Canary Islands

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Coordinates: 28°9′N 15°25′W / 28.15°N 15.417°W / 28.15; -15.417
Canary Islands (Islas Canarias)
Autonomous community (Comunidad autónoma)
Orotavatal.jpg
Mount Teide on Tenerife, the highest mountain in Spain.
Flag of the Canary Islands.svg
Flag
Canary Islands CoA.svg
Coat of Arms
Official name: Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias
Country  Spain
Autonomous Region  Canary Islands
Region Atlantic Ocean
Capitals Santa Cruz and Las Palmas
Largest city Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
 - center Gran Canaria Island
 - elevation m (26 ft)
 - coordinates 28°9′N 15°25′W / 28.15°N 15.417°W / 28.15; -15.417
Highest point Teide
 - elevation 3,718 m (12,198 ft)
 - coordinates 28°16′23″N 16°38′22″W / 28.27306°N 16.63944°W / 28.27306; -16.63944
Lowest point Sea level
 - location Atlantic Ocean
 - elevation 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
Spanish: Canario(a)
Anthem Arrorró
Currency Euro (€)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drive right-side
Location of Canary Islands
Location of Canary Islands
Wikimedia Commons: Canary Islands
Website: Gobierno de Canarias
Map of the islands from NASA

The Canary Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Morocco. They are an autonomous (they make their own laws) community of Spain. 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. Every island has been created by volcanoes on the bottom of the sea. Those volcanoes slowly rose until they rose above the water and made the 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 battles with the Spanish, and the ones who remained adopted the Spanish way of life. Many battles with the Spanish were fought for the islands before Spain claimed them. After the Spanish conquest many battles were also fought against pirates. The most recent of countries interested in them was Morocco.

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 became 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 which 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.

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