By Elaine Whelan
Most years when the schools close and summer rolls around, you get packing your bags and filling your travel sized liquid bottles all set for your summer holidays. However, 2020 has been a weird one and we have had to adapt all aspects of our life such as work, school and socialising to deal with the covid-19 outbreak. And summer holidays have been no different. With the world only beginning to reopen, most people are still sceptical of travelling to sunnier summer destinations in these uncertain times. Airlines are offering some leniencies in alterations of travel plans so perhaps we should shift our attention to winter sun. We’ve deviated from the norm so much already this year so what harm will one more be?
The Canary Islands
The Canaries has long been a firm family favourite for their summer holidays but it is also equally as popular in the winter months with couples and older holiday-makers. So what do they know that we don’t? First of all they know that in winter the temperature in the Canaries, which includes Tenerife, Fuertaventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, averages around the 20℃ mark. That’s what we would call a good Irish summer. This is due to its location just off the north-west coast of Africa. The Canaries also has the added benefit of not being a long-haul flight sunshine in November is a lot closer than you think. So where better to soak up the vitamin D and escape the rain and cold of the Irish winter than the Canary Islands?
As with every country, winter is the coldest time of the year in Mexico. It is unlike every other country though, as anything under 30℃ is considered cold in Mexico. Temperatures from September to March range from 20-32℃. The tropical Mexico resorts experience a dry season at this time of year so a winter holiday here will result in very little rainfall and beautiful sunshine. Cancun is one of the more popular resorts with its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Cancun also has the perfect blend of lively restaurants and nightlife, ancient sites for sightseeing and tranquil beaches for relaxing.
It may be only a three and a half hour flight away from Dublin but yet Morocco feels like another world. This exotic location doesn’t have the most exotic winters but they are still significantly wilder than Ireland’s. Daily temperatures can be anywhere between 14℃ to 20℃ so you can explore places like Marrakesh or watch snake charmers, belly dancers and shop till you drop in the markets at Jemaa el-Fna square. It’s an unforgettable destination at any time of the year but those of us with paler complexions, means we can comfortably enjoy Morocco without the risk of heatstroke.
Families love Florida and what each and every theme park it has to offer. I have been to Florida on two separate occasions, with the first being in July and the second trip being in October. Whereas both trips were enjoyable I can safely say that travelling here in October so far better. I still wore shorts and tshirts and enjoyed beautiful sunshine but I didn’t struggle with the sticky heat as I did in the summer. On both trips I visited Disneyworld in Orlando and much preferred it in my second visit as it wasn’t as crowded, I didn’t have to stay mostly in the shade and it was also beautifully decorated in the traditional ‘fall’ colours. We have plenty of articles regarding Florida and DisneyWorld on our website if you want to know more about the USA destination for your family vacation.
Costa Del Sol
The Costa Del Sol is one of the most popular areas on the Spanish mainland for family summer holidays. The Costa del Sol in the south of Spain contains the popular resorts of Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Marbella. Miles of sandy beaches, fantastic all year round warm climate and modern facilities keep tourists flocking back year after year. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy sunshine 356 days a year on the Costa del Sol? The transport system between Malaga and all the resorts is also one of the best things about this area as you can travel easily between them all by train. The summer months can get very hot, reaching temperatures of 35-40 degrees, and in the winter? Well, Christmas lunch on the beach is often enjoyed, say no more!
Want to enjoy an average of 340 days of sunshine each year and the warmest winters of all Mediterranean countries? Then Cyprus is the perfect place for you! The island of Cyrus in the eastern Mediterranean is best known for its beachside resorts of Paphos, Larnaca, Limassol and Ayia Napa. At these resorts you can enjoy average winter temperatures of 22-23°C during the day and 12-13°C at night. Cyprus has so much to offer your family with its glorious beaches, rich history, salt lakes, pine forests and even its very own wine.
Malta is a stunning country which is steeped in history and beautiful views. With scenic towns, crystal clear blue waters and 300 days of sunshine Malta is ideal for a winter sun holiday. Flight times from Ireland are roughly around four hours and English is widely spoken throughout the tiny island. Enjoy the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle here while exploring ancient temples, caves and breath-taking blue lagoons. Waking up to the Malta winter sunshine definitely beats waking up to defrost your car windows in Ireland anyway.
With year round sunshine and the glistening warm waters of more than 400 beaches, you won’t want to leave Turkey. This is a very unique country that is located between Europe and Asia and offers so much more than it is given credit for. Explore everything from castles to national parks, bazaars to balloon rides as well as the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Sea of Marmaris and Black Sea. Turkey is the winter adventure your family needs.
There is no such thing as a bad time to visit the Maldives. Luxury tourism is the aim here so if you want to treat your family after months of covid lockdown then you certainly won’t regret a winter holiday in the Maldives. Boasting maybe the finest white sand beaches in the world, not to mention a share of its most prestigious first class hotels, you will feel like a celebrity here. Celebrity standards come at celebrity prices though so travelling in the winter months can be a cheaper option for those looking for luxury on a budget.
If perhaps the Maldives is beyond your reach for winter sun or long distant flights like Florida are not your kind of thing then Benidorm ticks all the boxes for you. Benidorm is incredibly popular for English and Irish families all year round for a very good reason. Located on Spain’s Costa Blanca, Benidorm is a classic seaside resort with a long history which in the winter months has temperatures average at a moderate 15°C. This popular destination offers lively nightlife, spacious golden beaches, and a handful of theme parks and water parks and caters well to young families wanting a fun-filled beach holiday with the familiarity of home.
Don’t rule out your sun holiday this year, just rethink it!