Summer couldn’t be a more distant memory. Tonight the clocks go back, and although we get an extra hour in bed, it means that winter is definitely on its way. But sleeping in longer isn’t the only positive the end of Daylight Saving Time has. It also means hot chocolates and fluffy jumpers are back in, as well as spending your spare time snuggled up with a blanket, watching the latest Netflix series. When you aren’t on a TV binge, there’s nothing better than escaping the cold, getting on a plane and going away somewhere hot for a bit of winter sun.
If you’re a history buff like me, it’s the perfect time of year to beat the crowds and travel back in time and experience the culture, history and charm of somewhere new. Here are my top places to explore this winter:
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are renowned for family-friendly holidays, water sports and its lively resort centres. Did you know that there’s more to do here than just enjoying the sun, sea and sand? These islands are full of captivating history dating back over 1,000 years. There are so many points of interests to see, from beautiful marinas to captivating cathedrals and insightful museums. Thinking about travelling to Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote? Here are my favourite destinations where you can travel back in time:
The top three historical things to see in Tenerife:
- Castillo de San Miguel
Transport yourself back to medieval times while enjoying a banquet and a show.
- Basilica of Candelaria
The basilica is a Roman Catholic and the first Marian shrine of the Canary Islands.
- La Laguna Cathedral
This beautiful cathedral displays different architectural design styles including neoclassical and neo-gothic.
The top three historical things to see in Gran Canaria:
- Canarian Museum
As one of the cities earliest tourist attractions, you’ll love learning about the island’s history.
- Vegueta old town
Wander the cobbled streets that were once visited by Christopher Columbus over 500 years ago.
- Caves of Valeron
Built before Roman times, these complex caves were used as a collective granary.
The top three historical things to see in Lanzarote:
- Castillo de las Coloradas
This castle was built to prevent pirates from invading the island.
- Cueva de Los Verdes
Explore one of the longest volcanic tunnels in the world.
- La Graciosa
Legend has it that buried treasure from the 18th century is hidden here.
Team up a paradise beach break with a historical adventure and head to Cuba. From jungles and mountains to old markets and vintage cars, you’re never far from something magical. With different resorts to stay in like Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria and Guardalavaca, there’s a holiday to suit all tastes. Looking to see the real Cuba and learn about the rich history? Add some of these picks to your holiday itinerary:
The top three historical things to see in Varadero:
- Ambrosio Cave
This cave is an architectural find with rock drawings dating back more than 2,000 years.
- House of Rum
Learn about Cuba’s love and history with rum. Plus, you can take a bottle home as a souvenir.
- Varadero Museum
Discover times gone by in this intimate museum in downtown Varadero.
The top three historical things to see in Havana:
- Morro Castle
This former fortress has guarded the entrance to Havana for centuries.
This neighbourhood is full of interesting, colourful mosaics from a local artist.
- Christ of Havana
See the large sculpture of Jesus overlooking the bay in Havana.
Just a three-hour flight from the UK, you can uncover an exotic land that’s bursting with traditional Moroccan life. This colourful holiday hotspot is full of historical attractions like the Saadian Tombs. If you want to spend your days wandering around souks, beautiful gardens or learning about African culture, there’s no better place to choose than Marrakech. If you’re travelling on holiday here, these are some of the best places you should visit:
The top three historical things to see in Marrakech:
- El Badi Palace
The ancient ruins of a 16th-century palace.
- Jamaâ El Fna Square
Described as an open-air theatre, this square has been home to bartering for thousands of years.
- Koutoubia Mosque
This 12th-century mosque is the largest place of prayer in Marrakech.