September 22, 2008

Are We There Yet?

By Katy Holland

If you're stuck for somewhere to run away to this half term, may I suggest the Happy Islands, better known as the Canaries. They're the perfect retreat for families desperate to escape the gloom.

Perhaps a peaceful rustic mansion set among citrus trees is what's needed. Casa El Morro in Lanzarote (0117-942 8476; i-, is a converted 18th-century hideaway in a volcanic setting: perfect for winding down, yet close enough to quaint villages and beaches.

Or you can splash out on the five-star Palm Beach Hotel on Gran Canaria (0800 008 7288; It has a kids' club opening next month, plus three swimming pools, a spa, child- friendly restaurants and activities from archery to volleyball.

For the full-on Happy Isles experience, though, you'd be hard pushed to beat the Gran Bahia del Duque Hotel (01202 786 490;, a five-star resort in south Tenerife with eight pools, floodlit tennis courts and a beach club offering everything from water skiing to deep sea fishing and diving. It's perfectly located for the new Siam Water Park ( with its "Tower of Power": a sharp drop through a tank of alligators.

[email protected]

(c) 2008 Independent, The; London (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.