Send Spain-loving clients back for seconds, suggests Jane Dunford
Blessed with a huge variety of attractions – from sandy beaches and party islands to vibrant cities and mountain retreats – it’s no wonder Spain is one of the most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers.
Visitors of all kinds love the sunny climes, delicious food and laid-back ambience, and often can’t wait to return. The good news is, with so much to offer, Spain is the perfect destination for clients to go back to again and again – there’s always somewhere new to discover.
So to help keep the British love affair with Spain hot, we’ve come up with some cool suggestions for repeat clients, whether it’s a family break, fun time with friends or a romantic getaway they’re after.
If they loved city breaks to Barcelona, try… Valencia
Barcelona is up there with the best cities in the world for a short break. With its enchanting old town, Gaudi architecture, world-class museums, fabulous foodie scene, trendy shops and vibrant nightlife, it ticks plenty of boxes.
Throw in the beach and a great selection of hotels, from the hip to the historic, and you can see why many of Spain’s other cities don’t get a look in.
Head a little further south along the coast, however, and laid-back Valencia is a worthy contender, according to SuperBreak head of overseas product Chris Hagan.
He says: “Combining great weather and cultural charm, Valencia is the perfect all-round city-break destination that is often overlooked.
“The old town exudes local charm with an amazing selection of small bars, restaurants and shops, while the City of Arts and Sciences, hosts some impressive attractions and the largest aquarium in Europe.”
After a morning’s sightseeing, clients can chill on the beach before hitting the town – Valencia has some of the best nightlife in Europe. So whether your clients are groups of friends or couples seeking a city break, point them in Valencia’s direction.
Book it: SuperBreak offers two nights’ B&B at the three-star Kris Abadia Hotel with flights from Stansted from £268.50 in early July. Agents can also book additional excursions including a Valencia Bike Tour (£20) and Valencia Walking Tour (£12).
Or try: Bilbao in the Basque Country has plenty going for it: the Guggenheim Museum put it on the map as an exciting alternative cultural destination and the city has real character and a fun vibe, with great restaurants serving pintxos, the Basque region’s style of tapas.
If they loved family holidays on the Costa del Sol, try… Alcudia, Majorca
Stretching from Malaga almost to Gibraltar, the Costa del Sol has a winning formula of sunshine, sandy beaches, plenty of airlift, a short flight, family-friendly hotels and entertainment on tap.
Families love the ease of a trip here – local shops stock everything little ones might need – and adults can still enjoy a slice of authentic Spain, with whitewashed villages dotted between resorts.
For a great alternative, why not suggest Alcudia, a short hop away in the northeast of Majorca. Long sandy beaches run along the coast from Port d’Alcudia to Ca’n Picafort, with lots of sun-loungers and watersports for perfect seaside days.
The resort is home to HidroPark, a fantastic water park with giant slides, pools and boat rides; Attraction World has pre-bookable entrance tickets from £24 per adult and £18 per child aged three to 11.
There’s good cycling in the area too – head south to the wetlands of S’Albufera or enjoy exploring the unspoilt area on trails around nearby Puerto Pollensa.
Supermarkets are on hand, there are child-friendly restaurants, and for a spot of culture you can check out the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation, a museum, gallery and sculpture garden, or soak up the sights in Puerto Pollensa’s old town. What’s more, plenty of hotels are geared up for families, with great facilities and children’s clubs.
Book it: Thomas Cook offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Bellevue Club in Alcudia from £1,699 for a family of four in early July, staying in a one-bedroom apartment with kitchenette, including flights from Manchester to Palma.
0871 230 2399
Or try: Costa Dorada, the ‘Golden Coast’, has huge swathes of lovely beaches (many with Blue Flags and lifeguards). La Pineda is a great family resort, as is livelier Salou; and PortAventura, a vast theme and waterpark is on the doorstep.
If they loved winter sun in Tenerife, try La Palma, Canary Islands
Come winter, many a client’s thoughts turn to escaping to sunnier shores. Step up Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, a hugely popular winter-sun destination. The island has a vast amount to offer, from the lively resorts in the south to the wild beauty of the less-visited north.
It’s an ideal place to kick back in the sun and couples wanting to splash out on a little luxury will find some fantastic hotels too.
For those looking to try something new this winter, a Canary Island alternative is the best bet for guaranteed warm weather. Lesser-known than its neighbours, but charming and unspoilt with a handful of idyllic places to stay, is La Palma.
Prestige Holidays marketing manager Nicky Shafe says: “La Palma offers a real taste of Spain and is very accessible.
“It’s a good option for winter sun: at sea level the temperature averages 20C year-round.”
The lovely capital of Santa Cruz blends traditional with modern architecture, but natural beauty is La Palma’s trump card. With pine forest-covered hills, waterfalls and striking volcanic landscape it’s heaven for hikers – there are 620 miles of marked paths and plenty of short routes for those who prefer a gentle stroll.
The natural black lava means beaches are dark but beautiful. Puerto de Tazacorte on the west coast has a pretty harbour and plenty of restaurants, while near Santa Cruz, Puerto Naos is a one-time fishing village with Blue Flag beach. Plus, with some of the clearest skies in the world, you can stargaze to your heart’s content too.
Book it: Just outside the capital, with views across the Atlantic and lush gardens, the four-star Parador La Palma is a lovely place to stay. Prestige Holidays offers a week’s B&B from £799 this winter, with flights from Gatwick, and including a free night.
01425 480 400
Or try: Lanzarote is a livelier option and has some wonderful luxury accommodation – as David and Samantha Cameron experienced earlier this year. Think chic and eco-friendly with cycling, walking and surfing, as well as beach lounging and nightlife.
If they loved clubbing till dawn, try… Marbella, Costa del Sol
Ibiza has long been known as a club lovers’ paradise. With big-name DJs flying in from all over the world, and everything from super-clubs catering to hundreds of partygoers to chic lounges for chilled mingling as the sun goes down, it’s easy to see why. Add to that the gorgeous weather and wide choice of accommodation and it certainly takes some beating.
Marbella on the Costa del Sol, however, can give Ibiza a run for its money, with some of the best clubs in Spain and buzzing bars with different vibes to suit all tastes. Cosmos product and commercial manager Jo Hollidge says it’s seen the biggest growth in the operator’s mainland Spanish resorts, with new hotels and flights from five UK airports luring more clients.
“Marbella’s profile among the youth market is high thanks to social media and the TV show Towiereflecting the buzz around the destination,” she says.
“Customers aged 20 to 30 are attracted to the glamorous lifestyle – ideal for those wanting a higher-end clubbing scene. Many hotels also offer pool parties, which adds to the fun.”
Book it: Cosmos Holidays offers three nights’ B&B at the three-diamond-rated El Rodeo Hotel for £335, based on a twin share, including flights from Gatwick, for a July 7 departure.
0871 423 8417
Or try: Magaluf in Majorca has a lively clubbing scene and attracts a young party crowd. Operators including Thomson’s 2wentys brand offer packages to the resort.
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