Here’s to a healthy and happy 2022 full of travel and adventures. As 2021 went by, overseas holidays became more of a possibility and those who made it abroad reported a sense of freedom and happiness at having finally got away. My wish this year is that more of us get to experience the joy of holidaying overseas – of seeing new landscapes, discovering new cultures, eating delicious food and meeting new people.
The advent of Omicron in November led to renewed restrictions and concern about travel abroad. But as I have always said, if you book your holiday in the right way, you can have something to look forward to without worrying that if new travel restrictions emerge you will lose out financially. One of the few silver linings of the pandemic has been an improvement in booking flexibility offered by airlines and tour operators. When you book with Shearwater Travel, not only can you be sure you have booked with a reputable tour operator but we will provide you with tailored advice on Covid testing, vaccination requirements and those dreaded passenger locator forms.
For those of you dreaming of some winter sun, here is some inspiration for where you might travel in January and February to catch some rays. Please get in touch if you would like help putting a trip together.
And finally, if you enjoy reading my bulletins, please would you forward them to any travel hungry friends and encourage them to sign up to receive them here
Whether you are looking for a few days’ short-haul winter sun or to travel somewhere further afield, here are some ideas for your winter sun getaway.
Canary Islands – 4 hours away
These seven Spanish islands lying off the coast of west Africa are perfect for a shorter trip, with regular four hour flights from the UK. You don’t have to stay in a big resort. All the islands have characterful boutique hotels, historic villages and stunning landscapes. Stay a little longer, and you can do some island hopping, visiting some of the smaller quieter islands and really getting away from the crowds. Read more about the Canary Islands here.
Madeira has provided a winter escape for British travellers for decades. This lush sub-tropical island with year round temperate climate offers superb hotels and numerous options for active travellers. There is walking of all level of difficulty along its famous water channels known as levada and great mountain biking, trail running, surfing and canyoning. Dolphin and whale watching are available year round. Read more about Madeira here
Cape Verde Islands – 6 hours away
Cape Verde’s vast sandy beaches are no secret to British holidaymakers. But if you are looking for a more active holiday, there is kite surfing, snorkelling, diving, cycling and travel to some of the lesser known islands where you can explore mountains and volcanoes. February is also the start of Cape Verde’s whale watching season. Read more about the Cape Verde islands here
With its year round warm climate and beautiful beaches, this French influenced country is an under the radar destination for winter sun. Whilst the French and other Europeans have been visiting for ages there are relatively few British visitors. Choose Senegal for stunning sandy beaches, French cuisine, tropical beauty and a thriving arts scene. It’s a particularly good destination for ornithologists and anglers. Read more about Senegal here
Oman – 7 hours away
Oman offers eaches, deserts and mountains with world class hotels and friendly people. Be as active or inactive as you like. Tour around or stay put in Muscat and take day trips to see Oman’s amazing sights. Most visitors focus on Muscat, Wahiba Sands and the Jebel Akhdar mountains. But if you have time and want to see more of the country, then visit the fjords of the Musandam Peninsula and the wide sandy spaces of the south. Read more about Oman here.
Further afield – the Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean offers no end of possibilities for winter sun. Shearwater Travel focuses on the islands of the Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka where we have found some lovely boutique hotels, great wildlife, stunning landscapes, white sand beaches, delicious food and fascinating historical sites. Depending on what your interests are, we will tailor make your perfect Indian Ocean holiday. Read more about destinations in the Indian Ocean here.