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Canary Island cruises offer just about everything you could want in a relaxing break. With sun-soaked days, desert-like landscapes and volcanic mountains, there is always plenty to do and see - whether you take a cruise for a few days or a few weeks. Bask in the year-round sunshine on your Canaries cruise, and revel in the dramatic surroundings and glorious beaches. Fun-filled days compliment balmy nights under the stars, as you sail through the alluring Atlantic Ocean from island to island.
Cruises around the Canary Islands make for very popular family cruises, while the many ports of interests also make it a great option for first time cruises. With their great locations in the Atlantic just off Africa, the Canaries and Azores are only a short flight from the UK and therefore popular fly cruise destinations. Alternatively, if you'd rather not fly, it's possible to embark on no-fly cruises from the UK, such as from Southampton.
With its subtropical climate meaning weather is mild throughout the year, the Canary Islands are the perfect cruise destination. While the summer and winter months are great for exploring what there is to offer, Spring and Autumn are popular seasons for Canary Island cruises as it's the perfect way to escape the bad weather blues in the rest of Europe and usually find a pretty cheap deal.
While cuisine on the Canary Islands is similar to that in mainland Spain, given the proximity to Africa and its links to Latin America, you'll find some unique twists to their delicious dishes:
Being the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife possesses dramatically contrasting landscapes and an abundance of diverse experiences to be uncovered, from the towering heights of snow-capped volcano Mount Teide to the mystique of the tropical forests and magnetic shorelines. Meanwhile the capital, Santa Cruz, welcomes shopaholics with deliciously designer boutiques, after which you can soak up the year-round sunshine on the island’s many beautiful beaches. The animal park, cable car ride and carnival celebration also make for must do excursions that will keep the whole family smiling.
The main port of Lanzarote, Arrecife is home to many wonderful sights, beautiful beaches and quaint whitewashed houses. In particular, you should look out for the Timanfaya National Park with its red and black landscape where if you go on a guided tour, you'll be treated to some experiments which prove that the volcano is only dormant. Back at sea level and you can lap up the sun on the famous Lanzarote beaches, which is in abundance given the easterly location of this island.
This may be the most remote and least developed of the Canary Islands, but there's still plenty for visitors to see and do. With a small dock at Puerto de La Estaca and tiny capital of Valverde, cruisers will be able to get a pint-sized taste of life on these islands. While you're there, keep an eye out for the rugged, volcanic landscape, especially at El Sabinar where the strong winds make the juniper trees grow in strange shapes.
The main town on this beautiful island is San Sebastian, where you can visit the port where Christopher Columbus left for the new world, as well as the Garajonay National park where a guided tour will help you discover the unique ecosystem here. However, if you're lucky, you may come across the most unique aspect of this island: Silbo. As the island is punctuated by deep ravines, some locals still communicate by this ancient language of whistles.
With its miles of beaches and sunny weather, Fuerteventura is popular for those wanting to get stuck into some water sports, especially windsurfing. However, if you'd rather stay on dry land, there's plenty of opportunity to sit back and relax on the sand or explore some of the oldest towns in this part of the world, including Betansuria and La Oliva.
With its golden sandy beaches and endless dunes, sunshine and fascinating sights, Gran Canaria is an unmissable cruise destination. Whether you decide to stroll around the bustling, cosmopolitan capital city Las Palmas and visit the Christopher Columbus Museum in the Vegueta district, the old town, enjoy the exciting submarine dive or visit the waterpark, you'll find yourself falling in love with this slice of paradise.
Also called the ‘Pearl on the Ocean’, the capital of Madeira, Funchal, is filled with fine beaches and beautiful gardens. You will be amazed by the breathtaking scenery surrounded by banana plantations, lush greenery and vineyards. Either relax in Funchal's Botanical Gardens or for a little more physical exertion, enjoy the "levada" walks (the paths alongside the mini canals) throughout the island.
For a taste of the exotic, the fabulous Moroccan ports of Agadir and Casablanca are a melting pot of local culture and Western influence. Old elements blend seamlessly with modern life to create attractive and unique resorts. Don’t miss the Agadir Grand Souk, the largest covered market in the area. A shore excursion to one of these ports is an ideal way to snap up some souvenirs, with everything from leather to spice before heading back up to Portugal and Spain or perhaps even on your homeward leg of the journey.