Canary Islands in January(25 Posts)
We want to get out of England to somewhere marginally warmer at the end of January, and a lot of people have said the Canaries are our best bet for a shorthaul with bit of warmth, without breaking the bank.
I've been looking around at various websites and can't figure out where to go. We have never been to the Canaries before.
We both like: interesting architecture, museums, good food and drink, interesting bars, churches and cathedrals, historical sites to potter around, botanical gardens. We like to be able to walk places.
We really do not like: English pubs/sports bars, resort type towns, souvenir shops, night clubs, or being stuck into the middle of nowhere. So nowhere akin to Benidorm/Marbella/Magaluf.
Anyone know of any such place in the Canaries? Or is there nowhere we would like?
The alternative was to head to Athens or Verona (type of city we like) but will likely be much colder the the Canaries.
Definitely avoid the south of Tenerife as that sounds like pretty much everything you don't like (though I enjoy it.. horses for courses).
Santa Cruz, the capital, has a lot of what you're after (museums, botanical gardens, interesting architecture etc) though I think it's a lot cooler than the South so not sure on temps in January.
Not been to any other Canary island so I'm afraid that's the extent of my knowledge. I've also never been to Madeira or the Azores but wonder if they would be similar weather-wise and more what you're after culturally..?
Hopefully someone with extensive knowledge of Gran Canaria or Lanzarote will be along shortly!
Good luck with your search.
The problem I've found with the canaries is that there are a lot of British people there for the winter, so there are English/Irish bars. And although there are gorgeous hotels, most are AI so if you go room only - like we did - the local restaurants are empty at night. And not fantastic, TBH. I've only been to lanzarote, although I imagine the others are similar. Maybe Madeira would be better? I'm looking at that for Jan.
I enjoyed Lanzarote.
It has a series of buildings and cultural centres designed by Cesar Manrique - the foundation, his house in Haria, Jameos del agua, Mirador del Rio and more.
The Cactus Garden is fantastic.
There are lovely churches in the older towns of Teguise (not Costa Teguise) and Yaiza.
The fantastic National Park - the volcanoes of Timanfaya.
Playa Blanca is a very lovely centre to stay in: I enk=joyed staying in the older cente - between the Hesperia Dorada and the Port, rather than the marina. Lovely esplanade of restaurants. It does have an Irish Pub and souvenirs, but it isn't overwhelming.
I could have written your opening post OP. We are looking for exactly the same. A friend has suggested Playa de San Juan. Has anyone been there.
PS If you like culture avoid, avoid, avoid The Azores.
Mmm I hadn't thought of Madeira. Might go and research that.
Another vote for Lanzarote, it is my favourite Canary Is. so much to see, fab weather, cheap to eat out. I like PDC best but from your post I would guess Playa Blanca may suit you better. Have a fab holiday.
Thanks all. I'll start researching Lanzarote!
We've just come back from Gran Canaria and had a lovely time. We stayed in Meloneras which is pretty along the promenade with a few cafes and shops but not a huge amount to see and do as most of the accommodation is big resorts. However we also went to to Las Palmas for the day which might suit your requirements better. It's a decent sized city, with plenty of shops, restaurants, churches, bars and museums to explore and beautiful architecture. Definitely worth a look 😊
I've booked a little apartment in Teguise. Woop!
Thanks all. England had better not do that thing it does where it's warmer here than on hol
Have a lovely time OP, are you staying in Teguise or Costa Teguise? They are two completely different places. We have stayed in Costa Teguise, not been to Teguise, many people visit Teguise on a Sunday for the market, I think it is a quiet village the rest of the week. I think it used to be the capital, now its Arrecife. If it's Costa Teguise and you want to know some good restaurants and places to go and bus stops serving other resorts on Lanzarote, please post again and I will be happy to advise.
Where in Lanzarote did you stay, AgentProvicateur? That wasn't our experience at all! (Playa Blanca, in the centre, near the Town beach and Playa Dorada. Lovely buzzy pedestrianised prom in the evenings, busy restaurants....
I've been three times (despite my misgivings!) twice to Playa Blanca and once to Costa Teguise. I think I maybe went at the wrong time of year - early March. There was lots I liked - the national park, Cesar Manrique's house, Teguise Market.
I guess I just don't like resorst where the majority of hotels are AI. It really changes the feel of a place (in my opinion).
We stayed right on the seafront and weren't aware of any AI resorts, are they further to the inland and Far East and west parts of Playa Blanca?
We stayed in Princess Yaiza and Natura Palace - both gorgeous, but 99% of people were half board and ate in each night. Sorry - I didn't mean AI, I meant HB.
Northern Lanzarote is lovely. We went a couple of years ago and stayed here www.lanzaroteretreats.com/eco/ . I'd thoroughly recommend it.
Oh those yurts etc look great Thisisn't... What is there to do in Northern Lanzarote?
We're not really looking for AI as we prefer to eat out at different restaurants.
Teguise (not Costa Teguise) is lovely. Cobbled streets, interesting churches & buildings, shopping, lovely tapas bars etc. Just avoid it on sunday for the market!
Hire a car, so many amazing places to see (beaches of Orzola are stunning, Arrieta for good seafood restaurants, there's an observatory on the north coast tip which has the most amazing views and a lovely cafe.)
We had the same dilemma too but settled last night on Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, seems busy enough but not quite as Brit overrun as CT.
also praying for warm weather, having never been to canaries in winter I hope it is as good as all the hype!
I have heard though that Jumpers/fleeces and jeans are necessary for the cold evenings in winter......
Maybe try Madeira. It isn't the canaries but about 90 miles north and has a year round climate.
Madeira is NOT commercialised like the canaries. It is popular with young families (babies and toddlers who don't like what you don't like!) plus older couples (40+). We were the exception and travelled there from the ages of 27 and 30 for about 8 years - as a couple then with a baby then toddler!
Plays Blanca is lovely but not really full of what you are looking for. You will have to visit the villages for that.
Madeira is lovely not very touristy at all lots to do and was easy to entertain my then 6 year old with the caves and volcano centre, modest waterpark, cable car to the botanical garden, electricity museum, tour buses and Cabo girao. We loved it. But went in July so no idea what the temperature is like in January.
Although the Canaries are obviously much warmer than here in January, it can be wet and quite nippy at night. I used to have a place in Tenerife and I always used to take my hot water bottle if we went early in the year. You will find a lot of stuff specifically for tourists, be they German, English etc, but Tenerife has plenty to see and do, especially for children. A trip up mount Teide is pretty good, especially as there will be snow up there. There is a brilliant water park and zoological park as well. If you get away from the burger and chip bars there are some wonderful restaurants as well. I have been to all the Canary islands, including El Hierro, but Tenerife is still my favourite due to the wonderful variety of terrain and flora.
We did Lanzarote in Feb not too bad in terms of brits but also not warm and very windy.
We stayed in playa Blanca some good food easy enough to avoid the tourist crap hired a car and found a couple of cracking restaurants in land.
Top tip if you rent a car get one that’s full to full.
We had a good cheap week away and much better than I thought it would be as hate brits abroad type holidays. But not very warm. Going to Barbados this year instead.
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