Winter breaks in the sun are continuing to grow in popularity with sun-starved Brits. With the adage it’s never too early to start planning a holiday, while the majority of British travellers look to enjoy their main holiday in the summer; many are looking to bag a cheeky early bargain somewhere hot.
Here are our three suggestions to get you started on your search for the sun:
The Canary Islands experienced a surge in visitors in 2011 with a bumper 12 million tourists visiting these islands for a break, making the Canaries one of the most popular destinations for UK travellers.
Winter tourism in particular has seen a marked increase over recent years with the first two months of 2011 seeing a 4.5 per cent rise in the number of tourists visiting the islands, almost five million people. The Canaries were also said to be the main destination for travellers in November, experiencing a growth of almost 12 per cent from 2010.
Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are the most popular islands to visit, boasting a great range of attractions.
Tenerife has the widest range of attractions and activities for tourists with popular resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Puerto de la Cruz offering great value for money.
Fuerteventura has some of the best beaches of the Canaries and is also believed to be the oldest island. It also benefits from being the driest, with an average rainfall of just 15cm a year.
The Canaries are therefore the perfect winter destination for cheap holidays in 2012, with its average winter temperature of 18°C it gives a warm welcome to shivering holidaymakers.
With around 2.2million visitors each year, recent trends have seen tourists and especially Brits, who account for 37 per cent of visitors, flock to this country. October 2011 saw an increase in tourist arrivals, growing by more than 10 per cent from 2010, with hotel room bookings also showing an increase. Travel experts state the country could experience further growth this year with 46 per cent of hotel rooms already said to be booked for 2012 holidays.
Some of the most visited areas include Ayia Napa, Paphos and Limassol. Paphos, the former capital city, is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and contains numerous ancient Greek and Roman ruins. Limassol and Ayia Napa offer modern holiday interests and resorts while still retaining their Cyprian charm.
As a winter destination, Cyprus is bang on-trend, partly because temperatures in the summer often exceed 40°C, so travelling at the latter part of the year sees the sunny climate experienced at a more manageable 20°C.
With 30 million visitors in 2011, Turkey was a popular destination for travellers, but forecasts for 2012 are expecting numbers to exceed that by another two million.
Experiencing average temperatures of 20°C in October and 16°C in November, Turkey is ideal for winter travellers in search of the sun. Popular places to visit include the cities of Marmaris, Kas and Akyaka. Marmaris is home to the largest yachting marina of the country and Kas and Akyaka are smaller areas, providing more intimate holiday experience, in stunning landscapes.
Cheap all-inclusive holidays are the preferred form of holiday for half of Britons travelling abroad. They are available across all of these destinations and are the perfect way to enjoy a winter break in the sun.