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Warmest places to spend winter in Europe

1 year, 6 months ago

Five warmest places to spend winter in Europe

Pump up the central heating and turn down your blankets; winter isn’t coming to Europe, it’s very much here and it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, now the festivities of Christmas are over and you can’t even wear your Christmas jumper anymore, there’s really nothing warm to look forward to for months. Unless, of course, you’re smart enough to escape and head south, which is something we are thinking of doing. So, we set about doing a little research and a lot of daydreaming and here are the results – our top five favourite places in Europe where we won’t need our winter coat.

Canary Islands

Canary Islands

Without comparison, the warmest place to be in Europe during winter months is on one of the Canary Islands. Sitting pretty in the Atlantic, off the coast of West Africa, winter months have nearly 200 hours of sunshine and temperatures are warm enough to sunbathe in. With a wide variety of activities to enjoy on each island, and some quite dramatic scenery and interesting history to explore, the Canary Islands don’t disappoint as a winter holiday destination. Indulge in some luxury on Gran Canaria, ride a camel on Lanzarote, discover Tenerife‘s foodie scene or lie on one of Fuerteventura‘s white sand beaches.
And if you’re not sure which Canary Island is for you, read this post to find out which one is best suited to you and your family.

Madeira

Madeira

Another island lost in the Atlantic, Madeira is where many go to escape winter thanks to its mild temperatures and as much as ten hours of sunshine a day in January. A gem worth discovering at any time of year, Madeira is especially great to visit in winter months due to the reduced numbers of visitors and the low cost of living will make it a very affordable trip after your Christmas splurging. The island’s capital, Funchal, is a wonderful mix of modern and historic with a steep sprawling hillside offering magnificent views of the sea and white-walled and red-roofed houses below, but don’t panic, there’s a cable car to facilitate your climb. Away from the city you can find black volcanic sand beaches, the world’s largest laurel forest and some of the best nature treks in Europe. Don’t forget your sun cream!

Crete

Crete

Greece’s largest and most populated island, Crete, is found deep in the sunshine-happy Mediterranean Sea and promises temperatures that stay well above 15 degrees Celsius. While the locals will consider this to be positively chilly, for visitors from colder climes, it’s the perfect temperature for taking a hike or bike ride through the island’s mountainous landscape – though be warned it will be chillier up there! Alternatively, stick to the south coast, which is the warmest side of the island and here you’ll find it’s warm enough for the local swallows to stay here all year-round rather than flying off to Africa like their northern European cousins, which tells you how mild it can be during winter. In addition to an abundance of beach side restaurants and bars to enjoy sea views, Crete is a great choice for winter-dodging history buffs as the island is considered to the home of the earliest recorded civilization in Europe and there are several historic sites to explore including ancient Minoan castles and century old churches.

Cyprus

Cyprus

A little further southeast in the Mediterranean and quite a bit warmer, Cyprus is another island worth escaping to during winter. Temperatures can be as warm as 20 degrees Celsius on the coast and having warmed up all summer, the sea is almost as warm too. This should mean it’s comfortable enough to swim around Aphrodite’s Rock near Paphos, an act that is supposed to give your love life a boost! On average, Cyprus has around 180 hours of sunshine in winter months, which is as much as London gets in May! In terms of what you can do while staying on Cyprus – apart from gloating on Facebook about how warm it is – the choice is yours; enjoy fresh seafood in a coastal restaurant, set off on a hiking adventure, take a boat cruise along the Akamas peninsula or get lost in Old Paphos, an area of great archaeological wealth where you can view mosaics dating back to the 2nd Century.

Malta

Malta

With a similar climate to Cyprus, Malta is one of the Mediterranean’s best kept secrets, often forgotten in winter, which means that the streets of capital city Valletta or the beaches of nearby Gozo, are emptier than during busy summer months. Surround yourself with some of Europe’s finest examples of Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture by staying in a penthouse apartment in Valletta where you’ll have a range of museums and galleries on your doorstep, or enjoy the city’s growing coffee culture, where you can sit – outside, of course! – and watch the world go by. With temperatures dipping in and out of the low twenties, expect sunshine and a blue sky above, perfect a boat trip to the island of Comino’s turquoise waters or head north on the mainland to Popeye’s Village, a colourful collection of houses built for the 1980 Popeye movie, a favourite with children.

Feeling tempted to escape the winter for a warmer European destination? Let us know where you decide to go and if any of these take your fancy you can find a self-catering apartment in all five destinations here.

 

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Comments

  • Will Hobson says:

    My choice would be Malta. Small enough to explore the whole country in 8 or 9 days with lots of familiaries to Britain like driving on the left, local ales and plenty to do like island hopping to Gozo and Comino. Wildlife look out for the elusive Chameleon. If you’re lucky enough to spot one on a warmer day. Plus the friendly locals and reasonable prices. Another choice just north of Malta would be the Italian island of Sicily with temperatures of around 15-20 degrees in the winter with plenty of beautiful sites like mount etna where you can ski in the winter, greek temples, winding countryside with hills and valleys and the wine and food. Catania us a good stop off point.

  • Jey says:

    Coastal Andalucia is great in winter, especially in the Almeria area. Warm enough to go out in a T-shirt by day in midwinter and just a light jacket or hoody at night, especially if you are from a cold climate.
    The Algarve and south west Spain are also pretty mild but sometimes get a little bit more rain than Almeria. The upside is there are less tourists and you can enjoy the place for yourself!

  • Lynda says:

    I’m travelling to Europe this winter on a mission to find a beautiful pace to live for either 6 months a year or even 12 months a year. Having lived in Miami for the past 15 years, I just cannot fathom cold, windy, snowy, rainy winters so number one requirement on my list of potential places to settle in is that it MUST be warm in the winter months. It doesn’t have to be boiling hot but it simply MUST be warm. Can anyone suggest anywhere for me to try?

    • HouseTrip says:

      Hi Lynda, that is quite a tough one for Europe. I would probably suggest the Canaries as they will be around 15-20 degrees. Would that be an option for you?

  • Dora says:

    My husband and i are planning to travel around Europe for 10 months starting Dec 2015.

    Our base will be in London as he has his office there. We would like to know what will be the ideal place to start our trip with. Looking for a nice warm place before we head to London.

    Also since we will be travelling around a bit, we wont be renting an apartment for the whole year. What are our options for renting a place for a couple of months in a country.

    Thanks
    Dora

    • HouseTrip says:

      Hi Dora, a warm place in Europe in the middle of December/January is very hard to find. Perhaps you want to look at the most southern countries. An alternative could be to expand your journey to Northern Africa to have it bit more warmer. Does that help?
      Regarding accommodation, have a look at our website http://www.housetrip.com. You will be able to find great properties for your stay and without the hassle of long term rentals.

  • Abi says:

    Can you please recommend a nice warm place to visit mid january. Organising a gorlie weekend away for a friends 40th. We want somehere hot and fun.

    • HouseTrip says:

      Hi Abi. Mid January is a very hard one indeed. If you are really looking for something hot you would need to look outside of Europe, e.g. Dubai (7h from UK). If ±15 degrees is ok, then perhaps Malta.

  • Jim Jimson says:

    You forgot the AZORES.

  • maria gibson says:

    Hello… thank you for the tip… I visit Madeira Island every winter for the last 5 years – I am currently here… its well … simply breathtaking. I noticed you had not mentioned its sister island Porto Santo with its’ golden 11 km beach. I am presently in Porto Santo and it does remind me of St. Martin Island in the Caribbean.

    I highly recommend both Porto Santo and Madeira in particular the area of Calheta beach on Madeira island is very nice. Temperatures there are warmest ranging 21 – 26 degrees and ocean is always 22-24 celsius. Light jacket in evening stroll is all you need. Loving Madeira!

    Canadian Traveller

  • Sophie penny says:

    Were is the hottest island in April plz

  • The Boom says:

    Malta average temperature in February is 13C. Hardly warm.

  • Eren says:

    Hi,

    Why is your picture for Cyprus so awful? Please change this.

    Many Thanks
    Eren

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