Where can you escape to in the first week of January for a quality but inexpensive break where you will enjoy sunshine and summer temperatures without long haul flights? The answer is the Canary Isles and in particular Gran Canaria.
The island of Gran Canaria is situated in the Atlantic Ocean some 200km off the African coast. Gran Canaria is a volcanic island which benefits from the warm winds blown across from the Sahara ensuring that winter temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees Celsius in the day and in the summer creeping up to a warm but acceptable 25 degrees celsius. It does rain during the the winter months but those rainstorms never last long and the warm breezes that come in off the ocean soon dry the Island up again.
The capital is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the north which has a busy city atmosphere and is known for its annual carnival. In the centre of the town is Las Canteras beach, there is a cathedral, the Museum Canario and the Plaza del Espiritu Santo. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was a stopping place for Christopher Columbus and tourists can visit the Hermitage of San Antonio Abad where the explorer prayed.
The south and east of the Island is a fairly flat landscape with many wonderful clean and unspoilt beaches to enjoy. To the west the terrain is a little