Canary Islands

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Canary Islands (Islas Canarias)
Autonomous community (Comunidad autónoma)
Mount Teide on Tenerife, the highest mountain in Spain.
Coat of Arms

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Official name: Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias Country 23x15px Spain Autonomous Region 23x15px Canary Islands Region Atlantic Ocean Capitals Santa Cruz and Las Palmas Largest city Las Palmas de Gran Canaria  - center Gran Canaria Island  - elevation 8 m (26 ft)  - coordinates Lua error: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. Highest point Teide  - elevation 3,718 m (12,198 ft)  - coordinates Lua error: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. Lowest point Sea level  - location Atlantic Ocean  - elevation 0 m (0 ft) Area 7,493 km² (2,893 sq mi) Population 2,118,344 (2012[1]) Density 283 /km² (733 /sq mi) President Paulino Rivero (CC) Timezone WET (UTC+0)  - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1) ISO 3166-2 code ES-CN Demonym Canarian
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Location of Canary Islands


Wikimedia Commons: Canary Islands Website: Gobierno de Canarias
File:Canarias NASA2.jpg
Map of the islands from NASA

The Canary Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Morocco. They are an autonomous community of Spain (they make their own laws). There are seven main islands. The people who live there speak Spanish. The autonomous community has two capital cities, of equal status: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Like the other islands of Macaronesia, they were created by volcanoes on the bottom of the sea. Those volcanoes slowly rose above the water and became islands. This process lasted many thousands of years.

The islands have a very long and interesting history. When Europeans first came to the Canary Islands, they found people already living there. These people were called the Guanches. Many of the Guanches were killed in 15th century battles with the Spanish, and the ones who remained adopted the Spanish way of life. After the Spanish conquest many battles were also fought against pirates. Most recently Morocco was interested in them.

After the Spanish conquest many Europeans settled there. Portuguese and Spaniards, and also Belgians and Maltese were among the early settlers. Recently many people from all over Europe, America, India and Africa have also become citizens or permanent residents.

The seven islands are: La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. People from La Gomera have a whistle language that children there learn at school. Tenerife has the highest mountain in the Canary Islands and Spain too, the Teide. The Teide is actually a volcano, but it has not been active in more than 300 years.

The islands are popular with tourists because of their warm climate and nice beaches. The local farmers grow lots of exotic fruits including papayas and bananas.

The Canary Islands' main exports include bananas and tobacco.


  1. "Datos demográficos a 1 de enero de 2012". Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España. Retrieved 21 May 2013.

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