A Guide to Winter Sun Villa Holidays
As the days get shorter and the nights draw in, many of us start to miss the summer sunshine, even with Christmas just around the corner. Cure your longing for a few rays and treat yourself to a winter villa holiday. Escape to one of the volcanic islands in the Canaries, or the green and lush island of Madeira off the northwest African coast. Let us inspire you with some ideal destinations for your next winter sun villa holiday.
With a subtropical climate of between 18-24°C in the winter, Madeira is the ideal location for winter sun villa holidays, as you can enjoy the beaches and sea all year round. Swim in volcanic pools, take a cable car up to the botanical gardens in Funchal, hike to waterfalls, go mountain biking, or take a trek to the heart of the Laurissilva forest – it’s all possible here when you have a winter holiday. The island offers a mixture of forests, beaches, nature reserves, gardens, nightlife, and mountains – all right on your doorstep waiting to be discovered.
Wander around the many villages dotted across the island and you’ll notice quiet ancient churches, chapels, museums and monuments, and daily markets selling local wares and produce. Because of the pleasant weather all year round, there’s always something going on in terms of outdoor activities, too. Whether it’s taking a boat trip, paragliding, or taking part in a festivity in a town square, there’s something to suit all tastes.
When you’re not relaxing and enjoying the comfort of your Villa Vista Sol with its outstanding views of Funchal, why not have a calming day out experiencing the Monte Palace Tropical gardens, which features a traditional Japanese garden with pagoda and koi pond, and a beautiful array of European azaleas, cacti and heather. Or, if you’re more into adventure, Madeira is one of Europe’s best diving scuba diving destinations, with plenty of dive centres offering PADI courses and trips to swim with dolphins, turtles and monk seals. Even in February, the water is a more comfortable 18°C, which is still warmer than a lot of European countries in the summer months.
Positioned only 70 miles from Africa, Lanzarote is a popular tourist destination for winter sun holidays thanks to its year-round sunshine and mild climate. The island has UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, and a rich desert-like volcanic landscape, making it a common destination for film locations, too. The warm weather and natural beauty of the island make it an ideal destination for spending days walking or relaxing on the beach, enjoying a dip in the heated pool of your Villa Giorgia, or touring the island and exploring the smaller villages inland by car.
The most popular attraction on Lanzarote, and probably the most frequented on a winter holiday, is the Timanfaya National Park, which is home to the Fire Mountains, created by a natural eruption on the island during the 17th century. The volcanic landscape is home to many different flora and fauna, and is an interesting place to take a hike while exploring the island’s nature.
Another destination on your itinerary should be the Cesar Manrique foundation and cactus garden. Manrique was a local architect and artist who campaigned for there to be no high-rise buildings on Lanzarote, and you can see many buildings designed by him across the island. If you visit the cactus garden that he designed, you’ll find over 1,400 species of cacti.
If you’re interested in a winter sun villa holiday to soak up some rays on the beach, Playa Blanca and Papagayo are worth visiting in the winter months for walks or a dip in the sea. At the end of February, the island hosts its annual carnival, with processions taking place in tourist resorts and Arrecife.
Just 100km away from the coast of Morocco is Fuerteventura – the second largest of the Canary Islands. If you’re a sun worshipper longing for a winter holiday with blue skies and azure waters, this is the place to come. With long, golden sandy beaches, epic sand dunes and a pleasant climate, the island is a great destination for the whole family on a winter villa holiday. The island has a slow pace and relaxed way of life, with excellent facilities in resort areas. If time allows, we recommend spending a day or two hiring a car and touring the island’s ancient fishing villages and mountainous interior.
The most popular resort on the island is Corralejo, which is positioned on the northern coast. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants and local markets, water sports enthusiasts and local entertainment. Despite being so popular with visitors, the resort has maintained to keep its unique character, and there’s plenty of sandy beaches to stretch out on. Temperatures on Fuerteventura rarely drop below 18°C in the winter, making it an ideal destination for a winter villa holiday in our Villa Lola, which comes complete with a private heated pool and a central location that’s just a 20 minute walk from Corralejo.
Away from the larger resorts and closer to the island’s airport, you’ll find the small fishing village of El Cotillo, which still offers a slow, tranquil pace and plenty of boutique shops, bars and restaurants, and a working fishing harbour. Here you’ll also find natural lagoons and unspoiled beaches just south of the village. On the Jandia peninsula, you’ll find the highest point of the island (the Pico de Zarza), and the island’s nature reserve, which has been home to wildlife for centuries, and offers plenty of nature trails to explore if you’re up for a hike.
Five million travellers head to Tenerife each year, making it the most popular destination in the Canary Islands. It is also the largest island in the archipelago, and easy to get to with just a four-hour flight time from London. The island is home to Mount Teide, an epic volcano that sits in the Teide National Park at a height of 12,200ft. Temperatures in Tenerife are a balmy 22°C in wintertime. However, the peaks of the Las Cañadas del Teide can get topped with snow in winter too, creating an incredible backdrop to winter holiday photos. It also gives visitors an excuse to trek Teide National Park in the snow during the morning, before heading back to the warm coastal resorts for a swim later in the day. If you don’t have a car to visit Teide National Park, there are plenty of coach trips to choose from, including some that visit at night to include stargazing and telescope experiences. Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers the largest variety of supra-Mediterranean flora and vegetation in the world. The park also gives visitors plenty of caves and lava tongues to explore.
If you’re thinking of a winter villa holiday with your loved ones, Tenerife has plenty in store for families. Visit Siam Park in Costa Adeje – a Thailand-themed water park that is open all year round. Here you’ll get water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and shark aquarium. Or how about Loro Zoo, with its penguins, flamingos, and dolphins? Or if a laid-back stroll is more your thing, why not visit the botanical gardens where you can enjoy time in nature surrounded by the beauty of waterfalls flowing into the sea, bamboo canes, sculptures, palms, succulents, and dragon trees.
Beach lovers are catered for too, with plenty of shores to choose from when it comes to sunbathing and water sports. When you feel like you can part from the heated pool of your luxury Villa Colibri, you can take a stroll around or sunbathe on Playa Jardin or the man-made golden beaches of Playa de Las Teresitas or Playa de las Américas. As evening descends, head to a local restaurant to sample some of the delicious gastronomy. We recommend local potatoes dressed with paprika, peppers and mojo sauce, Canarian stew made with local vegetables and fish, or island cheeses like Arico-Fasnia, Anaga, Teno and El Tanque.
Have we inspired you to book a winter holiday getaway? Why not take a look at some of our premium winter sun villa holidays in the Canary Islands and Madeira.