A Canaries cruise introduces you to some of the Atlantic’s most spectacular islands. The region enjoys a wonderful climate throughout the year, as well as splendid beaches, fine sand, and clear, warm waters. The larger islands are Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Surprisingly, the landscape of each of the major islands is radically different from the others
The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, south-west of Spain and north-west of Africa. They are directly in front of the coast of Morocco.
Find out more below about these unique destinations, or check out our best deals to these popular islands and call us to talk about Canaries cruises today.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Boudicca, 1st Aug 16, 12 nights, sailing from Belfast
P&O Cruises, Azura, 7th Aug 16, 13 nights, sailing from Southampton
Thomson Cruises, Thomson Spirit, 4th Sep 16, 14 nights, sailing from Malaga
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Royal Caribbean International, Independence of the Seas, 9th Sep 16, 10 nights, sailing from Southampton
P&O Cruises, Oriana, 10th Sep 16, 14 nights, sailing from Southampton
Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Eclipse, 17th Sep 16, 13 nights, sailing from Southampton
The largest and best known island is Tenerife. Its lush top half is home to banana & tomato plantations and pine forests, while the south is a place of soft sands. You can also scale Spain's highest peak, Mount Teide, with its mighty crater. Tenerife's coastline is typically rugged and steep, however; there are almost 70km of fine sandy beaches, in particular in the island's south, with Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos among the best known. The National Park, El Teide, offers a fascinating landscape created by the volcano Teide. Christopher Columbus observed its last great eruption in 1492 from the nearby island La Gomera, just before continuing his journey to America. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a very friendly town with its beautiful parks and lively streets. Many Canary Island cruises touch at its picturesque port, which is surrounded by high rocks. More popular sights are the baroque church Iglesia de la Concepción, the Museum of Painting and Sculpture - and the castle Castillo de Paso Alto. Close to Santa Cruz are the beaches of Las Gaviotas and Las Teresitas. Puerto de la Cruz is Tenerife's most visited site; its picturesque townscape alone makes it worth a visit, but there are many more attractions. Loro Park is another main draw, which gets its name from the numerous parrots in the beautiful tropical gardens, but most impressive are certainly the spectacular performances of dolphins. San Cristóbal de la Laguna was formerly the capital of Tenerife and has the largest university on the Canary Islands. This small town boasts numerous monumental buildings and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Lanzarote is of volcanic origin, as are the other islands of the archipelago. In the island's south, you can find the best known beaches of Lanzarote. Playa Blanca has a tropical ambience and outstanding facilities for relaxing cruise holidays, while Las Coloradas has small bays which are great for fishing. The National Park of Timanfaya was born of hundreds of fire-spitting volcanos. It is easy to arrive by car and you can go around the park in a bus or choose the more adventurous alternative and rent a camel. Some of the craters of the volcano, Montaña de Fuego ("Mountain of Fire"), are still active, and the surface temperature is around 400ºC. In some of the restaurants in Timanfaya you even can have your steak grilled on a volcanic crater! Arrecife is the island's capital. Above its port, there are two great fortresses, San Gabriel and San José, in the past defending the town against frequent attacks from pirates. Another 15th century fortress, Castillo de San Gabriel, is located on a small island in front of the port and connected with Arrecife by a draw-bridge. The town's Museum of Contemporary Art showcases several outstanding works of Cesar Manrique, and is among Arrecife's major attractions. Teguise, the former capital, carries the name of the last guanche-king's daughter. It is one of the oldest settlements on the archipelago, but little is left of its original monumental abundance as it once was destroyed by pirates. A highly demanded souvenir is the "Timples", a traditional instrument similar to a guitar, which is manufactured here.
This island has extremely varied landscapes with European, African and even American vegetation. There are not many places in the world where you can find such different climate zones featured so close to each other, including mountains, desert, tropical forests and beaches. Along the seafront is where you'll find the action - tourists flock to Gran Canaria's wide beaches to relax in the sun, and take in the snow-covered mountain peaks in the distance. Some of the most popular beaches are Playa de las Canteras, located in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Maspalomas, a paradise beach for sun worshippers with fine white sand, an oasis and intensely blue sea, and Playa del Inglés, next to Maspalomas, is one of the most famous beaches of the archipelago, with modern hotels. If you wish to explore Gran Canaria, then the quickest and most exciting way is to grab a helicopter ride for spectacular birds-eye views of this unique island.
Fuerteventura has the oldest history out of all of the Canary Islands, as well as the longest beaches of the archipelago. It's positioned very close to Africa, with only a narrow channel separating the island from the continent. Fuerteventura is an ideal destination for Canaries cruises as it offers fishing and surfing (the island has an important place on the windsurfing World Cup circuit). Corralejo, a fishing village in the very north of the island is well worth a visit, and from here you can take an excursion by boat to the nearby island Lobos. Fine sand and crystalline water make the beaches of Corralejo some of the most beautiful in the world. The island's capital Puerto Rosario is a small town surrounded by splendid beaches and showcases the typical architecture of the Canary Islands. The land here is particularly fertile, which may be the reason why the island's original population, the Guanches, founded their first important settlement here. In the town's archaeological museum you can see remnants of this original civilisation. Also of interest is a cathedral, built in 1410, with beautiful works in Mudejar style and painted choir stalls from the wood of the Canary Island pine.
La Palma, also called the "green island" because of its exuberant countryside, has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Its major site is the National Park Caldera de Taburiente with its huge volcanic crater, measuring 9km wide and 770 meters deep. At the edge of the National Park is the island's highest mountain, Roque de los Muchachos. The picturesque port town of Santa Cruz de la Palma is located along the east coast of the island. Among the most important sites are the Town Hall and the church Iglesia del Salvador, both of the 16th century, and the interesting Museum of Natural Science.
This island is characterised by its tall cliffs that drop down steeply to the sea. The region of Alto de Garajonay has been declared a National Park. Particularly interesting are the population's very old customs. The inhabitants of the different valleys used to communicate with each other in a whistling language, comparable to the "yodelling" in Central European Alps. Key attractions during Canary Island cruise stopovers include: San Sebastian de la Gomera, a picturesque small town connected to Tenerife by a ferry boat, Playa de Santiago, a small fishing-village with a fine beach and crystalline water and Valle Gran Rey, a valley full of plantations and some of the island's best beaches.
El Hierro is the smallest island of the archipelago. It is home to natural swimming pools and crystal clear waters, ideal for swimming and scuba diving, as well as huge areas of protected woodland. El Hierro is an ideal place for relaxing holidays in direct contact with nature. Valverde, the capital of El Hierro, consists of steep and narrow streets, whitewashed houses with typical architecture, and generous gardens. This community is cut off from the rest of the island by mountains which are over 1000 meters high. This region is well known for its wine and fruit production, and it is an ideal place to enjoy the gastronomic highlights of El Hierro - excellent wines, smoked cheese, and quesadillas.
This unique set of islands offers far more than beaches and sun. They're great for families, adventurers and those who wish to explore a whole new terrain. They are also perfectly positioned if you want to take a brief trip over to Morocco or Spain.
The islands seem to be blessed with eternal springtime. Temperatures between the seasons vary only some 6º C, and the islands monthly average temperatures range from 18º to 24º C. That means ideal bathing conditions throughout the year. Due to the islands geographical location, some 4º from the Tropic of Cancer close to the African coast, the islands' climate is subtropical. Water temperature varies from 22º C in summer to 19º C in winter. In La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria you may find tropical rains from time to time, while Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are very dry and guarantee sunshine almost without interruption.
Starting ports include Southampton, Barcelona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Granada, and many more. P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean sail from Southampton, with others offering fly/cruise packages (including Thomson Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines). To find out more about fly/cruise packages, call CruiseDeals now and book your trip.
All the major cruise lines sail to the Canary Islands. Thomson Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises to name a few. Some of the itineraries call in at exotic spots like Morocco, so you get to experience an African cruise, too. You could explore the mosques, markets and bars in Morocco’s biggest city, Casablanca, and tread in the footsteps of Bergman and Bogart. Or go for equally intriguing Tangier, an upbeat but traditional outpost and once a party playground of the rich and famous. If 9 km of soft sands and crystal seas sound more appealing, make sure the country’s premier beach resort, Agadir, is on the agenda. You could of course, go inland. Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains and Immouzer National Park are all in easy daytrip distance.
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