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Travel

Escape the Cold to a Canary Island in the Sun

Bring a tan to your January exams with this quick getaway

January is generally well known for it’s cold, dark and dreary weather – and for students it is the start of another long term full of assignments and more exams. The mental preparation for the spring term is quite challenging after the long awaited Christmas break, relaxing without deadlines, exams and other university obligations.

But, as they say, a holiday could be the solution. And luckily there is no need to travel far or spend a fortune to get a dose of winter sunshine. Fuerteventura, one of the seven Canary Islands, is the ideal destination for those that are looking to mentally reload for the spring term, or maybe just fancy a tan and some cheap shopping.

Fuerteventura is the second largest of the seven paradisaical islands. It is located less than 100 kilometers from the African Sahara. Geographically, it is closer to Africa than mainland Spain, making the island reliable when it comes to escaping the cold weather in the UK.

“Fuerteventura maintains a temperature of between 18 and 23 degrees all year round”

The climate is sunny and dry during most of the year, producing its idealistic landscape in earthy colours. However,  it can get pretty windy, with easterly winds from the famous Sahara contributing to the sand dunes and white beaches, but don’t let this put you off.

Though it’s thanks to the irrigation on the island that there is no lack of lush vegetation, the Oasis Park is one of the most famous attractions for those interested in animals and nature. Free buses run from several places around the island to the park.

Fuerteventura is probably best known for its wide selection of beaches, and there are over 150 to choose from. Ranging from white, sandy beaches to black cliffs, the selection makes it possible to find the perfect beach for everyone. Whether you are looking for surf spots or nudist beaches, it is safe to say there is a beach that fits every category.

One perk with taking a quick dip in the seas of Fuerteventura is its maintenance of temperatures between 18 and 23 degrees all year round, different to the minus numbers that students will be waking up to throughout the month.

Jandia and Corralejo are two of the most visited areas in Fuerteventura due to their beautiful, relaxing beaches and windsurfing spots. Despite the tranquillity and relaxed setting on the island, there is still an abundance of other things to explore, food to taste and shopping to do.

Since Fuerteventura is a free port, duty free prices apply. Electrical goods, perfumes and designer clothes are often cheaper than the rest of Europe. Alcoholic beverages tend to be cheaper as well, making it the ideal student destination if you want a quick, cheap getaway from all things university.

If you are looking for shopping malls and nightclubs, rather than small local bars, Corralejo is the place to visit. It is located north of the island and offers a wide range of nightclubs and bars along the main road, Centro Comercial Atlantico.

If a quieter setting is more your thing, Costa Calma is a great option. Being 50 minutes south of the island’s airport, Costa Calma offers everything from cosy beach bars to small shopping centres. When it comes to food, you can find restaurants and cafes pretty much everywhere with the cuisines ranging from seafood, pizza, and tapas to vegetarian alternatives.

“A return ticket with Thomas Cook Airlines from Gatwick can be as minimal as £40”

Some traditional Fuerteventura food specialities worth tasting are mojo, which is a dipping sauce, rancho canario, a kind of stew with thick noodles, potatoes and pieces of meat, and lastly the goat cheese which is also known as cana de cabra. As for drinks, Calimocho (red wine and coke), as opposed to the more famous white wine and lemonade mix, sangria and Dorada beer are popular local drinks.

Its convenient distance for UK travellers makes Fuerteventura an ideal winter sun destination. Flights from any of London’s airports can be cheap too, and with no time difference there is no excuse to play the jet lag card when you’re back.

A return ticket with Thomas Cook Airlines from Gatwick can be as minimal as £40, and most flights are direct with a flight time of just over four hours. Landing just outside of the island’s capital, Puerto de Rosario, bus transfers provide easy access to any location on the island.

Regarding accommodation, there is a huge choice of hotels for all tastes, ranging from five star hotels to three star hotel apartments for whatever suits your needs.

So, book your flight, recharge your batteries, and take on the spring term freshly energised and with a tan!

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