gran Canaria, about 150 km (93 mi) off the Moroccan coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Las Palmas experiences a hot desert climate, offset by the local cooler Canary Current, with warm temperatures throughout the year. It has an average annual temperature of 21.2 °C (70.2 °F). According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University in the U.S., Las Palmas enjoys “the best climate in the world”.
The city was founded in 1478, and considered the de facto (without legal recognition) capital of the Canary Islands until the seventeenth century. It is the home of the Canarian Ministry of Presidency (shared in a four-year term with Santa Cruz de Tenerife), as well as half of the ministries and boards of the Canarian government, and the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands.