What was one of the top 20 search terms this past Christmas for British web surfers? With apologies to Santa, it wasn't him or his elves. It was the phrase "Flights to Malaga." In fact, Mrs. Claus may have keyed those words in too, to reward her hubby with a well-deserved break after his Christmas run.
Approximately 3.5 million British travelers booked flights for this past Christmas and New Year's period. Many of them used the Internet to book those vacation packages. More and more are booking this way each year. Spain continues to be a prime travel destination for British sun-seekers. Web bookings to places like Malaga, Costa del Sol and Marbella are amongst the most popular, along with winter favourites Tenerife and Lanzarote which enjoy temperatures in the 70's even in December and January.
Malaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalucia in southern Spain, is rich in history. It boasts impressive architecture and a storied past waiting to be explored by those who grace it with a visit. Founded in the 8th century by Phoenician traders, Malaga is the entrance point to the Costa del Sol. It's a port city with a beautiful seaside ambience for the traveler looking to get away and relax.
In the historic area of Malaga is the Picasso Museum, honoring the life and work of their native son. His house is also a point of interest in the city. The Archaeological Museum is another popular attraction. It chronicles the history of the area from the Phoenician through the Moorish eras. Of course, sun, sand and sea breezes are at the ready any time you want to enjoy them in Malaga.
Malaga is part of the Costa del Sol region. It's a hub point to the great beach stretches along the coast. A beach lover's paradise that is enjoyed year round, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Spain. East of Malaga is over 50 kilometers of this coastline. To the west of Malaga stretches another 100 kilometers of prime sun-worshipping real estate.
A popular beach resort in the Costa del Sol region is Marbella. Famous for its jet set crowd, this town does not limit itself to that. It's a popular destination for all types of travelers who are willing to splurge a little. An interesting feature of Marbella is the "La Plaza de los Naranjos", or Orange Square. This charming old part of town off the main drag contains quaint shops, bars and art galleries. It is home to a 16th century town hall. An intriguing place for a walk because of its offshoots of narrow streets, it's a great area to experience local cuisine.
Off the coast of Spain, many travelers choose to visit Gibraltar. This British territory is near the Iberian Peninsula and experiences mild winters and warm, comfortable summers. As a getaway destination, it is a respite from dreary Northern European winters. It serves as a gateway to southern Spain and is an ideal sister destination to a Spanish vacation for those who have the time. With abundant year round sunshine, it's a perfect place to head to from the United Kingdom for a quick vacation.
The Bay of Gibraltar is an ideal area for dolphin watching and is a congregation point for many types of whales. High concentrations exist at the narrowest point of the strait. Gibraltar is an excellent area for diving enthusiasts, especially those who investigate shipwrecks. It's a region where many ships lie at rest, some from sinkings in the 1800s.
The Internet continues to flourish as a vacation booking resource. It allows for quick comparative shopping to a multitude of destinations. Whether it's Spain, Gibraltar or any other winter holiday destination, the Web is where it's at for booking a vacation now.
The Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife have both benefitted from the ability to book late holidays via the internet for a winter holiday, and flights and holidays to Tenerife proved to be the most popular destinations for Europeans seeking a sunshine winter holiday this year.