Meaning of Archipelago

The Italian term arcipelago came to our language as an archipelago. Specifically, it is considered that the etymological origin of this word in Castilian is in that other Greek which is a cultism resulting from the sum of two components: the adjective “archi”, which can be translated as “superior”, and the noun “piélagos ”, Which is equivalent to“ sea ”.

The concept of archipelago refers to a group of islands that extends into the ocean. For example: “This archipelago was discovered by a Portuguese navigator in 1520”, “I spent my summer vacation touring a beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean”, “Fishing is the archipelago’s main economic resource”.

The archipelagos are made up of various bodies of land, from islands to cays through islets and other formations. These various land masses are located a short distance from each other: that is why they are considered as one unit.

A known archipelago is the Juan Fernández archipelago, which belongs to Chile. Located in the South Pacific, about 670 kilometers away from the mainland, it is made up of the Santa Clara islet, Alejandro Selkirk island, Robinson Crusoe island and other smaller islets.

About 600 people live in the Juan Fernández archipelago, distributed over an area of almost 100 square kilometers. Robinson Crusoe Island is the most populated.

In Europe, the archipelago of the British Isles is one of the most important. This archipelago includes the islands of Great Britain (which are divided into England, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland (whose territory is divided into Ireland and Northern Ireland).

However, in Spain we cannot forget the existence of two other important archipelagos:
-Canary archipelago (Canary Islands). It is made up of seven islands: El Hierro, La Gomera, Tenerife, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. It is located in North Africa, has a marked volcanic origin and has a subtropical climate. The latter has led it to become one of the most relevant tourist destinations throughout the year in the country. It has a long list of National Parks that have become true jewels and attractions of the aforementioned archipelago: Teide, Timanfaya, Caldera de Taburiente, Garajonay…
-The Balearic archipelago (Balearic Islands), which is divided into two large groups: the Pitiusan islands (Formentera, Ibiza and various islets) and the Gymnastic islands (Menorca, Mallorca, Cabrera and other islets). Its capital is Palma de Mallorca and it is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It is also one of the preferred tourist destinations in Spain, having become the third autonomous community with the most visitors, after Catalonia and the Canary Islands. Its beaches, its climate and its nightlife are three of the main attractions of this corner, without forgetting monuments such as the Cathedral of Palma or the archaeological sites.

When the archipelago has little infrastructure and offers little opportunity for development to its inhabitants, it is common for people to tend to seek opportunities on the mainland, emigrating from the islands. This usually occurs especially with young people who wish to access study options or professionals that do not exist in the archipelago.