Are the Canary Islands in the EU?

The Canary Islands are a Spanish Archipelago by nature. Still, the Islands’ location is often confused between Africa and the European Union due to their difficult position within the Atlantic Ocean. These seven islands are also known as the “Spanish outermost region of the EU.”

As someone interested in visiting the Islands for their luscious beaches and resorts, this must make you wonder, are the Canary Islands located in the EU, or are they situated somewhere else?

The Canary Islands are considered a part of Europe and, in turn, the European Union. This is simply because these Islands are a remote part of the country of Spain.

In this article, I will talk about the location of the Canary Islands, if they are located in the EU, a bit about Schengen, the difference between EU and Schengen, and a lot more. So, let us get started.

Are the Canary Islands in the EU?

Where Are the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean in Macaronesia. It is situated 62 miles away from the coast of Morocco and is a geographical part of the African tectonic plate.

The Canaries is a cluster of Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and there are many tiny islands in this group. However, if we talk about the main larger significant islands popular in the Canary Islands, there are eight; let us look at them.

La PalmaLa Gomera
Gran CanariaEl Hierro
TenerifeLa Graciosa
The Canary Islands

All these mini-islands are incredibly popular and loved by tourists all around the world. They are rich with beautiful sand beaches, resorts, shopping malls, and all the perks a tourist wants from an Island trip. So, coming here would be an excellent decision for you and your loved ones.

European Union

EU - European Union - flag

European Union is not what most people consider it to be – it is not a geographical area. Instead, it is an economic and political agreement or Union between 27 European countries to promote growth, equality, freedom, and democracy. In 1958, after the Second World War, the EU was formed under the name of the European Economic Community for the benefit of the continent of Europe. In 1993, the name was changed to European Union.

In 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union to gain a sovereign status and independent growth. However, other countries are still under the agreement and even use the same currency, which is the Euro. The Union is administered through the special European Parliament, where the representatives of each EU country sit and discuss matters of continental importance. As a result, this Union has been acclaimed and criticized by many all around the world.

Countries in the European Union

There are 27 active member countries of the European Union. These countries live by the rule of law of the EU, and all use the same Euro for economic equality. Let us take a look at the names of the countries in the European Union.

BelgiumGermanyThe Netherlands
Republic of CyprusIrelandRomania
The Czech RepublicItalySlovakia
Countries in the European Union.

All these countries abide by the human rights and freedom policies imposed by the European Union and continue to do so until the point of exit from the Union.

Are the Canary Islands a Part of the European Union?

However, the vital question in this regard and the point of contention of this topic are the Canary Islands, a part of the European Union. Well, yes, they are economically and politically a part of the European Union.

How is that; You might be wondering. The Canary Islands are part of the Spain region despite being off in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, since Spain is a part of Europe and the European Union, the Canary Islands are also a part of the EU.

This means that every citizen residing in the Canary Islands must have a Spanish Passport to be considered a national. The currency that works in the Islands is the Euro.

The Canary Islands themselves are not considered a country. Neither are the different regions and smaller islands in the Canaries countries or cities per se. The entire region is a remote archipelago of the country of Spain.


Schengen Area is a zone within Europe where 26 countries have signed an agreement to break internal borders, open them for citizens, barricade the external borders against outer threats. Furthermore, the countries within the Schengen Area have adopted similar rules and regulations, respecting the internal laws of each country and maintaining law and order by strengthening the policing system against criminal activities.

Many countries within Europe have signed this agreement which allows the people to hold a Schengen Union Visa and travel from one country to any of the other 25 countries within the Schengen region without any visa requirement. Many of the countries in the European Union are also a part of the Schengen Area agreement. Let us take a look at the 26 member countries of the Schengen Area as of now.

The Schengen region includes the following:

The Czech RepublicItalyPoland
The Schengen region

Why is it Called Schengen?

Many people have this question, why is it called the Schengen Area; What is the purpose behind the name; Well, it is not as complex or difficult to understand as you might think.

In a small winemaking town of Luxembourg called Schengen, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed a union agreement known as the Schengen agreement. The name comes from the town of Schengen.

Are the Canary Islands part of the Schengen agreement?

If we take a detailed look at the list of the countries in the Schengen Area, we can see that Spain is also included in the list of countries within their bounds.

So, due to this reason, we can safely say that the Canary Islands are situated not only in the European Union but majorly in the Schengen Area. Visa-less travel is an option if you have a Schengen Union Visa with you, which allows for international travel within the bounds of this Union.

European Union vs. Schengen Area

European Union, as we talked about, is an economic and political union of 27 European countries that have agreed to impose the similar rule of law, currency, political regulations, freedom laws, human rights, and other trade laws that allow the countries to grow and prosper individually but as a unit.

However, on the other hand, Schengen Area is a union between European countries that allows them to let the citizens of the countries move freely without any internal borders existing between them. 26 countries have signed this agreement, and many of them are in the EU as well.

Are the European Union and Schengen the Same?

I am asked this question a lot. What is the difference between the EU and Schengen? Both these organizations and entities are entirely different. However, there are several interloping countries between both of these agreements.

The EU and Schengen’s goals are vastly different because the European Union is centered on the economic and political forefront. In contrast, border security, freedom of movement, and transport are what Schengen takes into account. The only similarity is that these entities consist of European countries and have Europe as the region of application.

Are All EU Countries in Schengen?

Actually, no. A few countries are a part of the European Union but not the Schengen agreement. Several members of the Schengen Agreement are not a part of the European Union either; they have not been included or just outed themselves.

If we talk about European Union members, we have Ireland, which has opted out of the Schengen Agreement, we also had the UK, but it is not a part of the European Union anymore. Moreover, in the case of Schengen Area members, we have Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City, which are not included in the EU.

Final Thoughts

The Canary Islands are simply beautiful if you are thinking of visiting them. Furthermore, if you have got a Schengen Union Visa with you, you are in luck because you will not need any specific country visa to visit them. This is because the Islands are a part of Spain and the country of Spain exists within Europe. Therefore, the borders in Spain are easily accessible for any Schengen country citizen, which is why you are going to have a great adventure. So, pack your bags and get your friends and family together; you are going to have an incredible tour worth remembering for a long time to come.

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