Where should I go on my way to Lanzerote?
October 9, 2018 10:31 AM   Subscribe

I am flying Toronto - Lanzerote (and back) at the end of March. The flights seem hellacious. I am looking for somewhere to stop for one or two days on the way there or the way back to make the flights less awful.

All the flights I have found appear to be Toronto - (somewhere) - Lanzerote. It seems to take approximately 24 hours of travel time. I thought, why not stop in the "somewhere" and take a day or two.

Some snowflakes: The week in Lanzerote is a family vacation. My boyfriend is coming (his first vacation with my family!). Money is not a huge problem. We like the prospect of a few days together on a solo mini vacation.

I am looking for:
a) any advice on this plan. Should we take the extra days at the end of the trip or before?
b) where should we go? This appears to be a list of places that would qualify (i.e. they have direct flights to Lanzerote and Toronto). Somewhere not overwhelming, easy to get around, ideally a centrally located airport, and plentiful Airbnbs.

We considered Iceland but cannot seem to make the direct flights work. Please save me from spending 24h+ in transit twice in 10 days!
posted by hepta to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
I think mainland Spain would be a good option, then you get to experience 2 sides to the country - perhaps a few days in Madrid or Barcelona then fly from there to Lanzarote (2 or 3 hour flight). I also think Spain is good because there are bound to be lots of direct flights to the Canary Islands, other places maybe less so.

I know they're cities and you said not overwhelming, but it might be an option, and they're not huge cities. Madrid might be a bit cold in March, Barcelona should be a bit milder.

Perhaps Lisbon could be an option?

Also, do all the places on that list definitely have direct flights to Toronto? Seems like it is just a list of places that have direct flights to Lanzarote.
posted by iamsuper at 10:48 AM on October 9, 2018

Barcelona, Lisbon. I'd stay in the Euro-zone so you're not fiddling about with money.

Dublin would also be easy flight-wise, though there's proximity to St Patrick's Day at the start of the trip, and you'd need to pack for two different climates.
posted by holgate at 10:57 AM on October 9, 2018

Madrid stuck out as the obvious choice for me, working on iamsuper's same logic.

We did both Barcelona and Madrid last year and honestly Barcelona seems like its struggling to deal with the tourism in a way that we found off putting - the historic center has seemingly been hollowed out of anything real and had a kind of scuzzy bachelor party vibe. (we still did and saw really awesome things but it was overwhelming to have to deal with the other tourists - and we live in NYC so the threshold for tourist tolerance is reasonably high).

Having done this before (we took a personal few-day stop in Istanbul on a prior familial visit to India) id recommend you do the stop on the way to your family and not on the way back - if you stay out or tire yourselves out on the inbound stopover you can recover at the longer family vacation.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:59 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: iamsuper: you are correct that those are all just places with direct flights to Lanzerote. Most of them also have direct flights to Toronto, though.

I am intrigued by Madrid - I would prefer not to do Lisbon because I have family in Portugal and have spent a lot of time there in the past.
posted by hepta at 11:06 AM on October 9, 2018

On that list, I think any of Madrid, London or Paris would qualify. I went to Madrid two years ago because that was what fit my schedule and loved it.

When you are looking at flights, if you are flying Air Canada, I would recommend paying close attention to the difference between Air Canada vs Air Canada Rouge.
posted by TORunner at 12:02 PM on October 9, 2018

The only downside to Madrid for this use is the weather. It'll be cool enough to wear a reasonable outer layer ( tho warmer than Toronto for sure) and rainy is a big possibility. We were there last March and had a great time but it was def a bit chilly.

Very very different vibe from Barcelona, especially in March when there wasn't much in the way of tourists outside of the obvious spots.
posted by JPD at 12:10 PM on October 9, 2018

Here's a list of direct flights from Toronto. Cross referencing it briefly makes it look like Spain is your best bet - unless you fancy London, Paris, Berlin or Brussels. Wildcard: Vienna.
posted by AFII at 12:42 PM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Maybe Dublin? I tried a quick Google Flights search for some random dates in March and Aer Lingus popped up. Worst case if you had to fly straight through it's only 13 hrs total (2 hour layover in Dublin), long but bearable. I've never flown them so I can't speak to the in-flight experience though.

Otherwise it seems to be that Madrid or Barcelona would be a good pick since there's likely lots of connecting flights to choose from. Air Canada has flights to at least Madrid from Toronto. I've been to both Madrid and Barcelona and liked them both - Madrid in particular was an unexpected surprise (I was there for work but was impressed by how much there is to see). Barcelona is definitely worth visiting, although I was admittedly there during the off season in January - I'm not sure how bad the crowds would be in March.
posted by photo guy at 2:33 PM on October 9, 2018

I literally just did this en route to Gran Canaria during the summer and I picked Dublin because I'd not been to Ireland before. I had a great time.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:58 AM on October 10, 2018

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