The name (which is often misspelt "Macronesia" and also confused with Micronesia comes from the Greek for "fortunate islands", a term used by Ancient Greek geographers for islands to the west of the Straits of Gibraltar.
Macaronesia consists of four archipelagos:
- Azores (an autonomous region of Portugal)
- Madeira, including Savage Islands and Desertas Islands (the other autonomous region of Portugal)
- Canary Islands (Spain)
- Cape Verde (Cape Verde)
The islands of Macaronesia are volcanic in origin, and are thought to be the product of several geologic hotspots.
For more information see the wikipedia article om Macaronesia.