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The Canary Archipelago
It's been a year since the first sailing of MV La Belle des Océans around the Canary archipelago.
Given its success, we invite you to (re)discover this one-off itinerary which gives you the opportunity to explore six islands in eight days: Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
With its subtropical climate, the Canary Islands offers spring weather all year round. From tropical valleys and desert dunes to picturesque villages and contemporary cities, each of the islands abound with treasures to discover. Discovering them on a cruise is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the myriad of black sand beaches, to be enchanted by the volcanic landscapes and unpredictable, desert and luxuriant nature, to get lost in the numerous national parks or to stroll in the authentic villages to soak up their history.
This stunning cruise allows you to discover the dramatically contrasting landscapes that make each of these islands unique and experience an exotic cruise where the mildness of an eternal spring reigns throughout the archipelago.
Tenerife is the Canary archipelago’s largest isle, it is crossed by a long mountain range and is watched over by the Mount Teide, a volcano 3,718 meters above the sea. Tenerife’s inexhaustible palette of colours offered by its landscapes and vegetation make the trip worthwhile.
The Teide National Park is a wonder of nature that reveals many geological treasures, including craters, petrified lava flows, cones, lava tongues and volcanoes which offer a large variety of shapes and colours. Classified as a UNESCO world heritage site, the wealth of these geological elements makes it one of the most impressive volcanic spectacles in the world.
Teide National Park is also home to many exotic plant and animal species and is a real lush haven for fauna and flora.
It is the most visited national park in Europe and is topped by the highest peak in Spain from where the island reveals its most stunning and breathtaking views.
Also known as the "Beautiful Island" due to its lush vegetation of laurel and pine forests and banana plantations, the island of La Palma is a nature paradise with breathtaking views and of unspoiled beaches. Its charming capital city, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is still imbued with a colonial atmosphere through its historical and artistic sites in the heart of the old town.
From the cobbled streets, stroll through the streets to discover La Palma’s cultural heritage; churches, castles, many palaces and charming building with colorful wooden balconies decorated with flowers to see more of Canary Islands’ traditional architecture. In the heights of the city, you can reach the Mirador de la Concepcion to admire Santa Cruz de La Palma and the Atlantic Ocean.
A few kilometers away, in the heart of La Palma, you can find the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, an impressive natural bowl with a diameter of more than eight kilometres and one and a half kilometres deep, this work of nature is breathtaking. Constituting the remains of a collapsed volcano, this oasis is filled with abundant forests and a pristine ecosystem which offers spectacular landscapes.
La Gomera, known as "The Green Pearl of the Canaries" is undoubtedly the wildest and greenest island of the archipelago. A real tropical jungle and haven of peace, La Gomera is a calm paradise blessed with scenic landscapes of unspoiled flora. Sparsely populated, this volcanic island which looks like a rocky pyramid in the middle of the ocean, is covered with a dense forest and is a great draw for hikers thanks to its 650km of paths. Its national park of Garajonay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains a unique biosphere, itself awarded as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
La Gomera not only has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but also has one of its ancestral traditions, the Silbo Gomero, listed as an intangible Cultural Heritage. The Silbo Gomero is a whistled language that is typical of the islanders. This language gathers tones of different length that allow the inhabitants to hold whole conversations only by whistling, very useful to communicate through the wide valleys as it has a reaching range of almost 10 kilometres.
Gran Canaria, with a shape’s shell is an island of tremendous landscapes contrasts: fertile land in the north and large desert areas in the south, steep cliffs on the northwest coast and long beaches on the southern coast. A real time-travel from its bustling capital Las Palmas where the south beaches live according to the rhythm of the waves and the sun.
Not far from Vegueta, where the former residence of Christopher Columbus attracts tourists, we can find the Bandama’s crater, a magnificent site and remnant of an extinct volcano.
A quintessential pilgrimage spot for the islanders, Teror is home to the Basilia Nuestra Señora del Pino, the statue of the island's patron saint. Its history and architecture make Teror a charming, typical and authentic village full of surprises. Its counterpart, Arucas, with many historical-artistic heritage, is known as the banana capital, where the cultivation of this exotic fruit is important. It also has an impressive cathedral built with black stones.
The first island to have emerged from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Fuerteventura has a unique panorama in Europe, with landscapes shaped by erosion, which are characterized by expanses of plains due to the absence of eruptions for millennia. It is recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, it stands out for its undulating desert landscapes of colorful dunes and endless beaches, bordered by an azure sea.
Fuerteventura is well known for its authentic gastronomy, especially thanks to the fame of the different goat cheeses produced on the island which are recognized worldwide and have won the Golden Cheese Awards several years in a row. This is the opportunity to visit the many local farms in the north of the island, towards Finca Torres to taste the local products. This is an ideal land for the Aloe Vera plantation, a plant that is cultivated in large numbers and derived into many high-quality cosmetics and care products.
Lanzarote, where calm and silence are kings, is the Canary’s most original isle because of its fascinating black lava landscapes contrasting with the green oasis of the plants and surrounded by azure blue waters.
Almost 300 years ago, numerous volcanic eruptions occurred and covered almost three quarters of the island with lava. These eruptions are among the most important in the history of volcanism. Today, there are nearly 300 craters belonging to these volcanoes which make Lanzarote an island with fascinating colourful landscapes.
The Montaña Rajada Park reveals an exceptional panorama of an impressive 52 km long sea of lava creating a lunar-like appearance. As an arid land, it remains the refuge of many populations of birds, such as the small green parrots.
By reaching El Islote de Hilario, we can witness several geothermal experiences due to the thinness of the earth's crust which separates the ground from temperatures reaching up to 400°C by barely two meters unto the ground.
In the island’s southwest, the wine region of La Geria extends for about fifteen kilometres. Protected from the dry and hot winds, the vineyards are surrounded by semi-circular walls of volcanic rock called zoccos or goros, erected by the winemakers. The perfect opportunity to end your visit with a wine tasting of the Malvasìa, known as one of the best wines of the Canary Islands.
The Canary Archipelago is full of natural treasures of geological and biological diversity. It is this mosaic of varied landscapes that makes it an exceptional and exotic trip where no island is like the other. Discovering the Canary Islands on a cruise offers the joy of waking up each morning on a new island, without having to unpack your luggage, while you let yourself be carried along by the Atlantic Ocean to discover the secrets of these volcanic islands with their mild temperatures and their eternal spring.