The Canary Islands is a group of seven islands of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwestern coast of Africa. They form an autonomous region of Spain. The islands and their capitals are: Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Tenerife, Arrecife in Lanzarote, Santa Cruz in La Palma, San Sebastián in La Gomera, Valverde in El Hierroand Puerto de Cabras in Fuerteventura.
The nearest island is 108 km away from the northwest African coast. The name comes from Latin canes ("dog"). The islands were named Canaria depending on the descriptions about the large numbers of wild dogs roaming the islands, first reported by the Roman scholar Pliny. Being initially dominated by Arabs, France and Portugal, the islands were finally conquered by Castille towards the end of the 15th century, and the local Berber people --called guanche -- subsequently diminished in number.