The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands were a vital stopping point in the Atlantic along trade routes between Europe, Africa and America.

The island of Tenerife is home to Mount Tiede: the third largest volcano on Earth at 7,500 metres when measured from its base on the sea floor.

 The Spanish conquered the Canary Islands in the 15th century and the islands are still an autonomous community of Spain.

The Canaries were formed by a series of volcanic eruptions under the sea over millions of years.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the Canaries were inhabited by the Guanches, an ancient culture thought to originate from North Africa.

The Guanches used legends of gods and evil spirits to explain the volcanic activity of their homeland.

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Flying at 13,000m - Colonising the Canaries


Flying at 8,000m - A volcanic archipelago


Flying at ground level - The Guanches

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© 2017 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)