Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder where people who are usually in good mental health experience symptoms of depression according to the season. It’s more common for the depression to be in wintertime, and it’s been linked to a continued lack of exposure to daylight. Of course, you don’t need to suffer from SAD to benefit from a week away in the sunshine during the winter – it can be a boost for anyone.
The trouble is that to find sunshine in the winter, you have to go a rather long way if you live in Europe. Unless that is, you go to the Canaries, off the north west coast of Africa and in the Atlantic Ocean. Only a few hours’ flight from the UK, the Canaries enjoy warm and sunny weather all year round, so they have been drawing millions of visitors during the winter for many years now.
There are fourteen islands in all, but the most popular are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanazarote. Each has its own appeal but whichever you choose you’ll find a mix of quiet and relaxing resorts and those that are places to party. For example, one of the most well-known resorts on Tenerife is Playa de las Americas, where you’ll find clubs, bars and restaurants everywhere, as well as family attractions like aquaparks and zoos. Then there’s the beach, of course, which has the black sand that is often found on volcanic islands like Tenerife.
If you like hiking and walking, the interior landscapes of the Canary Islands have plenty of great trails on offer. There is a mix of lush vegetation and harsh, lunar-like landscapes. On the islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife, you can visit the national parks where it’s possible to walk up and around the volcanoes that are responsible for the islands’ dramatic landscape.
Flights to Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are often available at bargain prices, whether you choose to just book flights or book a package holiday. If you don’t like the thought of the winter stretching ahead of you, then a week in the Canaries might be just what you need!