Sailing Holidays in Western & Eastern Canary Islands
The Canary Islands - Migrate South for Winter Sun, Sailing and an Outdoor Life
- Winter sunshine with typical average temperatures of 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) in January.
- Good prevailing winds;There are wind accelerations zones where the wind blasts between the mountainous islands, and quieter areas closer inshore.
- A a group of seven islands with a mix of day and longer passages between them with the deep seas between on the migration trail for dolphins and whales.
- Many cetacean research vessels study here and there is a breeding ground for pilot whales off Tenerife.
- The worlds astronomy telescopes are here in the mountains as the night skies are so unpolluted so night sailing or a wander on deck in a remote anchorage under dark volcanic cliffs is awesome.
- The Western Canaries are great for mountain walking with surprisingly lush vegetation, pine trees and terraces of bananas and many crops. The Eastern Canaries are closer to the Sarhara with sand dunes great beaches and a mecca for windy watersports and surfing.
Journalist Andrew Eames sailed with Classic Sailing on Bessie Ellen in the Canaries - Read his travel article for the Financial Times in 2013.
Bessie Ellen Taking a Well Earned Rest
110 year old sailing ship Bessie Ellen is having a well earned refit this winter and will not be making the journey South to the Canaries in 2013-2014. If you have been looking forward to a week of winter sun, sea spray and wooden decks beneath your toes then we do have an alternative.
Bessie Ellen will be returning to the Canary Islands Winter 2015-2016..
Mini Ocean Passages to the Canaries - Become a Blue Water Sailor in 10 days
The Atlantic Islands of Canary Islands sit on the latitude where the butter melts and Trans Atlantic sailors turn westwards with the trade winds. Staging posts for square rig sailors and yachtsmen through the centuries, these mountainous island landfalls with lush vegetation are a welcome reward on our 10-14 day ocean passages.
There is more to becoming a blue water sailor than swapping oilskins for shorts, but a winter suntan and some ocean miles in bare feet on wooden decks certainly helps get you in the ocean wandering mood. Ocean sailors happily adapt to a watch routine and the constant motion of the ship day and night. Experience all the ships moods from glassy calms to white capped swells launching flying fish from crest to crest.
Oosterschelde will visit the Canary Islands on her way to Cape Verde islands, Lord Nelson will stop in Gran Canaria en route to the Caribbean and Tencious will spend several weeks exploring the islands, including Christmas and New Year. You can of course link together 2 or 3 voyages (or as many as you like) and continue south and/or West and exjoy soem real blue water sailing.
Explore the Western Canary Islands on traditional sailing ships
Poised on the edge of the tropics, the scenery inland ranges from volcanic peaks to primeval forest and the rich marine life offers a feeding frenzy for passing whales and dolphins. There are acceleration zones where the wind blasts between the mountains for exciting sailing and calmer spots where the ship can drift safely between islands whilst you swim in the ‘deep blue’ sea. This is helped by Tenerife having the tallest mountain in the European Union - Mt Teide which both funnels the prevailing winds and creates areas of shelter under dramatic cliffs.
The Western Isles include El Heirro, La Gomera, La Palma and Tenerife. We use Tenerife to start many voyages for the convenience of its international airport. The tourist strip in Southern Tenerife is not pretty, but it is only a short hop to the relative tranquility and unspoilt beauty of La Gomera. Alternatively up sailing past Northern Tenerife you can appreciate the more mountainous and remote end of this tourist hotspot and the snow topped Mount Teide. Over 100 miles sail away from Tenerife is La Palma with its cloud forest and volcanic crater ridge walks amongst the pine forests. La Gomera and La Palma are both developing nicely as quality eco tourism and mountain walking destinations, with plenty of inland villages looking out over the ocean from steep terraced hillsides.
Eastern Isles - Mecca for Windsurfers and Beach Lovers
New for Classic Sailing are two voyages exploring the Eastern end of the Canaries Atlantic Island Group. Only 70 nautical miles from Morocco, Lanzarote has many obvious geological links with Saharan Africa. The African Coast and Canaries fishing grounds are very rich so it is a great place to buy fresh fish. There are more anchorages off islands like Lanzarote than the steeper sided Western Isles. Fuenteventura has sand dunes that would'nt look amis in a Lawrence of Arabia movie and the east coast has a whole series of beach anchorages. Surfers, kite surfers and windsurfers have been coming here for years for consistant winds and sunshine.
More on sailing in the Eastern Canaries
Whales and Dolphins
The South West of Tenerife, Los Gigantes, region is internationally known as a permanent home and temporary feeding ground for a big selection of whales and dolphins. The species you are most likely to encounter are the Bottlenosed Dolphin and the Long Finned Pilot Whale. Please note it is never possible to 100% guarantee sighting of whales and dolphins as they are free to come and go as we would want them to. However every effort will be made to visit the Los Gigantes area where they are most likely to be seen subject to weather and safety.
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