What’s the Warmest Place in Europe in the Winter?

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Looking for the warmest place in Europe in the winter? Aren’t we all! Now that I’m based in Prague full-time, I’m eager for. warm weather European break each winter.

You won’t find balmy beach temperatures in Europe during the winter, but there are certainly several places that have milder weather. Let’s look at some of the warmest places in Europe in winter: Portugal, Crete, Andalusia, Balearic Islands, Sicily, Malta, Southern Turkey, and the Canary Islands.

Shore of a beach with sand and a rocky outcropping.

Where is the Warmest Place in Europe in December and January?

Today a reader is wondering where to find the warmest winter temperature in Europe. 

Hey Kate,

In the next few weeks I’m planning on leaving the UK but I can’t decide where to go first. January is a bit cold and dreary in Europe, I’m aware, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions on where to go in Europe for winter sun?

First, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Winter temperatures in mainland Europe will not be tropical. The Canary Islands are the warmest place in Europe, with a January average temperature of roughly 12-18 C (55-65 F). February temperatures are fairly similar.

So don’t look for sultry summer weather – look for gentle spring weather. One year I spent February and March in Portugal and Spain, and even though it wasn’t beach weather, it was so nice to be walking around in a long-sleeved shirt instead of a winter coat!

The warmest places in Europe in winter are:

  • Canary Islands: The absolute best place in Europe for winter sun, these islands are off the coast of Morocco and so far south that they have warm weather year-round.
  • Portugal: The average temperature is warm (especially in the south) and it’s one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe.
  • Andalusia, Spain: If you’re looking to travel to Spain in winter, this is the warmest place. 
  • Balearic Islands: These islands off the coast of Spain have something for everyone.
  • Malta: This tiny island in the Mediterranean is home to warm weather, colorful streets, and centuries-old ruins.
  • Southern Turkey: Its Mediterranean beach towns are a world away from chilly Istanbul!
  • Crete, Greece: While many places in Greece have similar temperatures, Crete is reliably warm year-round.
  • Sicily, Italy: Sicily stays warm in the winter months and it has a lively culture year-round. 

Now that you know what to expect from the weather in Europe in winter, here are more details about my favorite places to travel.

Canary Islands

Do the Canary Islands count as Europe? Absolutely. They’re far down off the coast of West Africa, but they’re technically part of Spain. 

Winter temperatures in the Canary Islands tend to range from a low of 14-15 C (57-59 F) to a high of 21-23 C (70-73 F), making it the warmest place in Europe in the winter. Precipitation tends to be higher in the winter months (and highest in December) but it’s still a relatively dry destination.

The islands are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, so water temperatures aren’t as high as the Mediterranean. In January, you’ll likely find water temps hovering around 19 C (66 F) – maybe too cold for a full swim, but definitely warm enough to walk along the surf. 

Gran Canaria is often called the “Continent in Miniature” because it has everything – forests, mountains, sandy beaches, and Las Palmas, one of Spain’s largest cities. Find deals on Gran Canaria hotels here.

Gran Canaria image by Peter Visser.

Tenerife is one of the most popular islands with tourists to the Canaries. The beaches are the biggest draw, but further inland are beautiful hiking trails and a volcano-filled national park. If you come in February, be prepared for the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival, which lasts three weeks. Find deals on Tenerife hotels here.

The volcanic island of Lanzarote is home to the most unusual landscapes in the Canaries. Some areas look like they could be Mars! Of course, there are plenty of classic beaches, and there is a surprisingly robust local wine and food scene here. Find deals on Lanzarote hotels here.

La Gomera is another excellent winter sun destination. Here you’ll find amazing beaches and gorgeous tropical rainforests offering hiking trails and stunning mountain scenery. Garajonay National Park is one of the best places to enjoy the winter season.

This sunny island paradise is the perfect escape from cold winter weather. It might be a bit chilly for a bathing suit, but you can still relax on the beautiful beaches and enjoy hiking, parks, and food. 

January is the low season in the Canary Islands, so it will be less expensive to visit, too.  

Portugal

Portugal is a wonderful country to visit in the winter. Temperatures are warm throughout the country (though the north will be a bit chillier), the food is fresh and delicious, and it’s one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe.

The daytime temperature in Lisbon tends to range from a low of 8-11 C (46-52 F) to a high of 15-19 C (59-66 F). It tends to rain a bit on half the days. Expect slightly cooler temperatures up north and slightly warmer temperatures further south.

Lisbon

Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It also makes a great base for exploring neighboring cities like the castle-filled town of Sintra, the seaside town of Cascais, and my favorite spot: the yellow-and-white town of Évora.

Buildings line a cobblestone street with cabel car tracks.

In Lisbon, you can walk the hills of the city or take incredibly photogenic cable cars. You can listen to the beautiful fado music or join the merrymakers in Bairro Alto.

There are direct flights to Lisbon from all over Europe and it’s one of the best value-for-money capitals around.

Find deals on Lisbon hotels here and see all Lisbon Airbnbs here.

Northern Portugal

Northern Portugal is a bit under the radar, but it’s one of the most phenomenally beautiful parts of the country. Porto is a gorgeous river-hugging city that gets all the hype, and serves delicious port at every opportunity, but even more beautiful is the Douro Valley, famous for its vineyards and quintas. This is a wonderful place to take a road trip or even go on a river cruise.

Find deals on Porto hotels here and see all Porto Airbnbs here.

Morning fog over trees and grasses in Portugal.

The Algarve

The Algarve is the warmest and southernmost region in Portugal. It’s easily the most beach-friendly getaway year-round. Whether you actually get into the sea in the winter months depends on how much you can take!

The Algarve is famous for its stunning cliffs overlooking the beaches, which will be even emptier in the winter without the huge summer crowds. There is excellent surfing and in the winter you often get better waves. If you’re looking to golf, there’s plenty of golfing in the Algarve, too!

The Algarve is an entire region in southern Portugal. Some towns I would recommend for bases include the cliff-strewn beach town of Albufeira, the sun and fun town of Lagos (especially if you’re into nightlife), and the stunning village of Portimão. If you want something more urban, the city of Faro is pleasant no matter what time of year.

But that’s just the beginning – there is plenty to explore in the Algarve.

Find deals on Algarve hotels here and see all Algarve Airbnbs here.

If you’re looking for the warmest place in Portugal in the winter, I recommend focusing on the South. The north can be chilly and rainy – but it’s beautiful and might still be much warmer than where you’re coming from!

Andalusia, Spain

Andalusia, a region in the southwest of Spain, is the warmest part of mainland Spain in the winter. It’s filled with flamenco, orange trees, and whitewashed buildings. 

When people think of the iconic part of Spain, they’re likely thinking of Andalusia, which evokes romance in every direction. Summers here are unbearably hot, but winters are absolutely beautiful.

The hottest place in Andalusia tends to be Malaga, a port city on the Mediterranean Sea. Temperatures range from a low of 7-10 C (44-50 F) to a high of 17-20 C (63-68 F) and the sun shines almost every day.

Canal and bridge flanked by building with beautiful Spanish architecture.

Malaga is a thriving Spanish city that combines the best of a beach getaway with European history and culture. As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Malaga is home to the Museo Picasso – a museum dedicated to Picasso’s life in Málaga and early career as a painter. 

You can also check out Alcazaba, an incredible fortress and example of Moorish architecture.

Malaga is also one of the most affordable cities for quality hotels. Find deals on Malaga hotels here.

You might also choose to visit Sevilla or Granada. Temperatures tend to range from a low of 6-9 C (43-48) to a high of 15-20 C (59-68 F) with only a little bit of rainfall.

Sevilla might be one of the most spectacular cities in Europe. Its colorful architecture by day is  matched by its delightful tapas at night. Sevilla is home to around 3,000 tapas bars! 

Sevilla also makes a great base to visit the charming town of Cordoba. Visit the Mezquita, a mosque, cathedral, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, or enjoy a day of shopping! Find deals on Sevilla hotels here.

Beautiful Sevilla building with columns and statues.

Granada is a truly special and unique Spanish city. The Alhambra, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most unusual palaces you’ll ever visit. The city also has a culture of complimentary tapas served with drinks. An added bonus – Granada is close enough to the Sierra Mountains to do a bit of skiing then hit the beach in the same day! Find deals on Granada hotels here.

Whatever adventure you choose, winter is the absolute best time to visit Andalusia, Spain. It’s one of the warmest places in Europe in December and January.

Balearic Islands

If you’re looking for an island getaway, check out the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain.

Millions of almond trees on the Balearic Islands begin to blossom in late December and explode in beautiful white blooms from then until March.

In Majorca you’ll find plentiful sunshine and a beautiful beach with hidden coves. Formentera is a tiny island with a chill vibe and lots to do for nature-lovers.

Menorca offers a lush countryside with hiking trails, as well as amazing beaches with Caribbean-like sands and turquoise waters. This is a great choice for families.

Or maybe you want to dance the night away in Ibiza, the most famous party island in Europe.

You could also explore all four islands with a relaxing boat trip around the Mediterranean Sea.

Balearic Island winter weather is influenced by the Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild with lots of bright sunshine, and temperatures range from a low of 7-9 C (45-48 F) to a high of 15-17 C (59 – 62 F).

Malta

Imagine Britain if it were set on a tiny island in the Mediterranean, home to warm weather, colorful streets, centuries-old ruins, and friendly locals. That’s Malta. Its far-south location makes it a perfect choice for a warmer winter getaway in Europe.

Winter temperatures in Malta tend to range from a low of 13-15 C (55-59 F) to a high of 16-18 C (61-64 F). January tends to be one of the island’s rainiest months, but February and especially March have far less rain.

Learn more about the vibrant island of Malta.

Walkway in front of building with red window frame.

Sliema or St. Julians are where I recommend travelers to Malta stay. These cities are in the heart of the island and less isolated than Valletta. Find deals on Sliema hotels here; find deals on St. Julians hotels here.

Valletta, Malta’s capital, is a good choice if you don’t mind trading active nightlife for a far more beautiful and traditional Maltese setting. It’s far more serene after the sun goes down. Find deals on Valletta hotels here.

Gozo, a short ferry ride from the mainland, is a place for an even quieter, more rural getaway. The famed Azure Window may have collapsed, but Gozo is home to red beaches, ancient cities, megalithic temples, and tiny fishing villages. It’s so much like the larger island and yet completely different. Find deals on Gozo hotels here.

Southern Turkey

It’s easy to forget just how large a country Turkey is until you compare its regions in the winter. The balmy Mediterranean beach towns are a world away from chilly Istanbul and snowy Cappadocia. While many of the party towns shut down during the winter, two are wonderful to visit year-round: Fethiye and Antalya.

Winter temperatures along Turkey’s southern coast tend to range from a low of 6-7 C (43-45 F) to a high of 15-18 F (59-64 F). While January tends to be the coldest and rainiest month, February and March are progressively drier.

Fethiye is a beautiful beach area that also has a nice, calm town filled with friendly locals. It’s also home to some of the most stunning scenery around southern Turkey, including the Butterfly Valley. Find deals on Fethiye hotels here.

Marina with many boats.

Antalya is the largest city on Turkey’s southern coast, which makes it a great choice for mingling with locals during your getaway. There is a long stretch of beach and easy access to ruins throughout the region. Find deals on Antalya hotels here.

Crete

Not every Greek island is the same. Many of Greece’s popular islands like Santorini are rainy or shut down completely during the winter months. Instead, head to Crete, the long southern island of Greece famous for its sun-drenched days and healthy diet.

Winter temperatures in Crete range from a low of 9-10 C (48-50 F) to 15-16 C (59-61 F). There isn’t a ton of rainfall in Crete but it tends to be heavier in January and February before tapering off in March.

Heraklion image by Andy Montgomery.

There are some amazing sights to see in Crete in winter. Walk the cobblestone alleys of Rethymno Old Town. Visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home to the largest collection of Minoan artifacts.

And while it might be a bit chilly for swimming, you’ll definitely want to see Elafonisi Beach, often cited as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. 

Chania is a lovely small city with much of the Venetian architecture intact, including a beautiful harbor. Do note that nearby Samaria Gorge is closed during the winter. Find deals on Chania hotels here.

Many boats in a harbor.

Agios Nikolaos was once a popular party town, but today it’s much calmer and charming, a great spot for a relaxing getaway. Find deals on Agios Nikolaos hotels here.

Sicily

Sicily may feel like the hottest place on Earth during the summer – which makes it pleasantly warm in the winter. The largest Mediterranean island, Sicily is just off the “toe” of Italy’s “boot.”

Sicily is a wilder, often rougher version of Italy with ancient cities, natural wonders, and fantastic food and wine. This European destination can be a challenging place to travel, but if you’re up for an adventure, it’s so worth it.

I wrote a whole guide to visiting Sicily in the winter. Be sure to take a look at it, because I talk about the bad things as well as the good.

Winter temperatures in Sicily tend to range from a low of 6-7 C (43-45 F) to a high of 15-18 C (59-64 F). Expect higher temperatures inland.

The capital city of Palermo is rich in history, churches and palaces – all excellent things to do in Europe in the winter.

Taormina is a popular town on the northeast coast. It’s world-famous for its outstanding cliffside views and picture-perfect shopping streets. Its location makes an ideal point for a day trip to Mount Etna. Find deals on Taormina hotels here.

Siracusa may be most famous for its ancient ruins, but even more spellbinding is the old town of Ortigia, a crumbling beauty in many pastel colors. It’s peaceful and mysterious and it happens to be my favorite place in Sicily. Find deals on Siracusa hotels here.

Trapani is a popular option for a small town atmosphere on the west coast. Enjoy fresh seafood and take day trips to the Egadi islands. Find deals on Trapani hotels here.

Learn more about The Joys and Challenges of Traveling in Sicily.

Tips for Warm Winter Travel

Now that you have an idea of where to find winter sunshine in Europe, you’ll want to make the most of your trip with these winter travel tips.

Traveling to Europe in the winter can save you money. During the off-season, you can get the best deal on flights. I find that Skyscanner tends to have the cheapest fares.

Just because it’s winter, don’t think you can’t get sunburned! The sun is often stronger than at home. Bring appropriate sun protection and use sunscreen whenever you go outside.

Invest in a lightweight Speakeasy Travel Supply Scarf. These scarves have a secret pocket for your passport or valuables, and the lightweight styles are perfect for exploring Europe in the winter. They also make adorable face masks!

Before you plan a winter trip, be sure to buy travel insurance. Even if your trip is only for a few days, you need to protect yourself against the unexpected. If you injure yourself and need to go to a hospital, if someone steals your wallet, or if disaster hits and you’re unable to travel as planned, travel insurance will save you in your time of financial need. I use and recommend World Nomads for trips to Europe.

Where’s your favorite warm winter spot in Europe?

60 thoughts on “What’s the Warmest Place in Europe in the Winter?”

  1. Maderia? Funchal’s Winter high average is 19.8 according to Wikipedia. (I may have just seen a bus advertising it 😉

      1. Spent Last Christmas and New Year in Funchal, and had a marvellous time. The New Year firework display in the harbour was fantastic. (get there early). Lots of local low priced restaurants and bistro to eat. Fish and seafood is out of this world. Just try and get away from the hordes that come in on the cruise liners!
        We did a lot of walking in the mountains: Hire a car or get there by taxi – very cheap) and explored the lavadas. Its usually very quiet and peaceful away from the city at that time of year. Bring a torch as you walk through a few long dark tunnels at the side of the water! The weather was warm and very pleasant, both day and night. Some days warm enough to sunbathe,
        Be warned – no beaches worth looking at, and the north side of the island is dead in winter.

  2. Istanbul is cold but nice in the winter (and hot as hell in the summer–I’d recommend the winter, much less crowded) but I agree with Kate: Southern Turkey is really nice! I’m guessing Greece would be nice as well (I’ve only been during the summer). Italy/Spain are probably pleasant.

    Here’s an idea: Why don’t you go to Morocco? It’s not much further south than Spain and it’s always hot!

    1. Your first impression as your plane lands is that the country is clay red; the stone covered ground, the mountains, the buildings, the walls around them…everything.
      If you can bear seeing old and handicapped beggars and skeletal, dying cats in the medinas and being hounded by vendors, Morocco is otherwise a beautiful, wonderful place to visit with warm and hospitable people. You barely see women as they are in the home caring for children etc.. In cafés and in shops be on your guard because you will be cheated. If you can accept this as what they DO in order to get a bit ahead in life…on the backs of unsuspecting, ‘rich’ tourists, go ahead. I was able to understand the begging ‘situation’ as well as vendors who call out to you; why?.. because they NEED to earn whatever they can in order to feed their families. This is not North America where beggars are druggies. These people do not have the social net that we enjoy. Once you accept what might seem like an annoyance but is their only way to survive, you will really be able to enjoy this stunningly beautiful country and its wonderful people. The food; tajine, couscous, brochettes loaded with vegetables are absolutely delicious. Marrakech and the area with desert to the south is especially beautiful. Personally I have a problem with the cats…but otherwise I am anxious to visit Morocco again.

      1. ”You barely see women as they are in the home caring for children etc”? You must have gone to a village in the middle of nowhere…not all women in Morocco stay at home and look after the kids. Many women are entrepreneurs, educators, scientists, nurses…and lead a pretty good life.
        Beggars go to tourist places, mosques and markets…most of the time they are genuinely poor.
        Your narrow description of Morocco can be likened to what one might say about north America: ”If you can bear seeing people getting shot all over the place and everyone scoffing buckets of food, walking around in the XXXL clothing…etc, etc.”, which, of course, is not what north America is all about, is it?

        I am glad you find the simple folk of this country to your liking.
        Moroccans no longer think tourists are rich. Unless, of course, you go to places where people lead a simpler life and have never left their town/ village. Much like in some remote or unique parts of countries like the USA, I imagine, where people think Paris is a country and Turkey is the capital of Pakistan etc.
        Visiting a small part of Morocco shows you but a small fraction of the whole picture. Climates, norms, languages and attitudes toward tourists vary, depending on where you are.

        You were right about the cheating thing, but it only happens if they sense that you wouldn’t question prices etc. For instance, they would think twice before they do it to a French or Belgian tourist…

  3. In winter the warmest paces in Spain are Almeria and Valencia.The ouro valley an be very cold , rainy anddreary. Better try South Portugal and its pristine landscape . In Italy go down south from Napoli and r places like Cosenza .. an of course all of Sicily. Do no forget the Canary Islands and Malta ( in both cases lousy food , good cheap hotels and great weather).

  4. Perfect timing! I will be leaving south eastern Asia in the next month and heading towards Europe to walk the Camino de Santiago in April. I’ve been spoiled with days in the 90’s and nights in the low 60’s here in Thailand the past month. Looks like the canary islands are a must-visit place on my itinerary. Be well. And namaste.

  5. I found Andalusia to be great at that time of year. I was there mid February 2012, and we had not a drop of rain! Clear blue skies, gentle breeze… Nicer than the oven it would be in summer I’d venture!

  6. Summer is fast approaching and one country that I would recommend to travelers , visitors and guests out there is the Philippines – you will surely enjoy your stay here.

  7. Hi Kate! Great tips 🙂 On the Canary Islands, I’d like to add that it really depends on the island itself (and even the region!). I went back home for Christmas and it was around 22ºC! Also, it´s usually warmer in the south of Tenerife than in the north – which is why many english people spend their winter holidays in this area.

  8. Hi Kate! Completely agree with Andalusia. Tarifa is a fantastic little town that’s really worth a visit, and it’s cheap to fly to Gibraltar from London (nearest airport to Tarifa) – plus it’s only a 45 minute ferry ride to the heat of Tangiers in Morocco from there if you want to cheat a little x

    1. Andalusia … yes. Granada, Andalusia … definitely not.. During the winter it’s v.cold whilst it may be sunny during the day it can be sub-zero at night. My advice, keep to the Andalucian coastal areas, not inland.

  9. wha about Greece ? 🙂 I see u havent vsited that county yet (which is pretty odd )plus its definitely one of the warmest (and most beautiful ) places in europe all year round..Especially in Crete…in December temperatures can climp up to 20 degrees very often.

    1. As for Greece – Rhodes is warmest place, not only in Greece (generally warmer than Crete) but probably in entire Europe. OK it is more or less Asia but Canary Islands and Madeira are geographically in Africa. I am following temperatures in Mediterranean for years and this is definitely the warmest place there. You can see lot of typically tropical plants in Rhodes (Plumerias, tropical ficus trees etc.) Rhodes Town is one best historical place in Mediterranean, too.

      If we speak about Crete, then southern Crete (Plakias, Agia Galini, Matala …) could be as warm if not warmer then Rhodes, but Northern Crete could be very wet and pretty cold (but not freezing).

  10. The warmest place in europe is the town of ierapetra in southern crete and pigadia town in the lad of karpathos, with an annual average of 20,4C and 20,2C respetively.Only the Canaries and Madeira are warmer than these two places. In january ( which is the coldest month) karpathos island(at the eastern coast) has an average of 16,5C high temperature and 12,5C average low temperature. There is no other place in mediterrenean with such a high average of low temperature.

  11. DECEMBER 2012 STATISTICS :
    AVERAGE HIGH – AVERAGE LOW
    ALICANTE 18,0 7,5
    MALAGA 18,2 7,9
    MURCIA 18,3 6,1
    VALENCIA 18,7 6,2
    MELLILA 18,2 10,5
    KARPATHOS (greece) 17,3 14,5
    MALTA 17,0 10,5
    LAMPEDUSA 16,8 14,2
    ANTALYA 16,7 7,9
    FARO 16,8 9,5
    IERAPETRA (greece) 17,6 12,8
    KASOS(greece) 17,6 13,0

    So it’s clear that if you exclude the canary islands and madeira, then only in southern crete and islands of karpathos and kasos you have a average low temperature much higher than 10C .So…what do you prefer?To be in Valencia having 18,7 degrees and when the sun goes down to start freezing because the temperature will immediately go below 10 or you wanna be in Karpathos where you wear the same clothes all day long and you don’t have to worry about feeling cold at night?

    1. Your figures are totally wrong for Greece. Average January lows for Ierapetra and Karpathos are both below 9 degrees. You cannot judge climate from a single year since there is considerable variation. The warmest winters in Europe (including minimum temperatures) are probably in Spain (Almería and Cartagena) and Malta. Cartagena is probably the only city in Europe with an annual mean above 20 degrees. The eastern med is significantly colder than the western med at equivalent latitudes, which is why southeastern Spain has a similar climate (although drier) as coastal Israel or Lebanon and why Barcelona (in north eastern Spain) has much warmer winters than Istanbul which is at the same latitude.

  12. My wife and I are looking for something a bit more interesting this winter. Not just sun. We have heard St Marteen is quite unique. Does anyone have a good idea? we are in Edmoonton Canada so travel is tough.

    1. If you are in Canada ,St.Maarten is very nice and so is Aruba and many places in the Caribean.I would suggest Florida or Costa Rica

    1. Yes, Cyprus is a great idea! That’s what I did in January earlier this year. I was living in London at the time & I wanted to enjoy some sunshine. I flew from Luton to Paphos & when I landed it was 20C & super sunny. I was on the island for 10 days and it was cloudy only on 1 of the afternoons, even so the sun was partially out. Didn’t really want to go back to London after the nice weather and sunshine. Definitely go from mid to end of January, the weather was pretty nice. My arm even got a bit of tan on one of days from sitting outside. For about 4 hours or so the sun is really pleasantly warm and on some days you can wear a t-shirt. Then you gotta add a sweater later and eventually a winter coat for the mornings and evenings. Cyprus is pretty quiet and not really visited by tourists during these months so it will be very quiet compared to the busy summer season. People speak English of course so you won’t have trouble. I visited the Greek southern part of Cyprus.

  13. wooow…what a beautiful world. Sri Lanka….A land Like no other.
    Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.

    Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline – much of it pristine beach – 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.

    This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!
    http://www.srilanka.travel/index.php?route=common/home

  14. I was looking for somewhere nice and peaceful and warm for December and someone mentioned La Gomera…..does anyone have experience of going there at that time of year?

  15. The Canaries and Madeira are in Africa. Cyprus is in Asia. Tarifa is the most southerly point in mainland Europe and number one, is the Island of Gavdos near Crete. The warmest place in Europe in winter, however, is the Azores 700 miles west of Lisbon. Ponta Delgada the capital, is the place to go. It’s very green and hilly a bit like the Devon, in fact the weather doesn’t change that much throughout the year. I’ve seen Gavdos, never been on it! 35 years ago, stayed in Tarifa, never seen such massive tuna as in the local fish market. Also good for wind-surfing!

  16. Hi I have just booked a holiday to Lagos, Portugal for the 3rd week in April what sort of weather should we expect. I’m aware the lagos beaches are sheltered from winds due to the coves/ cliffs

  17. If your looking for good all round weather then Southern Thailand is the place to be . I live on the island of Koh Samui except for the rainy season which is in November the weather is always above the lower 20s so it is very rare to feel cold ,the last time I put on a pair of jeans was over 4 years ago when I had to head back to the Uk as I write this it has just turned 4 in the afternoon and the temp is 29 on top of this the food is superb and very cheap that is one of the many reasons I chose to leave the Uk some 8 years ago to have a better healthier and more affordable life style !!!

  18. If you except the Canary Islands , your best bet is southern Italy(Sicily or Cosenza) , Malta is windy and cold and not worth much, awful food , no beaches to speak of and a cultural heritage that has been systemarically destroyed , Southern Turkey ( assuming Turkey to be European , which is a big assumption) is a good bet but things are not all that quiet over there . . In Spain Valencia and Alicante are OK ( Malaga is windy ) , temperature wise Murcia is ok but there is not much to do beside enjoying a warm climate

    1. If that’s what you have to say about Malta, Mario, you didn’t see much of the island. I’ve spent extensive time there. The cultural heritage is outstanding and there are plenty of big, sandy beaches: Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay, Ramla Bay, San Blas Bay. They just aren’t in the Sliema/St. Julians area.

  19. Moreover , the Douro área is rainy, miserable and cold in Winter . It snows in Granada during Winter months . Check your facts !!!!

  20. It’s 27ºC at 13.00 today in Gran Canaria and that’s pretty much the standard temperature in November. The south of the island is sunny most days. For sunbathing in winter, the Canary Islands are your best bet.

  21. Hi, I just stumbled upon this post on my search for a little bday get away but im so unlucky to have it in february just when all i needed it was a little sun and beach time. So my question is: Malta seems like the warmest of these places you’ve suggested, do you think I would be able to enjoy the beaches there even if for just a day or smthg..?! 😀 maybe at the warmest hours of the day or smthg? or any suggestion where in Europe I could then defrost a little? :b (Im a brazilian girl, hence my love for sunshine and beach, who lives in denmark! so just imagine me turning into a popsicle here and longing for a nice warm day at the beach…)

  22. Looking for some early spring sunshine, blue skies, and culture for 6 days mid March. Travelling from Uk without wanting to go too far. Any suggestions?

  23. Hi Kate,

    I am looking at living over in Europe but want to avoid as much winter as possible. Was thinking of every year working the summer in Greece or Sicilly, however i am stuck on the other 6 months where to spend my time working. You said the Canary islands are the warmest in winter, but do you know anything about work there? Is it hard to get a job there etc?

    Look forward to hearing from you 🙂

    Gemma

  24. I have already booked 8 nights hol to Qawra in Malta 31/10 to 08/11. But still haven’t made my mind up really. Yes in Malta there wouldn’t be a language issue but people have told me Malta can make you claustrophobic being a small island nation it is. Weathet you’d expect in Malta that time of year is 18-22 degrees with a chance of rain. I am still thinking of changing it to Almeria Spain, Tavira Portugal, Paphos Cyprus, Cilento Italy, Sicily or even Lebanon. Canaries though the climate is great it’s too playgroundish holidayish if you get my meaning.

  25. i’m living in Malta and in the winter it can be really cold! The temperatures do not tell you the whole story. There is a cold wind and damp. I would not suggest to anyone to drive in Malta, it can be quite dangerous. Taking the bus is much easier and cheaper. It’s a beautiful island and very friendly!

  26. Well, Italy has been very neglected in this forum, check Lampedusa where even in winter night temperatures never drop below 14 C and many other Sicilian, sardinian and Calabrian cities rarely drop below 10C at night in winter, not too mention the sun always out and beaches that are the best in the whole mediterranean (too many to mention) rivaled only by Greek islands (Spain, besides the little island of Formentera has virtually no beautiful beaches)

  27. I am from the UK but live on the coast in Puglia (southern Italy) and also lived in Cordoba, Spain during winter.

    While there can be some great days of beaming sun (triple the winter sunshine levels of the UK) please try to keep realistic expectations.

    Sometimes the Mediterranean can be great in winter (I remember walking around Barcelona in a Tshirt during the day in December 2011 and Pompeii in February this year).

    However, sometimes the Mediterranean can really churn up some nasty weather in the winter time when it wants to, plus winter is the rainy season so while there can be nice sunny days there can also be other days that are complete washouts.
    The cold is often made worse by the humidity, wind chill and design of accomodation (buildings are much better insulated in the UK and I’ve spent many a night shivering in poorly heated apartments in Spain and Italy).

    Cordoba, while an inferno in summer felt bitter in winter with a lot of grey, wet days and the Costa del Sol wasn’t much better while this year it was particularly harsh, snowing at sea level in Puglia, Calabria and Sicily.

    It can also get quite windy for a lot of the time, bringing temps down even on otherwise nice, sunny days. Even now in late April, I take a hoody with me to the beach for when the wind kicks up off the Adriatic.
    However, find a good suntrap sheltered from the wind and you can soon be shedding the layers and feeling hot!

    I think definitely come for a city or cultural break as prices are often lower but realistically for real beachworthy warmth in winter you should be looking outside of Europe to possibly the Red Sea or Caribbean.

  28. Despite its latitude, Puglia especially the heels coast can be very mild in winter. Some critics say winter is the best time to visit Puglia places like Altamura and Monopoli, Ostuni etc. One drawback with Puglia is being mainland Italy, it can be frightfully expensive. I’ve book an 8 nights stay in Sicily this year staying in Acireale the coast near Mount Etna. Weather is expected to be 21-23 degrees with a bit of rain. I can tolerate that. Must see Agrigento too. Next summer I’m planning on visiting Tudela in Navarre in South Basque region in North Spain to see the Bardenas reales national park . No Almeria doesn’t have the only desert in Europe. South Navarre province Spain has beautiful desert landscapes look it up and Romania has its little Sahara too and Gravina di puglia Italy has a steppe landscape and Armenia and Georgia too. Went to Cyprus this year February 25th to March 9th the weather was perfect just one da of rain. 18-23 degrees.

  29. Another drawback to the eastern Mediterranean is the wind. Compared to the Costa del Sol and other parts of Spain, a lot of the eastern med has light to moderate winds for much of the year.
    The Greek islands and Santorini are famously windy and where I live near Bari, Italy gets very breezy. These make it feel a lot colder where I am and while I’ve never visited Greece in winter, I imagine its similar there

    It didn’t start getting consistently warm here until mid May and it bitter when it was cloudy and windy right up till then.
    The good news with Puglia is it has 2 coasts and the Ionian is often balmier and more settled than the Adriatic so if its cool on one coast, its easy to reach the other.

    The downside is, compared to Spain, Italy can be horrendously humid so often it can feel much hotter in summer or colder in winter than it really is.

    I would say the warmest place to go in mainland Europe would definitely be the south coast of Spain on the Mediterranean (Cadiz and the Algarve are great but prone to that Atlantic wind).

    Otherwise, avoid the deserted beach towns and check out the cultural sites and museums in the awesome cities (Malaga, Barcelona, Rome, Naples?) that are overrun with tourists in summer or save your pennies and book a winter trip to the Caribbean!

  30. Hi
    You will find that the Canary Islands and in particular the south coast of Tenerife has some of the best winter temperatures.
    Due to Mount Teide the south coasts resorts have a micro-climate with more Sunshine and higher temperatures.

  31. Hello everyone,

    I need your advice. I and my fiancee want to spend our honeymoon in Portugal, from December to February. We are looking for the warmest place in Portugal, I learnt that it is Funchal, Madeira. Below are the details I got:
    December – 21°C
    January – 20°C
    February – 20°C
    March – 20°C

    Please is this information correct? Or is there any other place in Portugal that is warmer than Funchal, Madeira? Thanks.

  32. I’m surprised that Egypt is not listed, while not technically in Europe it is close enough that it is an option, my family Holiday here at Christmas and swim in the Ocean with no issue, I dive with a 20-year-old 3/2mm wetsuit, it’s that warm.

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