Bid farewell to winter with Canary Islands sailing holidays

Thursday, 10 November 2011 9:58 AM

If the arrival of the short days, brisk weather and lack of sunshine that herald the beginning of the British winter is starting to get to you, why not consider taking a short yacht charter in the Mediterranean? The Canary Islands, with their ample sun, relaxed atmosphere and reliable winds are perfect for this kind of getaway.

Indeed, this glorious archipelago - which has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - is one of the Mediterranean's best-loved winter destinations. As it boasts amazing landscapes, beautiful beaches and wonderful weather, it is not hard to see why.

Made up of seven isles, of which five are well known and two are smaller, unspoilt spots, the Canary Islands include Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Tenerife - names you are likely to be familiar with. Located just a brief flight away from the UK, these fabulous locations lend themselves particularly well to short breaks, making them perfect for those looking to escape to the sun for a few days in the wintertime.

Famously offering year-round good weather, with temperatures generally not dipping below 20 degrees C, the islands also provide excellent sailing throughout the year. Its wind speeds typically fall between five and 20 knots and it makes for thrilling sailing for competent seafarers.

Of course, it may be that you are searching for learn to sail holidays in order to hone your skills and be able to take the helm yourself in the future. If that's the case, you'll find you are able to choose from a variety of courses in the Canary Islands, which open up this fabulous destination to budding new sailors.

Based in the Marina Rubicon on Lanzarote, you will have the option of taking one of two courses - the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course and the RYA Competent Crew Course. Whichever you choose, you will have time to unwind and explore Lanzarote at the weekend, while between Monday and Friday you can set sail and expand your skillset on the waves.

Generally speaking, you can expect to be on the water between 09:00 and 18:00 local time, enjoying breakfast and lunch onboard, and getting to grips with all you need to know in stunning surroundings. This will also allow you to see more of the archipelago, as you will call in at a number of different ports and anchorages during your tuition.

However, learning to sail is not the only way of enjoying a yacht charter holiday in the Canary Islands. If you don't have enough experience to take the helm yourself - or you simply want to have a little more time to relax and unwind - you can opt for a skippered yacht charter.

This means that you only need man the vessel when you want to, and the rest of the time you can simply enjoy the scenery slipping by, the sound of the lapping waves and exploring the islands. What's more, you'll have more time to swim in the sea, snorkel or just sip a cocktail on deck.

Plus, your skipper will be able to give you lots of great advice, which could help you to get more out of your holiday. For example, he or she could offer you tips on the best places to visit - which you may not have discovered otherwise - as well as the most amazing restaurants to dine at.

This combination of relaxation and ease, teamed with the fact that you need not be experienced on the waves, means that this kind of break is suitable for all kinds of holidaymakers, including couples, families and groups of friends.

Alternatively, if you're a strong sailor eager to test your skills, or simply to feel the wind rushing through your hair as you take control of your very own vessel, why not embark on a bareboat yacht charter in the Canary Islands? Discovering all the charm that the sport has to offer, you can explore these stunning isles and moor up at marvellous anchorages to relax whenever you please.

So, whether you are a seasoned sailor, a novice looking to learn or simply someone in search of sun, you'll be able to enjoy the wonderful experience of life on the waves in the Canary Islands. Why not start planning your getaway today?

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