The winter weather on New Year's Eve may be frightful elsewhere, but in Spain's Canary Islands it's always delightful! The Spanish archipelago just off the coast of northwest Africa boasts year-round tropical breezes, with temperatures averaging 21ºC even in December.
Instead of shivering your way into 2014, why not opt for a warmer start to the New Year with a sunny holiday in Spain at one of Paradores many luxury hotels on the islands?
Goodbye rain and snow, hello beach!
Located in the centre of the island of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Parador Cruz de Tejada offers winter-weary guests an escape to a lush hillside with remarkable views of the surrounding landscape, shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity.
Parador Cruz de Tejeda
Spend the day hiking, or take a trip to nearby city Las Palmas, whose legendary beaches are rivalled only by its many cultural offerings, including the Christopher Columbus House, where the famous explorer rested en route to the Americas.
Those who want to be closer to the coast can instead book a stay at Parador La Palma on the island of La Palma. Set in a newly constructed building featuring traditional Canary architecture, the Parador overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and features an herb garden and fruit orchard. Nearby, you'll find Santa Cruz de La Palma, the charming capital of the island, with its whitewashed houses and easy access to the sea.
Parador La Palma
Or head to Parador El Hierro, set on the archipelago's most westward and southern island, El Hierro. Built facing the Roque de Bonanza -an iconic rock formation that rises out of the Atlantic- this building sits at the base of a volcanic mountain. The elegant, colonial interior, as well as the mesmerizing sound of the nearby waves, guarantee a relaxing holiday. Spend the last few days of the year by the pool or at the beach, while spending the evenings enjoying the Parador's wide variety of regional Spanish cuisine.
Parador El Hierro
More active guests may want to visit the neighbouring island of Tenerife, home to Mount Teide, an active volcano that dominates Teide National Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the foot of the mountain, guests will find Parador Las Cañadas del Teide, a cosy setting located 2,000 meters above sea level.
Parador Las Cañadas del Teide
While others deal with snow drifts or freezing rain back home, you'll be touring this enormous national park and spending the evenings enjoying the local cuisine in the Parador's dining room, such as Canary meat and chickpea stew, known as puchero; rabbit in salmorejo tomato sauce; and baked potatoes in mojo sauce, a blend of garlic, cumin, paprika, oil and vinegar.
Others may prefer Parador La Gomera, the perfect spot to stay for hiking in nearby Garajonay National Park, the archipelago's other UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covered in diverse vegetation, the dense woods are crisscrossed by paths that overlook local vineyards, orchards and banana groves. Give 2013 a perfect send-off in the Parador's restaurant, which features Gomerian casserole made of freshly caught fish, stuffed rabbit loins and watercress soup.
Parador La Gomera
Want to celebrate the New Year's holiday in Spain? Contact Paradores today.