Marella Canary Island and Atlantic Cruises

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The Canary and Atlantic Islands are renowned for their year-round sunshine, but it’s not all about the weather. There is also plenty of great history on these islands, that you can explore on port days.

In this blog, we outline why you should visit these great places with Marella’s Canary and Atlantic Islands cruises.


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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife

Santa Cruz in Tenerife, dates back to 1494. It has its own coat of arms for bravery, after it successfully repelled an attack by the British Navy led by Horacio Nelson in 1797.

With easy access from your Canary and Atlantic Islands Cruise you can a stroll down Rambla de Santa Cruz. It is a beautiful avenue, over a mile long, and is adorned with sculptures, flowers, shops and restaurants. Film buffs and nature lovers will definitely want to visit Teidi National park. This volcanic landscape was formed over 120,000 years ago. After a landslide caused by an eruption from the Los Canadas Volcano. It has been the backdrop for countless films including, Clash of the Titans, Star Wars, and the original Planet of the Apes.

The Mercado Municipal Nuestra Senora de Africa dates back to the 1940’s. Here you will find hundreds of stalls selling mainly fresh produce. Coupled with bars and eateries with a Latin American feel.

santa cruz tenerife

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Las Palmas is the capital city of Gran Canaria and dates back to 500 BC, when Las Palmas was inhabited by Canarii (this is thought to be where the Canary Islands got its name) from North Africa. Many European countries tried to conquer the island over the preceding years. The crown of Castile under Spains Queen Isabella the first was eventually successful in 1483.

Casa de Colon is the house that explorer, Christopher Columbus, lived in. It is now a museum, containing journals, portraits, drawings, and some of his belongings.

If you fancy a day at the beach then head to Playa de Las Canteras. Winner of the best urban beach in 2023. As well as a lovely sandy beach, there is also a palm tree lined esplanade, that boasts restaurants, bars, and shops. Las Palmas is also the birthplace of Oscar winner and serial baddie Javier Bardem.

Vagueta is the old town of Las Palmas, lined with cobbled streets. These streets lead you to buildings including; the Bishops Palace, and the town hall, that date back to the 1700’s. It’s around 4 miles from the centre of Las Palmas but it is well worth the trip out.

las palmas gran canaria cruise port information

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Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura

Puerto del Rosario, is a bustling port town and capital of Fuerteventura. Beach lovers should make a bee line for Playa Chica. This fine sand, 300-metre-long beach, is a popular haunt of the locals and has virtually no waves. This makes it ideal for family fun and relaxation. There are also lots of local amenities to keep you fed and watered throughout the day.

If you love churches and cathedrals then Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our lady of the Rosary) temple is a must. With its beautiful white marble alter, it is worth the visit on its own.

Fuerteventura is also a very popular location for blockbuster films. Including; Solo a Star Wars story, the Brad Pitt war drama Allied, and Wonder Woman starring Gal Gaddot.

Puerto del Rosario is also famous for its countless sculptures and statues that are dotted around the town.

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Arrecife, Lanzarote

Arrecife, is the capital of Lanzarote, and dates back to the early 1500’s. Arrecife gets its name from the black reefs, which fishing boats used to hide behind to avoid pirate attacks. Arrecife in Spanish translates to reef.

Timanfaya National Park should be high on your list of priorities when visiting Lanzarote. A 20 square mile park, entirely made up of volcanic soil, and the only national park in Spain that is entirely geological. The symbol of the park is El Diablo which translates to the devil.

Timanfaya like many of the Canary Islands is a popular filming location, with many films using its rugged landscape to represent space or prehistoric times. The most notable probably being the Rachel Welch, 1 million years BC.

Definitely visit Cerveza NAO, if you enjoy a beer. It is a craft brewery and pub located in the Puerto Naos fishing district, where you can try, and see how their craft beer is made.

It may not be for everyone as you are on a Canary and Atlantic Island cruise, but a trip to the Temple Hall ship is definitely something a little different. The Temple Hall ship was originally built in the early 50’s, springing a leak during a storm in 1981, and beached to prevent it from sinking. There were plans to dismantle the ship in 2023, which have since been shelved, so for some fantastic photo opportunities, you need to visit it whilst you still can.

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Funchal, Madeira

Funchal is the capital city of the Portuguese island of Madeira. Founded by the Portuguese navigator Joao Conclaves Zarco in 1420. Funchal was briefly under firstly Spanish and then British rule but has been under Portuguese rule since 1814. Before 1420 Funchal was uninhabited.

Things to do include a visit to Monte Palace, a 70000 square metre area housing tropical plants from all over the world that is also the home of swans, ducks, and hundreds of Koi carp. History buffs will love a trip to the Cathedral of our Lady of the Assumption. This gothic style cathedral is made from volcanic rocks carried from nearby Cabo Girao. The cathedral is only 88 years younger than Madeira itself.

Kids of all ages will love a trip to the 3D Fun Art Museum, where you become the art. And a whale and dolphin watching boat trip is great fun too!

Funchal has lots of fabulous restaurants and bars but it’s probably most famous for its cable car and toboggan ride. You will ride the cable car to the top of the village of Monte, then ride back down the 2 km hill into Funchal. And you do this on a 19th central whicker sledge, reaching speeds of 30 kmh, around 20 mph! You haven’t really visited Madeira until you have done this!

Last but not least, Funchal is also the birthplace of an up-and-coming footballer by the name of Christiano Ronaldo!

San Sebastian, La Gomera

Another port you can enjoy on your Canary and Atlantic Islands cruise is San Sebastian. It is the capital of one of the smaller Canary Islands, La Gomera. It’s the main port city and has a population of less than 10000 people. And it is the port where Christopher Columbus famously set sail from in 1492, the voyage where he discovered the Americas. The island of Tenerife is just a short ferry ride away and the Volcano Teide can be clearly seen from the port.

Torre del Condo Park is free to enter and explains all about the Spanish occupation of the island. It has a fortress in the centre of the park that dates back to the 1400’s. La Iglesia de la Asuncion church dates back to 1450 and has a mural depicting Columbus’s 3 ships which set off to America. All the ships were built in San Sabastian.

Splash Gomera offers scuba and snorkelling trips and lessons. Using excellent equipment, you will definitely feel like you are in good hands. Cycling and walking tours are also very popular in San Sebastian, but if you are looking for something less energetic there are E bike tours available too!

As you can see each port on your Canary and Atlantic Islands cruise offers such a diverse experience from your average cruise. We hope our blog has given you some inspiration on some of the things you can do on each island.

Make sure you book your Canary and Atlantic islands cruise early, as cruises to this part of the world are always very popular.


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