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Sail and explore the Canaries and Madeira

Sail and explore the Canaries and Madeira





Winter sun and day sailing around Lanzarote and the Portuguese island of Madeira with an exciting overnight sail inbetween.

Although part of Spain, the Canary Islands are much closer to Africa than they are to Europe. The four largest islands, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and Gran Canaria all have fascinating volcanic features, two of which are national parks and the islands have three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Madeira meanwhile is regularly voted Europe's best island destination and offers a wonderful mix of nature, culture and warm winter sun. This trip sails between and explores the two regions. Throughout, you’ll be fully involved, getting top class training and constantly building your sailing skills and experience.
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These are the available dates and routes. To book your place, please select the dates from the drop-down above the ‘Add to Cart’ button.


  • Start date / place: November 07 2022. Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote
  • End date / place: November 18 2022. Quinta Da Lorde, Madeira
  • Full price: £1,699
  • Deposit: £425


  • Start date / place: February 13 2023. Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote
  • End date / place: February 24 2023. Quinta Da Lorde, Madeira
  • Full price: £1,699
  • Deposit: £425


Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.



This is non-refundable. On making payment, your berth is guaranteed.

Paying the balance
The balance of the invoice can be paid at any time. It must be received by Rubicon 3 90 days before the trip start date or your place will automatically be cancelled. We will remind you of the date nearer the time.

Cancellations and moving trips
Our expedition sailing yachts only have between 7 and 10 berths on them. When you book, you are committing to take one of these places. Due to these very limited numbers, we will often have turned away someone else who would have liked the berth. Unlike many other holidays, please understand this gives us little if any flexibility to make changes or to move trips. We will always endeavour to assist you (& the earlier you tell us the better), but unless we can find someone else to take your place, we usually cannot move your booking.

This is a typical sailing itinerary. What makes an adventure holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.

Please note as our yachts run on long range routes all over the world, this trip runs in both directions and from / to different locations in the Canaries. The actual experience is very similar. Here we have shown a typical itinerary from Lanzarote to Madeira.  so please accept this as a guide and check the exact start and end points carefully on the Dates & Prices tab

Day 1: Joining day

Join the boat at 0900hrs. Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. The Canaries are usually lovely and warm at this time of year and you can sit and gaze out over the ocean with a sundowner!

Day 2: Briefings, training and day sail to Arecife

Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly experienced instructors to guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great sailing holiday. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day. We will probably spend the night a few miles north in Arecife, where we can explore the old town.

Day 4-5: Sail to La Graciosa on the northern tip of Lanzarote

A close reach (or beam reach if we’re lucky!) today, for a longer sail right up the eastern coast of Lanzarote to the gorgeous island of La Graciosa on its northern tip. The northeasterly trade winds will give us plenty of oomph, and the yacht will be in her absolute element today. We’ll anchor up in an enchanted little bay and explore ashore the next day.

Day 5: Exploring La Graciosa, beach day and swimming

La Graciosa is completely uninhabited and almost flat except for four large volcanoes. It’s a lovely place to explore ashore and we have a day just to wander off, explore and have some fun. Its location next to one of of the most abundant fishing grounds in the world means catching fresh tuna for dinner is a distinct possibility!

Days 6-8: Sail north to Madeira

Now we can set sail for the 280nm passage to the Portuguese island of Madeira. This is a really exciting but very manageable offshore sail, as it should only take us 36-48 hours. It will give you the true Atlantic Ocean experience but is short enough that no-one need worry about being stuck out at sea either! You’ll be helming under the stars, navigating as the sun rises and can just sit and marvel at the big Atlantic rollers as they pass by. Ocean sailing is something very special and you may well find you find it worryingly addictive!

Day 9-10: Arrival and exploring Funchal

Funchal is the buzzing capital of Madeira, and we should be moored right in the middle of things. The whole crew will be buzzing after the overnight sail from the Canaries and it’s time for that wonderful feeling of having just sailed from one country to another. We’ll spend a full day here to check in and enjoy everything on offer.

Days 11-12: Islas de Deserthas

This is weather-dependent but, all going well, we can day sail to these magical islands. For many years it was forbidden to visit them and they were home only to seabirds, monk seals and, legend has it, a six-foot-high variety of carrot! We will head to Doca, halfway down Deserta Grande and one of the few places we are allowed to land. This is a lovely place to anchor, explore and soak up some winter sun.

Day 13: Gentle sail north to Quinta da Lorde

Our final sail, takes us back north again to the wonderful coastal resort of Quinta Da Lorde on the south eastern tip of Madeira. This is a lovely place to finish, with an outdoor restaurant and bar, sea pool and gorgeous beach. Suddenly we are having our last evening together and it’s time to tell stories, share the laughter and look back on an incredible journey together.

Day 14: Packing up and saying goodbye

It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs (we prefer if you don’t, but if you need to catch a ferry or flight, you can leave as early as you need to on the last day).


  • You should join the boat at 0900 on the first day an leave by 1200 on the last day.


  • Gran Canaria airport (IATA code: LPA) has many connections to most European countries.
  • Lanzarote airport (IATA Code: ACE) is well served by many airlines including Ryanair, Easyjet, Iberia and others. The airport is a short taxi ride from the marina.
  • Madeira airport (IATA code: FNC) is well served by British Airways, Easyjet, TAP, TUI and others.


These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.



We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.

See more information and the full kit list here


We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.

See the Medical Declaration here


  • It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
  • We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
  • Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues.
  • For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.


Mostly day sailing but may have an occasional night sail.


  • Top quality foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
  • Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
  • Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
  • All on-board food and snacks.
  • Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
  • RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.


  • Your travel to and from the start and end points.
  • Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
  • Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
  • Any meals you eat ashore.


Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.

  • These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
  • These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
  • When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
  • Please ensure you  have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.

    Terms & Conditions

    Trip booking summary

    • Total Cost: £1,799
    • Deposit to pay now: £400
    • Balance to pay: £1,399

    (Balance due 60 days prior to departure)

    Use the yellow button above to book now

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    Make the trip of a lifetime!

    Book two trips back to back and get 10% off the second trip