Islands of Divine Delights with Hurtigruten
A carnival of flavour and culture awaits the intrepid adventurer with Hurtigruten’s newest expedition cruise itinerary to the madeira and canary islands.
Known as ‘the garden of the Atlantic’, Madeira has long exerted a fascination for its paradisical laurel forests and its sublime culinary culture. Blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and Old World charm, this gleaming Macronesian island – one of two autonomous regions of Portugal, the other being the Azores – is a must-visit destination for lovers of food, wine and culture.
Landing in Funchal, its capital – a one-day cruise from Gran Canaria aboard the MS Spitsbergen as part of Hurtigruten’s latest warm water adventure – one of the first stops ashore on this 11-day journey through the Canary and Madeira Islands is sure to be one of the island’s many cafes and restaurants, to experience its celebrated local flavours.
And what delights await the hungry traveller! From cherished national dishes such as filete de espada (black scabbard fish in passionfruit and banana sauce) to lapas (limpets cooked upwards in a dedicated frying pan, splashed with lemon and butter), it’s a seafood lover’s paradise.
The ocean’s bounty is not the only specialty of Madeiran cuisine – there’s also the rich, meaty flavours of espetada skewers to enjoy, best served with a side of the regional bread, bolo de caco. Make sure to leave room for dessert – with broas de mel (honey buns), sonhos and malassadas (egg and flour dough, fried and drizzled with sugarcane honey), and queijadas (creamy cheese and egg cakes), there’s a treat to satisfy the sweetest tooth.
Travellers can work off all those calories with the Funchal walking tour and wine tasting, included as part of the itinerary. It’s the best way to experience the life and architecture of the island – including its famous Cathedral, markets, and cobbled Old Town streets, while granting the opportunity to enjoy some of its famous fortified wines at Blandy’s Madeira Wine Lodge. It’s enough to whet anyone’s appetite for the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which marks the expedition’s mid-way point.
SET SAIL FOR CELEBRATION WITH HURTIGRUTEN
Following a stop by the golden sands of Porto Santo and return by sea to the Canary Islands, during which one can enjoy the comforts of MS Spitsbergen’s Explorer’s Lounge, it’s time to party at Carnival! Santa Cruz is a major cultural destination famous for its harbour and as a place where tradition and modernity meet. Perhaps its biggest tourist drawcard, however, is its Carnival – the second largest in the world after Rio.
A memorable exhibition of colour with elaborate floats, exquisite costumery and life-affirming music, the Gran Coso Apoteosis or Grand Carnival Parade should be on every traveller’s bucket list, a riotous adventure that is certain to be a highlight of the trip – though the optional excursion to Tiede National Park and the volcanic peak at its heart, El Tiede, is bound to appeal to those with a bent for hiking.
Relaxing with some Madeira wine
From Santa Cruz on to Isla Bonita, El Hierro on the edge of the Canaries and then back to Gran Canaria via San Sebastian on La Gomera and the fire island of Lanzarote, Hurtigruten has crafted a unique expedition that encompasses great culture, cuisine, and natural splendour to make any soul sing – and you can even extend your trip to take in Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands, if you choose.
Departing 2023 and 2024, it’s another exceptional itinerary from the original pioneers in expedition cruising. Don’t miss this extraordinary adventure – book your trip today at hurtigruten.com.au