Braemar, Cultural Canary Islands Closer Cruise ex Southampton Return

EU West & Atlantic Islands

Details

14 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton roundtrip aboard Braemar.

14 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton roundtrip aboard Braemar.

Unspoilt volcanic landscapes and natural landmarks beautiful beaches, fragrant gardens; smaller-scaled Braemar brings you closer to the highlights of four wonderfully diverse Atlantic Ocean islands. Indulge in unforgettable exploration and blissful relaxation to make the most of Macaronesia’s balmy climate, and you’ll feel a world away from the autumn gloom back home.

The trio of breathtaking Canary Islands on your itinerary are all uniquely impressive; each of these destinations are volcanic-formed-wonderlands boasting a smorgasbord of highlights to discover. On the ‘pretty island’ of La Palma and in sun-kissed Tenerife, the majestic peaks and spectacular landscapes of the Teneguia Volcano and mighty Mount Teide are sights to behold. La Palma’s forests and biosphere reserves are alive with wonderful fauna and flora too, while there are mysteries to unravel at Tenerife’s intriguing Güímar pyramids and poison gardens. At gorgeous La Gomera, you’ve an opportunity to go in search of volcanic wonders and verdant forests too, or even visit Fred. Olsen’s Hotel Jardin Tecina.

In addition to your memorable three days in the Canaries, there’s an extended stay in Madeira to be fully immersed in the floral and fragrant delights of Portugal’s ‘Garden Island’. Funchal is your gateway the Madeira’s enchanting botanical gardens, including the resplendent Monte Palace Tropical Garden; the levada walking trails, showcasing spellbinding landscapes; and Cabo Girão – the world’s second-highest sea cliff – which offers incredible Atlantic Ocean views. Stay in Funchal and you could visit Reid’s Hotel for an opulent afternoon tea, too. If all that wasn’t enough, Braemar also brings you closer to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. With another extended stay, there’s ample time to take in iconic landmarks and architecture, to feel the renowned maritime heritage of the city. And, for an authentic taste of Lisbon’s culture, you could not only sample the city’s famous egg custard tarts, but be taught how to make them by a local chef too.

Highlights of this cruise:

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Funchal, the capital of Portugal's Madeiran archipelago, has a timeless old-world charm. Enhanced by a subtropical climate that fills this 'floating garden' with the year-round colours and perfumes of flowers and fruit, Funchal was a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill. His praise of the city has ensured British visitors always receive a warm welcome from locals.

Backed by rolling hills, the town is famous for its harbour, the 17th century São Tiago Fortress (now the Contemporary Art Museum) and world renowned Madeiran wine cellars. Funchal’s parks and gardens are a delight, and a hike through the Laurel Forest nearby is highly recommended. The ancient Funchal Cathedral mixes Gothic and Romanesque architecture, and is noted for its impressive carved wooden ceiling.

Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
La Palma’s small, yet pretty capital city - is one of the Canary Island’s true gems. Boasting colonial-style architecture, a swathe of charming beaches, restaurants and bars, Santa Cruz is typically Canarian and has something for everyone.

Conquered by the King of Castile in the 15th century, Santa Cruz de La Palma was a key trading post between Spain and the Americas, and the city’s fascinating history can be explored in the historic quarter – one of Spain’s Historic-Artistic sites. The Naval Museum is a replica of Christopher Columbus's 15th-century Santa Maria sailing ship.

Stunning palaces and sumptuous merchants’ houses butt up against the grand town hall, built during the reign of Phillip II. Religious buildings include the Renaissance-style Church of El Salvador, with a tower of volcanic stone, and the Church of Santo Domingo, which houses a superb collection of Flemish paintings.

The compact city centre is incredibly picturesque, and the newly redeveloped beach and promenade have boosted the city's resort credentials. Calle Real, the city’s main street, is famous for being both a Property of Cultural Interest and a Historic-Artistic Site. Santa Cruz’s finest restaurants, shops and prettiest squares are found here, and sampling the delicious local cuisine and local culture is highly recommended.

Lisbon, Portugal
Stretched across its seven trademark hills overlooking the River Tagus estuary, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon, is a cinematic collection of cobbled alleyways, pastel-coloured buildings, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals. The city was decimated by an earthquake in 1755, and modern Lisbon has been shaped by that eventful day. The Pombaline architecture that now defines the city represents some of the first seismically-protected buildings in Europe.

The city’s bridges include the Ponte 25 de Abril – similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco – and the Ponte Vasco da Gama, which includes over 11km of viaducts. Lisbon’s many fascinating museums, include the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Coach Museum and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.

Lisbon is also a shopper’s paradise, with the Centro Commercial Colombo – the biggest shopping mall on the Iberian peninsula – and the elegant Avenidas Novas, full of upmarket shops. Alternatively, there bargains to be had in the local flea market, Campo de Santa Clara. Don't miss the chance to sample iconic egg tarts at Pasteis de Belém too.

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