The best Canary Islands cruises for hikers looking to stretch their legs

Tamara Hinson
Truly wondrous landscapes can be discovered by hiking the Canary Islands - Flavio Vallenari

Sprawling on a sun lounger is all well and good, but the best way to see the Canary Islands is to explore them on foot. Here are six cruises perfect for keen hikers.

Long walks and wine

This 23-day cruise is packed with excursions designed with hikers in mind, from the guided nature trek through Garajonay National Park on La Gomera to the hike through Gran Canaria's Azuaje Valley, with its winding canyons and crumbling ruins, many of which date back to the Spanish civil war. A stop in Lanzarote is the perfect excuse for a more leisurely excursion - more specifically, the chance to toast your success on a guided tour of the island's vineyards. Back onboard, restore energy levels with a visit to one of Silver Spirit's fantastic restaurants, which includes La Terrazza for delicious Italian cuisine and Seishin for Japanese specialities.

Silversea’s 23-day London to Barcelona cruise departs from London. From £8,400pp, departing September 14, 2020 (0844 251 0837; silversea.com).

Roque de Agando, close to La Gomera's Garajonay National Park, is one of the island's most striking features Credit: istock

Starry skies in Tenerife

This 14-night cruise calls at Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, with plenty of excursions to get the blood pumping including, in Lanzarote, a trek up the side of the Cuervo Volcano. It's well worth the effort – get to the top and you'll be rewarded with stunning views across the crater. We also love the fact that the ship spends the night in Tenerife, allowing plenty of time for longer hikes. Make the most of the island's famously clear night skies by joining a late-night excursion to Teide National Park to admire the stars.

Saga Cruises’ 14-night Stars of the Canaries cruise departs Southampton. From £2,861pp, departing on November 1, 2020 (0808 250 2284; travel.saga.co.uk).

Soak up the stars in Tenerife's Teide National Park Credit: istock

Lovely La Palma

La Palma is one of the best hiking destinations in the Canaries, and P&O's full-day stop at the island means plenty of time to burn off buffet-related indulgences with a long hike through its forests and mountains. The island's hiking trails cover over 1,000 kilometres, but it's a network easily broken down into smaller chunks. The famous Ruta de los Volcanes takes three days to complete so instead, consider the eight-kilometre Los Tilos hike, named after the forest you'll walk through. Or, for the ultimate wow factor, hike around the rim of Teneguía volcano, a National Monument which last exploded in 1971.

P&O’s 12-night Canary Islands cruise departs from Southampton. From £799pp, departing on March 23, 2020 (0344 338 8003; pocruises.com).

Ruta de los Volcanes on La Palma is for the serious hikers – the reward at the end is stunning Credit: istock

Hot stuff on Lanzarote

The first Canary Island on this cruise is Lanzarote, where trips ashore include a trek through the volcanic landscape of Timanfaya National Park, where your guide will point out lava tunnels, volcanic canals and enormous craters, before taking you to the site of an eruption which took place in the 1700s. On La Gomera you can hike through Garajonay National Park or opt for a gentler workout on the greens of Tecina Golf Club (another shore excursion). Urban adventurers are well-catered for on the island of La Palma – excursions include a guided walk around its historical capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma.

Seabourn’s 14-day Moroccan Gems & Canary Islands II departs from Barcelona. From £5,299pp, departing on October 19, 2019 (0344 338 8615; seabourn.com).

Post-walk pampering

The gloriously-named Sunshine in Canaries cruise is packed with excursions designed to get you off the beaten track, including, on Gran Canaria, a guided hike through the forests of Tilos de Moya and, in Lanzarote, a six-kilometre guided walk through Timanfaya National Park. This particular ship – Explorer of the Seas – is ideal for active types, too - there's a rock wall, surf simulator and mini-golf course, and therapists at the onboard Vitality Spa are on hand to help massage away any post-hike aches and pains.

Royal Caribbean’s 11-night Sunshine in the Canaries cruise departs from Southampton. From £799pp, departing on October 25, 2019 (0344 493 4005; royalcaribbean.co.uk).

The shimmering 'Green Lake' is a highlight of Timanfaya National Park Credit: istock

Solo salvation

This cruise provides easy access to some of the Canary Island's top hiking destinations and the ship, which accommodates just 799 passengers, means it's ideal for those who want to hit the hiking trails in blissful solitude.In Lanzarote you'll have plenty of time for the three-hour hike around the rim of the Caldera Blanca (one kilometre wide) before you'll sail to Gran Canaria, where you'll be able to trek across the island's sunken calderas and fragrant pine forests. You'll also visit Tenerife, which has one of the Canary Islands' most extensive network of hiking trails.

Fred Olsen’s 14-day Canary Islands with Madeira cruise departs from Liverpool. From £1,949pp, departing on October 28, 2019 (0800 077 4036; fredolsencruises.com).