The Agalega Islands are two islands in the Indian Ocean, lying 1,100 km (680 mi) north of Mauritius are governed by that country. The islands have a total area of 24 sqare Kilometer, although the official figure of 70 sqare Kilometer. The North Island is home to the islands' airstrip and the capital of Vingt Cinq and village of La Fourche, while the South Island has the village of Sainte Rita.
The islands are known for their coconuts, the production of which is their main industry, and for the Agalega Island Day Gecko. At one time, no coinage circulated on the islands; all payment was by government-issued vouchers and debited directly from the inhabitants' salaries. There are three different explanations for the name Agalega. One hypothesis is that the Portuguese explorer, Don Pedro de Masceranhas, named Agalega and the island of Sainte Marie in honor of his two sailboats, the "Galega" and the "Santa Maria" in 1512, when he discovered Mauritius and Reunion Island.
Another, more probable explanation relates to the Galician explorer Joao da Nova, who discovered the islands in 1501 while working for the Portuguese. Joao was popularly known by his sailors as Jean Gallego, according to Jean Baptiste Benoît Eyries' Les Nouvelles Annales de Voyage (Volume 38, page 88). Galego (or Gallego) is the Galician word for someone from Galicia, North West Spain, and "Agalega", is derived from the feminine version of this.