Madeira is an archipelago of four volcanic, lush and rocky-beached islands but only two are inhabited. A relative hidden gem made up of nine islands, the Azores offers a mix of rolling countryside, tucked-away fishing villages and mountainous landscapes.

madeiraWhy choose an Atlantic cruise?

An Atlantic cruise gives you the chance to make unforgettable memories as you enjoy the natural and dramatic beauty of its many islands.

The main island of Madeira is the home of the famous fortified wine, so be sure to visit Blandy’s Wine Lodge in the capital city of Funchal. More active pursuits include hiking through the island’s mountains and forests, and you’ll also find the Madeira Botanical Gardens in Funchal. Porto Santo Island is a beach-lover’s paradise, with long stretches of white sand and warm waters. Visit the Christopher Columbus Museum in the capital city of Vila Baleira.

You’ll never be short on things to do when you visit the Azores, as its nine islands all offer something new and different.

São Miguel features impressive volcanic scenery, with several crater lakes the main attraction. In contrast to those rugged landscapes, the island of Terceira has large areas of rolling fields and forests. It’s a place of history, too, with the city of Angra do Heroísmo a UNESCO World Heritage site. Faial is one of the liveliest islands and Horta town’s pretty marina area is full of cosmopolitan atmosphere. It’s also one of the best islands for whale watching.

madeira waterfallThe best time for an Atlantic cruise

Being so close to north Africa, this area of the Atlantic benefits from a subtropical climate. This means you’re almost guaranteed warm and sunny weather whatever time of the year you enjoy a cruise. The hottest weather tends to be between May and August, when peak temperatures can easily hit 25°C, with this most likely to happen in the scorching summer month of August. There are also few days of rain during this time, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to worry about keeping your umbrella close at hand during shore excursions!

Autumn is an ideal time for an Atlantic cruise if you prefer your weather more warm than hot. Most days will see temperatures reaching a very pleasant 18°C to 21°C. Even during winter, the mercury rarely drops below 15°C, so it’s never particularly cold. However, January can be a rainy month, so be sure to pack a waterproof jacket.

azoresTop cruise destinations

The Azores