With the weather turning colder and wetter and the night’s drawing in, the thought of a week or two away, lazing on a beach in the warm winter sun is enough to get any of us packing our suitcase and heading straight off to the airport
With frequent flights from all over the UK, taking around four hours, Spain’s Canary Islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma are a big draw year-round, in winter they come into their own; great temperatures and a wide range of accommodation options offer a no-nonsense holiday to top up your tan without draining your pocket.
So, it’s Tenerife for full-on fun, Lanzarote for relaxing, Grand Canaria for magnificent beaches and Fuerteventura for sporty types.
So why choose the Canary Islands…
The Canary Islands have a sub-tropical, mild and pleasant dry climate throughout the year, without sudden changes in temperature between day and night, which is why they are top of our list for some sunshine this winter.
The islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, forming a part of Spain, although they are more closely situated to Africa.
The seven islands: La Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and the two lesser unspoilt islands of Hierro and Gomera, form a part of a volcanic mountain range which lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean.
The all year sub-tropical climate, which is regulated by the Gulf Stream and Trade Winds, attracts thousands of visitors every year to the islands who go to enjoy the sun, sea, nightlife and hospitality of the Canarian people.
However, it’s all too easy to arrive on your trip to the Canary Islands, place yourself on the beach and stay there without actually exploring all of the marvellous attractions that the islands have to offer.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is known as the island of eternal spring because of its all year-round excellent climate.
The island is full of stark contrasts and has a great variety of scenery which varies through the regions.
A mountain chain runs through its centre from Anaga to Teno and on both of its slopes there are large, exuberantly fertile valleys, among them especially La Orotava and Gumar.
In the heart of the chain there is a gigantic, natural crater, called Las Cañadas del Teide, which is about 29 km across and has officially been declared a National Park. It lies over 2,000 m above sea level. North of the crater stands El Pico del Teide (Mount Teide), a 3,718 m high mountain, which is the highest point in Spain. It is snow-covered in the winter and marks the island with its unique silhouette.
The capital city is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and the most popular holiday destinations include Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos,, Puerto de la Cruz and Adeje.
Gran Canaria is situated in the centre of the Canary Islands and is the third largest island after Tenerife and Fuerteventura. Its diversity of landscapes, magnificent beaches and friendly, laid-back atmosphere make Gran Canaria an ideal family holiday destination, anytime of the year.
Las Palmas is the capital of the island and its main destination resorts are Puerto Rico, Maspalomas, with its beautiful sand dune nature reserve, Puerto de Mogan and Playa del Ingles.
Fuerteventura is the island closest to the coast of North Africa, being just 100 kilometres from Morocco.
It’s the second largest island and is renowned for its long, golden sand beaches and its famous sand dunes in Maspalomas. The island is a paradise for sun worshippers and water sports enthusiasts. It is also believed to be the oldest of all of the Canary Islands.
The capital of Fuerteventura is Puerto del Rosario, and its main destination resorts are Antigua, Caleta de Fuste, Corralejo and El Cotillo and Morro Jable.
Lanzarote is situated just 70 miles off the coast of Africa, the most easterly of the Canary Islands and one of the smallest.
As with the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote has a volcanic landscape, which gives the impression that you are in a lunar environment; so much so that parts of the movie Planet of the Apes were shot here. The island has a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve protected status.
Arrecife is the capital of the island and the main destination resorts are Puerto del Carmen, Arrecife, Puerto Calero, Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise.
Much of the cuisine of the Canary Islands combines traditional Spanish fayre, with African and South American dishes. The volcanic roots of the island are also reflected in the dishes.
Fish plays an important role in the cuisine of Gran Canaria and especially popular are locally caught Langoustines, Mussels, Octopus, Atlantic Mackerel, and Sardines.
Meat dishes are popular, especially steaks and stews, but most meat tends to be imported in, as there is not much livestock on the island.
The Canary Islands grape growing culture dates back centuries and the unique flavour that comes from the volcanic terrains is very special. There are many wine routes that can be explored throughout the islands, where you can discover the different vineyards and their denominations.
If you would like to find out more, or to book your winter getaway, book online, call us (01245 490290 or 01376 551444) or visit us in-store.