As the clocks go back and winter arrives in the UK, many walkers will be dreaming of warm weather holidays. It’s always the same: When it’s dark and chilly, you will want to be where it’s warm and sunny. So why not cheer yourself up with a winter sun walking holiday? There are destinations that are less than a five hour flight away from the UK that provide a great base for some lovely warmer weather walking.
Madeira is famed for its lush landscape and colourful flowers. It’s a beautiful place to head for a walking holiday and many people return year after year for winter and early summer sunshine. A walking holiday includes highlights such as swimming in the lava pools, exploring the old cobbled streets of Funchal and following a network of “Levadas”, the ingenious irrigation channels of Madeira.
La Gomera for sunny walking in winter-time.[/caption] One of the Canary Islands, La Gomera benefits from temperatures of between 15 and 25C year round. This makes it a perfect destination for walkers especially in the UK’s winter and spring months. There is plenty to see while you walk including dense laurel forests, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old streets of San Sebastian and a beautiful coastline.
Another Canary Island but this time boasting a striking volcanic landscape, Gran Canaria is great destination for a spot of winter sunshine. Walkers will enjoy the Caminos Reales, which takes the form of a network of paths and classic routes, as well as hikes through tropical valleys, sand dunes and woodlands. Other highlights to visit include an 80m tall rock called El Roque Nublo, many charming whitewashed villages and the white sandy beaches of the coast.
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is dominated by Mt Teide, which rises 7500m above the ocean floor and has a summit of 3718m, is among the world’s largest volcanoes. You’ll discover many more landscape wonders, such as amazing basalt formations, colourful deserts and a fabulous coastline Walkers will also enjoy visiting historical villages and soaking up the unique atmosphere of the Parador Cañadas del Teide, at the ft of Mt Teide.
For something completely different, take a trip to the north African country of Morocco. The walking can be as easy or challenging as you fancy and there is a host of sights to visit, too. How about the imperial city of Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Roman ruins of Volubilis? Or see the sun set and sleep under the stars at the dunes of Erg Chebbi. There’s also the dramatic Todra Gorge and its high walls which magically change colour throughout the day and the “Hollywood” of Morocco, Ourzazate, where many films have been made Who said that walkers need to hang up their boots for a UK winter? Keep them out, give them a clean and pack a suitcase for a warmer climate.