Tenerife, Spain

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Cruising to Tenerife

The chirpiest of the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are among the world's most intriguing geological features, with this volcanic archipelago being having been forged from molten magma that erupted from the hellish inferno at the centre of the Earth, only to become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. Yet if the thought of spending a week or two at one of the all inclusive resorts for which the islands are so famous is your idea of hell on Earth, then visiting on a cruise may well be perfect the alternative.

As the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife has developed into the package holiday capital of Europe, with the beaches along the Costa Adeje lined with hotels and villas, while water parks and zoos can be found all over the island. But that doesn't mean you have to come here on a typical family holiday, and those who want to take advantage of Tenerife's many amazing natural attractions while enjoying an altogether more refined type of getaway will have plenty of opportunity to do so while passing through on a cruise.

Among the many highlights on offer is the incredible volcanic landscape that surrounds visitors to Tenerife at all times. Perhaps the best way to experience this is to take a trip to El Teide, Spain's highest mountain, which can be found in the El Teide National Park in the centre of Tenerife and stands at 3,718 m tall. Hiking to the summit is popular among the more adventures travellers, although there's also a cable car if you don't fancy doing the legwork. The views from the summit are quite simply breathtaking, and the area is also considered to be among the best in the world for stargazing.

Alternatively, you may want to take advantage of the island's stunning coastline, and if you're a wildlife lover then you'll be pleased to hear that the waters around Tenerife are among the world's best for whale and dolphin watching, with 27 different species of marine mammals regularly spotted here. Among these are bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales and much more, while there's also plenty of life to discover beneath the waves on a snorkelling or scuba diving excursion.

The city of La Oratava, in the north of the island, is where you'll find the highest concentration of museums, with the Museo de la Cermica boasting the largest clay pot collection in Spain.

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