Cheap Winter Sun
Nothing raises the spirits quite like escaping the misery of the winter to enjoy a week or two in the sun. Especially when you get it at a decent price.
Some of the most popular places for low-cost winter sun are the seven volcanic islands off the north-west coast of Morocco. A 4 to 5 hour flight available from most regional airports, the Canary Islands offer a warm 18°C average temperature and a sea that hovers just above that figure. It’s sand, sea and sun, with a Spanish twist.
Popular as a winter sun destination (and a summer one too), prices do peak in line with UK school/festive holidays, but if you go a little earlier or later, chances are your money will go further. (Keep an eye on Netflights.com for year-round offers on flights and accommodation.)
The islands have what it takes to entertain couples or families. In January and February, there are traditional local festivals bringing colour and entertainment to most of the major islands like Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
If you are after the original charm of the Canaries, well off the beaten path, try El Hieroo, one of the smallest islands.
Back with the crowds on Gran Canaria, a hotel like Club Green Oasis in Maspaloma is a good value apartment option, with 46 apartments set around the pool and a great buffet breakfast available.
Push the boat out a little more at a hotel like the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort and Spa. Also in the south of Gran Canaria, this 5-star resort opened in 2006, and is a good family option with golf for dad, a kids’ club and plenty of eating and drinking choices.
Local attractions and activities include dolphin and whale-watching, the Holiday World theme park, Ocean Park Aquatic Park and Aqualand.
If you’re after cheap winter sun in a more exotic setting, why not take a five hour flight eastwards to Egypt? There’ll be plenty of sunshine waiting for you, whether you head for Sharm El Sheikh for a Red Sea holiday, Luxor for the ancient wonders of Thebes and the Nile, or, of course, vibrant Cairo.
There are nearly a dozen airports in the UK from which you can leave to explore Egypt’s world-famous archaeological sites, golden beaches, brilliant diving, or Nile cruising. Incidentally, new departure points now include Exeter, Stanstead and Leeds Bradford airports.
Pyramid-lovers will adore staying at the Tiba Pyramids Hotel. It’s a mere three minutes from the Sphinx, and five from the great Pyramids.
February is the best time to catch the deals to another great winter sun destination, Thailand. Around 12 flying hours from the UK, or longer if you connect in Europe or the Middle/Far East, Phuket is the most popular tropical island holiday getaway. Bangkok is the frantically busy and exotic city favourite. Stay at Bangkok’s Bel Aire Princess Hotel for a great central location that offers an oasis of tranquillity. The Centara Karon Resort on Phuket is perfectly situated just a short stroll from the white sands of Karon Beach, fully-equipped to deliver a holiday to remember.
Whichever low-cost holiday destination you choose, be sure to do your searching and booking on Netflights.com for some ever-changing offers.