Struggling to cope with these blisteringly cold winter days?! Grab a cuppa, crank up the heating and settle in for a winter sun escape, well an online get-a-way counts for something right?
A few weeks ago I jumped into a cab and headed to Gatwick airport to join a group pf journalists in discovering one of the UK’s most popular winter sun escapes, Hotel Princesa Yaiza, Lanzarote.
After a short four hour flight we arrived to bright blue skies and a delightfully warm 25 degrees which although a surprise was divine! I had expected Lanzarote to be warm, hearing for years that The Canary Islands are a year-round destination but venturing so close to London, I hadn’t expected it to be quite so tropical!
The palm fronted large white building welcomed us in with open arms and after being seen to our rooms we headed out for the first of our truly delicious meals! Having recently been diagnosed with Coeliac disease (meaning that sadly, I can no longer eat gluten) and already being a vegetarian I’m not exactly a restaurant’s favourite customer nowadays but the team at Yaiza really excelled in their five star service and accommodated me so well (too well considering I had a trip to the Maldives booked in the following week!) at every single breakfast, lunch and dinner setting. The hotel boasts eight restaurants making the choice for daily dining super varied, albeit difficult to decide between!
Something quite unique about the hotel is that the majority of their dairy products and plant based ingredients are sourced from their very own local farm.
We actually spent an afternoon at this farm which, with free roaming animals and stunning scenery, was like something out of a kids nursery rhyme! The setting was vast with numerous towering plants and pretty coloured flowers and small winding lanes amongst the outdoor animal pens. The farm produces dairy products, herbs, fruits and vegetables all of which are grown organically.
I’ll be honest in saying it wasn’t the easiest wander for me being a vegetarian who tries her best to minimise dairy but it was nice to know that the animals were roaming free and being well taken care of. I can’t change the world when it comes to making everyone strive towards a plant based diet but I am able to be objective and happy to see when dairy farms are doing their bit to ensure the animals are as content as can possibly be.
As a group we really did indulge in the amazing food on offer, with three course spreads at every session but as a hotel guest, what I loved about Princesa Yaiza was the option to work off all the delectable indulgences afterwards. If a trip away is all about sunbathing by the pool and lazy beach strolls then Yaiza has you covered but for those of you (like me) who are a little more active when on hols then this hotel is perfect for you. With a number of healthy menu options you can dine light and guilt free – it will take some serious will power saying no to all those delicious cheeses but the choice is yours! The hotel gym is very large with all of the equipment you could ask for in a hotel facility and large floor spaces for high resistance training, then there’s the main pool which is large enough to swim laps. I personally watched the sun melt into the horizon whilst swimming back and forth in this pool every night and we were teated to some pretty magnificent sunsets!
As well as the hotel facilities you can swim in the ocean all year round thanks to the amazing warm weather from January to December and the beachfront promenade makes for the perfect jogging route morning, day and night.
Once you chose between a detox or devilishly delicious break there’s always the option to explore the island itself. One day we ventured out further into the small canary island to a place that made us feel as though we left the planet itself! Timanfaya National park, a desolate volcanic wasteland that is the closest trip to Mars I’ll ever experience 😉 We embarked on the truly unique excursion in a small coach and deriving up to the 50 square kilometre stretch of volcanic craters and lunar like landscape. You are asked to stay within the vehicle for most of the journey so you enjoy the astonishing views to intergalactic soundtrack and then when high enough you can get out of the car and learn more about the volcanoes history, even having the chance to hold some of the ‘hot rocks’ from below the surface. It’s a morning trip I highly recommend because well, where else have you seen views like these?!
Though I only spent a few sunny days in Lanzarote I was really impressed with the island and (I’ve said it once/twice/three times and I’ll say it again!) the amazing weather in comparison to the cold single figure degrees in London. It’s the perfect get-a-away for couples and families desperate for a Vitamin D top up not wanting to travel too far from home and for too long!
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