Christmas In The Canaries: Why Visit Lanzarote This Winter

Looking for somewhere abroad to escape to this winter? Lanzarote could be the ideal place. Every year, the Canary Island attracts millions of tourists eager to lounge on its white beaches and explore its volcanic terrain. Here are just a few reasons why visiting out of season in Winter is recommended.

 

It’s cheaper

Flights are always much cheaper out of season. On top of this, hotels and restaurants won’t be as busy and so there are always more deals about to lure in more tourists. This can sometimes mean not having to pay the premium price on luxuries that you would in summer. Prices may not be so low in December due to the amount of Christmas events on, but are likely to be very cheap in January/February. Get away from the January blues and start the year with a bang.

 

There’s still sun

Lanzarote’s temperature rarely dips below nineteen degrees meaning that you can work up a tan all year round. It’s a much more comfortable heat than in the height of summer that won’t have you hiding the shade. Lanzarote is also known to bloom with flowers in Winter – in the summer it’s simply too hot for these plants to come out, but in the winter the mid-twenties heat brings out all the flora.

 

It’s the perfect time for hiking

As the temperatures aren’t too sweltering, Winter is the perfect time for hiking Lanzarote’s rocky landscape. Timanfaya national park is a great hotspot for hikers, containing plains made of volcanic soil and mighty geysers. You can hike up to Timanfaya Volcano and also walk to the hidden El Golfo beach. There’s also the Cesar Manrique cactus garden in the area, which is a must-see.

 

There are less queues

When it comes to water parks, museums and other attractions, the winter is the perfect time to skip the queues. The island isn’t as crammed with tourists and so you can usually get more done by not having to compete with masses of people. This also applies to restaurants and tours, which may get more booked up in summer. Winter is often a great time for taking a more personalised tour, as guides will have more time to speak with you.

 

Stay in February and you have carnival

February could be the time to plan your Lanzarote escape if you like a good fiesta! The island’s annual Puerto Del Carmen carnival generally takes place between February and March in the city of Arrecife. The islanders dress up in flamboyant and colourful costumes and parade through the street accompanied by live music. This is usually followed by an all-night party in which everyone involved also dresses up. There’s lots of food and drink on offer and plenty of other events on as part of the carnival. Hotels in the area can get pretty booked up so bear this in mind when planning  your trip during this season.

 

Posted in Lanzarote

Top Reasons that Costa Adeje is Perfect for Your Family Getaway

If you have never travelled to the Canary Islands before, perhaps this should be the year to change that. As a parent of excitable children, you need to find the right destination to cater to their needs, as well as yours. The Canary Islands could be the perfect solution with the island of Tenerife being a very attractive choice.

 

Around 1.6 million Britons visit the island of Tenerife each year, many of these being families just like yours. With warm temperatures and plenty of activities on offer, it is not hard to understand why this island appeals to so many. Of course, you need to consider more than just which island is right for you, but also which resort. Learning about Tenerife’s own Costa Adeje should help to make things a lot clearer to you, as it is a really great location for a family holiday.

 

Here are a few points that uncover the reasons why you should spend your holidays in the Costa Adeje, just like so many people have already discovered…

 

1) The flight time:

With a flight time of about half of one to Florida, you can quickly begin to see the benefits of Tenerife and the other Canary Islands. It basically means fewer hours spent on a plane trying to persuade your kits to sit quietly – something that is a difficult task at the best of times. Not only that, but it frees up valuable hours of your holiday, so you can spend more quality time as a family rather than travelling to get there.

 

2) The resort facilities:

When you reach the resort of Costa Adeje you will not be disappointed with what is on offer as the needs of the whole family will be taken care of. Your kids will be spoiled with swimming pools and evening entertainment, whilst you will be able to take advantage of many restaurants and beauty spas. There is a large choice of hotels on offer too, so you can pick something that best suits you, whether this is a self-catered apartment or a five star hotel.

 

3) Attractions nearby:

In terms of taking care of your kids’ attention spans on holiday, you will have no problem in Costa Adeje. It would be very hard for your children to be bored here as there is so much on offer. A number one attraction for many families is a brilliant water park that is only a short distance away from the resort centre. Siam Water Park has a range of rides and facilities that cater to those of all ages, so family members young and old can enjoy cooling down in the water. After all, temperatures can reach 29 degrees Celsius on an average summer day.

 

4) Opportunities to learn:

Another great attraction is natural wonder Mount Teide which also provides your family with a chance to learn something new. You can take a cable car to see the sights, and you will have the opportunity to breathe in the fresh mountain air. Mount Teide makes an excellent day out to teach your kids about geography, so you could either hire a car or book a few places on an organised trip if this is something you want

Posted in Destinations, Tenerife

A 2017 Guide to Family Holidays in Turkey

If you have never been to Turkey, you are missing a unique travel experience. It is a great destination with a lot to offer families. Here is an overview of Turkey and some of the most family friendly destinations.

When to visit

Turkey is a hot country with temperatures reaching 36C on the Mediterranean. If you have children, you need to be aware of the heat and prepare for it. Make sure that you take plenty of sunscreen and hats for the kids. Beach suits are also worth considering. Check that your accommodation has air-conditioning and take account of the heat when organising days out.

Where to stay

Inland temperatures are lower, so if you prefer you could holiday there instead. Cave hotels are great because they are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Kids love them. There are some lovely examples in the Goreme area.

A little inland, there are some fantastic resorts and destinations. The Canada Hotel is set in beautiful citrus groves yet is close to the beach and is a wonderful base for a family to explore Cirali, which offers plenty of family adventures.

Dalyan is a relaxing resort on the banks of the river Cayi. It offers boat taxi rides to the beach, mud baths, and there are plenty of water sports available nearby to keep teenagers happy.

However, the majority of tourist hotels and resorts are on the coast. Patara has probably the best beach in Turkey and it is a very family friendly resort.

Where to take the kids

Most families are content staying on the beach in Turkey. There is a wide range of water sports available.

Go inland slightly and you will find hiking, horse riding and many other activities available. In the summer, most facilities close for a few hours for lunch because it gets very hot. The rest of the year, they stay open all day.

Miniaturk is great for kids. It is a miniature version of Turkey laid out across a 15,000 sq meter site, and is the world’s largest miniature park. There are some great pools and waterways to enjoy across the 60,000 sq meter site. It is located on the Golden Horn in Istanbul.

Older kids enjoy the fact that Turkey is different. They enjoy experiencing a different culture. Turkey has a long and rich history with some impressive tourist sites to enjoy. Amongst the best are the Aspendos Theatre, Bodrum Castle, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Getting value for money

Booking a family holiday to Turkey is not as expensive as it is to book other holidays. Generally speaking, the cost of Turkish package holidays is low. Once you are there the cost of drinks and eating out is relatively low, so you should be able to enjoy eating out more in Turkey.

As you can see, Turkey has everything that the popular destinations of Spain, Greece and Italy have to offer, and more besides. The Turkish people adore children.

It is a very family orientated culture, so everything is set up for families to enjoy time together. You will not be glared at when you arrive with a buggy in Turkey. In fact, people are likely to lean over and admire your child giving them a friendly pinch of the cheek and a huge smile. It really is a great family destination.

Posted in Holidays, Turkey

What to do on a 2017 Holiday to Ibiza

Main Image Credit “IBIZA” by Binu Nair is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Regardless of the type of holiday, you are after Ibiza is the place to go. It is about more than just parties and clubbing. This relatively small island has it all.

Below are our favourite Ibiza destinations with a little information about each one:

Es Canar

Es Canar is a midsized beach resort on the South East coast of the Island that is part of the municipality of Santa Eulària des Riu. There is plenty of good quality, yet affordable, accommodation available here.

Much of it is located close to the beautiful beach and horseshoe shaped bay. The sand here is light and soft and the depth of the sea is relatively shallow and slopes away gently from the beach.

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xavestra/

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xavestra/

Sant Antoni – San Antonio

San Antonio is the second biggest town on Ibiza. It is located on the Western coast.

This town offers something for everyone. Whatever you are looking for you will find it here.

San Antonio is close enough to some of the islands best-known clubs for clubbers to be able to base themselves here, but far enough away to be suitable for families and older holidaymakers. Some parts of the town are becoming popular for stag and hen parties, but these parties are concentrated in a few streets, so again everyone can enjoy themselves in their own way.

There are two beaches within easy walking distance of the town and you can find accommodation that is practically on the beach. If you like natural beaches the cove of the nearby Cala Bassa Beach is for you. The Cala Salada Beach, which is surrounded by pine forests, is another great option.

Santa Eularia

Santa Eularia is a beautiful seafront town that is located in the south east of the island. It is the third largest town on the island.

The town is more traditional than some of the other resorts. Every year special Balls are held to show off traditional dances. Tourists love these colourful displays. The towns two hippy markets are also very popular.

This town has a big marina and harbour as well as a beautiful seafront beach. In Santa Eularia, every kind of accommodation is available including several hotels near the beach.

Cala Llonga

Cala Llonga is located 10kms north of Ibiza Town. Tourism came late to the area, but today it is a popular tourist destination. It is far more peaceful than other parts of the island, but the fact that Ibiza Town is so close means that if you fancy experiencing the famous Ibiza nightlife you can easily do so. This resort is very popular with couples and golfers.

There is a good choice of accommodation available, some of it near the beach. It is all within easy walking distance of the village, which has some nice restaurants and bars.

If you like the sounds of some of these Ibiza resorts you are in the right place. We always have cheap holidays to Ibiza available. You can find out more about all of our Ibiza offers by clicking the link.

 

Posted in Holidays

Four Great Beach Holiday Destinations for Families

Family beach holidays are proving to be as popular as ever in 2017. With the wettest UK winter on record having recently passed, many families are keen to escape the dreariness for the shores of a sunny European destination. For this reason, this year will see many of the popular resorts see an influx of tourists flying in from Britain. So if you haven’t already booked your summer 2017 holiday, now is the perfect time to do so. Here are four of the most popular destinations for families this year.

Costa Brava, Spain

Spain’s Costa Brava has been attracting sun-seeking Brits for years, and it’s not hard to see why when there are so many stretches of stunning coastline on offer. Whilst Costa Brava can be translated into ‘Wild Coast’, those with young children will be pleased to know that there are many smaller coves that are far quieter and calmer. Malgrat de Mar and Belladona Cove at Platja-D-Aro are just a couple of examples of quieter areas that the whole family will be able to enjoy.

 

Playa de las Americas, Tenerife

You are almost guaranteed warm, sunny weather when you come to Tenerife, no matter what time of year it is. Due to its location just off the west coast of Africa, the average temperature in January is only as low as 18 degrees Celsius, whilst the summer months are obviously far hotter! Playa de las Americas remains one of the most popular resorts on the island, with a number of sandy beaches, restaurants, shops and activities on offer – everything that a family on holiday would expect.

 

Algarve, Portugal

Found on the Atlantic coast and actually in the same time-zone as us in the UK, Portugal’s Algarve region remains ever-popular with families due to its range of beautiful beach-based resorts. Albufeira and Praia da Rocha are a couple of the most well-known for families looking for a relaxing break on the beach, and both are in close proximity to the airport at Faro. Small and big kids alike will love some of the attractions on offer too, especially the famous Zoo Marine Conservation Centre, which has live shows with dolphins, sea lions and seals.

Marmaris, Turkey

Marmaris has grown into one of the most popular destinations for those looking for cheap family holidays to Turkey in recent years, and this is little surprise with almost guaranteed sunshine and a wealth of activities including water parks (such as Aquadream) that are bound to keep everyone entertained. The resort, along with its sister town Icmeler, have a number of great affordable restaurants – ideal for those looking to stay on a self-catering basis. The beaches here are also family friendly, with the cool, calm waters lapping onto the shingle shores.

 

Posted in Holidays

The Best of Benidorm Nightlife

Are you thinking about booking a holiday to Benidorm for this summer? There’s so much to do at night in Benidorm that we can literally only give you a few ‘highlights’ in this piece. Rest assured; you will never get bored when you are out on the town in this party capital of the Costa Blanca.

 

Clubbing in Benidorm

Quite rightly, clubbing is all the rage in Benidorm right now. You could compare the Benidorm club scene with that of Ibiza and Benidorm would come out on top; it’s cheaper, better value for money and less pretentious. The world’s top DJs come to Benidorm’s leading clubs every summer and you don’t want to miss them.

Most, but not all of Benidorm’s best clubs are on the Avenida Communitat Valenci, which is just 5 minutes by taxi from most of the hotels. It will cost you around 30 Euros to get into most clubs and that often comes with a free drink. Some popular destinations in Benidorm are the Hippodrome Nightclub, Penelopes, El Divino and the KM Dance Clubs.

 

Karaoke Bars and Sports Bars

If you fancy blasting out your party piece to appropriate backing, or watching the football on satellite, then you will be spoiled for choice in Benidorm. Just a few names from each category are the Daytona Rock Bar, Tiki Beach, Heartbreak Bar, St James Tavern, Beach Rock Café and Shooters. Expect a blasting night out at any of them!

 

Bars and Pubs

Again, the choice here is massive whilst the prices are very reasonable. You can get a pint for a Euro in some places, so look out for special offers. The Old Town can give you a taste of Spain, or if you are looking for a little home from home, head to the British-themed bars of Levante and Rincon. Stop by The Scotsman, the Star and Garter, the Shamrock Bar Zodiac, The Talk of the Coast or Heartbreak, where you can hear live rock music. If you are a fan of the TV series “Benidorm” and have always hankered after a drink in the Neptunes Bar then you can find its real life counterpart in the Morgan Tavern.

Stags and Hens

Benidorm is a great place to spend your last night as a single man or woman! Try some of the men’s only places such as Kinky Karen, or see Sticky Vicky and the Black Chicken. Ladies with a similar fate looming can spend the day by the pool or on the beach and then hit the town, perhaps seeing an act in Rockefellers or Morgan’s Tavern. Ladies not getting married on the morrow might like to end the night at Café B.

English Square

It seems appropriate that the city of Benidorm’s nightlife takes its name from the foreigners who seem to love it best. The English Square features Sinatras, the Café Benidorm (Café B), the Champions Bar, Beachcomber, Bahamas and the Hippodrome.

A week really won’t seem long enough once you start exploring just how much Benidorm has to offer in terms of nightlife. Better yet, by hitting the town, you have the perfect excuse to spend the following day lazing on the beach!

Main Image Credit: Enrique Domingo – Flickr

Posted in Benidorm, Destinations

Where to go on your 2017 Ibiza Summer Holiday

The Mediterranean islands are yet again amongst the most popular summer holiday destinations this year, with the beautiful Ibiza in particular receiving a lot of attention from a range of people looking to escape the gloomy UK over the next few months.

 

Whilst there’s no doubt that Ibiza remains a clubbing mecca, and one of the best places for lovers of the nightlife to visit in Europe, it seems that the island is also finally starting to attract a wider range of people to its sunny shores, including families and couples looking for a quieter, more relaxing beach break. Its reputation as a rowdy place for drunken youngsters has lifted, giving it greater appeal to a cross-section of the holiday-going public.

 

There are areas of Ibiza that appeal to everyone, so it’s well worth considering this gem of the Med if you are thinking about booking your holiday in the next few weeks. Here’s our guide to where you should think about staying:

 

The 18-30 crowd

There’s no doubt where the best place to stay is if you are young and looking to party on your Ibiza holiday. San Antonio is renowned across the world for its amazing nightlife, with clubs like Es Paradis and Eden leading the way. Numerous international DJ’s regularly make appearances here throughout the summer season, so whenever you travel over you’re bound to catch one of your favourites. San Antonio is also on a stunning shoreline, meaning you can relax on the beach all day after a long night partying hard!

 

If you decide San Antonio isn’t for you, you can also find other nightclubs across the island, including Pacha close to the historic Ibiza town, as well as Amnesia and Privilege – both of which are found close to San Rafael in the centre of the island.

 

Families

With the clubbing areas confined to certain parts of the island, a majority of Ibiza is suitable for a family-friendly summer break. One of the most popular destinations is Es Cana – found on the north east coast of the island. It’s a bustling resort which is home to a weekly hippy market where you can find a range of authentic souvenirs. You’ll also find one of the biggest beaches on the whole island, as well as smaller coves which are ideal for those with children of a younger age.

 

Alternatively, Cala Llonga is a relaxing resort which is brilliant for families. Its beach is long and with shallow waters it means you don’t have to worry too much about younger children playing in the sea.

 

Couples

 

Santa Eualia is one of the best options for couples looking to take a trip to the island, and is another resort which revolves around its two beautiful beaches. Here you have a range of great restaurants – ideal for those wanting to book a cheap holiday to Ibiza on a self-catering basis and experience the range of cuisine on offer. The water sports and activities on offer are bound to give you some fantastic memories to take home with you.

 

For couples wanting a romantic, more secluded getaway then Cala Tarida is a bit of a gem. There are lots of bars and restaurants in the resort, yet it doesn’t attract the bustling crowds that some of the larger, more well-known areas like Es Cana do. It also has a lovely beach which is ideal for snorkelling.

Posted in Destinations, Ibiza

Alcudia; the Perfect Family Holiday Destination

If you are looking for a top notch holiday in a beautiful climate that all the family can enjoy, then you need look no further than the spectacular Balearic Islands. Comprising of four main islands; Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Majorca, the Balearics have something for everyone. For families, the north coast of Majorca is home to the wonderful resort town of Alcudia.

Situated sixty two kilometers north of the capital city, Palma, Alcudia has been a favorite with families for some time now. Unlike many of the neighboring resorts and islands, this is not a loud resort and is a great place for adults and kids to enjoy some Spanish sunshine. Flights to Majorca are relatively short, making the trip an easy one for all the family. You won’t find any late night parties and lads on tour here. Instead this resort is primarily aimed at couples and families and is most well known for its relaxed and  laid back atmosphere. There’s enough going on in the evening to offer some entertainment without shaking the walls of your hotel room.

The climate is one of the biggest draws for holiday makers to the area. In summer time temperatures hover around thirty degrees and it stays dry and hot day in, day out; perfect weather for a sunshine holiday. What’s more is floating in off the blue waters of the Balearic Sea, is a light, refreshing sea breeze to keep you cool on those hot afternoons. Visiting in winter is also possible, although there can be some light rainfall in this season. Otherwise, the weather stays quite mild with temperatures in the mid-teens.

Keeping the family entertained during your holiday is a breeze, with so much to see and do on the island. For those interested in history and culture, or for anyone looking for a break from the sun loungers, there is the old town of Alcudia. The dominating city walls are impressive and you can gain a real insight into the culture of the area here. Walking tours can be easily organised and are a great way to gain a better perspective of the history and culture of Alcudia and the surrounding area. On the west side of the island is the port area, Porte D’Alcudia. This is an old fishing village where daily catches are served up to those who visit and it’s a great spot to relax on a sunny afternoon.

Alcudia is home to one of the longest stretches of sand on Majorca. With fine, clean sand, continuing for almost ten kilometers there is loads of space for the kids to run around while the adults kick back and soak up the sun. Along the main beach there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby making it a big hit with holiday makers. Other than the main beach there are a host of other options not too far away where you can spend your days relaxing or getting active with the many watersports on offer.

An Alcudia family holiday will be one to remember. With perfect weather, beautiful beaches, great shopping and plenty of local culture and history to experience there’s something for everyone on the north coast of Majorca.

Posted in Alcudia, Destinations, Majorca

Tips for travelling with tots this summer

holidays with young children

Planning and going on holiday is never the easiest of tasks at the best of times and the challenge only increases as soon as you throw children and a hot climate into the mix. However, travelling with children to a hot holiday destination need not be hard work. Here’s a ten point guide for a no-sweat hot summer holiday with little ones.

1. Get creative –
Holidays abroad, especially to hot exotic climes, could be a bit of a culture shock, so try some holiday themed activities before you go. Get your children to look at books, draw pictures and find the destination on a globe. Even try cooking some of the local cuisine to get their taste buds ready.

2. That’s my bag –
Help your child pack their very own bag full of toys to keep them entertained on the plane and beyond. Make sure it includes games for the beach and inflatables for the pool.

3. First aid –
Put together a medical kit of health essentials to ease any heat related maladies, as you may not be able to track them down when abroad. This includes a high factor sunscreen.

4. Check up –
Depending on where you are going you may or may not need to visit the doctor yourself for a course of inoculations and it is best to check what jabs your children may need before you jet off.

5. Layering –
Pack clothing wisely for the heat. Natural fibres are best as they will not irritate sensitive skin as much when your child sweats. Layering clothing is the best way to deal with changeable temperatures. Hats are a must and the best are those with a neck flap and a wide brim. Also sunglasses.

6. Shelter –
Invest in an easy to put up tent style shelter for the beach. These double up as a shelter from the sun and a wind breaker. It is also an enticing way to get children to come into the shade.

7. Cool activities –
Plan activities away from the blazing heat of the beach or poolside such as an amble around the shops, perhaps in search of some traditional, local toys to take back for your children and their friends, or lunch at a shady cafe with canopies.

8. Water, water, water –
Make sure your child keeps hydrated. It can be difficult to get children to drink water so try different things like squash and even ice lollies.

9. Dip –
Take a dip in the sea or pool with your child to cool down or even take a small paddling pool with you, which can be set up next to where you are sunbathing.

10. Relax –
Finally, just remember to take it easy. There is nothing worse for raising the temperature of parents and children alike than trying to schedule in too many activities. It is a holiday after all. Start your holiday with ease by booking your all inclusive holiday with A1travel.com to resorts including the Canary Islands, Majorca, Greece & Cyprus.

Posted in Family Holidays, Holidays

4 Great Lanzarote Excursions for All the Family

As a nation, we are well known for taking our holidays in Spain, especially in the Costa del Sol and the island of Majorca. Yet there is a group of islands that is slightly further afield, but can offer a longer season when it comes to lovely sunny weather. The Canary Islands are located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, approximately 100 kilometres west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. This amazing position is worth the extra flight time, and makes for a great destination even during the spring and autumn months.

 

If you are tempted to book a holiday to these islands, you might want to consider Lanzarote. It is perfect for families, as well as for older travellers, groups of friends and couples. There are plenty of things to do on the island so you will never have the chance to be bored. Here are just a few of the top suggestions that you should keep in mind:

 

Timanfaya National Park

Lanzarote’s number one attraction is Timanfaya National Park, an awe-inspiring area that dates back to 1730. Here you will find Montañas del Fuego, known as the Fire Mountains. These volcanoes haven’t erupted since 1824, but the area hasn’t changed much since then due to low rainfall levels. This much is exciting enough for visitors, but there are also rare plant species and a restaurant that serves local cuisine using geothermal heat. This appeals to a lot of tourists who want to see food cooking on a cast-iron grill placed over a large hole in the ground. Finally, you can also take a ride on a camel if you are happy to pay a little extra.

 

Cesar Manrique Foundation

If you want to enjoy a bit of culture on your visit, you might appreciate a visit to Cesar Manrique’s old home. This famous artist is known for lobbying for strict planning rules on the island, and actually built his home based on his own guidelines. It is now a museum run by a foundation in his name and is full of fascinating objects and really unique rooms. The home was built into volcanic caves which makes it all the more impressive. Over 300,000 people visit the museum each year.

 

Rancho Texas Park

Families will love Lanzarote’s largest theme park, Rancho Texas Park. As you can probably tell by the name, it is based on the Wild West theme and has many related rides and attractions. There are also plenty of animals to see such as giant tortoises, crocodiles and donkeys. When it gets really hot, there are also a couple of water rides ideal for cooling down.

 

Los Jameos del Agua

If you are lucky enough to be on the island during the Festival of Visual Music (usually in October) you will be able to take advantage of Los Jameos del Agua. This place is an underground grotto that has been transformed into an auditorium. Los Jameos del Agua is the work of Manrique who is mentioned above; his influences spread far and wide on the island of Lanzarote.

 

Now that you know what makes a Lanzarote holiday so tempting, why don’t you check out our latest offers? You could be exploring the volcanoes and attractions in no time…

Posted in Destinations, Lanzarote