Macaronesia Blog

Macaronesia is a collection of four archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the continents of Europe and Africa. Apart from the Azores, which are considered mainly as part of Europe, the other islands of Macaronesia are closer to Africa. Macaronesian islands belong to three countries: Portugal, Spain, and Cape Verde.

The name (which is occasionally misspelled “Macronesia” in false analogy with Micronesia, an unrelated Pacific archipelago containing, among other nations, a country of the same name) is derived from the Greek words for “islands of the fortunate” μακάρων νῆσοι makárōn nêsoi, a term used by Ancient Greek geographers for islands to the west of the Straits of Gibraltar.