Once Christmas and New Year are behind us it can seem like the Spring is just around the corner.
But despite our warming climate we still have the chills of January and February to get through – and there’s always the chance that we’ll be struck by another “Beast from the East” as late as March.
So it makes sense to plan a little getaway to the sun while we wait for our own warm(ish) weather to return. And, because you won’t exactly be lounging on the beach if you fly short-haul at this time of year, a city break is the perfect solution if you want to have plenty to see and do when you’re there.
Here are three suggestions about where you could head – and they’re all under four hours’ flying time from Manchester.
It might be a destination you think of more as the starting point for your Costa Del Sol summer break, but Malaga in the winter is a great place to visit. Without the throng of the summertime tourists, it gives you a chance to enjoy the city whose highlights include the Picasso museum – it’s where he was born. If you want to get out and about exploring the surrounding Andalusian hills, it’s worth considering car hire at Malaga airport. You can pick up one from a range of different car models and sizes and a free shuttle bus will take you from the airport to the car hire offices, saving you the hassle. With a car, you’ll find quaint villages that seem like they’re a million miles away from the resort-studded coast and where you’ll get a real taste of the region.
Rome is another city that can get unbearably overcrowded in the summer so this is a great time of year to visit. There’s so much to see and do that a few days just won’t be long enough. But unmissable highlights include the Colosseum where you can just imagine Gladiator being acted out all those centuries ago and a trip to Vatican City. Getting around Rome is easy thanks to its Metropolitana system and it’s also well worth buying a Roma Pass that combines travel with discounted entry to many attractions.
If your tastes are a little more exotic then the Moroccan city of Marrakech is only 3 hours and 40 minutes from Manchester and you really will find yourself in a different world. There’s a great selection of quality hotels to choose from or you might prefer a riad which is a more traditional, family-run kind of accommodation. Sights to see include the beautiful Bahia Palace and fashionistas won’t want to miss the fabulous Yves Saint Laurent museum. The famous designer lived in Marrakech for a while and this is the city’s tribute to him. It’s also well worth hiring a guide to lead the way through the many winding alleys of the Medina, one of the oldest parts of this ancient city.
So hopefully these three suggestions have started to give you itchy feet to get out and explore. And whichever one you choose it’s certain to be a lot more exciting than a wet weekend in Warrington.