Mother Nature had a field day with La Palma. All rolling mountains, plunging valleys and sweet-smelling pine forests, the little island certainly isn’t short on breathtaking…Time in port: 08:00 - 17:00
The ultimate off road experience - Climb into your dune buggy for the ride of your life. Follow your experienced guide along the roads up into the mountains of La Palma, zooming past beautiful scenery with the wind in your face… then it's time to go off road! Blast along mountain paths and through dense jungle roads, deeper into the La Palma countryside, no other vehicle can go where you go. Stop for some stunning views of the Island before racing off again.
Mother Nature had a field day when she created La Palma and here’s your chance to see some of the best bits. Driving through gorgeous countryside you’ll come to the little church of the Santuario Virgen de Las Nieves, the patron saint of La Palma. There’s time to take photos before making your way to the star of the show - La Caldera de Taburiente National Park. This enormous National Park is actually a volcanic crater, the biggest in the world in fact. The rugged walls effectively form a natural fortress – so much so the Benahoares sought refuge here when the Spanish invaded in the 15th-century. Inside the crater bowl you’ll find sweeping woodlands and dense pine forests. Make a photo-stop at Mirador de La Concepcion, which offers up spectacular views over Santa Cruz de La Palma. Then carry on to Mirador de La Cumbrecita, a viewpoint at the southern part of the park that’s an incredible 1250 metres above sea level. Cameras at the ready!
La Palma may be small but it certainly packs a punch in the natural wonder stakes. Take La Caldera de Taburiente, for example. This enormous National Park at the heart of the island is actually a volcanic crater – the biggest in the world in fact. On this trip, you’ll drive through the lush southeast of the island, headed for the town and volcanoes of Fuencaliente. Along the way, stop at the little village of Las Manchas to see the square inspired by Spanish design king, Gaudi. Then, once you get to Fuencaliente, visit the San Antonio crater. Enjoy breathtaking views down into a valley and then peer down into the depths of the Teneguia volcano, which last erupted in 1971. After that, check out the Visitors’ Centre to find out how the Canaries were formed. Your day of discovery continues with a trip to a wine cellar, where you can try a few of the local tipples. Last but not least, you’ll make one last stop, in Mazo. Take a look at the pottery centre of El Molino, housed in an old windmill, before heading back to ship.
Sweeter than wine, Madeira’s a fine excuse to binge on beautiful scenery to your heart’s content. Funchal is the island’s capital, a bewitching collection of cobbledstreets,…ARRIVE IN PORT: 07:00 (DAY 4)
DEPART FROM PORT: 14:00 (DAY 5)
Start as you mean to go on - so the old saying goes. And that’s certainly the case on this trip. Your day begins with a cable car ride from Funchal to nearby Monte. Make sure you’ve got your camera ready because once you reach the top, on a clear day, the panoramic views are superb. When you get to Monte, head for the famous Church of Our Lady of Monte, known for its striking façade of dark basalt stone and whitewash. Then it’s decision time - do you slip and slide down the narrow streets in a toboggan, or rejoin the bus for a more sedate journey down the hill? Sitting in a wicker basket mounted on wooden runners, two drivers guide the sled down through narrow streets, using their rubber-soled boots as brakes. Ernest Hemingway once described the experience as ‘exhilarating’. After your ride - whichever one you choose - relax in Funchal’s tranquil Botanical Gardens. Wander through the grounds, inhaling the sweet scent of exotic blooms. Your last stop is at a souvenir shop where you can admire delicate lace as you sip fine Madeiran wine.
One thing’s for sure, Madeira’s not short on natural beauty and this tour serves up some of the island’s best sights. Visit the quaint fishing village of Camara de Lobos where Sir Winston Churchill used to spend his time capturing the views on canvas. Then it’s on to Cabo Girao, a towering cliff that drops down into the sea – an awe-inspiring sight worthy of a place in your holiday scrapbook. Afterwards, you’re off to one of the most enchanting spots on the island - Eira do Serrado. From this viewpoint, look out over the remote mountain village of Curral das Freiras, framed by sweeping valleys and jagged peaks. Breathe in the fresh, crisp air and browse for souvenirs in the nearby local craft shop. Your final stop is at Pico dos Barcelos to take in those last dreamy views before making your way back to Funchal.
Your morning starts at Funchal’s Farmer’s Market, where stalls groan under the weight of fruits, vegetables and fragrant blooms. Then take a ride through the hills of Funchal and clap eyes on the greenery that gives Madeira its name ‘The Floating Garden’. Once you get to the Botanical Gardens you’ll get some time to yourself to walk the terraces that climb from 200 to 300 metres. Explore the paths that wind between dragon and coral trees, and see all those beautiful flowers that have been brought here from around the world. Set some time aside for the views, too – the city of Funchal stretches out far below you. When you’re done there, take an exhilarating cable car ride to the village of Monte. Perched high up on a hill, its landmark is a little church whose twin towers spear the skyline. After you’ve had a chance to explore, it’s time to head back to Funchal by coach, polishing off your trip with a visit to one of Madeira’s wine cellars.
Fuerteventura is the Canary Island of choice for beach connoisseurs. Its coastline morphs from the 10 kilometre-long blonde sweep in the Parque Natural de las Dunas to…Time in port: 10:00 - 19:00
This half-day trip showcases the history and culture of Fuerteventura. Your tour starts as you drive through the island’s flat, volcanic landscape on your way to La Alcogida Ecomuseum. This open-air spot features working recreations of stone farmhouses, which give you a real insight into the islanders’ life of old. It shows how farmers cared for their livestock amid the arid landscapes. Next up is a wildlife display at Casa Santa Maria. While you’re here you’ll also learn how they make the island’s award winning cheese, and there’ll be a chance to try a bit. A multi-vision show highlights life on Fuerteventura by land and sea. It’s a dazzling cinematic experience charting the island’s geology, flora, fauna and marine life through the seasons. Later, you’ll head to an aloe vera farm for a guided tour that tells you all about this healing plant. It’s been harvested on the island for its medicinal and cosmetic properties for centuries. Afterwards, try and buy some products or stroll around the surrounding valley to enjoy the scenery.
This trip takes all the hassle out of getting to and from the beach. You’ll be whisked to Corralejo’s 11-kilometre stretch of beach by bus. Then you’ll have three hours or so to spend relaxing on the sands, walking the dunes, and swimming in the sea – be careful, though, the currents can be quite strong. Alternatively, explore the town of Corralejo itself. A small fishing village just a few decades ago, it’s now a bustling port and holiday resort. Browse the designer boutiques and surfwear shops around the central square, snap up souvenirs, and amble along the waterfront, calling in at the pavement bars and restaurants.
Buckle up for this adrenaline-pumping tour. You’ll board a 4x4 and travel on and off-road, trundling by sleepy villages, idyllic beaches and rugged mountains. On the first leg of the journey you’ll pass through traditional villages, colourful fields and palm groves on route to Tindaya. This whitewashed village spreads beneath volcanic Mount Tindaya, which locals say attracts witches and strange phenomena. The mountain was once used for religious worship and footprints left by Fuerteventura’s original Guanche inhabitants have been discovered on its slopes. Next, you’ll rumble past remote beaches en route to El Cotillo, a rustic fishing village flanked by windswept coves and lagoons. This makes it the perfect stop and if there's time, why not take a quick dip? On the home straight, we’ll pass the island’s famous sand dunes. Their awe inspiring golden sands backed with the turquoise water is the perfect place to stop for a photo before we return to the ship.
Golden dunes drenched in year-round sunshine. Rugged mountains hiding pretty whitewashed villages. Bays and coves linked together like a magnificent sandy necklace. Nature’s…Time in port: 08:00 - 23:00
Leaving the pier behind, you’ll set off towards Playa del Ingles before arriving in Maspalomas. The dunes here are somewhat of a celebrity in these parts – people come from far and wide to admire the huge mounds of golden sand. There’ll be a quick photo stop here, before you move on to Puerto Mogan, one of the most picturesque towns in Gran Canaria, thanks to its cobbled streets, traditional bougainvillea-clad houses and old harbour filled with bobbing fishing boats. You’ll have about an hour to wander around, so you can browse the shops for souvenirs, relax on the small beach, or head to one of the waterfront restaurants and tuck in to a plate of ‘sancocho’ – salt fish stew served with plump wheat dumplings.
If you’re a connoisseur of art and culture, the island’s cosmopolitan capital is a must. Your first stop is “Mirador de Altavista” where you will enjoy great views of the city, port and Las Canteras Beach. After this, you head to Barrio Vegueta, Las Palmas’ old quarter, its maze of cobbled streets and sun-dappled squares is a joy to explore. Make a stop outside the house and museum of Christopher Columbus. Here, your guide will be on hand to give you the low down on this great explorer. Following some free time here you’ll head to the heart of the city, keep an eye out for bronze statues of Canarian dogs which gave the islands their name. Next up is leafy Parque Doramas, a sleepy park that’s spot on for relaxing. Take a look at the famous ‘dragon trees’. A cross between a tree and a cactus, they don’t have any rings so their age is a total mystery. Parque Doramas is also where you’ll find Pueblo Canario, a traditional-style Canarian village complete with cutesy craft shops. Last but not least, you’ll get to see one of the island’s most impressive natural sights – the Caldera de Bandama - an extinct bowl-shaped volcanic crater at the heart of Gran Canaria. Over 3,000ft high, it’s one of the few inhabited craters in the world and, as you can imagine, the views it offers up are out of this world.
If you want the perfect picture reminder of Gran Canaria, a visit the golden sand dunes of Maspalomas is a must. Located on the island’s south coast the pristine dunes aren’t the only attraction. The climate on this side of Gran Canaria is normally the best on the island. In fact, it was here that the first tourists headed, turning the sleepy little town into a top holiday destination. This half day tour is simple – We’ll drop you off as close to town as possible and your escort will give you a pick-up point and time. All you have to do is choose how to spend your free time. With up to 3 hours and a mix of shops, cafes and, of course, plenty of room to spread out on the beach to catch some rays – where to head first. If you fancy stretching your legs then why not head to the promenade where you can enjoy your free time on the seafront of Meloneras.