As the cold, wet British winter trundles along in its usual fashion, the thought of jetting off to warmer climes for a well-earned dose of winter sun is certainly an inviting prospect for most of us. Trading the rain-sodden daily commute for a fortnight of lying on a sun-soaked beach, sipping tropical cocktails and listening to waves crashing gently on the shore sounds like paradise compared with the alternative back home.
Tenerife holidays have long been a popular choice for Brits seeking guaranteed winter sun: it's not too far away and a trip to the Canaries won't break the bank. The largest of the Canary Islands boasts balmy temperatures to rival the warmest of British summers right through December and January, when the mercury rarely dips below 20°C. And with flight times of just four hours from most UK airports, Tenerife is certainly the ideal choice for winter sun-seekers on a tight schedule.
Relaxation is often the key ingredient that sun-starved holidaymakers are seeking from their time away, and with Tenerife's enviable collection of top quality hotels, offering luxurious accommodation, entertainment and cuisine to cater for all tastes, there's little need to journey beyond the confines of your complex to have a great time - though those who do choose to explore the island will be richly rewarded.
Tenerife's rugged volcanic landscape, which legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong described as the closest thing on Earth to the lunar surface, makes for a fascinating tour. Why not hire a car and explore the national parks, climb the volcanic Mount Teide or visit some of the traditional agricultural villages scattered around the island?
Tenerife is also home to some of Europe's most beautiful beaches - try sunning yourself at the popular Playa del Duque (Costa Adeje), a family favourite with wide stretches of golden sand and calm seas. Alternatively, visit the unusual black sand beach, Playa Jardin, (Puerto de la Cruz) which is conveniently located for bars and restaurants, and is also a great choice for families, thanks to its close proximity to the Loro Parque theme park, home to a variety of exotic wildlife.