CANARY ISLANDS

CANARY ISLANDS

ISLAND GREENS!

The Canary Islands, exotic islands with an exotic name.

This archipelago of volcanic islands paddles in the Atlantic Ocean 62 miles off the south coast of Morocco. Twelve islands clustered together of which seven are permanently inhabited, five of  which, boast golf courses.

Contrary to popular belief, the islands were not named after the Canary of the feathered variety, in fact the reverse was probably the case. Islas Canarias is derived from Latin and translates into “Isle of Dogs”.

Often given the mantle of the “Islands of Eternal Spring” this provides a clue why they are a golfers heaven. A climate that rarely dips below 20 degrees in winter but without searing heat in the height of Summer, the temperature being moderated by the Trade Winds. You might be surprised to learn that it is extremely comfortable for golf even in July and August! The Canaries possess a unique micro climate, with the islands in the West, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Gomera being influenced by the moist Gulf Stream and are therefore quite lush with sub tropical vegetation and verdant forests. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura lie closest to the coast of Morocco and in complete contrast are of an arid, semi desert topography.

The history of the Canaries is as chequered as most of the countries in the vicinity of the Mediterranean and North Africa. Invaded and conquered at one time or another by ancient civilizations, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, the dominant dispute over the islands was between Portugal and Spain or to be more precise, Castile. In 1479 a treaty was agreed, billed rather grandly as settling control of the Atlantic! Castile were to rule the Canary Islands and in return Portugal were awarded sovereignty of the Azores, Madeira, Cape Verde and most significantly, any lands yet to be discovered!

Inevitably the British tried to invade, under the leadership of Admiral Horatio Nelson. The British were repulsed but not before Nelson gave his right arm to the cause! However, the British interest did not finish with that fateful battle; during the Second World War, Churchill had plans to seize the island for a naval base should Gibraltar have fallen to the enemy!

Due to their geographical location the islands were always susceptible to attack. Marauding, pillaging pirates were a constant threat. Today the invasion is from swathes of sun-seeking golfers in search of their…

ISLAND GREENS!