Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Now’s the ideal time to book your 2013 summer holiday

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Feeling flat in the aftermath of Christmas and New Year? The best way of cheering yourself up midwinter is to book yourself on a sizzling, sun-drenched break.

Not only will you get the pick of the bargains by booking at this time of year, but you will also have the best chance of bagging your first choice of dates, resort and accommodation if you’re an early bird.

It’s not hard to see why holidays in Spain are such an enduring favourite with British holidaymakers. With its range of cities, coastal regions, spectacular countryside and gorgeous islands to choose from, this sun-soaked nation always offers somewhere different to go back to. And with the Euro strong against the pound this year, and no flight to Spain more than a few hours away, what’s not to love?

One particularly great holiday base is the largest of the Canary Islands. Holidays to Tenerife take you to a dream holiday island, complete with lush forests, exotic plants and flowers, mountainous and volcanic scenery, all topped up with a glorious coastline and spectacular beaches.

Especially in the south of the island, it’s summer all year round. In the north, there’s more of a year-round springtime feel.

In the centre, Spain’s tallest peak, the volcano El Teide stands at over 3,700m above sea level. From the top of the cable car you can enjoy stunning views across the whole of Tenerife.

You’ll need to get special permission to walk to the top, but Tenerife as a whole is a wonderful place for walking, from hour-long strolls to full-day hikes, as well as cycling. Or hire a car and drive the winding mountain roads as you drink in the breathtaking scenery.

There are also great animal and water parks which make for fun family days out.

Alternatively, if water sports or scuba diving are your thing, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge here.

Then again, of course, if you just want to stretch out and relax on the beaches and soak up the sun’s rays, no-one could blame you! And Tenerife has so many. Choose from the black volcanic sand of Playa de las Americas or the yellow imported sand of Los Cristianos.

And with some wonderful bars and restaurants where you can enjoy seafood or tapas, not to mention a lively nightlife, this island offers plenty to keep you occupied after dark as well.

Another holiday destination well worth considering is Malta. Within just one small area, you can experience a rich history, be charmed by the place’s quirky architecture… Oh, and did we mention the beaches? Holidays to Malta have something for everyone, whether you want to catch that wave from a surfboard – or just catch sunrays from a sun lounger.

You’ll love the stunning coastline, while the capital city Valletta is like one big museum. The nightlife at Paceville in St Julian’s gives Ibiza a run for its money.

From exploring historic sites and dining al fresco to enjoying one of the fantastic festivals that take place in the village every weekend all summer, you’ll love every pleasure-packed minute of your time in Malta.

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