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Location of Canary Islands

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Tenerife is the largest of the islands which, grouped together, are called the Canary Islands.  They are located off the western shore of northern Africa. 

Pliny the Younger, the Roman historian who witnessed the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D., tells us that the islands were thus named because of ferocious dogs (called canaria in Latin) which inhabited the island.

Ancient Romans referred to Tenerife by a different name - Nivaria - based on Latin words for snow.  (The highest point on the island, the Teide volcano, is often covered with snow.) 

Because the volcano has been active throughout history, maps from the 14th and 15th centuries refer to Tenerife as Isla del Infierno (literally translated as Island of Hell).

Today, the Canary Islands are significant tourist destinations.

Click on the image for a clearer view.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy the Pan Am air.org website.

 

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