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MAGIC OF THE CANARIES

from £1775
New volcanic islands every day offering superb mountain walking in an ideal climate, with a mixture of forested slopes and high-level trails.

Our cruises to the Canary Islands also take in the ports of Vigo, La Coruña and Cadiz on the north and west coast of Spain, together with the Portuguese ports of Funchal in Madeira and Lisbon, Portimão & Porto on the mainland. These cruises really show what Cruise & Walk is all about. New islands & ports every day which offer mountain walking in an ideal climate. Volcanic islands with a mixture of forested slopes, high level trails, combined with bizarre rock & sand landscapes plus some city sights too.

 SHORE WALKS AND EXCURSION HIGHLIGHTS:

 Tenerife - Dominated by 3000m Mount Teide, we walk in the Cañadas National Park through the beautiful desert-like terrain.

 Gran Canaria - A mini continent due to its mixture of climates, our time on this island is spent descending through pine woods, barrancos and small hamlets.

 Funchal, Madeira - Our walk takes us high up into the mountains on the levadas, water channels which allow the rains to irrigate the comparatively dry south.

 Lisbon -A local guide takes us through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town's romantically named districts.

 Porto - We head to the historic Ribeira District, where the narrow, cobbled lanes wind their way down to the Douro River, view the fortress-like Cathedral and the Baroque Church of Clérigos.

 La Palma - An island separated in two by a dramatic ridge. We walk along a spectacular high level trail with views of the 120 volcanoes on the island.

 Lanzarote - An island with a stark volcanic landscape where we walk along the cliffs in the south of the island between long sandy beaches.

 Vigo - Situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and with one of the world’s finest natural ports, we tour the Galician gems of Vigo and Baiona with a local guide.

 Cádiz - We walk the narrow streets of the old town and visit the central market for a chance to sample some delicious chocolate y churros.

 La Gomera - A lesser known Canary Island and a paradise for walkers. Listen out for local farmers whistling to communicate between the valleys.

 Portimão - On Portugal's famous Algarve coast with lovely easy walking between sandy beaches and along the cliffs for seascape views

 

 

 

 


Holiday Highlights

  • La Palma’s Ruta de los Volcanes - a spectacular high-level trail
  • The stark volcanic landscape of Lanzarote
  • Gran Canaria known as a miniature continent
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

    A shore visit programme organised by us and led by your tour leader. Almost all transport costs for our walking and sightseeing programmes from the ports visited. Occasionally there may be an optional museum entrance or cable car fare to pay for locally. Details are in our Holiday Information Sheets.

    Walking tours with local guides around many of the cities we visit.

    Tips to the restaurant staff on the ship – we ask you to tip your cabin staff, however.

    A full on board entertainment programme including stage shows, ship’s band and musicians, comedy and guest speakers. You can enjoy as much or as little as you choose.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 4/SS

  1. Day 1

    Today we board Balmoral in Southampton and set sail for the island of Madeira.

    Check in for the cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation. Embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing.

    In Southampton you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group.

    Sailing time is usually from mid afternoon to early evening and will be confirmed on your travel documents.

  2. Day 2 to 4

    We have three days at sea to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. There is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the on-board gym, attend one of the on-board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library. Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day.

  3. Day 5

    If we have clear skies we will drive up to the pass at the Boca da Corrida at nearly 1200m. From here we walk to the pass at the Boca do Cerro from where there are sensational views of the island’s other big peaks and down into the massive eroded caldera which makes up the centre of the island. We then return the same way.

    7km (4.3 miles), 330m ascent & descent, 3 hours

    From Boca do Cerro there is the option to climb part or all the way up to Pico Grande (1654m), but this is a rough and steep path at times and involves a further 400m of ascent and descent.

    If the weather in the mountains is not good, we will instead take transport to the far eastern end of the island. Here the stark and beautiful promontory of the Ponta de São Lourenço nearly always has good weather, though sometimes it’s a bit breezy.

    8km (5 miles), 180m ascent & descent, 3 hours

  4. Day 6

    Our late morning arrival in La Palma gives us time to explore the island’s volcanic landscape. We drive to the southern end of the island at Fuencaliente. Our walk takes us on the volcanoes of San Antonio and Teneguia, the latter of which is the newest volcano in the Canaries, having started to erupt in 1971.

    10km (6 miles), 350m ascent & descent, 3.5 hours

  5. Day 7

    Our day starts with a spectacular coach ride heading towards Mt Teide (3715m), driving along the high ridge in the centre of the island. We arrive at El Portillo at over 2000m and from here walk through beautiful desert-like terrain with unusual flora. Here we are in las Cañadas, the huge collapsed caldera in the centre of the island. There are fine views from the summit of Teide and over to the north coast. We reach the summit of La Fortaleza at 2159m before descending to meet our coach again at the Parador de las Cañadas.

    13km (8 miles), 200m ascent & descent, 4 hours

  6. Day 8

    On our day on Gran Canaria we have a wonderful walk which shows many different facets of the island. Starting at Cruz de Tejeda at 1500m we descend through pine woods and then over farmland, enter a verdant barranco, and pass through hamlets to reach the picturesque centre of Teror. Here we look at the basilica and balconies and take a drink in the square. This walk involves 900m of mostly gradual descent, but taken at an easy pace is still within the grade.

    13km (8 miles),200m ascent & 900m descent,4 ½ hours

  7. Day 9

    When you arrive in Lanzarote you are struck by the parched landscape. Travelling south, however, in the area of the most recent volcanic activity, you realize that the countryside in the north is comparatively quite lush! We start our walk in Femes, on the border between the lunar landscapes of the south and the more fertile hillsides of the centre and north. We ascend into the mountains to a rocky and sometimes rough ridge, and then drop to a quiet and tranquil valley followed by a secluded lava beach which is an ideal location for a swim. We then follow the coast path north with fine views. The path then snakes through to the unspoilt resort of Playa Quemada where a few nice bars are available.

    10.2km (6.3 miles), 150m ascent & 400m descent, 3 ½ hours

  8. Day 10

    We leave the Canary Islands behind as we cruise north on Balmoral towards mainland Spain.

  9. Day 11

    On coming ashore we will be met by a local guide. The old city, enclosed in part by the city’s 18th century walls, has a feel of North Africa at times, with its narrow cobbled streets and picturesque squares. The city’s cathedral with its golden dome is the outstanding landmark. During the tour we’ll pass through the central market and stop to sample one of the local specialties, chocolate y churros. After the tour there will be free time to walk around the headland and visit some of the city’s parks with great views of the sea.

  10. Day 12

    We enjoy a full day in the Portuguese capital A local guide shows us what makes Lisbon one of Europe’s most attractive and interesting capitals, with its steep cobbled streets, a waterside setting and imposing 18th century buildings.

  11. Day 13 to 14

    We have two more days at sea to enjoy the comforts of life on a cruise and to reflect on our experiences as Balmoral sails north back towards the UK.

  12. Day 15

    Balmoral arrives in Southampton at around 07.00 for disembarkation after breakfast.

Travel Details

For our holidays which sail from the UK, departure ports vary

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Balmoral

Balmoral is named after the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, and is the largest of Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going cruise ships, yet is still small enough to navigate size-restricted waterways such as the Kiel Canal, providing fantastic scenic cruising opportunities. Balmoral retains the warm, intimate and friendly atmosphere that the Fred. Olsen fleet is renowned for. Featuring 710 well-appointed rooms and suites and a selection of comfortable lounges, bars and inviting public areas, which have been recently extensively refitted and improved, Balmoral provides guests with ample space in which to relax and enjoy the facilities on board.  

View the deck plan for Balmoral

There is always an array of superb entertainment on offer throughout the day, from lectures and hobby classes to enjoy on sea days as well as shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret and comedians, ensuring you can make the most of your time on board. Whether it's watching the evening show at the beautifully refurbished Neptune Lounge; taking in stunning views over a traditional Afternoon Tea at the Observatory Lounge; sampling premium gins at the Lido Bar; or having a refreshing pint at the Morning Light Pub, you'll find there are plenty of places to unwind on board ship. 

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, gelato bar, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Balmoral operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Balmoral is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.


Black Watch

Black Watch is sleek, intimate and harks back to the days when cruise ships were revered for their style and charm. The ultimate home-from-home at sea; Black Watch is spacious with a friendly and familiar feel, and provides guests with a traditional cruise experience.  Having undergone a thorough refurbishment in late 2016, Black Watch features a selection of stylish suites and rooms, restaurants and spacious public rooms that provide up to 804 guests with everything needed for a comfortable, enjoyable and stress-free stay on board, while retaining the elegant style of a traditional cruise ship. 

View the deck plan for Black Watch

Black Watch has several restaurants; welcoming bars and lounges offering an array of music, dance, comedy and entertainment. There are inviting open deck spaces; and a teak-lined promenade.  You can soak-up the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy the sophistication of a Traditional Afternoon Tea, accompanied by breathtaking views, in the Observatory. To satisfy your caffeine cravings, visit The Bookmark Café for luxurious coffees and indulgent chocolates. In the evening, settle-in amongst the familiar surroundings of the Morning Light Pub; then take in the after-dinner show in the Neptune Lounge. In the Lido Lounge you can simply sit back with a drink in hand, or hit the dance floor!  Black Watch also has an upgraded 4K, 3D cinema if you fancy a ‘movie night’.

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Black Watch operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Black Watch is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.