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Which Canary Island should you go to?

Canary Islands cruises offer the perfect year-round vacation thanks to the Spanish archipelago’s winter sun, incredible nature offerings and beautiful beaches.

P&O Cruises offers vacations as varied as you are, with the line now highly popular among vacationmakers eager to cruise to the Canaries.

There are plenty of hotspots to choose from in this neck of the woods off the coast of Africa, whether you’re after culture, watersports or relaxation. P&O Cruises’ Canary Islands cruise vacations take travelers to five destinations – Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and La Palma.

Particularly exciting for 2022 is the launch of P&O Cruises’ newest ship Arvia, which will cruise to the Canary Islands from Southampton in December on its maiden voyage. A dazzling ship and spectacular destinations – what’s not to love?

This is everything you need to know about P&O Cruises to this delightful corner of the world.

How to choose

What Canary Islands are there?

There are eight islands in the Canaries in total: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa. P&O Cruises visits the five biggest.

What Canary Island is the best?

This is likely down to personal choice – do you want a lively sociable scene or as few tourists as possible? Are golden sands important for you or are you more interested in history? Our island guide below will help you choose!

As for size, the largest of all the Canaries is Tenerife followed by Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and La Palma. La Graciosa is the smallest of the eight islands. Thirty minutes by boat from Lanzarote, the tiny island has no roads but has become a popular day trip option thanks to its golden beaches and idyllic quietude.

Canaries travel guide

​P&O shore excursions in the Canary Islands


Tenerife is home to the marvellous Mount Teide National Park – the biggest park on the Canary Islands – boasting craters, volcanoes (yup Mount Teide is still active, nope you don’t need to worry) and rivers of petrified lava. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is fascinating to explore thanks to its impressive flora and fauna.

P&O Cruises offers a stargazing shore excursion to Mount Teide National Park. Equipped with telescopes and binoculars and led by an expert guide you’ll check out planets, stars, galaxies and star clusters in the night sky. Remember to make a wish if you see a shooting star!

If you’d rather stick to the towns for some culture, there’s the art gallery Museo de Bellas Artes in the cruise port of Santa Cruz; or you could delve into the world of natural science and archaeology at the Museo de la Naturaleza y El Hombre.

Alternatively hit the beach to soak up the sun and top up your tan – Playa de las Americas is a fab resort for beachside bars, shopping centres and sunbathing. Or why not go diving and explore the local marine life? Whales and dolphins can be found off the coast of Tenerife, with boat trips and swimming opportunities aplenty.

As for P&O Cruises’ shore excursions in Tenerife, join the History & Flavours of Tenerife trip to admire the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Laguna and tuck into tasty local eats and thirst-quenching drinks, including a typical passionfruit mojito.


Fuerteventura may be the second-largest Canary island but it’s avoided over-development. However, like Tenerife, it also has a volcanic interior and top beaches.

The Corralejo dunes are worth exploring on a buggy tour while Flag Beach is popular with surfers and kite surfers. Jandia Peninsula also has some of the best beaches in the Canaries and is similarly great for watersports. Meanwhile, for history and culture head to Betancuria.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria holds the crown for the best-known beach in all the Canary Islands – Playa del Ingles, think miles of sand plus plenty of lively bars and restaurants, while Playa de Amadores is another popular beach spot.

P&O Cruises offers an excursion for those keen to try surfing on the Surfing at Las Canteras Beach, Gran Canaria trip. The surfing lesson on the city beach is for both beginners and those who have surfed before. It’s fun for all the family plus a great workout!

Another must-do on the island is to visit the spectacular Maspalomas Dunes which are constantly sculpted by winds. A highlight of P&O Cruises’ Gran Canaria voyages is Palmitos Nature Park – set in a canyon inland from Maspalomas and famed for its tropical plants, birds and fish. Another is Bandama, an extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level, serving up panoramic vistas over the island.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital if you fancy admiring the architecture in the old town, treating yourself to some shopping or settling in for a long lunch.


Lanzarote is another Canary Island hotspot with an amazing moon-like volcanic landscape – head to Fire Mountain in the Timanfaya National Park for the best views. You can also take camel rides here with P&O Cruises while other tours will take you to the wine country of La Geria to taste some of the local vintages.

If you’re an art fan, join The Magic of Manrique P&O Cruises excursion. Tourists will travel around the island in search of masterpieces by the painter, architect, builder and sculptor (and ecologist!) César Manrique. You’ll take in Jameos el Agua cave, a volcanic cave overlooking a saltwater lagoon home to a colony of white crabs unique to the island.

La Palma

La Palma is the smallest of all the islands P&O Cruises sails to in the Canary Islands and is still relatively untouched by mass tourism. Explore the pretty harbour of Santa Cruz and the charming old quarter around Plaza de Espana where you’ll find a 16th-century fountain and town hall, a splendid Renaissance church and a handicrafts market.

Caldera de Taburiente is La Palma’s most magnificent volcanic crater. The national park has brilliant flora and fauna plus impressive clear night skies.

There really is something for everyone in the Canary Islands, and the best part about taking a P&O Cruises getaway is that you can hit up multiple destinations keeping the whole gang happy in one vacation. Just don’t ask to share our passionfruit mojito.

Published 06.02.22