Canary Islands

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Canary Islands
28°06.254'N, 015°52.577'W Chart icon.png
lat=28.10423 | lon=-15.87629 | zoom=7 | pagefeatures=y|captions=y|childrenlocations=y|nopagelocation=y

The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries (Spanish: Islas Canarias), are a group of islands located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. The cities of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife are joint capital cities.

The islands are an autonomous region of the kingdom of Spain. There are two theories on the derivation of the name: one is that it was the name of a north African tribe (the Canarii) and the other that it comes from the Latin term Insularia Canaria meaning Island of the Dogs. The islands were known to the Carthaginians and it is believed that they were found by he Carthaginian captain Hanno the Navigator in his voyage of exploration along the African coast. The Greeks knew about the island and called them the Hesperides. Archaeological excavations have found several Roman artifacts so it is established there was some trade with the Romans. In the late middle ages Europeans "discovered" the islands. The Spaniards conquered the island in the period between 1402 and 1496. They colonized the islands and cultivated them first with sugar cane and then with vineyards. In the 1500s the islands were an important stopping point in the trade routes with America, Africa, and India, and the port of Las Palmas became one of the most important ports of the Spanish Empire. They brought great prosperity to the island as evidenced by palaces and churches still remaining.

Today tourism is the main industry. This has led to overexploitation of the land and the destruction of many of the beautiful coastlines now covered by ugly concrete high-rise buildings.

The islands are outside European Union customs territory, though politically within the EU. That means that parts imported from Europe are subject to customs and considerable bureaucratic delays.

Many yachts congregate in the Canaries from November to January to prepare for crossing the Atlantic.


BA 1869 Gran Canaria to Hierro
Imray E2 Canary Islands
NIMA 51260 Islas Canarias (Western Group)

51022 Cap Juby to Baie du Levrier including the Canary Islands

Note: NIMA - National Imagery and Mapping Agency


The climate of the Canaries can be mild and wet or very dry. It depends on the trade winds. The north-easterly is the prevailing wind over the Canaries.

Sources for weather forecasts:

  • Weather on Line gives detail 7 day forecast charts for the Canaries
  • Wind GURU is a surfer's site with worldwide wind forecasts
  • Passage Weather Passage Weather, gives accurate info in the Canary Islands for the next 7 days.



Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Any navigation notes here.


The Canary Islands are part of Spain and as such are members of the European Union. The islands are however outside the VAT region. The normal EU regulations apply, though the authorities tend to treat all arriving vessels as if coming from a non-EU country.

On arrival, the skipper must report to the Port Authority or marina office who will advise on procedures. Marinas will contact the relevant authorities on your behalf. As the Canaries are duty-free, yachts are not required to clear customs.

You can cruise around the islands (after having checked in) with no restrictions - documents may however be checked at subsequent ports.

Note: If you intend leaving the Canaries by any other means (i.e. by air) you must ensure that Immigration stamps your passport on entry.

Customs and Immigration


Visa exemptions and requirements are the same as for Spain.

Passports of crew are not normally stamped on arrival.

Visas are not required for nationals of West European countries, Canada and the United States, as well as Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Uruguay and Venezuela. Children under 14 of any nationality do not require visas if they have their own passports.

Most nationalities are given 90 days' stay on entering Spain. Visas are required for all other nationals, or for stays longer than 90 days, to be obtained in advance from a Spanish consulate abroad.


  • There is no restriction on firearms
  • You may lay up your yacht in the Canaries - the authorities must be informed and they will "seal" the boat so that duty is not liable.
  • PETS: The Canary Islands fall under the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) and animals are allowed in and out providing they have a "Pet Passport", microchip, current Health Certificate and Rabies Vaccination Certificate issued by a recognised Veterinarian. They should also have been blood tested prior to travel as detailed under the scheme.

Fees and Charges

  • Harbour Tax


There is no restriction on firearms.

Health and Security


Submit any health warnings/information. Remove any of these sections do not apply here.




Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage ||
  • LanzaroteLanzarote/wiki/Lanzarote Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • FuerteventuraFuerteventura/wiki/Fuerteventura Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • Gran CanariaGran Canaria/wiki/Gran_Canaria Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • TenerifeTenerife/wiki/Tenerife Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • La GomeraLa Gomera/wiki/La_Gomera Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • El Hierro El Hierro /wiki/El_Hierro Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
  • La GraciosaLa Graciosa/wiki/La_Graciosa Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • La PalmaLa Palma/wiki/La_Palma Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |

See respective articles for more information.


Hi, I am Agustín. If You are travelling to the Canary Islands, I live in Gran Canaria, in the south of the island, in Pasito Blanco. My CF name is Navegante and my email address is Email. Do not hesitate to contact Me for any help I can give You. Good sailing..!!


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)




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