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About Gran Canaria

The tranquil harbour, verdant palm groves and excellent climate of Gran Canaria's lively capital Las Palmas delighted Christopher Columbus when he discovered it on his famous voyage of 1492.

Those same attractions now draw modern travellers keen to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets and leafy courtyards of its old quarter, Vegueta. Cruises to Grand Canaria also bring you close to Playa del Ingles, the liveliest and best-known beach in the Canaries.

Just beyond Las Palmas you can explore the stunning desert scenery of Maspalomas, or tour further afield to explore peaceful old towns like Arucas - famed for its lush banana plantations - and Teror, with its fine collection of traditional houses with intricately carved wooden balconies.

Other highlights of our Grand Canaria cruises include lovely Palmitos Nature Park - set in a canyon inland from Maspalomas and famous for its vivid tropical plants, birds and fish - and Bandama, an extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level, which offers panoramic views over the island.

 

Shore excursions in Gran Canaria

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

4x4 Adventure

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 7½ hours

Looking for an adventure? Head off the beaten track and discover the rugged beauty of Gran Canaria by 4x4.

Hop into an open-top 4x4 and set off in convoy along the south coast for a photo stop at the famous Maspalomas Dunes. You’ll then weave your way through lush green, mountainous valleys passing numerous tropical plantations. A definite ‘must see’ sight, is the natural beauty of Las Niñas Dam, the area offers some amazing views.

Continuing through scented pine forests, and mountain villages, you’ll reach the so called ‘Valley of Thousand Palms’, Fataga Valley. Surrounded by rural houses and palm groves, a Canarian lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

Refreshed and ready to go, your final photo stop, before returning to Las Palmas, is the famous Guriete sightseeing stop.

Essential information

This tour will operate by 4x4. Passengers are advised that the route taken is a combination of on and off road. Pregnant women and children under the age of 6 may not participate. This tour is also not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride and it is not recommended for those who suffer from vertigo. Sorreuda Dam may be visited instead of Las Niñas. There is a high step to get into the jeeps. The jeeps are open-top and open-sided and seat 8 passengers each on inward facing, bench style seats. Before you book this excursion, you must refer to the ‘Activity Excursion’ paragraph under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure.

Aqualand Waterpark

Activity mediumFamily

Duration: 6 hours

Here’s a tour with plenty of sunshine and a whole host of fun water activities!

Aqualand provides fun for every member of the family, especially younger children. There’s a wide variety of slides, the Kamikaze, the Rapids, Aquamania, or for a more relaxing ride, float serenely down the Lazy River run.

Lunch is not included in the price. Restaurant and snack facilities are available at the Park to suit individual choice.

Essential information

Before you book this excursion, you must refer to the ‘Activity Excursion’ and ‘Beach / Water Related’ paragraphs under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure. Lockers, sun loungers and umbrellas are available for hire and are payable direct. Passengers are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel, sunscreen and local currency. There are certain height limits at the Park: under 3 feet 9 inches for the Children’s Play Area; over 4 feet 2 inches is for the Adults’ area.

Canarian Cheese Workshop

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 4½ hours

Learn about the history and culture of cheese production in an historic venue, taste the flavours and enjoy a cheese making demonstration.

They say eating cheese before bedtime can give you strange dreams, but it’s the cheese itself you’ll be dreaming of after this unique and intimate culinary experience.

In a valley close to the coast, and west of Las Palmas, lies the typical Canarian town of Santa Maria de Guía (simply known as Guía to the locals). It’s a place renowned for its exceptional cheeses, none more so than the queso de flor de Guía (Guía flower cheese). This delicious delicacy consists of sheep's milk cheese curdled with juice extracted from artichoke thistles – a cherished local product with designation of origin protection.

Arriving in Guía’s colourful historic centre, which was declared a National Historic–Artistic Monument in 1982, you’ll step inside La Kasa de Guía, a typical 19th century Canary house and the venue for your tour. It all begins in the Casa del Queso cheese factory, where you’ll learn about the history, culture, and traditions surrounding Canary cheeses and their production. Next, you’ll have the unique chance to enjoy a show making cheese, Canary-style.

By now, your stomach will be rumbling as perhaps the most pleasant part of the experience begins. After being welcomed with a glass of white wine or a soft drink, you’ll enjoy lunch and sample three varieties of local cheese in La Kasa de Guía’s lovely garden before you’re taken back to your trip, dreaming of tasty cheese.

Essential information

This excursion is operated by coach and on foot. There is approximately 500 metres of walking on this tour. The drive to La Kasa de Guia is approximately 45 minutes each way.

Canarian Coffee Experience

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Learn about the painstaking and passionate coffee-making process at the Finca Los Castaños coffee plantation school.

No matter what a cup of coffee means to you – whether it’s a quick morning pick-me-up, or something to savour over a long conversation with a friend – this fascinating tour of the Finca Los Castaños coffee plantation school will completely change the way you appreciate this classic drink.

Think about all the elements that make up the experience of drinking coffee: the aroma, the colour, the flavour, the moments between each sip when you can chat with family and friends. Have you ever thought about how much work goes into creating that experience?

During your visit to Finca Los Castaños, you’ll learn about all the hard work, passion, attention to detail and the little bit of magic that goes into the coffee-making process, from the cultivation of the seed all the way to pouring the drink into the cup. Located in the Agaete Valley, Finca Los Castaños is the only place in Europe where coffee continues to be cultivated traditionally.

Find out about the importance of speciality coffee then enjoy tasting some of them, with pastries and cookies, before you’re taken back to your ship.

Essential information

There is approximately 400 metres of walking on this tour. The drive to Finca Los Castaños is approximately 1 hour.

Highlights of Gran Canaria

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Discover the many highlights of Gran Canaria, when you uncover the pretty villages of Teror and Arucas.

Sit back and relax as you travel to one of Gran Canaria’s ‘must see’ sights, the famous Bandama Crater. From the viewpoint, admire the stunning views over the north and east coast and out towards the mountainous centre in the west.

Then it’s time to explore the pretty village of Teror, with its whitewashed houses and ornate balconies. With your guide, you’ll visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pine, one of the most important churches in the Canaries, after shepherds saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary close by. Before heading off to Arucas, make the most of your free time and browse the numerous craft shops..

The historic city of Arucas is an architectural masterpiece with its bright white houses and imposing turreted church. A visit to the city would not be complete without a visit to the Marquise’s Gardens. Enjoy a stroll through the Romantic style gardens, filled with Canarian and tropical plants and sample the island’s speciality, banana liqueur.

Essential information

This tour will operate by coach and on foot. The drive involves winding roads and is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo. The streets of Teror and Arucas are cobblestoned and uneven. Teror can become busy on Sundays, which may cause the tour duration to be lengthened. There are around 22 steps to negotiate at the entrance to the Marquise’s Garden, with additional steps within the gardens. The terrain is gravel and paved. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised. The cathedral at Teror is subject to close without notice. Passengers are required to dress modestly when entering a church, ensuring knees and shoulders are covered.

 

A selection of cruises to Gran Canaria

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