A port of departure for NCL cruise holidays, Lisbon is a city that deserves some time and attention on your itinerary. Portugal’s hilly capital city is a coastal one, bringing in beautiful views and beaches. Tram lines weave up and down the city’s hills, while ancient ruins and gothic enclaves remain throughout. While there’s an array of attractions, like Castelo de S. Jorge, Museu Naciona de Arte Antiga and Jeronimos Monastery, particular attention should be paid to the food. From the freshest juicy prawns to pasteis de nata, the city is brimming with delicious modern and traditional cuisine. Mercado de Libeira is Lisbon’s main food market, but be sure to check out the Time Out Market, too, for croquettes, pregos and fresh sardines.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife
After exploring Lisbon, head over to the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands on one of NCL’s new cruises. From three- to 14-day itineraries, the cruises all make a stop at Tenerife’s capital city, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Based in the north of the island, Santa Cruz benefits from the heat while being close to more tropical scenery and the lush vegetation of Parque Rural de Anaga. The coastline around here is stunning and a network of bus routes makes it easy to explore further out of the city, like the nearby coastal town of San Andres, known for its beautiful stretch of coast and Teresitas beach. Hike in the nearby mountains, visit vineyards or stay in Santa Cruz to enjoy some of the best food the island has to offer amid its brightly painted buildings.
The colourful, creative capital of Iceland makes for an unforgettable stop on an NCL voyage. Quirky buildings, cool cafes and intriguing art galleries abound, while the city’s surrounding landscapes offer a breathtaking taste of the great outdoors. Among the must-try excursions are a visit to flower covered terrain of Thingvellir national park, a picturesque drive through Laugardalur (“Warm Water Valley”) with a stop at the open-air museum at Árbær, and a trip to explore the geothermal fields of Krysuvik, where dramatic steam jets blast out from the earth’s crust as multicoloured pools of boiling mud bubble away close by. Geological wonders and a wildly cultural city centre; Reykjavík has it all.
Leknes, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Another port for a northern European cruise, Leknes is a beautiful harbour island town in the northern reaches of Norway. Surrounded by rocky cliffs, mountains, sandy beaches and crystal waters, it’s incredibly scenic, with its red small buildings dotted along the shores. The town is in the Lofoten Islands, a hot spot for seeing the northern lights and midnight sun – during summer, the sun never sets up here, providing 24 hours of daylight. There’s a range of outdoor activities available too, including hiking, kayaking and fishing, as well as more on shore excursions and a decent bus service to get you round. Book on to an 11-day Norway and Iceland cruise for a chance to stop at this postcard town.
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