28 August 2022


By P&O Cruises Editorial staff

Five new experiences to try in the Canary Islands

Whether exploring cities by foot, kayaking through sparkling bays or splashing around in a water park, there are countless ways to take in the beauty and diversity of the Canary Islands. We have dozens of shore experiences to choose from, but these five new ones have gone straight to the top of our bucket list.

Kayaking near Los Gigantes cliffs

The calm, warm seas around the Canary Islands are perfect for kayakers of all abilities, and the dramatic Los Gigantes cliffs of western Tenerife are a spectacular backdrop for a trip. With rock faces soaring as high as 600m, this beautiful piece of coastline is best appreciated from the sea.

The day starts at the charming Los Gigantes harbour, where a certified instructor will make sure you and your partner are confident in your double kayak before they lead the group out to sea. The area is well known for its year-round dolphin population, and it’s not unusual for kayakers to be joined by a pod of friendly bottlenoses or, occasionally, even a pilot whale. Watching them dive through the waves and weave between the boats is a truly magical experience.

Your guide will help you explore some of the inlets and caves that pepper this part of Tenerife before taking you back to the harbour, where you can continue your day on the volcanic sands of Masca beach at the foot of the cliffs. If you want to dive a little deeper, the clear waters are a great place for snorkelling.

Catamaran sailing


A little further down the Tenerife coast at Puerto Colón, you can see the sea in a different way on board a catamaran. On this thrillingly fast ride, you’ll feel at times that you are flying across the waves as the experienced crew take you out to the deep waters where they are most confident of finding the island’s resident dolphins and whales.

The Canary Islands are among the most reliable destinations in Europe for whale-watching – Tenerife has about 1,000 pilot whales that stay year-round and tend to congregate in the marine trench close to Puerto Colón. In addition, and especially between November and February, there are plenty of seasonal visitors including orcas, rorquals, sperm whales and even magnificent humpbacks.

The boat trip will also give you some wonderful views, in particular the rugged beauty of Mount Teide and the island of La Gomera, Tenerife’s craggy little sister. The crew’s knowledge of the area will really enhance your day and, with only limited numbers on board each catamaran, you will have an exclusive and rewarding excursion.

Beach yoga and mojitos

Las Teresitas is one of Tenerife’s most beautiful beaches, a sweeping, palm-fringed bay almost a mile long on the north-east of the island. It would be completely understandable if you wanted to simply sit and enjoy its golden sand and still waters, but those wanting an even more revitalising experience can take part in a gently stimulating yoga classes. A fully qualified instructor will lead a group through an hour-long class, which will give you a chance to stretch out, unwind and realign.

Of course, the warm sand, cool breeze and gentle lap of waves make this an idyllic place to exercise for established yogis but, even if you have never tried yoga before, this class could be the perfect introduction to the ancient practice. The instructors will gauge your level and adapt the moves and poses to your abilities and, by the end of the session, you should feel relaxed and wonderfully supple.

Afterwards, you can have a cocktail at one of Las Teresitas’ beach bars, and then the day is yours to do with as you see fit. A dip in the crystalline sea? A snooze on a lounger? Or, if you’re in the mood for more, you can wander to the picturesque fishing village of San Andrés for lunch or follow one of the trails along the Anaga mountains, the slopes of which start to rise immediately behind the beach.

Mountain horse ride


Just a couple of miles inland from the beaches on the southern tip of Gran Canaria, El Salobre stables are tucked away in the hills and make an ideal base for some fabulous hacks into the surrounding countryside. You will be paired with a horse that matches your experience and taken by a guide along mountain trails where the views will let you really appreciate the beauty of this part of the island.

The horses are completely familiar with the rise and fall of the paths, where cacti grow wild on the slopes, allowing you to enjoy panoramic views of the arid, undulating hills and, in the distance, the coastal dunes and sparkling Atlantic Ocean.

After your ride, you will visit a guachinche – a traditional Canarian restaurant – where you will be given a selection of fantastic tapas based on local recipes and some wonderful wine from the vineyards that dot the island. The day is a very intimate way to explore the island’s scenery and its flavours.

Food and wine tour

You need never go hungry in the Canary Islands: its sub-tropical climate and year-round sunshine provide an abundance of fruit and vegetables, and its seas are fertile fishing areas. Characterised by its heartiness, simplicity and freshness, Canarian food is packed with flavour, so it’s surprising it isn’t more widely known. But don’t worry – you can have an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the best-loved local dishes on a Tenerife-based shore experience.

At the coastal town of Santa Úrsula, you will meet two of Tenerife’s most celebrated chefs, Mario and Fabián Torres, who have been cooking at their family restaurant, El Calderito de la Abuela, for many years. You’ll eat a selection of typical tapas and learn to make the mojo sauces that accompany so many local dishes – a delicious combination of herbs, spices and olive oil.

You will also visit the Felipe Monje vineyards, a short drive from Santa Úrsula, where some of the Canary Islands’ most highly rated wines are grown. After a tour of the winery, you can sample some of the family’s wines – the region’s volcanic soil is known to pack grapes with flavour.s.

 

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