The Canary Islands are of volcanic origin and are located a few kilometres west of Africa. Their contrasting landscapes and many naturally occurring landmarks make them a sought-after tourist destination. With this form of travel, you discover each of the islands, always have your floating hotel room with you and also have time to relax on board between the eventful excursion days.
On a holiday in the Canary Islands, diversity is clearly writ large. Due to the variety of different islands, a trip there will never be boring. A particularly attractive aspect is the mild temperatures all year round. While in Germany it gets uncomfortable between November and April, at this time, there are up to eight sunshine hours and approximately 20 degrees each day in the Canarian Islands. This is also the reason why ship trips to the Canarian Islands are offered almost during the whole year.
Each Canary Island has its own port. From this point, excursions are offered by the hour or for the whole day to explore each island and its great sights.
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Canary Islands Ferries Offers
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Best time to visit the Canary Islands
Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Canary Islands is between April and October, which is also considered the peak season. However, as this destination is warm all year round with temperatures between 20 and 23 degrees, you can easily take a trip to the islands even in the low season. In addition, the Canary Islands are ideal for making many excursions. The constant mild temperatures and the light wind provide a pleasant climate for the activities. When it comes to the question of the best time to travel, it’s easy to say 365 days a year.
Ports in the Canary Islands
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island of Tenerife and also the berth for ferry boats. Within ten to fifteen minutes you are walking to the city centre and can therefore do without additional waiting time on land. If a shuttle bus is needed, it is free of charge in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. However, the footpath is nice and comfortable to walk, passing numerous bars, restaurants and small shops that invite you to stroll around. ››› Ferries to Tenerife
Funchal’s harbour offers the arriving guests an impressive view to the capital of the island Madeira. The entire city stretches out before your eyes while you can see the lush green mountains in the background. Arriving in Funchal by boat means tangible anticipation of the exploration of the city ahead. You can even reach the city centre on foot in about 15 minutes, so you don’t have to rely on buses, transfers or a taxi. ››› Ferries to Madeira
Santa Cruz de La Palma
La Palma’s capital Santa Cruz is at the same time also a harbour city and thus accommodates the ship terminal. From the landing stage to the exit of the harbour there is a distance of about 700 metres, which can be covered by a free bus shuttle. The downside is that the bus takes about five minutes to cover this short distance – you’ll be much faster on foot. ››› Ferries to La Palma
The Port Terminal Santa Catalina is located right in the centre of the capital of Gran Canaria and is situated in the port of Puerto de la Luz. Two cruise ships have space at this terminal. Right next door is the shopping centre Centro Comercial El Muelle, which additionally offers great practical benefits for all mooring guests. From the ship terminal to the city centre it is only a few hundred metres, which can easily be covered on foot. ››› Ferries to Gran Canaria
Puerto del Rosario
On the holiday island Fuerteventura you will find the mooring Muelle de Cruceros in the island capital Puerto del Rosario. After a ship has docked, the tourist information office located at the harbour is open for a few hours, where you can get enough brochures and information material. Taxis are also available to take you to the city centre. In the real sense, however, there is no need for a transfer, as you can easily reach the city centre on foot. ››› Ferries to Fuerteventura
The moorings Muelle de los Marmoles as well as Muelle de Cruceros are available in the town of Arrecife for guests wishing to visit Lanzarote. From these seats, bus shuttles to the city are offered for a small fee, unless a shore excursion including transfer is booked. Depending on your berth, you’ll be between one and a half and two and a half kilometres from the centre of Arrecife. ››› Ferries to Lanzarote
In Morocco, all shipping companies dock in the port of the city of Casablanca. However, there is no direct terminal there, so that the ships anchor in the very extensive industrial harbour. Since many do not trust themselves to travel in an Arab country on their own, it is recommended to book a shore excursion, which also includes the transfers ship – city – ship. Alternatively, you can reach the centre of Casablanca by taxi, bus, train, tram or on foot, although this is a bit of a hassle. ››› Ferries to Morocco
TOP 11 Destinations & Sights on the Canary Islands
El Teide National Park
The national park around the Pico del Teide, Spain’s highest mountain at 3718 metres, is best explored on a guided shore excursion. Alternatively, you can book a rental car at the port. With the cable car Teleférico del Teide you can even almost reach the summit and enjoy a unique view – in good clear weather up to the neighbouring islands of Tenerife. The National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007, as it is biologically and volcanically unique in the world. A rare flora and fauna runs through the extensive area, which means that there is always something new to discover.
The Siam Park is considered Europe’s largest water and slide park and is located in the south of the island of Tenerife in the village of Costa Adeje. Numerous different types of slides characterise the park, as does the largest wave machine, which creates artificial waves up to four metres high in one of the pools. If you love fun and action, get off the boat and visit this park as a day trip. Especially for families with children it is perfect, but also young at heart as well as couples will experience their wet and merry wet in the Siam Park.
Jameos del Aqua
The Jameos del Aqua are lava cave passages, terraces and grottos created by lava flows during the volcanic eruption. The artist Cesar Manrique discovered this paradise and designed it so that tourists can visit these bizarre formations and attend them for cultural events. Underground caves and lakes formed in them create the possibility for extraordinary concerts with perfected acoustics. Cafés and dining options round out the Jameos del Aqua as a destination, delighting younger and older audiences alike with its rugged and unusual beauty of solidified lava flows.
Cueva de los Verdes
The Cueva de los Verdes is a lava cave located in the east of the island of Lanzarote and has become a tourist attraction. Since the cave is about seven kilometers long, it is considered the longest volcanic cave system in the world. Guided tours make it possible to visit. The underground hall offers occasional opportunities for small concerts with up to 300 visitors. The tours through the Cueva end at a freshwater lake that appears magnificently colourful when the light falls on it.
Jardin de Cactus
Cesar Manrique has truly left his mark on the whole of the Canary Islands and so the cactus garden Jardin de Cactus was also created by this artist. Built in an open quarry, almost 1500 species of cacti thrive here on an area of about 5000 square meters. Botany enthusiasts will get their money’s worth here. The design using small lava stones completes the reference to the islands of volcanic origin, while the stones also serve as a natural water reservoir for the plants.
Roque Nublo mountain is considered the landmark of the island of Gran Canaria and can be visited for great views or explored on a variety of hikes. The paths around the Roque Nublo are well developed and signposted, so that an ascent is also possible without additional orientation maps. Moreover, no special hiking boots are needed, the terrain is not that rough. The physical demands also do not exceed normal conditions. In order to intensively experience the nature surrounding the Roque as well as the small animals living there, the exploration on foot is the best.
Roque de los Muchachos
A visit to the viewpoint on the Roque de los Muchachos, a huge volcanic cone, is an absolute must when mooring on the island of La Palma. The scenery at the foot as well as the views from this height are guaranteed to give you goosebumps and will please even those with a fear of heights. In perfect weather with good visibility, the islands of El Hierro, La Gomera as well as Tenerife are visible.
Pyramids of Güimar
The pyramids of Güimar were discovered relatively late compared to other architectural finds worldwide, in 1991, by a researcher from Norway. To this day it is unclear by whom and why they were erected. The six rectangular terraces are made of lava rock from the Canary Islands and were built without mortar. The theory of the Norwegian explorer and discoverer of the pyramids is that the ancient Egyptians came to the Canary Islands in a ship made of papyrus and built these pyramids in Güimar. To strengthen this theory, he constructed such a ship from papyrus and sailed it across the Mediterranean. To illustrate this for visitors, a replica of the papyrus ship is on display in the museum next to the pyramids. Also adjacent is a small garden where you can admire rare plants.
Dunas de Maspalomas
Since 1987, the dunes of Maspalomas with their fine, yellow sand are considered as a nature reserve. You can especially enjoy the almost 400 hectare large area during an extended walk over the dunes. Its foothills are found in the wide sandy beach of Playa Maspalomas. From there you can also reach the associated lagoon with its many wild birds living there. Extraordinary photos and lasting impressions with the feeling of having been in the desert for a short time are the memories you take back on board your ship from this trip.
Barranco del Infierno
Barranco del Infierno means in German as much as “hell gorge”. If you can visit it, you can consider yourself lucky – only a maximum of 3000 people are allowed to pass this gorge on the island of Tenerife per day. Through archaeological findings we know today that already the aborigines of the Canary Islands lived in this impressive canyon and left their testimonies. Waterfalls, small lakes, rugged rock formations and unique flora and fauna await you in the gorge. Due to the visitor limitation, which serves the protection of the environment and nature, this excursion must be announced compellingly beforehand and your place must be reserved.
Timanfaya National Park
The Timanfaya National Park is a volcanic area of about 200 square meters. Amazingly, it occupies a quarter of the island of Lanzarote. The fabled Fire Mountains were created over the course of six years until 1736. They will inspire you because you can vividly imagine how the glowing lava flowed out of them back then. Even today, the earth in this place is warm to hot, which is really fascinating. In the adjacent restaurant you can enjoy chicken and rabbit from the lava earth grill. It does not require any artificially generated heat to cook the meat. Timanfaya Park is a must visit when you are in Lanzarote and will leave lasting impressions on you.
Questions & Answers about the Canary Islands Trip
Which shipping companies offer Canary Islands Fähre?
Offers for Ferries to and between the Canary Islands are provided by various shipping companies.
- Fred Olsen Express
- Biosfera Express
- Naviera Armas
- Naviera Nortour
- Lineas Maritimas Romero
- FRS VI
Depending on which of the Canary Islands is your destination, you have a variety of options to choose from.
What is the climate in the Canary Islands?
Due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream as well as the proximity to the equator, the Canary Islands have a mild climate all year round, with temperatures rarely falling below 20 degrees Celsius. The summer months between May/June and September are subtropically warm with many hours of sunshine. In the winter months the temperatures are in the pleasantly warm range, now and then a light wind blows from the Atlantic. The Atlantic Ocean is rather not suitable for bathing during the months November up to and including March, as then it cools down quite a lot. Snowfall in winter occurs exclusively at high altitudes on the individual islands.
What clothes should I take with me?
Be sure to pack a mixed wardrobe for a trip to the Canary Islands. The luggage should therefore not only consist of airy summer clothes, but also include socks, sturdy closed shoes, a thin scarf or shawl as well as light jackets, vests or cardigans. If you dress according to the onion principle, you won’t go wrong. On board, there is always a breeze in the outside areas of the ship, which is relatively cool in a T-shirt without a jacket, even when the sun is shining on deck. Added to this is the incalculable factor of air conditioning on board, with different rooms often being cooled to different degrees. So if you have something to cover up with, you’re always on the safe side.
Is a trip to the Canary Islands with a baby or toddler possible and recommended?
A trip to the Canary Islands with a baby or small children is not only possible, but also absolutely recommendable. Especially the family-friendly destinations of the Canary Islands offer space for every family size. You’ll also find attractive top deals to help families save as much as possible.
Which shore excursions are recommended in the Canary Islands?
On almost all islands panorama tours, jeep safaris or excursions to aloe vera and cactus plantations can be booked, which are highly recommended for land and nature enthusiasts. If you are travelling with children, be sure to visit Loro Parque and the large water parks. On Tenerife, a visit to the Timanfaya National Park is unmissable, while on Lanzarote you can’t miss the artistic installations of Cesar Manrique. What is also always worthwhile is an island tour in order to simply get an overall impression during the shore excursion.
Can I organise excursions on the Canary Islands myself?
The self-organization of excursions is easily possible in the Canarian Islands, as the communication on land is in English or even German and the moorings of the ships are very close to the centre of each mooring city. Local providers have interesting excursions on offer, so that no boredom arises. In addition, the prices are similar to the excursions that can be booked on board.
Is the swell around the Canary Islands very strong?
Basically, the swell around the Canarian Islands is not very strong, but of course it depends on the respective weather conditions. In the Atlantic, these can sometimes be more abrupt, but this can be managed well with travel chewing gum or natural remedies such as ginger. Only the crossing to Madeira, which is often included in the programme of a trip to the Canarian Islands, can have more swell and cause problems for sensitive stomachs. Travel sickness tablets are also available from reception on each ferry. In bad cases, the ship’s doctor is equipped with injections that quickly help against seasickness.
Do I need a passport or is an identity card sufficient for the Canary Islands trip?
A valid identity card or alternatively a valid passport is sufficient for entry to the Canary Islands. However, the latter is not mandatory, but rather to be considered as a substitute document. This applies in the event that, for example, the identity card had expired and a new one is not yet ready. These entry requirements apply to all Canary Islands; there are no deviations.
Children accompanied by their parents enter the country with a child passport. Underage children who are not accompanied by their legal guardians must have a written consent form from their parents or legal guardian.
Vacation on the Canary Island - our conclusion
In summary, the Canary Islands are a perfect destination for your trip.
While many discoveries, sights and experiences await you on land, you can let the new impressions take effect on board the Fähre and relax completely. The modern facilities allow you to switch off or enjoy the great amenities of your Canary Islands ferry.
Additionally, the Canary Islands are a very diverse destination that has something to offer for every taste and age group. You can put together your individual programme in advance using the shore excursions or book it spontaneously on the spot. A Canary Islands trip can be booked well in advance or you may be lucky enough to come across one of the top last minute deals that are often published just before the trip starts.
Canary Islands Map
Here you can take a look at the Canary Islands and get a good overview of the location of the Canary Islands.