Spain's Canary Islands make for an incredible day at the beach

Canary Islands, Spain
Canary Islands, Spain

If you assume that you'll be spending all your time in museums and tour buses on your European cruise, you're mistaken. Europe may be known for its art, culture and history, but there's plenty of destinations that offer fun in the sun - like Lanzarote in Spain's Canary Islands.

There's a wide variety of options for shore excursions in Lanzarote, which is the fourth largest island in the Canary chain. Those looking for a day at the beach should visit the popular resort area of Puerto del Carmen. This region of the island offers not one but three different beaches, all of which are perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming and more. There are also a number of shops around this area for those who want to pick up a few souvenirs.

Besides its beaches, the Canary Islands are also famous for their wines. You'll be able to visit a local bodega where they produce the wine in cinder pits, known locally as zocos. The golden wine that is the result of this craftmanship, Malvasia, is sublime when paired with one of the numerous local cheeses.

Of course, there's also plenty of culture in the Canary Islands as well. Visit the home of Cesar Manrique, an artist who became famous for his "environmental" pieces. Manrique worked with the local landscape to transform ordinary sites into stunning works of art. You'll have the opportunity to visit two such places, Jameos del Agua and Jardin de Cactus, during your stay.