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Part Two Cruise around the Canary Islands on P&O Ventura – The Excursions

Part Two Cruise around the Canary Islands on P&O Ventura – The Excursions

As promised here is Part Two of Cruise around the Canary Islands on P&O Ventura – The Excursions

Part Two Cruise around the Canary Islands on P&O Ventura - The Excursions
Volcano in Lanzarote

La Coruna Spain

Day three of the cruise

April 9th was our first day on land in the North of Spain in the port of La Coruna. On this occasion, we decided we wouldn’t go on an excursion, but we would stay close to La Coruna’s port and look around.

When we left England, the temperature was around 7C, but it was around 20C in La Coruna. It was lovely to sit outside a café drinking a latte and cappuccino without a coat or sweater.

One thing the Europeans know is how to make a good coffee. We enjoyed sitting around the café and then walked a little around the town. An intriguing area in La Coruna had statues of what appeared to be writers and entertainers. There was no one around we could ask, but it was lovely. (Picture of Debbie with statue)

Madeira Portugal

Day six of the cruise

After two days at sea, we arrived at the port in Madeira, Portugal on the 12th of April. One of the first volcanic islands we visited.


The day started very sunny and warm. This was our first excursion during this cruise. Because we were going on an excursion around the island, we decided to have breakfast delivered to our room. I would recommend this to anyone planning an excursion on a cruise.

The excursion by coach took us from the south of Maderia to the North and back again. We visited a few small towns and had great views of Madeira from the coach. The tour guide pointed out that mini bananas are their main export. As we travelled, we could see a lot of terraced land with banana plantations.

We stopped off at a restaurant for lunch in the north of Madeira. The speciality of Maderia is Black Scarab Fish. I am not normally adventurous with food but I thought I would try it. It tasted nice, but nothing like cod or haddock. It came with fries and I was surprised it had a light batter.

I did Google what a Black Scarab Fish looked like and if I had seen that first I don’t think I would have eaten it. To read about the Scabbardfish click here.

There are a lot of tunnels dotted around Maderia for cars and coaches to get around the Island quickly. On our return to the ship, we did get delayed due to an accident in one of the tunnels, fortunately, because the excursion was organised by P&O, the ship did wait for us to return.

Porto Moniz Maderia
Restaurante Cachalote. Porto Moniz Maderia

I also bought a bottle of Madeira wine to bring home. There are 4 types of Madeira wine, Sercial, Verdelho, Boal and Malvasia. The sweetest is Malvasia, which I bought, the others are dry and slightly dry.


Day seven of the cruise

Seven days into our cruise on the P&O Ventura we arrived in Tenerife on the 13th of April. We sailed overnight and arrived around 7 am. Again, we didn’t book an excursion around Tenerife.

We had breakfast in the buffet we headed off the ship and walked into the local town, which is next to the port of Santa Cruz. Again, it was a beautiful day and it was T-shirt weather. We had a look around the port and sat in the sunshine.

Santa Cruz De Tenerife
Santa Cruz De Tenerife

We walked along the Plaza De Espana taking in the sights and just did a little bit of people watching. We sat by the Monumento a los Caidios (The Monument to the fallen ones). We sat by the monument eating ice cream, which is always a favourite thing for me to do.

While Debbie sat in the sun I visited a buried castle which is close to the Monumento a los Caidios. The castle is called the Caste of San Cristobal. It was built to fortify Tenerife. The Castle building was completed by 1577 and was demolished in 1928.  The castle is worth a visit as you do get a bit of understanding of the history.

One thing I did find interesting was that there was a plaque commemorating the 400th anniversary of a voyage that was made to establish James Town, Virginia USA.

Marina Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Castilla La Mancha

The voyage began at the Blackwall steps in London in December 1606 and stopped at Tenerife in February 1607 it took 2 months to get there, which if you think we got to Tenerife after 7 days (including a stop in La Coruna and Maderia) is a long time.

La Palma

Day eight of the cruise

On the 8th day of our cruise, we arrived in another Santa Cruz. This time it was Santa Cruz de La Palma.

We booked a coach trip around the island of La Palma. I wasn’t aware of until we visited several islands where there had been a lot of volcanic action several of the Canary Islands were created by volcanic activity in the Atlantic over millions of years.

On the 19th of December and December 2021, there was a volcanic eruption that destroyed a village in the south of La Palma. On the coach tour, we were taken to a place where we could see where the village was.

Tazacorte La Cost La Palma
Tazacorte La Cost La Palma

Many of the properties there were wiped away by the lava flow and though all we could see was huge cooled-down lava flows the tour guide told us where the village had been.

We were then taken to El Paso where there was a small town where we could have coffee and wander around for a while before heading to the coach.

Gran Canaria

Day nine of the cruise

We arrived in the port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria on the 15th of April 2024. The notable thing for us was the temperature, it was 27 degrees centigrade before the end of the day. Fortunately for us we did have a coach that had air conditioning, which kept us cool.

We took a coach trip around the island of Gran Canaria, this trip only lasted the morning. And we were back on the P&O Ventura by lunchtime.

The most memorable place we visited in Gran Canaria was Maspalomas with its huge dunes. From a distance, they didn’t look that impressive until you saw people walking on them and it gave you some perspective of the size of the dunes

Dunes De Maspalomas, Las Plamas
Dunes De Maspalomas, Las Plamas

The beach was unusual for the Canary Islands because it was a golden sandy beach. The ones we have seen on our previous visits to islands is that they were grey or black-coloured sand due to the volcanic origins of the islands.

From there we were taken to another beach and town Playa de Mogan. It seemed like a busy spot as there were a lot of people around and many people sunbathing on the beach.

Debbie had the most unusual cappuccino I have ever seen. Normally a cappuccino would be a coffee with a lot of foam. Instead of foam on this coffee, it had a lot of cream, what we would call squirty cream, instead of foamed milk.


Day ten of the cruise

Lanzarote was not only the hottest island we visited in the Canaries but probably the most interesting.

We arrived at the Port of Arrecife in Lanzarote early morning on the 16th of April 2024. This was the last island before our 3-day sail back to Southampton. The temperature before the end of the day was in the high 30s. This was a full-day excursion around the island.

The most interesting thing about Lanzarote is that it was like stepping onto the Moon or Mars. The landscape was so alien in its looks. There were old volcanoes everywhere.

Terry and Deb on Timanfaya National Park & The Fire Mountains
Timan National Park, Lanzarote

The excursion for Lanzarote was called Fire Mountain, and we were promised a BBQ lunch. We were not disappointed.

While in Lanzarote we visited the Jardin de Cactus, which is the largest cacti centre I have ever seen, with hundreds of different varieties of cacti. It is in the village of Guatiza and was designed by an artist whose name we see everywhere, Cesar Manrique.

  • Jadin de Cactus
  • Jadin de Cactus
  • Jadin de Cactus

There was a coffee shop there where we could buy hot or cold drinks, and the toilet facilities were clean and well-kept. It was not difficult to identify which was the male toilets and female toilets as the sculptures made it very clear and a lot of tourists were taking pictures of the male toilet sculptures.

We also visited a winery in Lanzarote called Bodega La Geria, which translates to the Geri Winery. We had an opportunity to try different wines there. We liked the sweet wine and we bought a bottle to bring home with us.

The main event of this tour was the Fire Mountain and BBQ. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed.

  • Timanfaya National Park & The Fire Mountains
  • Timanfaya National Park & The Fire Mountains
  • Timanfaya National Park & The Fire Mountains

Before we ate we saw some examples of how hot the magma under Fire Mountain was. A man with a shovel was picking up gravel from the ground and placing some of the gravel into our hands. For me, it was so hot I dropped mine immediately.

Next, a pit had been dug and some dried plants were put into the pit and within the moment the plants caught on fire from the heat of the magma.

We also had a demonstration of the heat of the Timanfaya volcano when one of the guides created a geyser by pouring a bucket of water down a tube that was placed in the ground.

  • Timanfaya National Park Fire Pit

Out of all the excursions we made during our cruise around the Canary Islands Lanzarote was the hottest place we visited and the most interesting. It will be a memory that will stay with us for a long time.

First-time cruiser tip

I did a lot of research before heading off on our cruise on the P&O Ventura including places we were going to visit so that I was prepared.

One tip I would give to a first-time cruiser is if you want to learn about your destination then book an excursion. We would not have seen half of the islands we visited if we had not booked a coach trip around the islands.

On reflection, I wish we had booked an excursion in Tenerife as there are some interesting places to visit such as Teide Volcano to see the views of the volcanic area of Tenerife. For information about Tenerife’s volcanic area click here.

Read More about our P&O Ventura Cruise

If you haven’t read the first part of this two-part post you can read Cruise around the Canary Islands on P&O Ventura by clicking here. This is a good start for anyone thinking of going on a cruise no matter what Cruise Company you choose.

Canary Islands – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Canary Islands … The Canary Islands are an autonomous community of Spain located off the coast of Africa. Consisting of seven main islands and over 50 smaller …

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