The Canary Islands and Casablanca
|Resort:||Spirit of Discovery|
Explore the Canaries and Casablanca when theyre bathed in winter sun
Enjoy the winter sunshine and a variety of activities both on board and ashore on this cruise into the Atlantic. Explore Madeiras capital Funchal on a tour with a difference by electric bike. See some of the highlights including Sao Lourenco Palace and the Fort of Sao Tiago using this fun mode of transport. Get back to nature during an overnight stay in La Palma as you stroll through beautiful Los Tilos forest with its laurel trees and giant ferns. Step up a gear in Gran Canaria by hiking into the depths of the impressive Bandama Crater, where youll find an abandoned farmhouse hidden among the fig and orange trees. A reminder that Christmas is approaching can be found on the beach of Playa de las Canteras with its magnificent scenes of the Nativity, which have been intricately sculpted in sand. Lanzarote will impress with more other-worldly landscapes incorporating black lava fields and strange rock formations. Why not lap up some winter sun and go in search of what is said to be the islands best beach at Papagayo Cove? Then contrast the rugged natural scenery of the Canary Islands with the modern boulevards and bustling medinas of Casablanca where Europe, Africa and Arabia collide.
Discover Madeira’s historic capital. The natural bay is protected by the highest peaks on the island and consequently the city enjoys the best sunshine. Visit Funchals Old Town to soak up the atmosphere and perhaps relax at a cafe with a glass of Madeira wine or explore further on a guided tour by electric bike whilst enjoying the fresh air.
Santa Cruz, La Palma
Santa Cruz sits on the slope of a volcanic crater and was once an important trading port between Africa and the Americas. In 1553 the city was ransacked by French pirate Jambe de Bois, who gained his name after an unfortunate injury during a battle with the English, and became known as ‘Pegleg’: he was the first pirate to don the iconic attachment! Santa Cruz was later rebuilt with renewed fortifications, many of which remain today. An overnight stay gives you plenty of time to uncover the citys rich colonial history on a tour and enjoy a walk through beautiful Los Tilos forest, a World Biosphere Reserve which preserves a large area of the original laurel forest.
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is a beautiful, sun-kissed isle dotted with charming fishing ports. The lively capital, Las Palmas, sits on the north coast between two spectacular bays and can be recognised by its brightly-painted houses and distinctive architecture. To discover some of the islands unusual scenery why not join a hike into the heart of the Bandama Crater, where you may be able to see cliff caves once used by the islands aboriginal inhabitants. Your visit also coincides with the annual sand sculpting of Nativity scenes on the beach of Playa de las Canteras, Las Palmas a spectacle not to be missed!
Arrecife is named for the black volcanic reef which occupies the city’s coastline, and once provided cover for ships hiding from pirates. Today, the vibrant seafront acts as a gateway for travellers wishing to explore the town or the rest of this enigmatic island. Perhaps bask in the winter sun on one of the islands idyllic beaches or discover Lanzarote’s explosive natural history with a trek through el Cuervo volcano, set within Timanfaya National Park an other-worldly landscape of lava mounds, craters and desolate peaks.
Today you arrive in Morocco, where youll uncover a unique mix of European, African and Arabian influences in Casablanca with its modern boulevards and bustling medinas. From here, you have the chance to join a tour exploring the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Morocco.