Experts share with us their top winter sun suggestions
1. Canary Islands
A family is looking for a short-haul break in Europe with mild temperatures, sunny weather and child-friendly attractions open throughout the year. They want value for money and to budget everything in from the start.
Alan Cross, head of trade, Jet2holidays
The Canary Islands are a fantastic option for families looking to soak up a dose of winter sun, with a sunny climate year-round. Temperatures still reach up to 21C during the winter months, and hotels and resorts are fully operational outside peak season, meaning there’s a wealth of activities available for the whole family to enjoy.
Visitors will find an abundance of attractions, from Tenerife’s Siam Park, one of the world’s biggest water parks, to Fuerteventura’s Oasis Wildlife Park.
“We’re seeing strong demand for winter breaks to the islands this year”
We’re seeing strong demand for winter breaks to the islands this year, as customer confidence continues to grow. Winter-sun resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje in Tenerife remain popular, as do resorts such as Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise in Lanzarote.
In terms of where to stay, we’d recommend the BlueBay Lanzarote in Costa Teguise for families looking for a break on a budget. This all-inclusive Canarian village offers great value without compromising any of the family fun, boasting a daily entertainment programme and a children’s splash pool with slides.
It’s also worth highlighting the free child places we have available, making a family holiday much more affordable and leaving more spending money to be enjoyed in resort.
2. Indian Ocean
A couple are seeking a beach retreat in the Indian Ocean, with the option to twin it with some adventure in the Middle East. They might consider splashing out on add-ons to ensure it is extra-special and make up for lost time.
Sheena Paton, senior programme manager, Kuoni
With so many plans having been put on hold during the past year, we’re seeing lots of enquiries for the Indian Ocean and Middle East, particularly into early 2022, with the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the UAE proving especially popular.
The Maldives is top of the list, with resorts that appeal to all. Kuramathi Maldives is a great choice for couples and families, with a huge variety of dining and activities, while the adult-only Hurawalhi Island Resort, set in the stunning waters of the Lhaviyani Atoll, is an especially romantic retreat, home to the world’s largest underwater restaurant.
“We’re seeing lots of enquiries for the Indian Ocean and Middle East, particularly into early 2022”
Combining a stopover in the UAE adds another dimension, with Dubai offering plenty of luxury hotels. Away from the city, Ajman is a great option, with white-sand beaches and world-class resorts just 30 minutes from Dubai airport. The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah offers lots of cool experiences, including kayaking in mangroves and playing golf.
There are lots of opportunities to create that extra-special trip. Business-class flights, room upgrades and add-on experiences such as helicopter transfers are all in demand, as are villas with private pools and secluded islands.
Clients are looking for a Caribbean getaway with plenty of outdoor activities as well as beaches, nightlife and culture. They want a luxury, boutique stay and might be seeking reassurance around travelling in the current climate.
Tara Taylor, product manager, Elegant Resorts
Winter is proving very popular for the Caribbean as restrictions ease and destinations are added to the green list. Barbados continues to be our bestseller, closely followed by Antigua. I’d also recommend Saint Lucia; it’s a great winter-sun destination with plenty to do, and it’s relatively straightforward in terms of Covid protocols.
Nature lovers will find hiking, ziplining, kitesurfing and kayaking, and for children there’s Snuba, a cross between scuba diving and snorkelling. Visitors can also enjoy the nightlife in Rodney Bay village and at the famous Friday Jump Up in Gros Islet, or just relax and enjoy the beaches.
“I’d also recommend Saint Lucia; it’s a great winter-sun destination with plenty to do”
In terms of accommodation, there are so many resorts to choose from. For a romantic, boutique experience, it has to be Cap Maison, set on a clifftop overlooking the ocean. This winter also sees the reopening of the fabulous Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, following a five-month refurbishment. It’s an amazing resort, with first-class villas and plenty of activities.
If clients are concerned about travelling, reassure them that once there, they really can relax and enjoy a ‘normal’ holiday. As long as they familiarise themselves with the protocols and have their PCR tests and paperwork, the whole thing is straightforward. Visitors will receive an even warmer welcome than usual!
PICTURES: Shutterstock/BlueOrange Studio; Jet2.com.