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.
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.
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.
You’ll feel like you’ve switched continents when you dine at this restaurant. It offers a pan-Asian selection of curries and noodle dishes, a separate sushi menu, plus bespoke dishes created by master chef Ian Pengelley exclusively for Marella Cruises. This is one of the ship's speciality restaurants, so there's a charge to dine here – plus, we recommend you make a reservation in advance.
You’ll be whisked to sunny Spain when you dine in this section of The Mediterranean, which specialises in tapas dishes for dinner. Or you can take your taste buds over to Portugal and try espetadas – meat or veg skewers – for a little extra. It's open at lunchtime, too, for light bites, like sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
The main waiter service restaurant is a good-looking place, with a gold-and-grey colour scheme and floor-to-ceiling windows. Menu-wise, you can expect traditional dishes with a modern twist.
There’s a lot to see in the buzzing city of Agadir, on this tour things kick off with a coach ride up to the Agadir Kasbah, a Medieval hilltop fortress that was built by the Berbers in 1540. Because of an earthquake in 1960, all that remains today are the rose-blushed walls and the castle’s sturdy entrance, but the views are intact. From here, you’ll head off to see Fantasia, a Moroccan show designed for tourists featuring Berber Horsemen, tumblers, acrobats and musicians. Finally, you’ll head off to a souk where stalls creak under the weight of take-home temptations. From hand-woven rugs to baskets made from palms, ornate hookahs to gilt coffee pots, you can buy anything and everything here. As you make your way through the market, remember to haggle with the merchants to pick up some great bargains.
Surrounded by olive trees, palms and sweet-smelling citrus groves, the walled city of Taroudant is a real gem. On your drive there, keep an eye out for the tree-climbing goats that call this part of the world home. Upon arrival, step inside this 11th-century citadel and prepare to be hurled back in time. Resting peacefully within its ramparts, Taroudant has avoided time’s march, retaining its traditional look and feel. Four miles of chunky walls encircle the city, pierced by five impressive gateways. Within them lie Taroudant’s most famous attractions, the daily Berber market and the Arab souk. Browse the stalls and snap up anything and everything from exotic spices to leather goods.
Famous throughout the world for its colourful souks and vibrant bazaars, a visit to one should not be missed during your stay in Morocco. Stalls overflow with aromatic herbs and spices, copper trays and hookah pipes, pottery and carpets… the list is endless. You name it, they’ll probably sell it. One stop will be Kasbat Souss, a craft shop with set prices. You’ll then head for the largest souk market in southern Morocco for your opportunity to practise your bartering skills. Indulge in retail therapy to your heart’s content. Bring euros, sterling or even US dollars – it’s best to take small notes. Remember, the more you haggle, the better the deal, so don’t hold back!
If there’s one place you HAVE to go in Lanzarote, it’s Timanfaya National Park. Born out of fiery volcanic eruptions, this corner of Lanzarote is all craters, calderas and cones. Drive through the barren landscape taking in the luna-like scenery and stop to see local guides perform amazing volcanic experiments. They’ll turn brushwood into fire and cups of water into steaming geysers. You can even take a camel ride through the scorched valleys and across the crater’s edge. Leaving Timanfaya behind, pay a visit to the vineyards of La Geria where you can try – and buy – the local tipples before heading back to the ship.
If your holiday mantra is ‘busy doing nothing’, you’ll love this trip to Lanzarote’s most popular beach resort, Puerto del Carmen. This is one of the few places on the island that doesn’t close down for siesta – its sandy beaches, shops, cafés and bars buzz with life round the clock. Pick up some souvenirs, stock up on your duty frees or simply laze away the day in the sunshine, the choice is yours. It’s a fun, half day trip that’s spot on if you’re ready to relax.
A set transfer to the second largest tourist resort in Lanzarote, Costa Teguise. Time is your own to explore and enjoy this popular resort. It's an easy way to get there as taxis are limited in the port area.