12 Nov 2012 Cruising the Canaries: 7 Stops Along the Way
Cruising the Canaries: 7 Stops Along the Way
by Terrance Richardson
Modern doctors and New Age psychiatrists have a fancy name for it. They call it SAD, or (Seasonal Affective Disorder). However, is does not take a doctor or a psychiatrist to tell you the sun does not shine enough in England, and that you have been in an ill-temper and foul mood for the past month because of a severe lack of Vitamin D. Every day you tromp off to work with your umbrella, hat and heavy overcoat like you are a character from a Charles Dickens novel. Do you want to get away from all that? Sure you do.
When you travel to an island with soft, golden dunes and year-round sunshine, you will not be feeling sad, or have SAD, any longer. Forget staring into some sort of hocus-pocus light box. Cruising to the Canary Islands is just what the doctor ordered. From the whitewashed villages and necklace-like bays of Gran Canaria to the otherworldly moonscape of Lanzarote, the Canary Islands are filled with all sorts of hidden treasures. Here are 7 activities and shore excursions to get you started on your cruise holiday.
1. Las Palmas is the ultra-hip capital of Gran Canaria. After a little sun worshipping, head to Las Palmas and enjoy its chick boutiques and tapas bars. Enjoy a glass of strong, fruity sangria and a sunset; they go together perfectly.
2. The Canary Islands are known for their rugged mountains, pristine bays and hidden coves. The landscape is second-to-none. A perfect example of the type of unusual geological features you will on the Canary Islands is the Bandama crater. This volcanic crater towers 3,000ft in the air.
3. From camel rides to glass-bottom boat trips, Gran Canaria is a hotspot for all sorts of sightseeing activities. In other words, put down your paperback for a few hours, get off the cruise ship and explore. Who has not dreamed of riding a camel across the sand dunes like Lawrence of Arabia?
4. Lanzarote’s surrealistic landscape is the stuff of science fiction. While visitors flock to Lanzarote for its sun and world-class beaches, it’s the futuristic landscape that makes the greatest impression. Timanfaya National Park is a must–see. It is famous for the Mountains of Fire, which are enormous, solidified lava formations.
5. The Playa Grande, which is located in Puerto Del Carmen, is Lanzarote’s longest and most popular beach. Cafes, restaurants and discos line the beach, and once the sun begins to set the Playa Grande really begins to heat up.
6. Try your hand at windsurfing on the Costa Teguise. Of course, the windsurfing is legendary on this part of the coast, so perhaps you will just want to get a front-row seat for a stellar watersport show.
7. Cesar Manrique is Lanzarote’s most famous artist. His creations are scattered all over the island. Take the time to explore. You will not see anything like his artistic marvels anywhere else in the world