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The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
(/kəˈnɛəri ˈaɪləndz/; Spanish: Islas Canarias) are an archipelago and autonomous community of Spain
Spain
located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Morocco
Morocco
at the closest point. The Canaries are among the outermost regions (OMR) of the European Union
European Union
proper. It is also one of the eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality recognized as such by the Spanish Government.[3][4] The seven main islands are (from largest to smallest in area) Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The archipelago includes much smaller islands and islets: La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Oeste and Roque del Este. In ancient times, the island chain was often referred to as "the Fortunate Isles".[5] The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
are the most southerly region of Spain
Spain
and the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia
Macaronesia
region.[6] Historically, the Canary Islands has been considered a bridge between three continents; Africa, America
America
and Europe.[7] The archipelago's beaches, climate and important natural attractions, especially Maspalomas
Maspalomas
in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
and Teide National Park and Mount Teide
Teide
(a World Heritage Site) in Tenerife
Tenerife
(the third tallest volcano in the world measured from its base on the ocean floor), make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year, especially Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
and Lanzarote.[8][9] The islands have a subtropical climate, with long hot summers and moderately warm winters.[10] The precipitation levels and the level of maritime moderation vary depending on location and elevation. Green areas as well as desert exist on the archipelago. Due to their location above the temperature inversion layer, the high mountains of these islands are ideal for astronomical observation. For this reason, two professional observatories, Teide
Teide
Observatory on the island of Tenerife
Tenerife
and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory
on the island of La Palma, have been built on the islands. The capital of the Autonomous Community is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
and Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria,[11][12] which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Province of Las Palmas. Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in the 1910s.[13] Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain
Spain
and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
be shared, as it remains at present.[14][15] The third largest city of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
is San Cristóbal de La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
(a World Heritage Site) on Tenerife.[16][17][18] This city is also home to the Consejo Consultivo de Canarias, which is the supreme consultative body of the Canary Islands.[19] During the time of the Spanish Empire, the Canaries were the main stopover for Spanish galleons on their way to the Americas, which came south to catch the prevailing northeasterly trade winds.[20][21]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Physical geography

2.1 Climate 2.2 Geology 2.3 Natural symbols 2.4 National parks

3 Politics

3.1 Governance 3.2 Canarian nationalism 3.3 Political geography

4 History

4.1 Ancient and pre-colonial times 4.2 Castilian conquest 4.3 After the conquest 4.4 18th to 19th century 4.5 Romantic period and scientific expeditions 4.6 Early 20th century 4.7 Franco regime 4.8 Self-governance

5 Demographics

5.1 Population of the individual islands 5.2 Religion

5.2.1 Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church 5.2.2 Other religions 5.2.3 Statistics

5.3 Population genetics

6 Islands

6.1 El Hierro 6.2 Fuerteventura 6.3 Gran Canaria 6.4 La Gomera 6.5 Lanzarote

6.5.1 Chinijo Archipelago

6.6 La Palma 6.7 Tenerife

7 Data 8 Economy

8.1 Tourism statistics

9 Transport

9.1 Rail transport 9.2 Airports 9.3 Ports

10 Health 11 Wildlife

11.1 Prehistoric fauna 11.2 Terrestrial wildlife 11.3 Marine life 11.4 Native flora gallery

12 Sports

12.1 Notable athletes

13 See also

13.1 History 13.2 Geography 13.3 Culture

14 Carnival 15 Notes 16 References 17 Further reading 18 External links

Etymology[edit] The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning "Islands of the Dogs", a name that was applied only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II
Juba II
named the island Canaria because it contained "vast multitudes of dogs of very large size".[22] Another speculation is that the so-called dogs were actually a species of monk seal (canis marinus or "sea dog" was a Latin term for "seal"[23]), critically endangered and no longer present in the Canary Islands.[24] The dense population of seals may have been the characteristic that most struck the few ancient Romans who established contact with these islands by sea. Alternatively, it is said that the original inhabitants of the island, Guanches, used to worship dogs, mummified them and treated dogs generally as holy animals.[25] The ancient Greeks
Greeks
also knew about a people, living far to the west, who are the "dog-headed ones", who worshipped dogs on an island.[25] Some hypothesize that the Canary Islands dog-worship and the ancient Egyptian cult of the dog-headed god, Anubis
Anubis
are closely connected[26] but there is no explanation given as to which one was first. Other theories speculate that the name comes from the Nukkari
Nukkari
Berber tribe living in the Moroccan Atlas, named in Roman sources as Canarii, though Pliny again mentions the relation of this term with dogs.[citation needed] The connection to dogs is retained in their depiction on the islands' coat-of-arms (shown above). It is considered that the aborigines of Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
called themselves "Canarii".[citation needed] It is possible that after being conquered, this name was used in plural in Spanish, i.e., as to refer to all of the islands as the Canarii-as. What is certain is that the name of the islands does not derive from the canary bird; rather, the birds are named after the islands. Physical geography[edit]

Map of the Canary Islands

Hacha Grande, a mountain in the south of Lanzarote, viewed from the road to the Playa de Papagayo.

Panoramic view of Gran Canaria, with Roque Nublo
Roque Nublo
at the left and Roque Bentayga at the center

Tenerife
Tenerife
is the largest and most populous island of the archipelago. Gran Canaria, with 865,070 inhabitants, is both the Canary Islands' second most populous island, and the third most populous one in Spain after Majorca. The island of Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
is the second largest in the archipelago and located 100 km (62 mi) from the African coast. The islands form the Macaronesia
Macaronesia
ecoregion with the Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
is the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia
Macaronesia
region.[6] The archipelago consists of seven large and several smaller islands, all of which are volcanic in origin.[27] According to the position of the islands with respect to the north-east trade winds, the climate can be mild and wet or very dry. Several native species form laurisilva forests. As a consequence, the individual islands in the Canary archipelago tend to have distinct microclimates. Those islands such as El Hierro, La Palma
La Palma
and La Gomera
La Gomera
lying to the west of the archipelago have a climate which is influenced by the moist Gulf Stream. They are well vegetated even at low levels and have extensive tracts of sub-tropical laurisilva forest. As one travels east toward the African coast, the influence of the gulf stream diminishes, and the islands become increasingly arid. Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
and Lanzarote
Lanzarote
the islands which are closest to the African mainland are effectively desert or semi desert. Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
is known as a "continent in miniature" for its diverse landscapes like Maspalomas
Maspalomas
and Roque Nublo. In terms of its climate Tenerife
Tenerife
is particularly interesting. The north of the island lies under the influence of the moist Atlantic winds and is well vegetated, while the south of the island around the tourist resorts of Playa de las Americas
Americas
and Los Cristianos
Los Cristianos
is arid. The island rises to almost 4,000 m (13,000 ft) above sea level, and at altitude, in the cool relatively wet climate, forests of the endemic pine Pinus canariensis thrive. Many of the plant species in the Canary Islands, like the Canary Island pine and the dragon tree, Dracaena draco
Dracaena draco
are endemic, as noted by Sabin Berthelot
Sabin Berthelot
and Philip Barker Webb
Philip Barker Webb
in their epic work, L'Histoire Naturelle des Îles Canaries (1835–50). Climate[edit] The climate is tropical and desertic, moderated by the sea and in summer by the trade winds. There are a number of microclimates and the classifications range mainly from semi-arid to desert. According to the Köppen climate classification,[28] the majority of the Canary Islands have a hot desert climate represented as BWh. There also exists a subtropical humid climate which is very influenced by the ocean in the middle of the islands of La Gomera, Tenerife
Tenerife
and La Palma; where the laurisilva forests grow.

Climate data for Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Airport 24m (1981–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 20.8 (69.4) 21.2 (70.2) 22.3 (72.1) 22.6 (72.7) 23.6 (74.5) 25.3 (77.5) 26.9 (80.4) 27.5 (81.5) 27.2 (81) 26.2 (79.2) 24.2 (75.6) 22.2 (72) 24.2 (75.6)

Daily mean °C (°F) 18.1 (64.6) 18.4 (65.1) 19.3 (66.7) 19.5 (67.1) 20.5 (68.9) 22.2 (72) 23.8 (74.8) 24.6 (76.3) 24.3 (75.7) 23.1 (73.6) 21.2 (70.2) 19.3 (66.7) 21.2 (70.2)

Average low °C (°F) 15.3 (59.5) 15.6 (60.1) 16.2 (61.2) 16.3 (61.3) 17.3 (63.1) 19.2 (66.6) 20.8 (69.4) 21.6 (70.9) 21.4 (70.5) 20.1 (68.2) 18.1 (64.6) 16.5 (61.7) 18.2 (64.8)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 25 (0.98) 24 (0.94) 13 (0.51) 6 (0.24) 1 (0.04) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 9 (0.35) 16 (0.63) 22 (0.87) 31 (1.22) 151 (5.94)

Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 5 22

Mean monthly sunshine hours 184 191 229 228 272 284 308 300 241 220 185 179 2,821

Source: World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization
(UN),[29] Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[30]

Climate data for Santa Cruz 35m (1981–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 21.0 (69.8) 21.2 (70.2) 22.1 (71.8) 22.7 (72.9) 24.1 (75.4) 26.2 (79.2) 28.7 (83.7) 29.0 (84.2) 28.1 (82.6) 26.3 (79.3) 24.1 (75.4) 22.1 (71.8) 24.6 (76.3)

Daily mean °C (°F) 18.2 (64.8) 18.3 (64.9) 19.0 (66.2) 19.7 (67.5) 21.0 (69.8) 22.9 (73.2) 25.0 (77) 25.5 (77.9) 24.9 (76.8) 23.4 (74.1) 21.3 (70.3) 19.4 (66.9) 21.5 (70.7)

Average low °C (°F) 15.4 (59.7) 15.3 (59.5) 15.9 (60.6) 16.5 (61.7) 17.8 (64) 19.5 (67.1) 21.2 (70.2) 21.9 (71.4) 21.7 (71.1) 20.3 (68.5) 18.4 (65.1) 16.6 (61.9) 18.4 (65.1)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 31.5 (1.24) 35.4 (1.394) 37.8 (1.488) 11.6 (0.457) 3.6 (0.142) 0.9 (0.035) 0.1 (0.004) 2.0 (0.079) 6.8 (0.268) 18.7 (0.736) 34.1 (1.343) 43.2 (1.701) 225.7 (8.887)

Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.0 7.2 6.9 5.5 2.9 0.9 0.2 0.8 2.7 6.1 8.8 9.4 59.4

Mean monthly sunshine hours 178 186 221 237 282 306 337 319 253 222 178 168 2,887

Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[31]

Climate data for Tenerife
Tenerife
South Airport 64m (1981–2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 21.7 (71.1) 22.0 (71.6) 23.1 (73.6) 23.1 (73.6) 23.9 (75) 25.4 (77.7) 27.7 (81.9) 28.4 (83.1) 27.9 (82.2) 26.8 (80.2) 24.8 (76.6) 22.8 (73) 24.8 (76.6)

Daily mean °C (°F) 18.4 (65.1) 18.5 (65.3) 19.3 (66.7) 19.5 (67.1) 20.4 (68.7) 22.1 (71.8) 24.0 (75.2) 24.7 (76.5) 24.5 (76.1) 23.4 (74.1) 21.5 (70.7) 19.7 (67.5) 21.4 (70.5)

Average low °C (°F) 15.2 (59.4) 15.0 (59) 15.6 (60.1) 16.0 (60.8) 17.0 (62.6) 18.8 (65.8) 20.2 (68.4) 21.1 (70) 21.1 (70) 20.0 (68) 18.2 (64.8) 16.5 (61.7) 17.9 (64.2)

Average rainfall mm (inches) 16.6 (0.654) 19.9 (0.783) 14.7 (0.579) 7.4 (0.291) 1.1 (0.043) 0.1 (0.004) 0.1 (0.004) 1.3 (0.051) 3.6 (0.142) 11.9 (0.469) 26.3 (1.035) 30.3 (1.193) 133.3 (5.248)

Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 1.8 2.2 1.9 1.1 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.6 1.6 1.9 3.5 15.1

Mean monthly sunshine hours 193 195 226 219 246 259 295 277 213 214 193 195 2,725

Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[30]

Geology[edit] The seven major islands, one minor island, and several small islets were originally volcanic islands, formed by the Canary hotspot. The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
is the only place in Spain
Spain
where volcanic eruptions have been recorded during the Modern Era, with some volcanoes still active (El Hierro, 2011).[32] Volcanic islands such as those in the Canary chain often have steep ocean cliffs caused by catastrophic debris avalanches and landslides.[33] The Teide
Teide
volcano on Tenerife
Tenerife
is the highest mountain in Spain, and the third tallest volcano on Earth on a volcanic ocean island. All the islands except La Gomera
La Gomera
have been active in the last million years; four of them (Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma
La Palma
and El Hierro) have historical records of eruptions since European discovery. The islands rise from Jurassic oceanic crust associated with the opening of the Atlantic. Underwater magmatism commenced during the Cretaceous, and reached the ocean's surface during the Miocene. The islands are considered as a distinct physiographic section of the Atlas Mountains province, which in turn is part of the larger African Alpine System division. In the summer of 2011 a series of low-magnitude earthquakes occurred beneath El Hierro. These had a linear trend of northeast-southwest. In October a submarine eruption occurred about 2 km (1 1⁄4 mi) south of Restinga. This eruption produced gases and pumice, but no explosive activity was reported. The following table shows the highest mountains in each of the islands:

Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, is also one of the most visited National Parks in the world.[34][35][36][37]

Mountain Elevation Island

m ft

Teide 3,718 12,198 Tenerife

Roque de los Muchachos 2,426 7,959 La Palma

Pico de las Nieves 1,949 6,394 Gran Canaria

Pico de Malpaso 1,501 4,925 El Hierro

Garajonay 1,487 4,879 La Gomera

Pico de la Zarza 812 2,664 Fuerteventura

Peñas del Chache 670 2,200 Lanzarote

Aguja Grande 266 873 La Graciosa

Caldera de Alegranza 289 948 Alegranza

Caldera de Lobos 126 413 Lobos

La Mariana 256 840 Montaña Clara

Natural symbols[edit] Main article: List of animal and plant symbols of the Canary Islands The official natural symbols associated with Canary Islands
Canary Islands
are the bird Serinus canaria
Serinus canaria
(canary) and the Phoenix canariensis
Phoenix canariensis
palm.[38]

Serinus canaria

Phoenix canariensis

National parks[edit]

Caldera de Taburiente
Caldera de Taburiente
National Park
National Park
(La Palma).

Four of Spain's thirteen national parks are located in the Canary Islands, more than any other autonomous community. Teide
Teide
National Park is the most visited in Spain, and the oldest and largest within the Canary Islands. The parks are:

Park Island

Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente La Palma

Garajonay
Garajonay
National Park La Gomera

Teide
Teide
National Park Tenerife

Timanfaya National Park Lanzarote

The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
have four national parks, of which two have been declared World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
by UNESCO, and the other two declared a World Biosphere Reserve, these national parks are:[39]

Caldera de Taburiente
Caldera de Taburiente
National Park
National Park
(La Palma): Created in 1954, it was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2002. It covers an area of 46.9 km2 (18.1 sq mi). Garajonay
Garajonay
National Park
National Park
(La Gomera): Created in 1981, it was declared in 1986 a World Heritage Site. Its area is 3986 hectares at the core and some areas north of the island. Timanfaya National Park
National Park
(Lanzarote): Created in 1974, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993, together with the whole island. Occupies an area of 51.07 km2 (19.72 sq mi), is located in the southwest of the island. Teide National Park (Tenerife): Created in 1954, it was declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
in 2007. It covers an area of 18,990 hectares, is the oldest and largest national park in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
and one of the oldest in Spain. The Teide
Teide
in 2010 became the most visited national park in Europe
Europe
and second worldwide.[34][35] Located in the geographic center of the island is the most visited National Park
National Park
in Spain. The highlight is the Teide
Teide
at 3,718 meters altitude, is the highest elevation of the country and the third largest volcano on Earth from its base. Teide National Park was declared in 2007 as one of the 12 Treasures of Spain.

Politics[edit] Governance[edit] The islands have 13 seats in the Spanish Senate. Of these, 11 seats are directly elected, 3 for Gran Canaria, 3 for Tenerife, 1 for each other island; 2 seats are indirectly elected by the regional Autonomous Government. The local government is presided over by Fernando Clavijo, the current President of the Canary Islands.[40] Canarian nationalism[edit] Main article: Canarian nationalism There are some pro-independence political parties, like the National Congress of the Canaries (CNC) and the Popular Front of the Canary Islands, but these parties are non-violent, and their popular support is almost insignificant, with no presence in either the autonomous parliament or the cabildos insulares. According to "Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas" (Sociological Research Center)[citation needed] in 2010, 43.5% of the population of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
feels more Canarian than Spanish (37.6%), of which 7.6% only Canarian, compared to 5.4% that feels more Spanish than Canarian (2.4%) or only Spanish (3%). The most popular choice was of those who feel equally Spanish and Canarian, with 49.9%. With these data, one of the Canary recorded levels of identification with higher autonomy from Spain[clarification needed]. Political geography[edit]

Municipalities in the Las Palmas
Las Palmas
Province

Municipalities in the Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Province

Maps of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
drawn by William Dampier
William Dampier
during his voyage to New Holland in 1699.

The Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
consists of two provinces, Las Palmas
Las Palmas
and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, whose capitals (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
and Santa Cruz de Tenerife) are capitals of the autonomous community. Each of the seven major islands is ruled by an island council named Cabildo Insular. The international boundary of the Canaries is the subject of dispute between Spain
Spain
and Morocco. Morocco's official position is that international laws regarding territorial limits do not authorise Spain to claim seabed boundaries based on the territory of the Canaries, since the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
enjoy a large degree of autonomy. In fact, the islands do not enjoy any special degree of autonomy as each one of the Spanish regions is considered an autonomous community. Under the Law of the Sea, the only islands not granted territorial waters or an Exclusive Economic Zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
(EEZ) are those that are not fit for human habitation or do not have an economic life of their own, which is not the case of the Canary Islands.[citation needed] The boundary determines the ownership of seabed oil deposits and other ocean resources. Morocco
Morocco
and Spain
Spain
have been unable to agree on a compromise regarding the territorial boundary, since neither nation wants to cede its claimed right to the vast resources whose ownership depends upon the boundary. In 2002, for example, Morocco
Morocco
rejected a unilateral Spanish proposal.[41] History[edit] Ancient and pre-colonial times[edit] Main article: Canary Islands
Canary Islands
in pre-colonial times

Guanche mummy of a woman (830 AD). Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Before the arrival of humans, the Canaries were inhabited by prehistoric animals; for example, the giant lizard (Gallotia goliath) and the Tenerife
Tenerife
and Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
giant rats.[42] Also the giant prehistoric tortoises; Geochelone burchardi
Geochelone burchardi
and Geochelone vulcanica. The islands may have been visited by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Carthaginians. King Juba II, Caesar Augustus's Numidian protégé, is credited with discovering the islands for the Western world. According to Pliny the Elder, Juba found the islands uninhabited, but found "a small temple of stone" and "some traces of buildings".[43] Juba dispatched a naval contingent to re-open the dye production facility at Mogador
Mogador
in what is now western Morocco
Morocco
in the early first century AD.[44] That same naval force was subsequently sent on an exploration of the Canary Islands, using Mogador
Mogador
as their mission base.[citation needed] The Romans named the individual islands Ninguaria or Nivaria (Tenerife), Canaria (Gran Canaria), Pluvialia or Invale (Lanzarote), Ombrion (La Palma), Planasia (Fuerteventura), Iunonia or Junonia (El Hierro) and Capraria (La Gomera). When the Europeans began to explore the islands in the late Middle Ages, they encountered several indigenous peoples living at a Neolithic
Neolithic
level of technology. Although the prehistory of the settlement of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
is still unclear, linguistic and genetic analyses seem to indicate that at least some of these inhabitants shared a common origin with the Berbers
Berbers
of Tamazgha.[45] The pre-colonial inhabitants came to be known collectively as the Guanches, although Guanches
Guanches
had been the name for only the indigenous inhabitants of Tenerife.[46] From the 14th century onward, numerous visits were made by sailors from Majorca, Portugal
Portugal
and Genoa. Lancelotto Malocello
Lancelotto Malocello
settled on Lanzarote
Lanzarote
in 1312. The Majorcans established a mission with a bishop in the islands that lasted from 1350 to 1400.

Alonso Fernández de Lugo
Alonso Fernández de Lugo
presenting the captured native Guanche kings of Tenerife
Tenerife
to the Catholic Monarchs

Castilian conquest[edit] Main articles: Conquest of the Canary Islands
Conquest of the Canary Islands
and Kingdom of the Canary Islands In 1402, the Castilian conquest of the islands began, with the expedition of French explorers Jean de Béthencourt
Jean de Béthencourt
and Gadifer de la Salle, nobles and vassals of Henry III of Castile, to Lanzarote. From there, they conquered Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
(1405) and El Hierro. Béthencourt received the title King of the Canary Islands, but still recognised King Henry III as his overlord.

Casa de Colón ( Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria), which Christopher Columbus visited during his first trip.

Béthencourt also established a base on the island of La Gomera, but it would be many years before the island was truly conquered. The natives of La Gomera, and of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and La Palma, resisted the Castilian invaders for almost a century. In 1448 Maciot de Béthencourt sold the lordship of Lanzarote
Lanzarote
to Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator, an action that was not accepted by the natives nor by the Castilians. Despite Pope Nicholas V ruling that the Canary Islands were under Portuguese control, a crisis swelled to a revolt which lasted until 1459 with the final expulsion of the Portuguese. In 1479, Portugal
Portugal
and Castile signed the Treaty of Alcáçovas. The treaty settled disputes between Castile and Portugal
Portugal
over the control of the Atlantic, in which Castilian control of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
was recognised but which also confirmed Portuguese possession of the Azores, Madeira, and the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
islands, and gave them rights to lands discovered and to be discovered, and any other island which might be found and conquered from the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
beyond toward Guinea. The Castilians continued to dominate the islands, but due to the topography and the resistance of the native Guanches, they did not achieve complete control until 1495, when Tenerife
Tenerife
and La Palma
La Palma
were finally subdued by Alonso Fernández de Lugo. After that, the Canaries were incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile. After the conquest[edit]

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
of the Castilian and Spanish Realm of Canary Islands

After the conquest, the Castilians imposed a new economic model, based on single-crop cultivation: first sugarcane; then wine, an important item of trade with England. In this era, the first institutions of colonial government were founded. Gran Canaria, a colony of the Crown of Castile since 6 March 1480 (from 1556, of Spain), and Tenerife, a Spanish colony since 1495, each had its own governor. The cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
and Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria became a stopping point for the Spanish conquerors, traders, and missionaries on their way to the New World. This trade route brought great prosperity to some of the social sectors of the islands. The islands became quite wealthy and soon were attracting merchants and adventurers from all over Europe. Magnificent palaces and churches were built on La Palma
La Palma
during this busy, prosperous period. The Church of El Salvador survives as one of the island's finest examples of the architecture of the 16th century. The Canaries' wealth invited attacks by pirates and privateers. Ottoman Turkish admiral and privateer Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis
ventured into the Canaries in 1501, while Murat Reis the Elder
Murat Reis the Elder
captured Lanzarote
Lanzarote
in 1585. The most severe attack took place in 1599, during the Dutch Revolt. A Dutch fleet of 74 ships and 12,000 men, commanded by Pieter van der Does, attacked the capital Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
(the city had 3,500 of Gran Canaria's 8,545 inhabitants). The Dutch attacked the Castillo de la Luz, which guarded the harbor. The Canarians evacuated civilians from the city, and the Castillo surrendered (but not the city). The Dutch moved inland, but Canarian cavalry drove them back to Tamaraceite, near the city. The Dutch then laid siege to the city, demanding the surrender of all its wealth. They received 12 sheep and 3 calves. Furious, the Dutch sent 4,000 soldiers to attack the Council of the Canaries, who were sheltering in the village of Santa Brígida. 300 Canarian soldiers ambushed the Dutch in the village of Monte Lentiscal, killing 150 and forcing the rest to retreat. The Dutch concentrated on Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria, attempting to burn it down. The Dutch pillaged Maspalomas, on the southern coast of Gran Canaria, San Sebastián on La Gomera, and Santa Cruz on La Palma, but eventually gave up the siege of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
and withdrew. In 1618 the Barbary pirates
Barbary pirates
attacked Lanzarote
Lanzarote
and La Gomera
La Gomera
taking 1000 captives to be sold as slaves.[47] Another noteworthy attack occurred in 1797, when Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
was attacked by a British fleet under Horatio Nelson on 25 July. The British were repulsed, losing almost 400 men. It was during this battle that Nelson lost his right arm. 18th to 19th century[edit]

Amaro Pargo
Amaro Pargo
(1678-1741), corsair and merchant from Tenerife
Tenerife
who participated in the Spanish treasure fleet
Spanish treasure fleet
(the Spanish-American trade route).

The sugar-based economy of the islands faced stiff competition from Spain's American colonies. Low prices in the sugar market in the 19th century caused severe recessions on the islands. A new cash crop, cochineal (cochinilla), came into cultivation during this time, saving the islands' economy. During this time the Canarian-American trade was developed, in which Canarian products such as cochineal, sugarcane and rum are sold in American ports, such as Veracruz, Campeche, La Guaira and Havana
Havana
among others.[48] By the end of the 18th century, Canary Islanders
Canary Islanders
had already emigrated to Spanish American territories, such as Havana, Veracruz, Santo Domingo,[49] San Antonio, Texas[50] and St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.[51][52] These economic difficulties spurred mass emigration, primarily to the Americas, during the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Between 1840 and 1890 as many as 40,000 Canary Islanders emigrated to Venezuela. Also, thousands of Canarians moved to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
where the Spanish monarchy felt that Canarians would adapt to island life better than other immigrants from the mainland of Spain. Deeply entrenched traditions, such as the Mascaras Festival in the town of Hatillo, Puerto Rico, are an example of Canarian culture still preserved in Puerto Rico. Similarly, many thousands of Canarians emigrated to the shores of Cuba.[53] During the Spanish–American War of 1898, the Spanish fortified the islands against a possible American attack, but no such event took place. Romantic period and scientific expeditions[edit]

Coast El Golfo, El Hierro

Sirera and Renn (2004)[54] distinguish two different types of expeditions, or voyages, during the period 1770–1830, which they term "the Romantic period": First are "expeditions financed by the States, closely related with the official scientific Institutions. characterised by having strict scientific objectives (and inspired by) the spirit of Illustration and progress". In this type of expedition, Sirera and Renn include the following travellers:

J. Edens, whose 1715 ascent and observations of Mt. Teide
Teide
influenced many subsequent expeditions. Louis Feuillée (1724), who was sent to measure the meridian of El Hierro and to map the islands. Jean-Charles de Borda
Jean-Charles de Borda
(1771, 1776) who more accurately measured the longitudes of the islands and the height of Mount Teide the Baudin-Ledru expedition (1796) which aimed to recover a valuable collection of natural history objects.

The second type of expedition identified by Sirera and Renn is one that took place starting from more or less private initiatives. Among these, the key exponents were the following:

Alexander von Humboldt
Alexander von Humboldt
(1799) Buch and Smith (1815) Broussonet Webb Sabin Berthelot.

Sirera and Renn identify the period 1770–1830 as one in which "In a panorama dominated until that moment by France and England enters with strength and brio Germany
Germany
of the Romantic period whose presence in the islands will increase". Early 20th century[edit]

The port of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
in 1912.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the British introduced a new cash-crop, the banana, the export of which was controlled by companies such as Fyffes. The rivalry between the elites of the cities of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
for the capital of the islands led to the division of the archipelago into two provinces in 1927. This has not laid to rest the rivalry between the two cities, which continues to this day. During the time of the Second Spanish Republic, Marxist
Marxist
and anarchist workers' movements began to develop, led by figures such as Jose Miguel Perez and Guillermo Ascanio. However, outside of a few municipalities, these organisations were a minority and fell easily to Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War. Franco regime[edit] In 1936, Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
was appointed General Commandant of the Canaries. He joined the military revolt of 17 July which began the Spanish Civil War. Franco quickly took control of the archipelago, except for a few points of resistance on La Palma
La Palma
and in the town of Vallehermoso, on La Gomera. Though there was never a war in the islands, the post-war suppression of political dissent on the Canaries was most severe.[55] During the Second World War, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
prepared plans for the British seizure of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
as a naval base, in the event of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
being invaded from the Spanish mainland. Opposition to Franco's regime did not begin to organise until the late 1950s, which experienced an upheaval of parties such as the Communist Party of Spain
Spain
and the formation of various nationalist, leftist parties. Self-governance[edit]

Auditorio de Tenerife
Tenerife
by Santiago Calatrava, and an icon of contemporary architecture in the Canary Islands, (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)

Map of the European Union
European Union
in the world with overseas countries and territories and outermost regions

After the death of Franco, there was a pro-independence armed movement based in Algeria, the Movement for the Independence and Self-determination of the Canaries Archipelago
Archipelago
(MAIAC). In 1968, the Organisation of African Unity
Organisation of African Unity
recognized the MAIAC as a legitimate African independence movement, and declared the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
as an African territory still under foreign rule.[56] After the establishment of a democratic constitutional monarchy in Spain, autonomy was granted to the Canaries via a law passed in 1982. In 1983, the first autonomous elections were held. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) won. In the 2007 elections, the PSOE gained a plurality of seats, but the nationalist Canarian Coalition and the conservative Partido Popular (PP) formed a ruling coalition government.[57] Demographics[edit] Main articles: Canary Islanders
Canary Islanders
and Spanish immigration to Cuba

Population history[58]

Year Pop. ±% p.a.

1768 155,763 —    

1787 168,928 +0.43%

1797 173,865 +0.29%

1842 241,266 +0.73%

1860 237,036 −0.10%

1887 301,983 +0.90%

1900 364,408 +1.46%

1920 488,483 +1.48%

1940 687,937 +1.73%

1960 966,177 +1.71%

1981 1,367,646 +1.67%

1990 1,589,403 +1.68%

2000 1,716,276 +0.77%

2010 2,118,519 +2.13%

2011 (Census)[59] 2,082,655 −1.69%

2014[60] 2,104,815 +0.35%

2015[61] 2,128,647 +1.13%

2017 2,154,905 +0.61%

The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
have a population of 2,117,519 inhabitants (2011), making it the eighth most populous of Spain's autonomous communities, with a density of 282.6 inhabitants per square kilometre. The total area of the archipelago is 7,493 km2 (2,893 sq mi).[62]

Demographics of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
– 2014[60][63][64]

Country of birth Population Percent

Spain 1.726.927 82.5%

Foreign born 377.888 17.5%

Total 2,104,815 100%

The Canarian population includes long-tenured residents and new waves of mainland Spanish immigrants, as well as Portuguese, Italians, Flemings
Flemings
and Britons. Of the total Canarian population in 2009 (2,098,593) 1,799,373 were Spanish and 299,220 foreigners. Of these, the majority are Europeans (55%), including Germans
Germans
(39,505), British (37,937) and Italians
Italians
(24,177). There are also 86,287 inhabitants from the Americas, mainly Colombians (21,798), Venezuelans (11,958), Cubans (11,098) and Argentines (10,159). There are also 28,136 African residents, mostly Moroccans (16,240).[65] Population of the individual islands[edit] The population of the islands according to the 2010 data are:[66]

Tenerife
Tenerife
– 906,854 Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
– 845,676 Lanzarote
Lanzarote
– 141,437 (including the population of La Graciosa) Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
– 103,492 La Palma
La Palma
– 86,324 La Gomera
La Gomera
– 22,776 El Hierro
El Hierro
– 10,960

Religion[edit]

Basilica of the Virgin of Candelaria
Virgin of Candelaria
(Patroness of the Canary Islands) in Candelaria, Tenerife

The Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
branch of Christianity
Christianity
has been the majority religion in the archipelago for more than five centuries, ever since the Conquest of the Canary Islands. However, there are other religious communities. Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church[edit] The overwhelming majority of native Canarians are Roman Catholic (85%)[67] with various smaller foreign-born populations of other Christian beliefs such as Protestants
Protestants
from northern Europe. The appearance of the Virgin of Candelaria
Virgin of Candelaria
(Patron of Canary Islands) was credited with moving the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
toward Christianity. Two Catholic saints were born in the Canary Islands: Peter of Saint Joseph de Betancur[68] and José de Anchieta.[69] Both born on the island of Tenerife, they were respectively missionaries in Guatemala
Guatemala
and Brazil. The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
are divided into two Catholic dioceses, each governed by a bishop:

Diócesis Canariense: Includes the islands of the Eastern Province: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
and Lanzarote. Its capital was San Marcial El Rubicón (1404) and Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
(1483–present). There was a previous bishopric which was based in Telde, but it was later abolished. Diócesis Nivariense: Includes the islands of the western province: Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera
La Gomera
and El Hierro. Its capital is San Cristóbal de La Laguna (1819–present).

Other religions[edit] Separate from the overwhelming Christian majority are a minority of Muslims.[70] Among the followers of Islam, the Islamic Federation of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
exists to represent the Islamic community in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
as well as to provide practical support to members of the Islamic community.[71] Other religious faiths represented include Jehovah Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as Hinduism.[70] Minority religions are also present such as the Church of the Guanche People which is classified as a neo-pagan native religion.[70] Also present are Buddhism,[70] Judaism,[70] Baha'i,[70] Afro-American religion,[70] and Chinese religions.[70] Statistics[edit] The distribution of beliefs in 2012 according to the CIS Barometer Autonomy was as follows:[72]

Catholic 84.9% Atheist/Agnostic/Unbeliever 12.3% Other religions 1.7%

Population genetics[edit] Main article: Canarian people
Canarian people
§ Population genetics Islands[edit] El Hierro[edit] El Hierro, the westernmost island, covers 268.71 km2 (103.75 sq mi), making it the smallest of the major islands, and the least populous with 10,753 inhabitants. The whole island was declared Reserve of the Biosphere in 2000. Its capital is Valverde. Also known as Ferro, it was once believed to be the westernmost land in the world. Fuerteventura[edit]

Fuerteventura, with a surface of 1,660 km2 (640 sq mi), is the second-most extensive island of the archipelago. It has been declared a Biosphere reserve
Biosphere reserve
by Unesco. It has a population of 100,929. Being also the most ancient of the islands, it is the one that is more eroded: its highest point is the Peak of the Bramble, at a height of 807 metres (2,648 feet). Its capital is Puerto del Rosario. Gran Canaria[edit]

View of Fataga, Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
has 845,676 inhabitants. The capital, Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria (377,203 inhabitants), is the most populous city and shares the status of capital of the Canaries with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Gran Canaria's surface area is 1,560 km2 (600 sq mi). In center of the island lie the Roque Nublo
Roque Nublo
1,813 metres (5,948 feet) and Pico de las Nieves
Pico de las Nieves
("Peak of Snow") 1,949 metres (6,394 feet). In the south of island are the Maspalomas
Maspalomas
Dunes (Gran Canaria), these are the biggest tourist attractions. La Gomera[edit] La Gomera
La Gomera
has an area of 369.76 km2 (142.77 sq mi) and is the second least populous island with 22,622 inhabitants. Geologically it is one of the oldest of the archipelago. The insular capital is San Sebastian de La Gomera. Garajonay's National Park
National Park
is located on the island. Lanzarote[edit] Lanzarote
Lanzarote
is the easternmost island and one of the most ancient of the archipelago, and it has shown evidence of recent volcanic activity. It has a surface of 845.94 km2 (326.62 sq mi), and a population of 139,506 inhabitants, including the adjacent islets of the Chinijo Archipelago. The capital is Arrecife, with 56,834 inhabitants. Chinijo Archipelago[edit] The Chinijo Archipelago
Archipelago
includes the islands La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este
Roque del Este
and Roque del Oeste. It has a surface of 40.8 km2 (15.8 sq mi), and a population of 658 inhabitants all of them on La Graciosa. With 29 km2 (11 sq mi), La Graciosa, is the smallest inhabited island of the Canaries, and the major island of the Chinijo Archipelago. La Palma[edit] La Palma, with 86,528 inhabitants covering an area of 708.32 km2 (273.48 sq mi), is in its entirety a biosphere reserve. It shows no recent signs of volcanic activity, even though the volcano Teneguía
Teneguía
entered into eruption last in 1971. In addition, it is the second-highest island of the Canaries, with the Roque de los Muchachos 2,423 metres (7,949 feet) as highest point. Santa Cruz de La Palma (known to those on the island as simply "Santa Cruz") is its capital. Tenerife[edit]

San Cristóbal de La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
in 1880 (Tenerife)

Tenerife
Tenerife
is, with its area of 2,034 km2 (785 sq mi), the most extensive island of the Canary Islands. In addition, with 906,854 inhabitants it is the most populated island of the archipelago and Spain. Two of the islands' principal cities are located on it: The capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
and San Cristóbal de La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
(a World Heritage Site). San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the second city of the island is home to the oldest university in the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna. The Teide, with its 3,718 metres (12,198 feet) is the highest peak of Spain
Spain
and also a World Heritage Site. Tenerife
Tenerife
is the site of the worst air disaster in the history of aviation, in which 583 people were killed in the collision of two Boeing 747s on 27 March 1977. Data[edit]

Flag Coat of arms Island Capital Area (km2) Population (2010) Population Density (people/km2)

El Hierro Valverde 268.71 10,960 40.79

Fuerteventura Puerto del Rosario 1,660 103,492 62.34

Gran Canaria Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria 1,560.1 845,676 542.07

La Gomera San Sebastián 369.76 22,776 61.6

Lanzarote Arrecife 845.94 141,437 167.2

La Palma Santa Cruz de La Palma 708.32 86,324 121.87

Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2,034.38 906,854 445.76

- - La Graciosa Caleta de Sebo 29.05 658 22.65

- - Alegranza - 10.3 - -

- - Isla de Lobos - 4.5 - -

- - Montaña Clara - 1.48 - -

- - Roque del Este - 0.06 - -

- - Roque del Oeste - 0.015 - -

Economy[edit] See also: Tourism in the Canary Islands and List of companies based in the Canary Islands

Tourism in the Canary Islands[73]

Year Visitors

2009 (Jan–Jun) 4,002,013

2008 9,210,509

2007 9,326,116

2006 9,530,039

2005 9,276,963

2004 9,427,265

2003 9,836,785

2002 9,778,512

2001 10,137,205

2000 9,975,977

1993 6,545,396

Largest by Country (2008) Population

Germany 2,498,847

United Kingdom 3,355,942

The dunes of Maspalomas
Maspalomas
in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
is one of the tourist attractions

The economy is based primarily on tourism, which makes up 32% of the GDP. The Canaries receive about 12 million tourists per year. Construction makes up nearly 20% of the GDP and tropical agriculture, primarily bananas and tobacco, are grown for export to Europe
Europe
and the Americas. Ecologists are concerned that the resources, especially in the more arid islands, are being overexploited but there are still many agricultural resources like tomatoes, potatoes, onions, cochineal, sugarcane, grapes, vines, dates, oranges, lemons, figs, wheat, barley, maize, apricots, peaches and almonds. The economy is € 25 billion (2001 GDP figures). The islands experienced continuous growth during a 20-year period, up until 2001, at a rate of approximately 5% annually. This growth was fueled mainly by huge amounts of Foreign Direct Investment, mostly to develop tourism real estate (hotels and apartments), and European Funds (near €11 billion euro in the period from 2000 to 2007), since the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
are labelled Region Objective 1 (eligible for euro structural funds).[citation needed] Additionally, the EU allows the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
Government to offer special tax concessions for investors who incorporate under the Zona Especial Canaria (ZEC) regime and create more than five jobs.[citation needed] Spain
Spain
gave permission in August 2014 for Repsol
Repsol
and its partners to explore oil and gas prospects off the Canary Islands, involving an investment of €7.5 billion over four years, to commence at the end of 2016. Repsol
Repsol
at the time said the area could ultimately produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day, which would meet 10 percent of Spain's energy needs.[74] However, the analysis of samples obtained did not show the necessary volume nor quality to consider future extraction, and the project was scrapped.[75] The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
have great natural attractions, climate and beaches make the islands a major tourist destination, being visited each year by about 12 million people (11,986,059 in 2007, noting 29% of Britons, 22% of Spanish, not residents of the Canaries, and 21% of Germans). Among the islands, Tenerife
Tenerife
has the largest number of tourists received annually, followed by Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
and Lanzarote.[8][9] The archipelago's principal tourist attraction is the Teide National Park (in Tenerife) where the highest mountain in Spain and third largest volcano in the world (Mount Teide), receives over 2.8 million visitors annually.[76] The combination of high mountains, proximity to Europe, and clean air has made the Roque de los Muchachos
Roque de los Muchachos
peak (on La Palma
La Palma
island) a leading location for telescopes like the Grantecan. The islands are outside the European Union
European Union
customs territory and VAT area, though politically within the EU and Schengen Area. Instead of VAT
VAT
there is a local Sales Tax (IGIC) which has a general rate of 7%, an increased tax rate of 13.5%, a reduced tax rate of 3% and a zero tax rate for certain basic need products and services. Consequently, some products are subject to import tax and VAT
VAT
if being exported from the islands into mainland Spain
Spain
or the rest of the EU. Canarian time is Western European Time
Western European Time
(WET) (or GMT; in summer one hour ahead of GMT). So Canarian time is one hour behind that of mainland Spain
Spain
and the same as that of the UK, Ireland and Portugal all year round. Tourism statistics[edit] Number of tourists who visited the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
in 2016, per destination island (in thousands):[77]

Tenerife
Tenerife
- 4,885.9 Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
- 3,654.8 Lanzarote
Lanzarote
- 2,328.7 (extremely popular with Irish holiday makers all year round) Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
- 1,914.1 La Palma
La Palma
- 221.5 La Gomera
La Gomera
and El Hierro
El Hierro
- 109.3

Transport[edit]

Bus Station—Estación de Guaguas also known as El Hoyo (The hole), on the left, out of the image—at San Telmo Park, Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria.

Tenerife
Tenerife
Tram.

The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
have eight airports altogether, two of the main ports of Spain, and an extensive network of autopistas (highways) and other roads. For a road map see multimap.[78] There are large ferry boats that link islands as well as fast ferries linking most of the islands. Both types can transport large numbers of passengers and cargo (including vehicles). Fast ferries are made of aluminium and powered by modern and efficient diesel engines, while conventional ferries have a steel hull and are powered by heavy oil. Fast ferries travel relatively quickly (in excess of 30 knots) and are a faster method of transportation than the conventional ferry (some 20 knots). A typical ferry ride between La Palma
La Palma
and Tenerife
Tenerife
may take up to eight hours or more while a fast ferry takes about 2 and a half hours and between Tenerife
Tenerife
and Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
can be about one hour. The largest airport is the Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Airport. Tenerife
Tenerife
has two airports, Tenerife
Tenerife
North Airport and Tenerife
Tenerife
South Airport.[79] The island of Tenerife
Tenerife
gathers the highest passenger movement of all the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
through its two airports.[80] The two main islands ( Tenerife
Tenerife
and Gran Canaria) receive the greatest number of passengers.[81] Tenerife
Tenerife
6,204,499 passengers and Gran Canaria 5,011,176 passengers.[82] The port of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
is first in freight traffic in the islands,[83] while the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
is the first fishing port with approximately 7,500 tons of fish caught, according to the Spanish government publication Statistical Yearbook of State Ports. Similarly, it is the second port in Spain
Spain
as regards ship traffic, only surpassed by the Port of Algeciras
Port of Algeciras
Bay.[84] The port's facilities include a border inspection post (BIP) approved by the European Union, which is responsible for inspecting all types of imports from third countries or exports to countries outside the European Economic Area. The port of Los Cristianos
Los Cristianos
(Tenerife) has the greatest number of passengers recorded in the Canary Islands, followed by the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.[85] The Port of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
is the third port in the islands in passengers and first in number of vehicles transported.[85] The SS America
America
was beached at the Canary islands, in the nineties. However, the ocean liner fell apart after some years and parts of the ship washed away. Rail transport[edit] The Tenerife
Tenerife
Tram opened in 2007 and the only one in the Canary Islands, travelling between the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
and San Cristóbal de La Laguna. It is currently planned to have three lines in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
(two in Tenerife
Tenerife
and one in Gran Canaria). The planned Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
tram route will be from Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria to Maspalomas
Maspalomas
(south).[86] Airports[edit]

Tenerife
Tenerife
South Airport – Tenerife Tenerife
Tenerife
North Airport – Tenerife Lanzarote
Lanzarote
Airport – Lanzarote Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
Airport – Fuerteventura Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Airport – Gran Canaria La Palma
La Palma
Airport – La Palma La Gomera
La Gomera
Airport – La Gomera El Hierro
El Hierro
Airport – El Hierro[87]

Ports[edit]

Port of Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Port of Puerto del Rosario
Puerto del Rosario
– Fuerteventura Port of Arrecife
Arrecife
– Lanzarote Port of Playa Blanca—Lanzarote Port of Santa Cruz de La Palma
La Palma
– La Palma Port of San Sebastián de La Gomera
La Gomera
– La Gomera Port of La Estaca – El Hierro Port of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
– Gran Canaria Port of Agaete – Gran Canaria Port of Los Cristianos
Los Cristianos
– Tenerife Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
– Tenerife Port of Garachico
Garachico
– Tenerife Port of Granadilla – Tenerife

Health[edit] The Servicio Canario de Salud is an autonomous body of administrative nature attached to the Ministry responsible for Health of the Government of the Canary Islands. The majority of the archipelago's hospitals belong to this organization:[88]

Hospital Nuestra Señora de los Reyes - El Hierro Hospital General de La Palma
La Palma
- La Palma Hospital Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe - La Gomera Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria
Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria
- Tenerife Hospital Universitario de Canarias
Hospital Universitario de Canarias
- Tenerife Hospital del Sur de Tenerife
Tenerife
- Tenerife Hospital del Norte de Tenerife
Tenerife
- Tenerife Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Doctor Negrín - Gran Canaria Hospital Universitario Insular de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
- Gran Canaria Hospital General de Lanzarote
Lanzarote
Doctor José Molina Orosa - Lanzarote Hospital General de Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
- Fuerteventura

Wildlife[edit]

Canary Island spurge in Fuerteventura

Prehistoric fauna[edit]

Skull of Canariomys bravoi
Canariomys bravoi
( Tenerife
Tenerife
giant rat). It was an endemic species that is now extinct.

Before the arrival of the Aborigines, the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
was inhabited by endemic animals, such as some extinct; giant lizards (Gallotia goliath), giant rats ( Canariomys bravoi
Canariomys bravoi
and Canariomys tamarani)[89] and giant tortoises ( Geochelone burchardi
Geochelone burchardi
and Geochelone vulcanica),[90] among others. Terrestrial wildlife[edit] See also: List of non-marine molluscs of the Canary Islands, List of reptiles of the Canary Islands, and List of Lepidoptera of the Canary Islands With a range of habitats, the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
exhibit diverse plant species. The bird life includes European and African species, such as the black-bellied sandgrouse; and a rich variety of endemic (local) taxa including the:

Canary Graja, a subspecies of red-billed chough endemic to La Palma Blue chaffinch
Blue chaffinch
(endemic to Tenerife
Tenerife
and Gran Canaria) Canary Islands
Canary Islands
chiffchaff Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura
chat Tenerife
Tenerife
goldcrest La Palma
La Palma
chaffinch Canarian Egyptian vulture Bolle's pigeon Laurel pigeon Plain swift Houbara bustard Spiders Snakes Scorpions Giant wasps † Canary Islands oystercatcher
Canary Islands oystercatcher
(extinct)

Terrestrial fauna includes geckos, wall lizards, and three endemic species of recently rediscovered and critically endangered giant lizard: the El Hierro
El Hierro
giant lizard (or Roque Chico de Salmor giant lizard), La Gomera
La Gomera
giant lizard, and La Palma
La Palma
giant lizard. Mammals include the Canarian shrew, Canary big-eared bat, the Algerian hedgehog (which may have been introduced) and the more recently introduced mouflon. Some endemic mammals, the lava mouse, Tenerife giant rat and Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
giant rat, are extinct, as are the Canary Islands quail, long-legged bunting, the eastern Canary Islands chiffchaff and the giant prehistoric tortoises; Geochelone burchardi and Geochelone vulcanica. Marine life[edit] Main article: Marine life of the Canary Islands

A loggerhead sea turtle, by far the most common species of marine turtle in the Canary Islands.

The marine life found in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
is also varied, being a combination of North Atlantic, Mediterranean and endemic species. In recent years, the increasing popularity of both scuba diving and underwater photography have provided biologists with much new information on the marine life of the islands. Fish species found in the islands include many species of shark, ray, moray eel, bream, jack, grunt, scorpionfish, triggerfish, grouper, goby, and blenny. In addition, there are many invertebrate species, including sponge, jellyfish, anemone, crab, mollusc, sea urchin, starfish, sea cucumber and coral. There are a total of five different species of marine turtle that are sighted periodically in the islands, the most common of these being the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.[91] The other four are the green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle and Kemp's ridley sea turtle. Currently, there are no signs that any of these species breed in the islands, and so those seen in the water are usually migrating. However, it is believed that some of these species may have bred in the islands in the past, and there are records of several sightings of leatherback sea turtle on beaches in Fuerteventura, adding credibility to the theory. Marine mammals include the large varieties of cetaceans including rare and not well-known species (see more details in the Marine life of the Canary Islands). Hooded seals[92] have also been known to be vagrant in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
every now and then. The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
were also formerly home to a population of the rarest pinniped in the world, the Mediterranean monk seal. Native flora gallery[edit]

Sports[edit]

Heliodoro Rodríguez López Stadium in Tenerife, the stadium with the largest area of field of the Canary Islands.[93][94]

Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Stadium, the biggest sports venue of Canary Islands.[95]

A unique form of wrestling known as Canarian wrestling
Canarian wrestling
(lucha canaria) has opponents stand in a special area called a "terrero" and try to throw each other to the ground using strength and quick movements.[96] Another sport is the "game of the sticks" where opponents fence with long sticks. This may have come about from the shepherds of the islands who would challenge each other using their long walking sticks.[96] Furthermore, there is the shepherd's jump (salto del pastor). This involves using a long stick to vault over an open area. This sport possibly evolved from the shepherd's need to occasionally get over an open area in the hills as they were tending their sheep.[96] The two main football teams in the archipelago are: the CD Tenerife (founded in 1912) and UD Las Palmas
Las Palmas
(founded in 1949). Now Tenerife play in Liga Adelante
Liga Adelante
and Las Palmas
Las Palmas
in La Liga. The mountainous terrain of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
also caters to the growing popularity of ultra running and ultramarathons as host of annual competitive long-distance events including Transvulcania on La Palma, Transgrancanaria[97] on Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
and the Half Marathon des Sables on Fuerteventura. Notable athletes[edit]

Javier Dorado, born in 2000, from the Islands of Lanzarote, Division 1 basketball player in the US Nicolás García Hemme, born 20 June 1988 in Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, 2012 London Olympics, Taekwondo
Taekwondo
Silver Medalist in Men's Welterweight category (−80 kg). Alfredo Cabrera, (1881–1964); shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1913 Sergio Rodríguez, born in San Cristóbal de La Laguna
San Cristóbal de La Laguna
in 1986, played point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and New York Knicks David Silva, born in Arguineguín
Arguineguín
in 1986, plays association football for Manchester City, member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
champion Spain national football team Juan Carlos Valerón, born in Arguineguín
Arguineguín
in 1975, played association football for Deportivo la Coruna and Las Palmas Pedro, born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
in 1987, plays association football for Chelsea, member of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
champion Spain national football team Carla Suárez Navarro, born in Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
in 1988, professional tennis player Paola Tirados, born in Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
in 1980, synchronized swimmer, who participated in the Olympic Games of 2000, 2004 and 2008. She won the silver medal in Beijing in 2008 in the team competition category. Jesé, born in Las Palmas
Las Palmas
de Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
in 1993, plays association football for Stoke City
Stoke City
F.C., on loan from Paris Saint-Germain Christo Bezuidenhout, born in Tenerife
Tenerife
in 1970, played rugby union for Gloucester and South Africa.

See also[edit]

Spain
Spain
portal Islands portal

History[edit]

Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
(1797) First Battle of Acentejo Pyramids of Güímar Second Battle of Acentejo Tanausu Tenerife
Tenerife
airport disaster; prior to the September 11 attacks, the deadliest commercial aviation disaster in history.

Geography[edit]

Cumbre Vieja, a volcano on La Palma Guatiza
Guatiza
(Lanzarote) La Matanza de Acentejo Los Llanos de Aridane Orotava Valley San Andrés

Culture[edit]

Canarian cuisine Canarian Spanish Isleños Military of the Canary Islands Music of the Canary Islands Silbo Gomero, a whistled language, is an indigenous language. Virgin of Candelaria
Virgin of Candelaria
(Patron saint of Canary Islands)

Carnival[edit] The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
(Tourist Festival of International Interest) and Carnival of Las Palmas
Las Palmas
are one of the most famous Carnivals in Spain. It is celebrated on the streets between the months of February and March. Notes[edit]

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Weather and Climate". Worldtravelguide.net. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2010.  ^ Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 en wikisource ^ Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 Archived 22 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine. en el sitio web oficial del Gobierno de Canarias ^ Canarias7. Economía. La población de Canarias se ha multiplicado por trece en los últimos 250 años ^ Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 on wikisource ^ Real Decreto de 30 de noviembre de 1833 Archived 22 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine. at the official website of the Canary Islands Government ^ Publiceuta S.L. (5 January 2009). "La Laguna. Guía turística de Tenerife. Tenerife, la isla de la eterna primavera". Tenerife2.com. Retrieved 21 January 2010.  ^ "Plan Territorial Especial De Ordenación Del Sistema Viario Del Área Metropolitana De Tenerife
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Tenerife
unico casco urbano unidas Santa Cruz la laguna" (PDF). Retrieved 21 January 2010.  ^ "Dracma". Dracma. Retrieved 21 January 2010.  ^ Sede del Consejo Consultivo de Canarias ^ Florida Department of State. "1733 Spanish Galleon Trail, Plate Fleets". flheritage.com. Retrieved 30 August 2016.  ^ Calspace, University of California, San Diego (24 June 2013). "Trade Winds and the Hadley Cell". earthguide.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 30 August 2016. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Chap. 37. (32.)—The Fortunate Islands ^ Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary, canis, sense II. B ^ "Seals and Sea Lions Endangered
Endangered
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– Touropia.com – Retrieved 22 August 2011. ^ Frank Joseph (2005). The Atlantis Encyclopedia. New Page Books. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-56414-795-0.  ^ (Universidad de Las Palmas,) José Mangas Viñuela, "The Canary Islands Hot Spot" This is the source for the geological history that follows. ^ https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/World_Koppen_Map.png ^ "Weather Information for Las Palmas".  ^ a b "Guía resumida del clima en España (1981–2010)". Archived from the original on 18 November 2012.  ^ "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Santa Cruz De Tenerife". Archived from the original on 18 November 2012.  ^ "Instituto Geográfico Nacional". Fomento.es. 10 November 1949. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ Pararas-Carayannis, G. (2002). "Evaluation of the Threat of Mega Tsunami Generation from Postulated Massive Slope Failure of Island Stratovolcanoes on La Palma, Canary Islands, and on The Island of Hawaii, George". Science of Tsunami Hazards 20 (5): 251–277. ^ a b Canaria de Avisos S.A. (30 July 2010). "El Teide, el parque más visitado de Europa y el segundo del mundo". Diariodeavisos.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.  ^ a b "El parque nacional del Teide
Teide
es el primero más visitado de Europa y el segundo del mundo". Sanborondon.info. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.  ^ "El Teide
Teide
(Tenerife) es el parque nacional más visitado de Canarias con 2,8 millones de visitantes en 2008". Europapress.es. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Official Website of Tenerife
Tenerife
Tourism Corporation". Webtenerife.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Ley 7/1991, de 30 de abril, de símbolos de la naturaleza para las Islas Canarias – in Spanish". Gobcan.es. 10 May 1991. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Parques Nacionales de Canarias". Pueblos10.com. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Gobierno de Canarias".  ^ "CIA World Factbook".  ^ Según la Página Web del Gobierno de Canarias Archived 28 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Pliny the Elder. "6.37". Natural History (77-79 AD) (John Bostock, English translation ed.). Retrieved 22 April 2017.  ^ "C. Michael Hogan, ''Chellah'', The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham". Megalithic.co.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Old World Contacts/Colonists/Canary Islands". Archived from the original on 3 June 2008.  ^ Benjamin, Thomas (2009). The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400–1900. Cambridge University Press. p. 73.  ^ John Mercer (1980), The Canary Islanders : their prehistory, conquest, and survival, p. 236, Collings. ^ El comercio canario-americano en el siglo XVIII ^ "www.personal.psu.edu "The Spanish of the Canary Islands"". Personal.psu.edu. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "www.tshaonline.org "Handbook of Texas Online – Canary Islanders"". Tshaonline.org. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "www.losislenos.org "Los Isleños Heritage & Cultural Society website"". Losislenos.org. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "www.americaslibrary.gov "Isleños Society of St. Bernard Parish"". Americaslibrary.gov. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "The Spanish of the Canary Islands".  ^ "Montesinos Sirera, Jose Luis and Jurgen Renn (2004) ''Expeditions to the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
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Canary Islands
population". Gobiernodecanarias.org. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ Censos de Población y Viviendas 2011. ^ a b Desciende la población en Canarias. ^ La población en Canarias. ^ "Estadísticas de la Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias". Gobiernodecanarias.org. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ Población según sexos y países de nacimiento. Municipios por islas y años. ^ www.gobiernodecanarias.org ^ "Native and foreign residents in Canary Islands
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(Spanish)". Gobiernodecanarias.org. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ Population referred to the January 1, 2010 Archived 2 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Interactivo: Creencias y prácticas religiosas en España ^ Pedro de San José Betancurt, Santo ^ José de Anchieta, Santo ^ a b c d e f g h Un 5% de canarios profesa una religión minoritaria ^ Los musulmanes de la Isla constituyen la primera Federación Islámica de Canarias ^ Barometro Autonómico del CIS Canarias (2012); preguntas 47 y 48 ^ "www.gobiernodecanarias.org Statistics". Gobiernodecanarias.org. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Spain's Repsol
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References[edit]

Alfred Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900 (Cambridge University Press) ISBN 0-521-45690-8 Felipe Fernández-Armesto, The Canary Islands
Canary Islands
after the Conquest: The Making of a Colonial Society in the Early-Sixteenth Century, Oxford U. Press, 1982. ISBN 978-0-19-821888-3; ISBN 0-19-821888-5 Sergio Hanquet, Diving in Canaries, Litografía A. ROMERO, 2001. ISBN 84-932195-0-9 Martin Wiemers: The butterflies of the Canary Islands. – A survey on their distribution, biology and ecology (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea) – Linneana Belgica 15 (1995): 63–84 & 87–118

Further reading[edit]

Borgesen, F. 1929. Marine algae from the Canary Islands. III Rhodophyceae. Part II. Cryptonemiales, Gigartinales, and Rhodymeniales. Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Biologiske Meddelelser. 8: 1 – 97. Paegelow, Claus: Bibliography Canary Islands, 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-028676-6

External links[edit]

Find more aboutCanary Islandsat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Texts from Wikisource Travel guide from Wikivoyage

Canary Islands
Canary Islands
Government Official Tourism Website of the Canary Islands

Links to related articles

v t e

Cultural domain of Canary Islands

History

Guanches Pre-colonial times Conquest Treaty of Alcáçovas First Battle of Acentejo Kingdom of the Canary Islands Battle of Aguere Second Battle of Acentejo Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
(1657) Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
(1797) Spanish transition Autonomous community Canarian Parliament

Languages

Guanche† Canarian (Spanish) Gomeran Whistle

Mythology

Gara and Jonay Achamán Achuguayo Achuhucanac Chaxiraxi Chijoraji Guayota Magec Maxios Tibicena

Sports

Bola canaria Canarian wrestling Juego del Palo Salto del pastor Open Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
Island Open Lanzarote
Lanzarote
Island Open Costa Adeje

Cuisine

Almogrote Canarian arepa Canarian wrinkly potatoes Gofio Malvasia Majorero Miel de palma Mojo Pasteles Ropa vieja Sancocho Sangria Tropical
Tropical
beer Wines

Musical instruments

Chácaras Timple

Traditions

Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival of Las Palmas Bajada (festival) Cavalcade of Magi Holy Week Virgin of Candelaria Cristo de La Laguna Akelarre

Symbols places of the Canary Islands

Teide Auditorio de Tenerife Garajonay Caldera de Taburiente

Category

v t e

Autonomous communities
Autonomous communities
of Spain

Autonomous communities

 Andalusia  Aragon  Asturias  Balearic Islands  Basque Country  Canary Islands  Cantabria  Castilla–La Mancha  Castile and León  Catalonia  Extremadura  Galicia  La Rioja  Community of Madrid  Murcia  Navarre  Valencian Community

Autonomous cities

 Ceuta  Melilla

Plazas de soberanía

Alhucemas Chafarinas Vélez de la Gomera

v t e

Outermost regions of European Union
European Union
states

Portugal

Azores Madeira

Spain

Canary Islands

France

French Guiana Guadeloupe Martinique Mayotte Réunion Saint-Martin

v t e

Islands and provinces of the Canary Islands

Main islands

Fuerteventura Gran Canaria La Gomera El Hierro Lanzarote La Palma Tenerife

Other islands

Alegranza Graciosa Lobos Montaña Clara Roque del Este Roque del Oeste

Provinces

Las Palmas Santa Cruz de Tenerife

v t e

Countries and territories of North Africa

Sovereign states

 Algeria  Egypt  Libya  Morocco  Sudan  Tunisia

Partially recognized state

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Territories

Morocco/SADR

Western Sahara1

Spain

Canary Islands Ceuta2 Melilla2 Alboran Alhucemas2 Chafarinas2 Vélez de la Gomera2

Portugal

Madeira Savage Islands3

Sudan/Egypt

Hala'ib Triangle4 Wadi Halfa Salient4 Bir Tawil5

Sudan/South Sudan

Abyei6 Kafia Kingi6

Italy

Pantelleria Pelagie Islands

Libya/Chad

Aouzou Strip7

Morocco/Spain

Perejil8

1Entirely claimed by both Morocco
Morocco
and the SADR. 2Spanish exclaves claimed by Morocco. 3Portuguese archipelago claimed by Spain. 4Disputed between Sudan
Sudan
and Egypt. 5 Terra nullius
Terra nullius
located between Egypt
Egypt
and Sudan. 6Disputed between Sudan
Sudan
and South Sudan. 7Part of Chad, formerly claimed by Libya. 8Disputed between Morocco
Morocco
and Spain

v t e

Climate of Africa

Sovereign states

Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde
Cape Verde
(Cabo Verde) Central African Republic Chad Comoros Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Djibouti Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon The Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda São Tomé and Príncipe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

States with limited recognition

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Somaliland

Dependencies and other territories

Canary Islands / Ceuta / Melilla  (Spain) Madeira (Portugal) Mayotte / Réunion (France) Saint Helena / Ascension Island / Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom) Western Sahara

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 258171447 LCCN: n82164461 GND: 40731

.