The island of Tenerife is the biggest Canary Island, a chain of seven main islands. It also has the most people.
This chain of islands is Spanish territory in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of northwest Africa. Human history on these islands seems to have started around twenty two to twenty three hundred years ago. An indigenous race called the Guanches populated the earliest known settlements.
The island was roughly split up into about a dozen different territories, and there were various rulers and tribes as the island was conquered time and again, starting from the Roman Empire and on into the time of the Spanish Empire.
The island of Tenerife was actually the last of the Canary Islands to submit to Spain, falling in the last decade of the fifteenth century, although attempts at taking the place over started several decades earlier.
Infectious diseases brought with the invaders laid waste to the native populations, and the survivors were largely enslaved.
Colonists from other nations joined the island as citizens. The pine forests fell to make room for agriculture.
Spanish expeditions made this island a supply stop while crossing to the Americas. This also saw local families emigrate to places like Cuba and Venezuela.
The island of Tenerife is an ancient place. The island's oldest mountain ranges were likely the birth of the island around 12 million years ago. As it exists now, it is actually the merging of three different islands, when volcanic activity fused several landmasses together just 3 million years ago.
In modern time, this 785 square mile island is home to nearly a million permanent residents, almost half of all seven Canary Islands. Five times that many visit annually as tourists, as this place is among the busiest tourist destinations of Spain.
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