If your summer holiday seems like a distant dream and your tan is already fading fast, you may be looking forward to a winter sun break – and we've found the perfect destination, located just over four hours away from the UK; Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
There are several ideal winter sun destinations around the world, but none as close to home and with no time difference – a real bonus for families travelling with young children (no jet lag, parents!).
The Spanish island, which is just 150km off the Moroccan coast, boasts incredible weather all year round – it rains an average of 22 days a year! So here at HELLO! we've searched high and low to find the best family activities, places to go and even the best hotels to stay at so you can get booking straight away.
ACTIVITIES AND PLACES TO GO
Explore Palmitos Park
This is definitely a child’s dream. The park houses a wide range of animals, such as wallabies, orang-utans, meerkats and even cockatoos, and also features a butterfly and orchid house, a cactus garden and an aquarium. But there is one attraction that stands out above all others- the dolphin encounter! Here kids (and adults!) can enjoy more than 30 minutes with the mammals, and learn about their anatomy, biology and habits in an active, fun and interactive way.
MORE: 13 of the best family-friendly hotels in Europe
Soak up the sun at Maspalomas beach
There is no better beach on the whole island - think fine white sand and clear blue sea. To top it off, it's bordered by the Special Nature Reserve of Dunas de Maspalomas (Maspalomas sand dunes), a feast for the eyes and so much fun for the whole family. You'll happily spend the day here, taking in the sun and enjoying the cool water (and going up and down the dunes).
Take part in a thrilling camel safari
Whilst spending the day in Maspalomas, why not take part in the most exotic excursion - a camel ride along the beach. The fun ride lasts 30 – 35 minutes and it will make you feel like you're riding through the desert. The dream!
Discover cocodrilo park
One for thrill-seekers! This spectacular park features a crocodile show where the crocs are fed live to show the strength of their jaws. Spectators can also touch a juvenile croc handled by a member of staff. With 300 Nile crocodiles to see, kids are assured to have a fun day out. Beware though, one of them is five metres long!
READ: The best summer holidays to go on with babies and toddlers
Make a splash at aqualand Maspalomas water park
There's no better way to cool off than at this super fun location. Think incredible slides, the unforgettable experience of swimming with sea lions, a discovery beach featuring fun waves… there are areas for children of ALL ages.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO GO
Las Palmas is a great destination all year round, with December to March being the popular months with tourists. April to October, however, are warm months with temperatures of around 22-26 degrees.
WHERE TO STAY
We love the south of the island and you're definitely spoilt for choice there. One particular outstanding hotel is the Hotel Palm Beach. It's located centrally and surrounded by an INCREDIBLE palm tree oasis which is conveniently located just a five-minute walk from Maspalomas Dunes and its five-mile-long golden beach. The hotel offers all the luxuries you will need such as five-star rooms and suites and excellent restaurants.
The hotel also features three swimming pools, a children’s club and even a playground! Nearby, you can also find three exclusive golf courses, a tennis court and a spa.
Five nights – 5* Seaside Palm Beach Hotel Five nights half board at the 5* Seaside Palm Beach Hotel is from £2,759, for a family of three travelling in September.
Price is based on 2 adults and a 3-year-old child sharing. This package includes return flights from London Gatwick and private transfers. For more information or to book, visit https://www.classic-collection.co.uk/ or call 0800 047 1064
EXTRA'S YOU'LL LOVE
When you've spent money and time researching and putting together the perfect family holiday, you want the pictures to reflect it, right? Well then, I have the perfect suggestions for you: shootmytravel.com. This incredible website has hundreds of photographers in 450 destinations across the world - Las Palmas being one of them, of course. I chose my choice of photographer based on the style they showcased on the site, the preferred package and it was the best decision I made. We met at the hotel on a chosen date and location (the beach, of course) and had a wonderful hour together. Our photographer, Tomi, was great with children, and my son had the time of his life with him. Can't you tell by the pictures above?