Sailing Holidays – Canary Islands

Come and find us in the Canary Islands for a great sailing break  and new adventures to discover a less explored side to these volcanic isles.  Each week Bessie Ellen explores the islands of Gomera and La Palma with some visits to far out El Hierro.   All voyages start and finish in Tenerife and guarantee plenty of wildlife

Thrilling Sailing – Relaxed Evenings

These islands lie at the start of the trade wind belt where north easterly winds blow  a constant stiff breeze brushing over an azure ocean.  Take the helm or get hands on alongside  the crew in hauling on halyards, watching the white canvas catch the wind.  As Bessie Ellen skips over the waves, relax on deck and look out for jewelled flying fish as they break out the waves in shoals of silver.

Out here you really feel like you are on the big ocean, and with long passages between some of the islands, your dreams of ocean adventurer become closer.  As with all our voyages, Bessie Ellen’s crew wish to involve you on deck as much as you like, whether steering, setting sails or navigating, however, we remember it is also your holiday and perhaps you prefer just to sit back and just enjoy the experience of it all.  Remember, no previous sailing  experience is necessary, just jump on in and enjoy.

After a wonderful day at sea,  it’s time to explore the villages and beaches ashore.  Sometimes, Nikki will organise a meal ashore at a local quayside restaurant.  However most evenings your chef will prepare dinner on board, served either down in the cosy saloon or out on deck under the velvet night sky.  Kick back and stargaze until your day catches up and its time for bed.

Winter Sun

Last time we visited the Canaries, the total amount of rain was 20 minutes in 6 months.  Therefore, we can guarantee you a sunny holiday,  but then these islands are situated pretty close to the Sahara.  With a regular winter temperature at sea level of 24 degrees and  sea water temperature between 18 & 20 there is no other winter destination so easy to travel to from UK.

walking in the Canary islands
Wonderful Walking

We take your holiday seriously, and although you will sail and travel on board, we think an occasional day ashore walking and exploring is a perfect change, see the islands and different scenery or just to have a good long day to stretch your legs.

Possible days walking are:

Masca, Tenerife.  Walk the incredible Baranco de Masca and arrive at what was once a hidden pirate village in the mountains.  Now, small farms, cafes and traditional Canary architechture make this a hard but delightful days walk.  Aprox. 4 hours.

Caldera Taburiente, La Palma.  A day trip where we invite you to share with us the experience of the largest crater in the world.  Your self drive hire van is the best way to reach the upper slopes and snow line, climbing through vineyards, ancient pine forests to reach the awesome crater.  Here you can stop and walk for an hour or more before descending to visit Sta Cruz de la Palma, the most historic of all the Canary towns and a pure delight for an evenings meandering.  Approx: 1 day. Sandwiches included.

Valle Gran Rey: Gomera. The awesome Valley of the  Great King is a wonderful half day walk for those of you yearning for green.  Palms, cactus, banana and many many more species will delight you on this walk downhill to Vueltas.  Approx. 3 hours

Garajonay National park, Gomera: For those that are looking to escape to the hills and get lost for a day, Gomera is the perfect small island for renting a car (easy) and taking off up the steep mountain roads to some of the most unique and dramatic scenery.  The rain forest has many well marked trails for both long and short walks from the top down to sea level or just up amongst the clouds.  you may be lucky enough to hear the Silbo Gomero, a whistled language unique to the Canary Islands.


Keep a sharp eye out for whales and dolphins whilst sailing between the islands. We encounter Pilot whales on a daily basis and can get up very close without disturbing them. Brydes Whales and occasionally Sperm Whales are seen in the deep channels between the islands.  The Bottlenose dolphins tend to find us and love to vie for pole position whilst swimming  swiftly under the bowsprit.

Cory’s Shearwater are abundant at sea but on land, try to pick out the Hoopoe with his colourful punk plumage.  Plenty of different lizards bathe on warm rocks. Save the best till last, Hawskbill turtles and Manta Rays.

As featured in The Sunday Times

“…the dolphins flocked towards ys, eager to ride our bow wave. The pilot whales, on the other hand, were unbothered as we watched them from up on the rat lines and lying out on the bowsprit for a better view.”