15 Best winter sun destinations in Europe – Where to chase the sun in Europe when it is cold

We know that winter could be thought, dealing with work, pick a time on the commuters, cold and flu can be really stressful. So, is now time to think that even if it is cold, you can still chase the sun. Yes, talking about a sunny holiday is what you need when the weather starts to be bad. This is the list of the best winter sun destinations in Europe. Yes, you understood well, you don’t need long-haul flights in order to be on a beach drinking a Mojito. There are some parts of Europe where you can chase the sun even in the cold months.

Some of those winter sun destinations Europe are mostly located in the southern part of the old Continent, close to North Africa, or even kilometres away from the coasts on beautiful Ocean’s Islands. The temperatures of those destinations are pretty warm all year, in winter, except sporadic cold waves, it will be somewhere how around 20 degrees. Some of those, are even warmer, with a kind of Italian spring, thanks to microclimate conditions.

We have been so lucky even in winter, visiting those destinations. We found so amazing walking through the streets of Malaga in short and t-shirt. Let’s go on this short trip around some of your next winter sun holiday destinations in Europe.

Best winter sun destinations Europe

  • Malta
  • Malaga
  • Cadiz
  • Algarve
  • Faro
  • Madeira
  • Azores Islands
  • Crete
  • Cyprus
  • Ibiza
  • Mallorca
  • Sicily
  • Naples
  • Lanzarote
  • Tenerife

Malta

Malta Seaport Comino- Top European sun winter destinations

Are you ready to leave long sleeves, scarf, wool hat at home? Malta is the ideal destination for your sunny holiday in winter in Europe. The perfect combination of culture, heritage, great food and sea view to treat your winter sickness.

Located in the mediterranean sea, Malta, and its Capital city, La Valletta, has got mid temperatures in winter, with around 20 degrees and it doesn’t drop below 14. There are several flights from the main European airports, from London you can find even bargains on sale during December.

The best period to go in winter in Malta: December
Min Temperature: 14 degrees
Max Temperature: 20 degrees
Most likely raining period: February


Gozo, Comino, Blue Lagoon, & Sea Caves: Full-Day Sightseeing – 25 Euro

Cruise along the rugged coastline to reach the Crystal and Blue lagoons with their turquoise waters and see a shipwreck on this relaxing tour.


Malaga – Best winter sun destination in Europe

The southern Spanish city of Malaga is one of the biggest in the nation of bulls, Jamon and cerveza. Why don’t lie on the beach of the city, La Malagueta during winter? Malaga is a city on the sea, close enough to the Ocean, that gives to the region a warm touch all year long. During Summer this city has a temperature that sometimes can touch even 40 degrees, and so in winter, it is warmer enough to don’t wear never heavy jackets. Andalusia is also a strange region in Europe, with over 300 days of sun in a year, that make just January and February as a month when you can find sometimes raining. The temperature during the period that goes from November to February is always around 20 degrees, with 15 as the minus.

If you are looking forward to knowing more about this city, check out our post about why Malaga is worth a visit. With all kind of services, Malaga is the ideal destination in winter for holidays if you don’t want to deal with the cold. Some of the best things you can do in Malaga in winter is to go for a full day in an Arab bath, or if you like skiing, in one hour you can reach the slopes of Sierra Nevada near Granada, and still feel warm in the sea city. It is winter anyway so why not try a hot chocolate with the typical Churros, so good.

The best period to go in winter in Malaga | November – December
Min Temperature | 15 degrees
Max Temperature | 22 degrees
Most likely raining period | January – February


Cadiz

Ocean view on Cadiz Spain

On one of the extreme Southern-East point of Spain, there is Cadiz. A little cute and historic centre between the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Cadiz is well known for the crazy summer life, like beach town it is buzzing with tourists in summer and completely empty in winter. But the city is not that cold during the winter months. The temperatures in wintertime in Cadiz doesn’t go below the 15 degrees. From December to February you can enjoy mostly sunny days except for a few days a week. As per Malaga, Cadiz is part of Andalucia, a Region with different microclimate conditions, ideal for people seeking a winter sun holiday destination in Europe.

The best period to go in winter in Cadiz: December
Min Temperature: 10 degrees
Max Temperature: 18 degree
Most likely raining period: December – January


Algarve

On the southern coast of Portugal, there is Algarve. In the past few years, it has become one of the popular destinations for spring break in Europe and also a good escape for summer. Thanks to the cheap prices and the awesome beaches, Algarve is intended to be one of the cheapest holidays in winter as well for European. From December to February, normally the coldest months of the year, air temperatures average between 9°C and 16°C but temperatures in the sun are regularly in the low 20’s. From December to February you will enjoy a mild winter on the coast. Thanks to the Azores Anticyclone you will enjoy large periods of good weather, but there will also be bad weather rain and wind.

The best period to go in winter in Algarve: December
Min Temperature: 9 degrees
Max Temperature: 20 degree
Most likely raining period: December – January


Faro

Scenes from Faro Portugl - Seagull in Faro

Same as Algarve, Faro as well, away just a few kilometres from it, is delighted by the Azores Anticyclone in winter and the weather conditions don’t change that much compared to Algarve. Faro will be the biggest city where you arrive and is one of the most known southern city in Portugal. You can combine a nice break in Portugal with a visit to Lisbon, the Capital of the Country. Lisbon is just a couple of hours away from the beaches of Faro. The ideal is to spend at least 2 days in Lisbon.

The best period to go in winter in Faro: December
Min Temperature: 9 degrees
Max Temperature: 20 degree
Most likely raining period: December – January


Madeira

Madeira is part of a large Archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, belonging to Portugal. The capital of Madeira is Funchal and is located on the main Island’s South Coast. Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas are the main island composing the Archipelago. With over 1.4 million tourists every year, Madeira is exploding and becoming one of the best destinations to visit in Europe.

The all year round resorts offer services even in winter, thanks to the warmer temperatures and the hundreds flight from everywhere landing on the main island. Madeira has also some of the best reserve parks and a Unesco World Heritage site, the Laurel Forest where are well-preserved flora and fauna. It is not the best warmer place, due to a microclimate and wind coming from the ocean, but the services offered are the very best.

The best period to go in winter in Madeira: December
Min Temperature: 8 degrees
Max Temperature: 15 degree
Most likely raining period: January – February


Azores Islands

The Azores Islands is an Archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Nine volcanic Islands belonging to Portugal, but about 1360 Kilometres away from the Continent. The climate of the Azores Islands is subtropical oceanic. The temperatures are warm in summer, but not crazy hot. The influence of the ocean makes the climate of the volcanic Islands mild, taking temperature pretty similar all year long. In winter the weather is not that cold, with a minimum temperature of 12 degrees and can reach around 20 degrees during the day.

The problem of choosing it as your winter sun holiday in Europe is that you can find a lovely raining week. Rainfall is abundant from October to the end of March, that makes it not a properly tropical dream in winter.

The best period to go in winter in the Azores: January
Min Temperature: 12 degrees
Max Temperature: 20 degree
Most likely raining period: November to March


Crete

The island of Crete is one of the closest to the Asian countries. This island is the perfect winter sun break in Europe. With temperatures around 20 degrees and around 9 at night, it has got the most severe temperature range on our list. But still, Crete is one of the places to put on your list of destinations for winter sun in Europe.

The best period to go in winter in Crete: November
Min Temperature: 9 degrees
Max Temperature: 20 degree
Most likely raining period: January – February


Cyprus – Arts and Culture for your winter sun destinations in Europe

Another amazing Island in the heart of the blue Mediterranean sea.  The Capital of Cyprus, Limassol, have to be on top of the list of best places to go in winter in Europe chasing the sun. This is one of the best destinations to visit in Europe, not only in summer, thanks to the sun all year long. With so many beaches with blue flag, is the most likely place to visit in the wintertime. If you are a sea sports lover, you have to go to Cyprus enjoy sailing, Kitesurfing and many more.

The Island is divided in two, so be sure to land in the right part of the Island, the one belonging to the Capital, Limassol. You can even organize a combo trip, including Turkey in it, and why not enjoying Cappadocia from here. The flight to Turkey are cheap, due it is so close.

The best period to go in winter in Cyprus: November
Min Temperature: 12 degrees
Max Temperature: 23 degree
Most likely raining period: February


Ibiza – Not just summer fun, but winter retreat on the sun

A Sunset on the beach

Well, this is maybe the location to visit in Summer, but in this list of best sun places to visit in winter in Europe, we aim to find the yellow dot in the sky, almost all your trip. Ibiza is one of that location that can enjoy a mid-temperature all year. La Isla Bonita, that change completely faces in Summer, could be really good in winter as well. Out of crazy stuff and bounce of drunk young, you will enjoy the incredible hotels the Island has to offer, the pretty seaside and seaport and shopping a lot, while the prices drop massively during winter.

Check our guides on where to enjoy the best sunset in Ibiza and the best photography locations on the Island. For adventurous people, we have selected some off the beaten path itineraries of Ibiza.

The best period to go in winter in Ibiza: November – December
Min Temperature: 8 degrees
Max Temperature: 19 degree
Most likely raining period: January


Mallorca

Mallora sunset - Spain

The other Spanis Island to visit in winter in Europe is Mallorca. It is the largest in the Balearic Islands and is located in the Mediterranean. Like Formentera and Ibiza, Mallorca is a summer holiday destination. You will be so impressed by the numbers of nights clubs, beach clubs and bar on the Island. If you are not very fun of crowds and dance clubs, you probably will like Mallorca in winter. The temperatures in the winter months are not that low. You can’t swim in the turquoise water, but still, enjoy the beach and a nice beer with an awesome landscape.

The best period to go in winter in Mallorca: January February
Min Temperature: 7 degrees
Max Temperature: 19 degree
Most likely raining period: November


Sicily – Winter with the Italian touch. Sunny winter destinations in Europe

This is the Southern Island of Italy, and maybe the most known in the World. Sicily is a Vulcanic Island, with amazing landscapes. The Winter warm temperatures make it one of the very best destinations in Europe to explore in winter. Obviously the warmer is the southern part of the Island, but with good planning, you might have the chance also to visit some of the satellite islands. Pantelleria and Lampedusa are in the South, more close to Africa than Malta, so warmer. In the northern part of the Island, you will have the amazing Lipari, Filicudi and Alicudi, but also Volcano. Head here for a most likely Volcano explosion (It is safe to see from the sea).

The best period to go in winter in Sicily: October – February
Min Temperature: 10 degrees
Max Temperature: 20 degree
Most likely raining period: December – January


Naples – The very best winter sun destination in Europe

What to do in Naples Italy in 2 days

This is our hometown, and we might be writing about this city quite a lot on this blog. Naples, in Southern Italy, is the perfect location for your next holidays, whenever it is, summer or winter doesn’t matter. Naples can fill your stomach with great food (Check our guide on the best pizza in Naples), it a cultural pole of Italy with some of the best museums in Europe and also let you relax just watching the sea. 

If you are looking for a warm place where enjoy the culture and have a good time, Naples is the best. With temperatures from 12 to 18 degrees, Naples is ideal especially in Christmas time, with one of the oldest and picturesque Xmas Markets in Europe. Visit San Gregorio Armeno for characters of the Christmas Nativity scene. Check also our guide on how to spend 2 days in Naples and the best Christmas Markets in Europe.

If you are keen to discover this amazing part of Italy, why not going on one of the best coast side of the World, the Amalfi Coast. Check some tours that will take you to discover Positano, Amalfi or Sorrento and the little fisherman town out of the crowds of tourists.

The best period to go in winter in Naples: December
Min Temperature: 10 degrees
Max Temperature: 18 degree
Most likely raining period: January – February


Lanzarote

With temperatures always over 20 degrees even in January, Lanzarote is one of our favourite on this list. The island was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993, that makes every nature enthusiast want to visit this place. Lanzarote is well preserved and the distance of just 125 Kilometres away from the African Coast will give you an idea about the climate conditions of the Island. Even if it is 1000 Kilometres away from Spain is part of the Iberian Peninsula domains. Lanzarote is a good escape in cold winter. The flight from Europe, let’s says, from London, will take you on 4 hours and a half aul.

You can plan a trip to Lanzarote, combining it with the main island of the Canary Archipelago. So, you can visit Las Palmas.

Lanzarote: 2.5-Hour Sunset and Dolphins Cruise – 42 Euro

Look for dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean and watch a magical sunset over the sea on a 2.5-hour cruise aboard the modern and super-fast “Biosfera Jet” boat.

The best period to go in winter in Lanzarote: October – November
Min Temperature: 14 degrees
Max Temperature: 26 degree
Most likely raining period: December


Tenerife – Vulcanic charm for your winter sun destinations in Europe

The Canary Islands has something great to offer, far away from Spain, but still Europe, right in front of the African’s Coast. The Volcanic Island of Tenerife is one of the travellers favourite destinations in Europe in Summer, but it will be even better in winter without the crowd of tourists. If you are a windsurfer, you might already know Tenerife as the right location for water sports. Even hikers well known Tenerife for Spain’s highest mountain, Pico del Teide.

Being on the same line of Africa, Tenerife has got a warm winter with temperatures over 20 degrees until December and never below 15. It is a paradise, isn’t it? With just a few days raining Tenerife is a better choice if you are looking for a place where spend winter, without wearing a jacket, hat and gloves.

The best period to go in winter in Tenerife: February
Min Temperature: 15 degrees
Max Temperature: 26 degrees
Most likely raining period: December


Winter Sun Holiday destinations in Europe

It is not easy to find the sun in Europe in winter, but at least you can find higher temperatures compared to the northern cities. As you can see the best way to chase the sun is to point your flight toward the southern part of the old continent, close to Africa there is the best temperature even in January and February. One of the best advice for you, taking a gap for a winter sun holiday in Europe is to pack your luggage with a jumper as well. Even if during the day the temperature is around 20 degrees, in the evening those can drop massively.

If you are looking for a quick escape from your routine, let’s say just a weekend out, choose a cultural destination rather than a beach one. In winter is really hard to forecast the weather, especially in destinations in the middle of the ocean, where the wind can take a big part in the process. Like always, if you have any suggestion for this list of best sunny places to visit in winter in Europe, write below in the comment.

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