As summer changes to autumn, trees start to shed their leaves and daytime temperatures drop slightly, people fortunate enough to afford the time and cost turn their thoughts to a winter break. The winter break has long been popular with residents of the colder European countries who are within a short flight to the resorts in southern Europe that remain relatively mild during the winter months. The fact that you can fly from almost anywhere in Europe to the popular winter break resorts within 3 or 4 hours makes them very accessible.
Some of the most popular destinations are those of the Canary Islands which actually lie much closer to the North African coastline (less than 80 miles) than they do to the nearest European country of Spain. Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventrua and Lanzarote are the largest four of the islands and attract the most tourist trade.
Typical winter temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees in Lanzarote, the warmest of the islands, compared to average winter temperatures of below 10 degrees in the UK for the coldest six months of the year. So you see why the island is attractive to those looking for some warmer weather to see them through to springtime.
Because Lanzarote has long been a destination for winter travellers the island is well set up to cater for the type of tourist that time of year attracts. The islanders themselves are very laid back which suits the relaxed environment the travellers are looking for.
The landscape of the island is very unusual due to its volcanic underpinnings and it is a relatively young landscape having been created by erupting volcanoes only 250 years ago. But don’t worry because the volcanoes have been quiet ever since. There is limited vegetation and very few trees to interrupt the moonscape-like scenery. In the south of the island the volcanic vistas give way to golden sandy beaches, just the pace to while away a mild December day. In fact there are almost one hundred beaches on the island, so sun worshippers will be spoilt for choice and have plenty of space during the quieter months.
The size of the island, only 12 miles coast to coast east to west and less than 40 miles between the north and south coasts, makes all resorts just a short drive from the airport in Arrecife. This compact size also make the island an ideal touring location for tourists interested in leaving their base for day trips.
There are differing views about the vibrant resort of Playa Blanca, named after its white sandy beach. Some say the town has a unique charm, retaining its traditional village feel which makes its an ideal destination for families and couple seeking a quieter break. Others however criticise the resort for being overdeveloped in recent years due to the flourishing property market.
For the past 25 years Lanzarote has been home to the famous sports resort Club La Santa. The venue provides a centre for both professional and amateur sportsmen and women seeking warmer climates to train in. The resort mixes 400 high quality holiday apartments with some of the best sports facilities in Europe, including a six lane athletics track, Olympic 50m 8 lane swimming pool and ten tennis courts. The resort also hosts its own multi-sport events including the famous Lanzarote Ironman triathlon and the International Club La Santa Duathlon.
Although the island has only one airport, it has enough capacity to cater for a range of daily flights from many of the major European airports and from the UK you can depart from most airports including Manchester, Gatwick, Glasgow, Newcastle and Cardiff.
The airlines providing these flights include the major scheduled operators like British Airways as well as the charter airlines like FlyThomasCook, Monarch and ThomsonFly.
Booking well in advance should make a return trip available for less than 200 pounds sterling but leaving bookings until the last minute could easily see prices reach twice that level.