Canary Islands: population, cities
According to Countryaah,
the Canary Islands have a total population of around 2.1 million. Most people
live in Tenerife (approx. 910,000) and Gran Canaria (approx. 830,000).
The population of the Canary Islands is made up of around 1,542,000 people who
were born on the islands. Another 180,000 people come from mainland Spain. The
rest of the Canarian population is made up of Europeans (mainly Germans, English
and Italians), South Americans (mainly Colombia and Venezuela) and Africans
(mainly Moroccans). Overall, the percentage of the non-Spanish population is
around 12.5%. These can be found particularly on Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
A major problem in recent years has been the strong flow of poor, hopeless
refugees from Africa who end up on the islands in life-threatening actions. A
cautious estimate by the Guardia Civil assumes that in the period from January
1, 2006 to August 21, 2007 alone, around 1,260 boat refugees lost their lives on
their way from Africa to the Canary Islands.
The native residents of the Canary Islands, who lived on the archipelago into
the 15th century, were the Guanches, whose culture was almost exterminated by
the Spaniards, but was also able to mix small parts with the Spanish. Therefore,
there are still many people on the island who explicitly have old Canarian
In addition to the 90% of the Canarian population who profess Roman
Catholic Christianity and belong to the Archdiocese of Seville, there are also
smaller minorities of Protestant Christians and Muslims on the islands.
The official language in the Canary Islands is known to be Spanish. Meanwhile,
Canarian Spanish is spoken with a particular dialect that is somewhat similar to
that of Cuban and Puerto Rican. If you come to the islands with your exemplary
Spanish learned on the mainland, you will sadly soon discover that the letter s
is often left out in the pronunciation, the 2nd person plural is replaced by the
3rd person plural or completely different words are used like guagua instead of
Before the Spaniards came to the Canary Islands, the old Canarians spoke their Guanche,
which still exists today in writing. You can find out more about this
language here >>>
Administrative headquarters and other cities
The two administrative headquarters and at the same time the
most populous cities of the Canary Islands are Las Palmas de Gran
Canaria with approx. 383,500 residents, and Santa Cruz de
Tenerife with approx. 222,300 residents.
Other major cities on the islands are:
San Cristóbal de La Laguna on Tenerife (population
Telde on Gran Canaria (population approx.
Arona on Tenerife (population approx. 72,300)
Santa Lucía de Tirajana on Gran Canaria (population
Arrecife on Lanzarote (population approx.
San Bartolomé de Tirajana on Gran Canaria (population
La Orotava on Tenerife (population approx.
Puerto del Rosario on Fuerteventura (population
Los Llanos de Aridane on La Palma (population
Santa Cruz on La Palma (population approx.
Canary Islands: geography, map
Defined by DigoPaul, the Canary Islands cover an area of around 7,446.95 km².
The Canary Islands are part of Spain and the European Union, but
geographically they are part of Africa. But despite the political affiliation
to Spain and the European Union, it should be noted that the Canary Islands are
part of the customs territory of the European Union, but not the tax area for
excise duties and VAT. Therefore, the customs regulations apply to imports from
The Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands lasted a good 100 years and began
with the arrival of Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de la Salle. They began to
take possession of the islands for the Spanish crown (Henry III) at the
beginning of the 15th century under the claim of Christian proselytizing. The
process can be considered complete with the submission of the island of Tenerife
by Alonso Fernández de Lugo in 1496.
As an archipelago in the eastern Atlantic, they have no land borders with
other states. The west African coast (near Morocco) extends about 115
The islands are about the same height as the Sahara, Kuwait or Florida and
are between 1,028 and 1,483 kilometers away from the Spanish mainland (Cape
The Canary Islands are located approximately between 13 ° 22 'and 18 ° 11'
west longitude and 27 ° 38 'and 29 ° 30' north latitude. Overall, the Canary
Islands consist of seven main islands and six minor islands as well as some
smaller uninhabited rock islands such as Anaga, Garachico and Salmor. Together
with Cape Verde, the Azores, the Madeira Archipelago and the Ilhas Selvagens,
the Canary Islands are part of the biogeographical region of Macaronesia, which
are also known as the Macaronesian Islands.
In contrast to mainland Spain, Western European Time (GMT) or Greenwich Mean
Time (GMT) or Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) (both CET-1) apply on the Canary
The islands of the Canaries
The Canary Archipelago, which spreads out in the Atlantic Ocean on the
eastern edge of the Canary Basin, is made up of seven larger islands,
four smaller satellite islands and finally nine rocks called Roques. All
in all, they make up just 1.5% of the total area of Spain.
The seven larger islands of the Canary Islands are (from
west to east):
El Hierro (269 km²) - Capital: Valverde
La Gomera (369 km²) - Capital: San Sebastián de La Gomera
La Palma (708 km²) - Capital: Santa Cruz de La Palma
Lanzarote (846 km²) - capital: Arrecife
Gran Canaria (1,560 km²) - capital: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Fuerteventura (1,660 km²) - capital: Puerto del Rosario
Tenerife (2,034 km²) - capital: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The four smaller satellite
islands are Montaña Clara (north of Lanzarote) with a size of 1 km²
Alegranza (north of Lanzarote) with a size of 10 km²
Los Lobos (north of Fuerteventura) with a size of 15 km²
La Graciosa (north of Lanzarote) with a size of 27 km² (capital: Caleta
The nine Roques (rocks) protruding from the sea are:
Roque Chico de Salmor (near El Hierro)
Roque de Garachico (near Tenerife)
Roque de la Bonanza (near El Hierro)
Roque del Este (near Lanzarote)
Roque del Oeste (near Lanzarote)
Roque Dentro de Anaga (near Tenerife)
Roque Fuera de Anaga (near Tenerife)
Roque Grande de Salmor (near El Hierro)
Longitude and latitude
The Canary Islands extend over the following geographical latitude
(abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):
|Δφ = 27 ° 38 'and 29 ° 30' northern latitude.
Δλ = 13 ° 22 'and 18 ° 11' western longitude
You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and
The Canary Islands have a deviation from CET of - 1 hour. The West European
Time (or mean Greenwich Mean Time GMT) applies there and not - as in mainland
Spain - Central European Time (CET). It is an hour earlier in the entire Canary
Islands than in Germany. It should be noted, however, that from April to October
the time is switched to summer time and the time is then GMT + 1 (= CET).
Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones,
The highest point of the sun in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located at a northern latitude of
around φ = 28 ° (exactly 28 ° 28 '). As long as the sun is at the tropic, i.e.
at Δ = 23.5 °, summer starts in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, June 21st. Then, for the
highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of
28 ° = (90 ° - h) + 23.5 °
At 85.5 °, the sun is at the highest level of the entire year above the
horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).
Mountains, Pico del Teide
Pico del Teide
The 3,718 meter high volcano Pico del Teide is the highest point not only in the
Canary Islands, but also in all of Spain. It rises on the island of Tenerife and
holds the title of the third highest island volcano in the world (alongside two
other volcanoes in Hawaii). The Pico del Teide and the surrounding area
(caldera) were declared a national park in 1954 and placed on the UNESCO World
Heritage List in 2007.
rivers and lakes
Despite the fertility of the soil due to the volcanic activity in the Canary
Islands, there are no significant rivers or lakes on the islands, so they
regularly suffer from water shortages. Large parts of the drinking water are
therefore generated with the help of desalination plants.
The Atlantic, ARC regatta
The Canary Islands are in the middle of the Atlantic. Sailors are certainly
aware that the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) to the Caribbean starts from
Las Palmas on Gran every November. The destination port is Rodney Bay on St.
Lucia in the Lesser Antilles. The start of this regatta, in which numerous
cruisers also take part, is in November. Depending on the size or type of boat,
the 2,700 nm = around 5,000 km long crossing takes between 14 to 21 days.
The coastline of the Canary Islands to the Atlantic is around 1,480 km, 260
km of which are beaches.
You can find more information about the Atlantic at Goruma here >>>