Though part of Spain, the Canary Islands sit in the open Atlantic Ocean, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Morocco. The mild climate mixed with a rich volcanic landscape and beautiful sandy beaches makes the main city of Santa Cruz, on the largest island of Tenerife, a welcome stop for many cruise voyages. The isolated island is dominated by the Teide volcano, the tallest mountain in Spain and site of one of the world’s most popular national parks. A cable car carries visitors to the top, offering unrivaled views of the island.
Travelers interested in learning about the history of the island, its unique wildlife and the population of indigenous people that lived here before the arrival of European settlers should visit the Museum of Nature and Man in Santa Cruz, while architecture buffs can stroll the streets of La Laguna to see colonial-era mansions. And travelers keen on food and wine should venture into the countryside to sample local dishes or make the drive to Casa del Vino, where they can learn about, and taste, local wines while shopping for a bottle or two to bring home.