Gransnet forums


Spending the winter abroad

(77 Posts)
susiecb Mon 14-May-12 08:55:57

We are thinking about sending a month (or two) somewhere warmer in January February. Can anyone advise please on how this is done. Travel brochures and internet only seem to deal with holidays and we were thinking more of a self catering option at a reasonable price. Also where to go - dont fancy Spain or Canaries - never been to either as its sounds like lager and chips all round. Any advice would be welcome. Thank you

Mamie Mon 14-May-12 09:02:27

We are thinking of going to the south of Spain next winter for a few weeks. This is partly because we are in nothern France and can drive down fairly easily and partly because we can see our grandchildren (and their parents!) at the same time. I think lager and chips are fairly easy to avoid and the supermarkets and markets are pretty good for self-catering. There are lots and lots of apartments at good prices. I would be interested to see how people have found the weather. My son says that January and February are often sunnier and more settled than March / April, but no guarantees of course.

Nonu Mon 14-May-12 11:03:12

Oh , I would love to do that , but think I would miss my grandchildren too much also of course a certain party by the name of Mr Nonu would be loathe to miss going to watch Norwich City play

gangy5 Mon 14-May-12 16:19:07

We're also thinking of spending a winter month away somewhere warm. I'm not sure about self catering but have been looking into hotels. There are some that do the 3rd or 4th week free and it's quite cheap to stay extra weeks after the first 2. In my opinion the nearest place to go to in the winter that is warm is the Canaries and that is probably where we'll end up. If you've cash to spare there would be better places to go.

susiecb Mon 14-May-12 16:34:09

Ah cash to spare then I would go to South Africa but sadly no several friends recommend the Canaries we are just worried about how we would pass the time- would have to be self catering I think as I dont want to put on lots of weight with hotel food.

granjura Mon 14-May-12 16:53:12

The South of Tenerife if very touristy, but move a bit North and it becomes so much nicer, the West Coast is nice too. If you can rent a little car there is so much to do and see. If you want to avoid the lager and fish and chips lot, why not fly to Tenerife and then short ferry ride over to La Gomera- which is the only Island still unspoilt.

One of our daughters lives in Tenerife, and if we do go over for a month next winter, this is where will we be headed.

granjura Mon 14-May-12 16:55:01

Otherwise Malta is great. We went 2 years ago- expecting not much- but it was wonderful. Got a car and visited all the ancient temples and ruins, and small towns. And it is English speaking. You can take a ferry to Gozo, totally unspoilt- and then a ferry to Sicily for a week- wonderful.

jeni Mon 14-May-12 16:56:53

Crete? Cypress?

Stansgran Mon 14-May-12 18:47:00

Make sure it has a direct flight back with regular timetable in case roof leaks or you get poorly and need the dear old nHS

glammanana Mon 14-May-12 19:05:12

susieb The Canaries are the favourite choice,there are many small villas and apartment available on sites in the internet,you can then spend the day relaxing and having nice bread and cheese and wine for lunch then treat yourself to one of the Spanish Menu del Dia (menu of the day) from one of the many cafes/restaurants they start from 6 euros pp and most include wine,so well worth looking around.

susiecb Tue 15-May-12 09:33:21

This is sounding very good lots more choice than i though I shall begin researching the internet. Thank you

dhdseo28 Thu 17-May-12 08:06:46

Message deleted by Gransnet.

Elegran Thu 17-May-12 08:34:05

Reported - has advertised the hotel ion two other threads (also reported)

Trish4 Sat 25-Aug-12 09:08:32

Thinking of going to Spain for 5 months over winter anyone know of reasonable
health insurance companies for this length of time.

Annobel Sat 25-Aug-12 09:23:14

Try Age UK. They are the fount of all knowledge about this kind of thing.

Oldgreymare Sat 25-Aug-12 09:49:04

I'd love to do this but the OG is less keen/needs to keep his Bridge Partner happy!
I have heard Portugal is good and reasonably priced, will investigate/seek advice.Location has to be 'drivable' as I have a silly phobia and won't fly! I prefer the self-catering option.

Mamie Sat 25-Aug-12 09:59:47

Just wanted to say thank you to Susiecb for raising this earlier in the year As a result we have booked three weeks in an apartment on the coast near Malaga in January. It is big enough for our son and his family to drive down and stay with us at weekends and I got a good discount for a long booking.

Greatnan Sat 25-Aug-12 10:07:05

The winters can be quite cold in the South of France - I was once in St. Tropez when it snowed. There are some lovely, quiet, villages on the South coast of Spain, well away from the English pubs/fish and chips touristy places.
I love the mountains here in the snow, but I do manage to spend six weeks in New Zealand in their summer!
Cyprus is beautiful -it has the Troodos mountains and some gorgeous scenery around the coast.
Trip Advisor is good for reviews once you have found a location or an hotel.

AlisonMA Sat 25-Aug-12 10:12:00

Last year we spent 4 weeks in Egypt and had such a great time have booked to go again this October. It is in a hotel in Marsa Alam, 20 minutes from the airport, which is on the Red Sea but a long way from anywhere where there might be trouble. The Manager of the hotel is English and the staff all love Brits. Because we went for so long we seemed to get really special treatment. I would be happy to give details to anyone who PMs me. It was all-inclusive so nothing at all extra to pay and I believe it now has free wifi although it did have free Internet anyway.

I think you will find susie that although companies do not advertise longer breaks on the Internet they can arrange them if you call them up, which is how we booked this one. If you find one you like give them a call and ask.

I believe Saga include insurance if you book your holiday with them and they also do 4 weeks for the price of 3 in some locations.

I hope you find something good and enjoy it as much as we do.

Annobel Sat 25-Aug-12 10:18:14

I once spent a week in Benidorm at Christmas while DS2 and his partner were working there. Tacky! But it was no colder than 'cardigan' weather and the surrounding area was lovely. He arranged for me to go on a trip to Valencia with his other 'old dears' - he was a rep for Thompson's 'Young at Heart'. I would have liked to spend a day there on my own and did manage to escape for an hour or so. It would be cold away from the coast, especially in the Granada area, so unless you want to go ski-ing....

Mamie Sat 25-Aug-12 10:47:47

We have deliberately chosen a large town right on the coast, rather than a quiet spot. I imagine it would not be our cup of tea at all in the summer, but we are looking forward to a bit more action than rural Normandy can provide in January! We have chosen a town with a good indoor pool and plenty of shops so we don't have to use the car too much.

Annobel Sat 25-Aug-12 10:52:51

Sounds ideal, Mamie. Quite enticing, in fact. I've spent a few days in Seville in November. It was really balmy and only rained once.

Mamie Sat 25-Aug-12 10:56:44

Yes we are looking forward to it and it will give us a chance to see our son and his family who we won't have seen for nearly a year by then. We will drive down with a car full of clothes and toys from the UK grandchildren for the Spanish grandchildren and come back with large quantities of organic olive oil and wine!
I have to say I find rural France in deepest winter pretty hard to cope with and I hope this will keep me a bit more cheerful....

Greatnan Sat 25-Aug-12 11:59:06

Egypt is certainly near (about 5 hours flight, I think) and cheap, but unless you want to spend all your time in the sea (which will be rather cold in January) or around the pool, there is not much to do. I have stayed in Marsa Alam, Hurghada, Sharm (twice) and Nueweiba (twice) and I have made forays out of the hotels either on boat trips or by taxi to the nearest town, or once on a 'jeep safari'. I found the towns very dirty and ramshackle and the snorkeling from the boat trips was in large groups, which I hate. Traders stand in your path outside the shops and whilst they are not threatening it can be annoying You can, of course, fly to Luxor or Cairo, at some expense, or even Petra, but that rather negates the plan to find an inexpensive holiday. I think the FO is still advising against visiting the big towns in the North of Egypt. No problems in Red Sea Resorts.
I would go to Egypt only for snorkeling on the wonderful coral, and I would not go in Winter.
Of course, the best hotels will offer a programme of activities but I fear none of them would appeal to me.
I spent one disappointing holiday in the Maldives, because the coral was bleached and there was absolutely nowhere to go as the entire island could be cirumnavigated in 20 minutes. I like to be active on holiday - I can lie around as much as I like at home. I enjoy visiting historic towns/ villages and seeing beautiful scenery - not much of either in Egypt.
Tour operators are desperate at the moment, so if I wanted to go away I would look for a package to one of the bigger Caribbean islands - Martinique or Guadelope , or Cuba.

JessM Sat 25-Aug-12 12:50:30

Almeria is the driest province in european mainland.
That is why they filmed spaghetti westerns there - it is a desert.
But anywhere along south coast if Spain is a dry and sunny climate.
But could get chilly - so make sure there is some heating. Spanish health system sounds pretty good.
I would have thought that, given the property crisis in Spain, it would be possible to rent a villa very cheaply at that time of year - possibly from a Brit that has bought out there but uses only in the summer?
If money were no object swapping a house, or house sitting with someone from s hemisphere would be option - they take their long summer holidays then.
I discovered something about Egypt recently - many of the holiday resort hotels are owned by the Egyptian army - strange i know but they have been so powerful for so long that they own considerable business assets!! Of course that does not mean they are run by them - but I would not want to be lining the pockets of Generals myself. Who would have guessed? Not me.