What could you do at Christmas in the Canary Islands?

Monday, 21 November 2011 11:56 AM

If the thought of freezing cold weather and dark mornings and nights over December and January fill you with a less-than-festive spirit, you might want to consider jetting off to the sunny Canary Islands this Christmastime, where there is lots to do.

Winter sun holidays to the Canaries can be the perfect antidote to the gloomy British winter weather, with the usual anti-climax of the holidays avoided by looking forward to endless days of sun and Spanish cuisine.

The Canary Islands consist of seven different destinations, with Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria the most popular among holidaymakers. Spring-like weather is enjoyed at any time of the year, so you can be sure there will be sun when staying in Christmas villas on one of the islands.

A portion of your trip is likely to be spent lying on the beach indulging in a romantic picnic, or strolling through different towns and villages. With your own villa, you can also enjoy relaxing dips in your private pool, as well as simply spending some time alone together.

However, you'd be mistaken for thinking that there is nothing else to do on a short break at Christmastime in the Canary Islands.

The golf resorts on the islands are the perfect place for a round or two outside in the beautiful spring climate. For those of you who are not into the sport, you can leave your partners to play while you take advantage of the spa facilities.

In Gran Canaria, there are eight golf courses, while Lanzarote has three and Fuerteventura four. With so much choice, you should certainly find a resort that you all agree upon.

When staying in villas to rent in the Canaries over Christmas and the new year period, make sure you sample some of the Spanish festive traditions, as the country emphasises the three kings arriving in Bethlehem for baby Jesus on January 6th, rather than December 25th itself.

The piazzas will be full of dazzling festive lights and nativity scenes, while you will spot local children eagerly opening the presents they have received. Each island will enjoy its own Three Kings processions and the atmosphere in the bars and restaurants is likely to be something you will not easily forget.

In Puerto Del Carmen in Lanzarote, for example, you can watch a huge fireworks display, before dancing the night away or retiring to your villa after a busy day.

Should you be staying in Canary Islands villas through to the new year, you might spot a tradition that you have never seen before. It is customary for Spaniards to eat 12 grapes in the run-up to the clocks striking midnight - one for each chime. This is then washed down with a glass of cava - or two!

Of course, you might want to stay in Christmas villas on some of the smaller islands such as El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera. The festive spirit will be just as alive here, and perhaps more so as they are a lot smaller than the other islands, so you might feel as though you are particularly in the centre of the action.

La Palma, for example, is a great island on which to blow away the cobwebs if you happened to have indulged in a little too much party action! Its Biosphere Reserve was given UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status in 1983 and here you can find outstanding natural beauty, pine forests and colourful flora.

So, if you want to enjoy a traditional Christmas with a Spanish twist and plenty of sun, a short winter sun holiday to the Canary Islands should be at the top of your wishlist!

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