This was our third time in Funchal and we were met by a friend who lives there.
Our visit this time was confined to the town itself which is very lovely and very easy to get to from the ship. We were also lucky with the weather and were able to walk through the beautiful gardens, have a coffee and a Belem Tart (egg custard) but everyone should try one. The old city is beautiful and the fish market an experience.
We have been to Tenerife a number of times but our travelling partners had not, and we met up with some new found friends from Cruise Critic and took a private tour which I had arranged from home.
The island is completely different from North to South and very beautiful. During our visit to Mt. Tiede the winds were gusting at about 120kmph so no cable car for us. This is a volcanic island so much of the soil and sand is black.
Once again I had arranged a private tour before leaving home as none of us had been to Lanzarote before.
I had done my homework and found that on Sunday there is a large market in what was the old capital - Teguise, and asked our driver to make that our first stop. It was great - we arrived before the crowds and managed to look round the town as well. After that we left it to the driver/guide to 'show us his island'. He took us to a Cactus garden which was amazing. As far as I know the ship's tours do not go to either of these places. On the West coast of the island it looks like we imagine the moon to be and we took a separate coach tour around. This is bookable on board together with a camel ride!
Once we arrived we knew that time was of the essence and the majority of us took the guide's advice and took a local tour around the town, up to St. Michael's cave to see the apes and the tour/driver was excellent. The cost was Euro 20pp and this included entrance into the cave which itself is Euro13pp so it was good value. Once we were finished it gave us time to walk through the town itself - do some shopping before going back to the coach.
St. Michael's Cave Rating:
The tour from the ship is only the coach to and from Gibraltar. The guide on board was very knowledgeable. Once there we had about 4 hours free time.