We all know the British winter can be a bit dreary. The nights are drawing in, the weather’s getting colder, and we’re all missing the benefits of the summer sunshine.
It’s no wonder that winter holidays are popular!
If you want to escape the winter's cold, you don't have to travel all the way to the Caribbean! There are plenty of destinations closer to home that stay warm throughout the winter closer to home.
The southern Mediterranean is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for the perfect holiday destination for an extended winter break. Island nations like Cyprus and Malta are lovely examples. But Spain seems to have become the most popular choice for pensioners looking for a long-stay winter holiday – and it’s easy to see why.
Why visit Spain in the winter?
Spain is a brilliant holiday destination at all times of the year. You can eat delicious food like tapas, relax on sandy beaches every day and visit incredible cities. There are also convenient flights from all over the UK.
But there are also several reasons why it's an excellent choice for a getaway during the winter months.
Southern Spain and its many islands off the south coast get good weather all year round, including winter. In fact, the winter weather might be better suited to Brits who don’t like scorching heat.
Visiting a place with an average daily temperature of 20°C during January and February sounds much more comfortable than the mid-30s it can reach during the Spanish summer!
Travelling to Spain in the winter means you can also snag a bargain. Some very affordable package holidays to Spain are available during the winter, with all-inclusive holiday options that make budgeting easy.
Visiting during the winter also means you can avoid the premium costs associated with the school holidays. We know family holidays are great fun, but you can get a better deal if you travel when the grandkids are at school.
Another benefit of visiting Spain during winter is that many areas of the country are quieter than at peak season during the summertime. A winter getaway to Spain could be a simple solution if you prefer a more relaxed holiday away from the hustle and bustle.
Travelling in the winter will usually mean smaller crowds, whether you're going on a city break for some sightseeing, relaxing at the beach club, or playing a round at the golf course.
A great social scene
With that said, you can still enjoy an active social life during the winter months — particularly if you’re over 60.
Most other people heading on holiday at this time of year will be travelling without children. That means you’re more likely to encounter people of a similar age to you, so it’s a great way to make new friends and develop relationships.
The benefits of longer getaways
There are several reasons why a long-stay winter holiday is a good idea.
We all know you can find better holiday deals if you travel out of the peak season. But what many people don't realise is that long-stay accommodation can actually be cheaper than booking somewhere for a week or two – many holiday rental sites offer discounts for extended stays.
This is particularly true of self-catering accommodation, but it's also worth looking for long-stay deals for full-board and half-board options.
A longer break means you also have more time to enjoy yourself — you'll have time to top up your tan, and you can be more flexible with your day-to-day plans. In addition, you'll be able to get to know a place like the back of your hand, creating lasting memories and forging new friendships.
Extended stays are great if you’re travelling solo because you’ll have more time to meet people and develop relationships. It’s also a brilliant way to find romance while you’re abroad!
Where to go for a long-stay holiday in Spain
There are some beautiful destinations in Spain that are perfect for a holiday, whether you’re looking for a long-stay hotel or a self-catering apartment. Here is a selection of our favourites.
The Canary Islands
Although located off the northwest coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are actually part of Spain. They’re ideal for travellers who want good weather in the winter — daily temperatures on this archipelago can easily reach the low 20s, even in January and February.
The Canary Islands is a chain of eight main islands:
- Gran Canaria
- La Palma
- La Gomera
- El Hierro
- La Graciosa
Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are most popular with tourists — but there are some hidden gems in the other four that make them worth a visit too!
The Costa Blanca
The Costa Blanca is an excellent choice if you’d prefer to head to mainland Spain.
The “white coast” is home to the popular tourist resort of Benidorm, but there are plenty of other options if that doesn’t appeal to you. Head here if you like meeting like-minded people and relaxing on beautiful beaches. What’s not to love?
The Costa del Sol
On the southwest coast of Spain is the beautiful Costa del Sol, whose name literally means “sunshine coast”. If that’s not a ringing endorsement in itself, this is a fantastic destination for keen golfers, and there’s excellent seafood on offer.
It’s also got plenty of cultural activities, so it’s a perfect choice for travellers who want to combine sunbathing with sightseeing.
The Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands include Majorca (also known as Mallorca), Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. There are three main airports with flights arriving from around the UK, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. These are the Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Ibiza (IBZ) and Menorca (MAH) airports.
Ibiza is best known for its nightlife and clubbing scene, which is great if you're keen to strap on your dancing shoes! But if this doesn't appeal, the other islands have plenty to keep you occupied during an extended stay.
You could also search for an organised trip that would take you to explore all the main islands in the area. This is a fabulous way to explore the archipelago and choose your favourite for next winter’s trip!
Winter sun holidays in Spain
There are many reasons to take a long winter break in Spain, especially for pensioners. It’s a fantastic place to top your vitamin D levels — this could prevent you from getting ill in the winter! — and it’s easy to meet new people.
So what are you waiting for? Choose your favourite Spanish destination and book your trip. It’ll be time to check in before you know it!