Canary Islands cruises - Taganana village, Tenerife

Canary Islands cruises

The Canary Islands are sometimes written off as a destination with little to offer beyond beaches and balmy winter temperatures, but this rugged archipelago is surprisingly diverse, from the lush vegetation of La Palma to the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote.

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Cruising in the Canary Islands

A cruise is a great way to see the Canary Islands, allowing you to experience several different islands without having to worry about the logistics of inter-island flights and ferries. Most itineraries will include the best known islands such as Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, but one of the real joys of a Canary Islands cruise is visiting lesser known gems like La Palma, La Gomera or El Hierro.

The Canaries are a popular destination for round-trip itineraries sailing from the UK, making the archipelago a great no-fly option if you're looking for some winter sun, and there are also numerous itineraries that use Santa Cruz de Tenerife as a turnaround port. Canary Island cruises will often include the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, and other common combinations include southern Spain, Morocco and Cape Verde. The islands are also a popular stop at the beginning or end of a transatlantic cruise.

The islands offer a surprising amount of variety, in terms of both landscape and climate. La Palma is lush and fertile, almost Caribbean in appearance, while Lanzarote is characterised by arid, otherworldly lava fields. The islands are of course famous for their beach resorts, but the likes of Tenerife and La Gomera also offer dramatic mountain scenery and a host of outdoor pursuits, from hiking to windsurfing. The unique Canarian style of architecture is another pleasant surprise to many visitors, with a colonial feel that is often quite distinct from that of the Spanish mainland, and the larger towns offer plenty of cultural enrichment too, with some excellent galleries and museums.

The archipelago's pleasant sub-tropical climate means that there isn't really a bad time to visit, but you'll find that most Canary Islands itineraries operate during our winter months, with repositioning cruises passing through en route to or from the Americas and Africa in spring and autumn.

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