Madeira and the Canary Islands Cruise
Sail from the Portuguese coast to Funchal and the Canary Islands
The internationally beloved and beautiful Portuguese capital, Lisbon, is also known as the City of the Seven Hills. This is due to the fact that, in the past, there were seven important elevations of the land on which the heart of the Lisbon city was located: São Jorge, São Vicente, São Roque, Santo André, Santa Catarina, Chagas and Sant'Ana . All of them were easily seen from the estuary formed by the mighty Tagus River, so, in the seventeenth century, Frei Nicolau de Oliveira, referred to them in one of his most important publications, the Book of the Wonders of Lisbon.
Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the starting point of our Madeira and Canary Islands cruise. Once you are in the port of Lisbon, you will have the opportunity to wander through the famous Historic Quarter, which stretches along the wide set of narrow streets that make up the Alfama neighbourhood. This tourist area is located right at the foot of the ruins of the amazing Moorish castle of San Jorge, which dominate the landscape atop the highest hill in Lisbon and offers visitors one of the most complete panoramic views of the entire city. Another great area to visit is the Barrio Alto, famous for its bars and restaurants, and its lively nightlife.
However, one of the most iconic monuments in Lisbon is the Belém Tower, which was built during the first decades of the sixteenth century, between 1515 and 1519, following the designs made by Francisco de Arruda. It is located at the mouth of the Tagus River and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Throughout history it has had many functions, serving as a fortification, later a customs centre and then a lighthouse. One of its most charming details is the funny gargoyle shaped like a rhinoceros that is set on the west facade of the Tower.
Madeira and La Palma, two natural wonders in the Atlantic
After sailing into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, you will reach the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. Here we'll visit its famous capital, Funchal, which stands out for the large number of galleries that it boasts, all full of different themes and varied content. Some of the most visited museums in Funchal are the Museum of Electricity, which includes equipment and instruments used to make electricity during the early twentieth century, the Museum of Photography, which featured a century's worth of images of Madeira, the Museum of Contemporary Art, with various works by modern Portuguese artists, and the Sugar Museum, which is located in the former residence of one of the sugar barons.
The first of this Pullmantur cruise's stops in the Canary Islands is in La Palma, popularly known as La Isla Verde or La Isla Bonita. This dazzling Canarian island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and La Palma is home to all sorts of geysers, dormant volcanoes, ravines and spectacular examples of vegetation, all of it blessed with clean, ocean breezes. Without a doubt, it is a small Canarian paradise that is well-worth visiting. As soon as you check out La Palma you will see why it is always a favourite destination on the lists of international tourist favourites.
While in La Palma, make sure not to miss some of its most important enclaves, such as the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, which is a huge slit of land that is more than eight kilometres wide and full of large promontories that shoot up to almost 2,000 meters in height. The best way to access this place is through a narrow road that will take you to the bottom of the caldera. Also, do not forget to visit the second most populated municipality of the island of La Palma, Los Llanos de Aridane, where the church of Los Remedios is located. It boasts one of the most amazing Baroque altarpieces in the Canary archipelago, as well as a small museum in which valuable pieces of religious goldsmithing are exhibited.
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Discover the most visited places on the islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote
The second Canary Island that you can visit on Pullmantur's Madeira and Canary Islands cruise is Tenerife. It is the largest island in the entire Canary archipelago and one of the world's best tourist destinations. Once you arrive in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, you will discover the unique natural environment that is unlike any in the world. In the city, make sure to check out the Plaza de España and Plaza de la Candelaria, inside which is the monument to the Virgin, as well as the Palace of the Charter and the Church of the Conception.
Another city worth visiting in Tenerife is San Cristobal de La Laguna, which boasts hermitages, monasteries and unique entertainment and culture sports, like the famous Museum of Science and the Cosmos. In addition, here you can check out great architecture, including the interior of the Episcopal Palace and the Monastery of Santa Catalina, which dates back to the seventeenth century. And if you are looking for one of the great tourist centres of Tenerife, do not forget to go to El Puerto de la Cruz, home to outstanding places such as Lake Martiánez or San Felipe Castle, from the 17th century.
And finally, before returning again to the initial port of departure, Lisbon, take a stroll through the streets of the northernmost and easternmost island of the Canary archipelago, Lanzarote. This island is covered by more than a hundred volcanoes, although most of them are already inactive, as well as by a mix of white and dark sand beaches. It is a true natural paradise which you can discover aboard your Pullmantur cruise. Among the highlights of Lanzarote is Arrecife, its capital, which integrates the Castillo de San Gabriel, accessed through the Puente de las Bolas, and the San José Castle, which currently houses the International Museum of Contemporary Art.