The heatwave has fizzled out, September beckons and with the onset of autumn, chilly thoughts of winter need to be dispelled with plans for holidays in the sun.
Key ingredient for a winter break is, of course, guaranteed sunshine and the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba is a sure-fire winner. And with different styles of accommodation to suit every budget, the island should be a firm favourite on any winter destination shopping list.
Out of approximately 700 islands in the Caribbean, Aruba consistently ranks as having the least rainfall – averaging about 15 inches for the entire year. Temperatures from November to March will average 27°C, meaning Aruba’s fabulous white sand beaches, lapped by the azure Caribbean Sea, are a sun-seeker’s dream.
Visitors can choose from luxury and all-inclusive beach-side resorts to cosy B&Bs and a wide range of self-catering accommodation, making it an ideal choice whether you are looking for family-friendly stays on a budget or to splurge with a little luxury.
An online search of winter holidays in Aruba will quickly identify plenty of choice for holidays under *£1,000. And with a good choice of scheduled flights to Aruba – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines daily from 17 UK regional airports via Amsterdam, and British Airways and a number of US carriers offering options from London-Heathrow via US gateways, such as New York and Miami – it is easy to tailor-make a holiday with a departure date to suit personal requirements.
Aruba ticks just about all the boxes for winter sun holidays, whether you want to chill or get up and go. It has award-winning beaches close to many of the island’s leading hotels, with safe bathing. The island is very popular with snorkelers and divers and it also offers just about every imaginable activity on or under the water. Golf, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, beach volleyball and fishing are just some of the other activities available.
Renowned for its cuisine, Aruba’s multi-cultural make-up is reflected in its restaurants, offering local menus, as well as those specialising in dishes from around the world, including French, Italian and South American. Again, the island serves up choices for the budget-conscious or those who want fine-dining.
And for those who like to party on into the night, Aruba has a vibrant after-hours scene. Clubs and discos, dinner cabaret shows and a wide range of casinos will entertain you into the small hours – before you safely make your way back to your hotel by taxi (no fare surcharges at night) or on foot.
And if you are planning a winter stay in February or March, 2019, you could catch Aruba’s colourful and extraordinary carnival season. A series of events culminates in the Grand Parade through island capital Oranjestad on Sunday, March 3. This parade is filled with music and luxurious floats and costumes in various designs and decorated with a wide variety of colourful stones and feathers, creating a unique display. Aruba’s main event starts at 12 noon in Oranjestad and continues into the evening. This is the largest and longest of all the Aruba carnival parades with the most spectators and participants. The midnight burning of King Momo, a life-size effigy of the spirit of Aruba’s carnival, signals the end of the season.
*An online search this month identified a number of seven-night holidays under £1,000. These included a £957 per person seven-night, room-only break in the four-star Holiday Inn Resort, departing November 7, and including return flights from London-Heathrow with Delta Airlines, via New York (JFK), with www.expedia.co.uk