These vibrant islands are tucked away in the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest of Spain’s mainland, offering over 600 miles of coastline to lounge on. From tropical resorts to otherworldly lunar landscapes, this unique archipelago is truly one-of-a-kind! There are seven islands in the Canaries, each with its own distinct vibe. You can enjoy subtropical forests on La Gomera or black lava flatlands on Tenerife. Alternately, get out into the warm water surrounding the Canary Islands for a day of exploring shipwrecks and marine life!
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
La Gomera, Canary Islands
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Puerto del Rosario, Canary Islands
Tenerife, Canary Islands
The third-largest of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is home to the bustling capital city of Las Palmas as well as laid-back lava beaches, desert-like sand dunes and interior leafy mountains. The variety in terrain is truly amazing, making this a continent in miniature. Ready to explore? Why not relax on tranquil Puerto de Mogan beach, go snorkelling at Las Canteras, or view the rock formations at Roque Nublo.
See the quieter side of the Canary Islands with a visit to La Gomera, the chain’s second-smallest island. You’ll find deserted black sand beaches and sleepy villages to explore in its 146 square miles of space. A highlight is the Garajonay National Park with its misty fern-covered forest, the perfect place for a hike. You can also explore attractions like the Torre del Conde fortress and rugged Roque de Agando.
Studded with family-friendly resorts, Tenerife is a colourful holiday destination for all ages. It’s the largest of the Canary Islands, dominated by dormant volcano Mt Teide. Ringed with sunny beaches, there are plenty of hotspots to soak in the sun. Water parks are a top attraction here, including Thai-themed Siam Park. Tenerife’s Carnival is second in the world only to Rio, making it a top spot for festivities!
An other-worldly volcanic landscape and year-round sunshine make Lanzarote the perfect getaway. Part of Spain’s Canary Islands, it offers relaxing beaches and adventurous outdoor activities. Explore the lava-formed caverns at Cueva de los Verdes, see gushing geysers at Timanfaya National Park, or view art installations from Cesar Manrique. For sunbathing and water sports, Puerto del Carmen is the place to be.
Are you after a little sun, sea, and sand? The modern capital of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, Puerto ticks all the boxes. This laid-back harbour town features intriguing snail sculptures on its promenade, street art on its walls, and perfect waves for surfing at Playa Blanca. Behind the promenade you’ll find a bevy of bars, restaurants and shops to lure in tourists, particularly along Primero de Mayo street.
One of the biggest draws of the Canary Islands is their consistently fine weather, so there’s never a bad time to visit! Cruise ships sail through these balmy waters throughout the year. If you like hot weather, visit between July and September when average temperatures soar into the high 20s and 30s. Winter brings slightly lower temperatures and humidity, along with the fabulous Carnival of Santa Cruz in Tenerife. This colourful celebration is a top event, second only to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival for its size and scope. Rainfall varies in between the islands, but generally you can expect a relatively dry, desert-like climate in all seasons.
Each island in the Canaries boasts its own appeal, so you can craft an itinerary that best suits your interests. If you enjoy natural scenery, you’re spoilt for choice with black sandy beaches and national parks like Caldera de Taburiente on La Palma, Teide on Tenerife, or Garojanay on La Gomera. Visit a full-sized replica of Christopher Columbus’s Santa Maria at the Naval Museum, see the unforgettable artwork of Cesar Manrique on Lanzarote, or experience the history at the Castillo San Gabriel. For modern shopping, visit Las Rotundas on Fuerteventura or get away from the modern world on the wild island of El Hierro.
Are you ready to get your paperwork in order? Good news! There’s no visa needed to visit this exotic island getaway. If you’re a British Citizen or Subject with Right of Abode, you can enter the Canaries freely. Like the Balearics, this island group is part of Spain, with the same entry requirements. Just be sure that your passport validity covers the time period you’re staying – there’s no need to worry about it being valid for any period beyond the departure date. If you’ll be cruising through the Canary Islands en route to Africa or North America, however, be sure you’re covered for other ports on the itinerary.
Dining on the Canary Islands is a true pleasure, with the blend of native Guanche, Spanish, Latin American, and African culinary influences! These lush islands were historically the first stop for ships returning to Spain from the Americas, bringing new food like potatoes, beans, and avocados along with them. Can’t-miss traditional dishes include the famous ‘wrinkled potatoes’ with their salty crust, served with a deliciously herbal mojo sauce. Grilled fish is a favourite on the Canary Islands, as is rabbit stew. Don’t forget to leave room for pudding, particularly the delectable ‘bienmesabe’ made from almond cream, and a glass of sweet Malmsey wine.
Canaries with P&O Cruises - Britannia
By: Appleton, Thatcham on 2nd Dec 2018
I can't rate it high enough - the best holidays I have ever had, a truly amazing experience.
Canaries with Pincess Cruises - Sapphire Princess
By: Goodenough , Gloucester on 10th Nov 2018
All in all, a great cruise and I would happily go on this ship again should the opportunity present itself.