The bustling port of Arrecife on Lanzarote’s east coast is home to the biggest fishing fleet in the Canaries. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries the city was regularly attacked by pirates. To defend against these raiders, the court of Spain ordered two castles to be built. The first built in 1590, Castillo San Gabriel, now houses the island’s Ethnographic Museum, which tells the fascinating story of the islands' original inhabitants: the Guanche. [ReadMoreMob]
Castillo San Jose followed later, providing employment and alleviating poverty on the island following volcanic eruptions in the 1730s - it became known as the Fortress of Hunger. Today, it is home to the Museum of International and Contemporary Art, with a small but impressive collection of modern paintings and sculpture. The excellent restaurant in its basement offers diners panoramic views over the harbour. Today, Arrecife is a quirky hotchpotch of sun-bleached buildings and has a pleasant Mediterranean-style promenade.
Covering over 12,600 acres of land, the legendary Timanfaya National Park is a geological wonderland of steaming volcanic tuff, fascinating rock formations and striking volcanic cones glowing in a variety of colours. The park can be explored by camel, too.
The Manrique Cactus Garden features over 1,000 species. Constructed on a volcanic ash quarry, the terraced garden was the artist’s final project and is arranged in the shape of a large amphitheatre, framing its inhabitants against a stunning backdrop.
Jameos del Agua
This rock formation is the result of a lava tube cooling into the sea around 5,000 years ago. The cave has since been converted into a majestic auditorium, including underground gardens and a beautiful clear azure lake. Blind crabs are endemic here.
Cruises to Arrecife
Departs: Southampton • Wed 11 Nov 2020
13 nights • Braemar • M2030
- As temperatures begin to plummet in the UK, you’ll indulge in soothing warmth and discover astonishing wonders as Braemar brings you closer to four breathtaking islands in Macaronesia.
- In the Canaries, you could take in the Pyramids of Güímar and mighty Mount Teide in Tenerife; seek-out Gran Canaria’s oasis-like sand dunes and verdant forests; explore Lanzarote’s lunar-like landscapes; and much more.
- There’s a day in gorgeous Madeira too: perhaps trail the island’s unique levada walking routes; absorb the vibrant colours and sweet scents of tropical gardens; or take in spectacular ocean views from Cabo Girão – one of the world’s highest sea cliffs.
From £1,299ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Liverpool • Tue 08 Dec 2020
14 nights • Black Watch • W2032
- Escape to Portugal, the Canaries and Madeira for a relaxing and rewarding pre-Christmas getaway filled with the sun, sea, sand and sights of breathtaking islands and attraction-packed cities.
- An overnight stay in Funchal is an undoubted highlight, affording an opportunity to explore lush landscapes and botanical gardens before watching for the darting lights of magical Geminid Meteor Showers at night.
- In the Canaries, there’s time to discover the volcanic wonders of Tenerife and Lanzarote; while on the Portuguese coast, Lisbon and Oporto await with their iconic landmarks, riverscapes and traditional flavours.
From £1,399ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Wed 06 Jan 2021
14 nights • Balmoral • L2101
- After all the excitement, stress and strain of the hectic festive season, this enticing escape to the winter warmth of the beautiful Canaries and Madeira is the perfect way to settle into the new year.
- You’ll have chances to unwind on Gran Canaria’s golden sands; marvel at the volcanic landscapes of Tenerife and Lanzarote; explore the verdant lands of La Palma; and stimulate your senses with Madeira’s fragrant gardens.
- Before and after your island hopping adventures, two picturesque mainland cities provide plenty of highlights: Lisbon and La Coruña boast an abundance of architectural, historical and cultural delights.
From £1,599ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Fri 29 Jan 2021
18 nights • Balmoral • L2103
- Immerse yourself in the colourful history and culture of Cape Verde; discover the iconic attractions of sun-kissed Canary Islands; and enjoy time to explore picturesque Portugal, on this epic 18-night adventure.
- Be captivated by the African and Portuguese influences of Praia and Mindelo, where you can unearth fascinating archaeology, browse bustling authentic markets, indulge in traditional music, and much more.
- In the Canaries, a smorgasbord of highlights await with calls to Tenerife and Lanzarote, including mighty Mount Teide and Timanfaya National Park; while there are chances to explore Madeira, Lisbon and Oporto too.
From £1,999ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Mon 01 Mar 2021
13 nights • Balmoral • L2105
- Recover from the long, cold winter with an indulgent island-hopping adventure in early spring, visiting five diverse destinations for soothing seasonal warmth, spectacular scenery and plenty of attractions.
- Start things off with the lush, verdant landscapes, sweet smelling tropical gardens, and scenic trails of Madeira; then visit four breathtaking Canary Islands on consecutive days.
- You can explore biosphere reserves and stargaze at La Palma; take in Tenerife’s Pyramids of Güímar and mighty Mount Teide; revel in Gran Canaria’s renowned warmth; and trail Lanzarote’s astonishing, lunar-like landscapes.
From £1,499ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Newcastle • Thu 01 Apr 2021
16 nights • Balmoral • L2109
- Unearth the true essence of the Canaries and Madeira, as you sail between five diverse islands to savour a tempting menu of arresting landscapes, glorious beaches and soothing spring warmth.
- After an Easter weekend to remember, including three restful sea days and a chance to explore pretty Oporto, you get to experience Madeira’s fragrant gardens and lush landscapes in resplendent seasonal bloom.
- The breathtaking attractions of four inspiring Canary Islands await discovery: highlights include the volcanic wonders of Tenerife and Lanzarote; Gran Canaria’s oasis-like sand dunes; and La Palma’s Los Tilos forest.
From £1,899ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Wed 05 Jan 2022
14 nights • Balmoral • L2201
- Enjoy the comfort of Balmoral and the soothing warmth of the Canaries and Madeira – the perfect way to escape the winter cold and recover from the hectic festive period.
- Uncover the delights of Madeira, with its tropical gardens and lush landscapes, and gorgeous Gran Canaria, famed for its tropical climate and oasis-like beaches.
- Four days of engrossing Canary Island discovery includes a visit to Tenerife, home of mighty Mount Teide and the mysterious Pyramids of Güímar, and lunar-like Lanzarote too.
From £1,699ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Newcastle • Mon 02 May 2022
16 nights • Balmoral • L2211
- Experience the excitement and traditions of Madeira Flower Festival, and immerse yourself in a fusion of floral colour, fragrance and beauty, on this very special springtime cruise celebration.
- Explore Madeira’s lush landscapes and tropical gardens too; and seek out horticultural wonders – such as Tenerife’s poison gardens and the cactus gardens of Lanzarote – in the Canaries.
- You can also delight in the maritime history of La Coruña and Lisbon, Portugal’s capital; and visit Claude Monet’s iconic house and gardens from Honfleur.
From £1,999ppFares Explained | What's Included