Record ID: 62

Site Name

Canary Islands




Group of 7 islands spread over 2800 square miles off the coast of Morocco (28N/17W). May have been visited by Greek or Roman mariners and identified as the "Fortunate Isles." Genoses navigators Ugolino and Vadino Vivaldi visited in 1291, followed by fellow Genoses Lanceletto Malocello came in 1312 and remained for two decades.

Occupied by Portuguese in 1420s, who enslaved the native Guanches. Spanish sovereignty acknowledged by Portugal in by Treaty of Alvacovas in 1479. Became the turning point for three of Columbus's four voyages to America. Along with Madeira Islands 500 miles to the north, were important producers of sugar in the 17th and 18th centuries and had lively trade relations with Britain's North American colonies.