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I’m a big fan of the Canary Islands. They are just perfect for a long weekend trip when it’s already too cold in Europe (like now..) and you are not up for taking a long flight. During the last few years I went 4x times to the islands and I still love them. They are just so convenient when you live in Europe. We are actually currently looking to book another sunshine trip for December – to Gran Canaria :)  And here they are, my

5 Reasons why you will love Gran Canaria

Summer all year ’round

Yes, summer all year around – at least what people from the northern European countries call summer. Anything above 20 degrees counts as summer. With an average of 23 degrees throughout the year (can get up to 30 degrees in summer and is generally between 18 and 23 degrees in winter), Gran Canaria makes a great destination for sunbathing no matter what the weather is like at home in Europe.

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Surfing

With lots of surf spots from north to the south of the island, Gran Canaria is a great destination for a surf trip. But also scuba diving and lots of other watersports are practised there.

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Beaches & Mountains

At how many places in the world can you spend the morning hiking in the mountains and then relax on the beach in the afternoon? More often than not, you have to choose one the other, beach OR mountains. For Gran Canaria, you don’t :)

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Yummy Food

I love tapas and red wine. So that yummy food box is ticked for me :)

Under 5 h flight duration from London

And that’s the best part! Whilst in summer you can just take a flight of a couple of hours to get to a beautiful hot beach, in winter you generally have to take a long flight to have summer. One of the exceptions are the Canary Islands. Next time it is a cold and miserable February in London, just book a long weekend trip to Gran Canaria and relax on the beach :)

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Oh and last but not least, there are plants in Gran Canaria that you cannot find anywhere else. Not sure if this funny plant here counts as one of them, but I have not seen it before, have you ?!

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Today I met a friend for a veeeery late afternoon tea at Liberty in Oxford Circus. Have you been? Their decoration is so pretty! After our tea session we decided to have a little stroll through Liberty’s Christmas Shop. I know it’s way too early for Xmas (like at least 2 weeks to go!) but since the Christmas Shop was just 3  mins away from the little tea place at Liberty, we just had to have a quick look at it! But no, I didn’t buy anything…this time. Will probably come back in a couple of weeks and get something then :) We then headed to Victoria’s Secret to buy a long Pyjama (perfect for London’s winter) and then had dinner at Burger & Lobster near Oxford Circus. I went for their lobster roll, so yummy! Now it’s time for one more episode of Downton Abbey before I go to sleep. Good night :)

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Liberty’s Christmas Shop

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Dinner at Burger & Lobster

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Have you been to Machu Picchu? If not, move it high up on your travel bucket list! As you know I am a super big fan of Peru anyway (I studied there for a semester) so I will likely love a lot more about Peru than the ‘normal’ tourist. BUT I am sure there is nobody who doesn’t like Machu Picchu and, on top of that, it is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. If you love Peru as much as I do and are planning on visiting pretty soon, it would be in your best interest to look into machu picchu tours and book yourself on one as soon as possible, as I’m pretty sure they get booked up quick fast. That’s not surprising though, considering this is a place worth visiting.

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel located around 2,400m up in the Andes Mountains, circa 50 miles away from Cusco, the Inca capital. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century and is famous for its sophisticated dry-stone walls. The site consists of palaces, temples, houses and terraces that are believed to have served as a ceremonial site or a military stronghold. Machu Picchu’s exact former use is still a mystery.

 

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Not only the impressive engineering skills that were necessary to build Machu Picchu (2,400m up in the Andes plus the Inca had no iron, steel, or wheels) but also the dramatic setting of the site is breath taking. Especially when it is a foggy and not many tourists are there (yet), Machu Picchu looks incredibly mysterious and magical.

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The best way to visit Machu Picchu is either super early in the morning when the majority of tourists are just leaving Cusco to travel to Machu Picchu. You can do this by doing the Inca Trail or by staying the night in Aguas Calientes and taking the first bus up (or hiking up). Well, or, like in this case, hope for bad weather so that all the tourists make their way to the restaurant to wait for the sun to come back. Hence, bad weather and rain makes Machu Picchu more magical than sun plus thousands of tourists. I have been to Machu Picchu twice. The first time I spent the night in Aguas Calientes and the second day we squeezed under one of the ‘door casings’ to hide from the rain (worked quite well!).

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And just before we were leaving, the sun made another short appearance :)

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So, what are you waiting for? Book your flight flight to Peru and visit Machu Picchu :) Plan at least 3 extra days for Cusco as it is an incredibly beautiful town and the Inca capital which means that there are loads of smaller Inca sites to explore apart from the major one. And if you are up for doing the Inca trail, make sure you book well in advance as there is a high demand and tours are booked out quickly. Have fun!