Santa Cruz is one of the Canary Islands’ biggest hitters. It shares its capital city title with Las Palmas, on the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria, and more thanlives…Time in port: 07:30 - 23:00
Join us on a trip to one of Tenerife’s star attractions – the award-winning Loro Parque. Translate the name and you’ll find out exactly what this place is all about. ‘Parrot Park’ houses some of the most beautiful birds in the world, who are more than happy to put on a show. But it’s not just parrots that call this place home. These days it’s got a guest list of animals to give Noah a run for his money. See gorillas feasting on bananas. Tigers striding through the long grass. And dolphins showing off in return for fishy treats. All these animals live in smaller versions of their natural habitats rather than cages. One of the highlights is the free-flying macaw show where these colourful birds put on an impressive performance. Another favourite is the parrot nursery where you can see baby parrots being hatched and fed by protective mums. Finally, you can even wander through one of the world’s longest underwater walkway at one of the biggest aquariums in Europe. Keep an eye out for sharks as they glide silently overhead.
In 1998 this place welcomed nearly four million visitors, outnumbering any other National Park in Spain. And it’s easy to see why. Shooting into the sky at an enormous 12,402 feet, Mount Teide in Las Canadas National Park is Tenerife's most famous landmark and the highest mountain in Spain. You’ll pass through the lush Esperanza forest, too, with its cool eucalyptus glades. The landscape starts to change the further you go, ending up with the well known volcanic surface.
This one certainly lives up to its name. In fact, the scenery is so striking, you might well be living life through a lens for this half-day trip. Your tour starts with a coach ride through the Orotava Valley – Mother Nature definitely got all green-fingered for this one - and a stop at the Humboldt viewpoint. From here you’ve got an almost birds-eye view of the landscape. From vineyards to banana plantations, this place is bursting with colour. Next up, it’s on to somewhere a little more manmade but equally Kodak-worthy – Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife’s top tourist hub. You’ll take a drive past all the must-sees – the famous meeting place of Plaza del Charco, or Puddle Square to use its other name, the pretty fishing harbour and, finally, Playa Jardin – the locals’ favourite volcanic beach. Lastly, you’ll follow the narrow coastal roads to the San Pedro viewpoint and wind the tour up the way it began – with a show-stopping vista of the island, but this time it plunges right down to the coast.
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 5)
DEPART FROM PORT: 14:00 (DAY 6)
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.