Canary Islands & Madeira Winter Warmth
The first of five gorgeous islands on your itinerary is Madeira. With its lush landscapes and vibrant botanical gardens, the Portuguese ‘garden island’ begs to be explored. You could take in the floral scenes of the fragrant Monte Palace Tropical Garden, which is accessed by cable car from Funchal; or perhaps explore the unique Levada trails and uncover lush-green scenery and incredible vistas. In the Canaries you’ll experience the very best of this sun-soaked archipelago with calls into four inviting islands. On the ‘pretty island’ of La Palma, you’ll have the chance to see the soaring San Antonio Volcano; or savour a taste of the island’s local wines at the welcoming town of Fuencaliente on tours from Santa Cruz, while Santa Cruz de Tenerife is your gateway to the countless highlights of the largest Canary Island. The mysterious Pyramids of Güímar are the perfect place to while away a couple of hours in the sunshine; and riding a cable car up mighty Mount Teide – Spain’s highest peak – is an unforgettable experience. Of course, a full day in Tenerife will afford time to relax on the island’s glorious beaches too. [ReadMore]
In Gran Canaria – an island renowned for its year-round tropical climate – you can take in the mix of fine architecture in Las Palmas’ charming Vagueta district; or delve deeper to discover picturesque towns such as Puerto de Mogán and Santa Brígida, boasting pretty streets lined with eucalyptus and flower-adorned houses. Alternatively you might prefer to unwind on the oasis-like sands of Maspalomas Beach. Whatever you choose to do you’re sure to forget about the cold, wet weather back home as you bask in the soothing warmth. A short stop at Gran Tarajal on the island of Fuerteventura will offer you your final chance to sample the authentic Canarian culture, or simply enjoy a couple of hours of sunbathing. Before and after your island-hopping adventures Balmoral will also head to the shores of mainland Spain and Portugal and sail into two culture-rich, attraction-packed cities. Discover the architectural delights of historic La Coruña, including the Torre de Hercules lighthouse and the striking facades of Maria Pita Square; and explore Lisbon on foot, via the tram or even on a tuk-tuk tour to uncover the Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery and much more.