25 Best winter sun destinations in Europe

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 in 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 microclimatwie 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.

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Best winter sun destinations Europe

  • Malta
  • Algarve
  • Faro
  • Madeira
  • Azores Islands
  • Lisbon
  • Crete
  • Mykonos
  • Cyprus
  • Malaga
  • Ibiza
  • Mallorca
  • Cadiz
  • Valencia
  • Barcelona
  • Lanzarote
  • Tenerife
  • Sicily
  • Naples
  • Puglia
  • Saranda
  • Kotor and Budva
  • Dubrovnik

Top Places for winter sun in Europe

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 the 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

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

Winter sun destinations in Europe | Portugal

Algarve, Portugal

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 Europe.

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 degrees
Most likely raining period:
December – January

Faro, Portugal

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 cities 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

25 Best winter sun destinations in Europe 1

Madeira, Portugal

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 of flights 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:
January – February

The view from the alfama miradouro Santa Lucia - Best view of Lisbon Cristo Rei and The 25 Abril Bridge
Lisbon is one of the favourite warm destinations in Europe in winter by travellers from the Us, Canada and even Central Europe. The beautiful Capital of Portugal benefits from warm temperatures and is one of the cheapest locations to travel.

Lisbon, Portugal

Might be not the perfect sunny destination in Europe in winter, however, Lisbon in Portugal is worth a shot. The Capital of Portugal is always worth a visit, especially in winter when is less crowded and flight costs like a couple of pints to the pub at the weekend.

Lisbon is a lively cultural hub and is recently becoming one of the most visited locations by Millenials. We highly consider visiting Lisbon every year, and often this happens in winter.

Lisbon is fun and there are tons of things to do in the city. Start by chasing some of the best views of Lisbon, to discover the city on board of the Tram 28. Discover the contrast of Lisbon going up and down the Bairro Alto, enjoy the Alfama neighbourhood or go crazy in the Pink Street of Lisbon. Check out our guide to the best things to do in Lisbon!

You might also think of Lisbon as the perfect stopover during winter months, and take a flight to the Azore or Madeira after all. November is the best time to enjoy the warmest temperatures of Lisbon in winter. However, consider also December or January to visit Lisbon, months off-limits for many other destinations. December in Lisbon is definitely the best decision to spend Christmas in Europe.

The best period to go in winter in Lisbon: December and January
Min Temperature:
8 degrees
Max Temperature:
16 degrees
Most likely raining period:
November, January and February

Top European Winter Sun Destinations

Azores Islands, Portugal

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 temperatures 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 with 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, which 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:
November to March

Greece winter destinations

Greece can be the best solution for a winter trip in Europe. The beautiful southern European country can offer you many destinations in one trip, just going Island hoping. The Architecture, culture and culinary heritage of this land make it the perfect location when the rest of Europe is cold already.

– Crete
– Santorini
– Mykonos
– Paros
– Athens

Crete, Greece

The island of Crete is one of the closest to the Asian countries. This part of Greece is the perfect winter sun break in Europe thanks to the warm temperatures from November to February.

The average temperature goes from 20 degrees during the day, dropping at night becoming a bit chilly with temperatures around 9/10 degrees. We can assure that the Island doesn’t drop the temperatures below this, maintaining the warm touch also when elsewhere is already covered with snow. So Crete is one of the places to put on your list of destinations for winter sun in Europe.

Definitely one of the best destinations in Summer is worth knowing that Crete is vibrant also in winter. The Pristine Island Architecture, the pop café culture and the culture at properly Greek with the influence of the Asian World will make worth a trip to Crete in Winter.

However, winter tourism is pretty inexistent in Crete, which means that the island will be all yours indefinitely until next spring. However, during winter the popular museums and archaeological sites of the island are open and empty from crowds. As you can see there are still loads of things to do in Crete, and if swim in the chilly Mediterranean sea is not what you want, enjoy the beach watching surfers on the waves on the coast.

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

Mykonos, Greece

Well known as the party island of Greece, renewed for its lively and crazy nightlife, Mykonos is an incredible destination to consider for your winter sun retreat in Europe. The Greek Island is located in the Cyclades, surrounded by the natural beautiful islands of Tinos, Syros and the unique Paros.

You might have spotted on Instagram some photos of the white houses of Mykonos, becoming legendary photo spots and Instagram worth location in Europe. Mykonos is not just a party and photo spot but is an incredible location where to enjoy the typical Mediterranean cuisine, with fresh seafood and local wine production.

Winter in Mykonos is for sure not fun like in Summer, however, the hottest month make the island pretty unlivable and too crowded. In winter Mykonos is quieter and you can stroll around the enchanting alleys almost solely.

In October you can still make the best of the beaches without holidaymakers around you. Also, the accommodations in winter are the cheapest and you can afford a villa with a sea view for less than 250 euros per week.

The best period to go in winter in Mykonos: October/November
Min Temperature:
10 degrees
Max Temperature:
20 degrees
Most likely raining period:
January – February

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 to 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 enjoy 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:

Sunny winter destinations in Italy

Sicily, Italy | Winter with the Italian touch

Well, we have already presented this lake. The photos are never beautiful enough to narrate the enchanting view. Lago di Braies it’s the most popular lake in the Dolomites. The water mirroring game it’s unique, giving a perfect reflection of the Dolomites peaks in the distance.

You should visit this lake early in the morning in order to catch the perfect sunrise lights. 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).

25 Best winter sun destinations in Europe 2

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

Monterosso - the most charming scenario of Cinque Terre - Italy Road Trip

Naples, Italy | The very best winter sun destination in Europe

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 go on one of the best coasts 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:
January – February

Ostuni - The white town in Puglia, Italy | Best winter sun destinations in Europe

Puglia, Italy

This is another incredible location in Italy we want to mention, mainly because Puglia is definitely still a hidden gem. Thanks to the incredible location to discover, ancient heritage, unique cities on the sea, great food tradition and warm touch even in winter, Puglia is the ideal location for those who is chasing the winter sun in Europe.

Places like Ostuni, Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, Alberobello, Locorotondo or Bari, can say anything to you but will mean a lot after you have visited them all. Puglia is located in South-East Italy, in the boot of the heel, facing Greece. It is extremely affordable and has only recently become popular among tourists.

In 2021 thePopstar Madonna was on a tour through Puglia holiday and this attract travellers to this destination. The lights on Puglia start to highlight also the Region as a potential retreat for winter. This part of Italy benefits from warm temperatures and low average rainfall all year round.

What to know before visiting Puglia

Winter sun destinations in Spain

Malaga, Spain | 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 warm 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, which 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 kinds 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

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

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 those locations 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.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Check out Where to stay in Ibiza

25 Best winter sun destinations in Europe 3

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

Winter sun destinations in Europe - Discover Palma de Mallorca

Mallorca, Spain

The other Spanish 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 number of nights clubs, beach clubs and bars 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:

Ocean view on Cadiz Spain

Cadiz, Spain | Winter sun Spain

On one of the extreme Southern-East points of Spain, there is Cadiz. A little cute and historic centre between the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Cadiz is well known for its 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 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:
December – January

Best winter destinations in Europe - Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

It is not a secret that Valencia is one of our favourite destinations in Spain. We have been travelling all around Spain and was lovely to discover the contrast between the countryside, coming from Cuenca, in the middle of the country, and the coast side.

Valencia in winter can offer the best vacation ever. The cultural hub is active all year round, not becoming popular in summer. The city is so vast that we haven’t felt the overwhelming crowds, instead, everything, even some of the most visited landmarks in Valencia were relaxed and easy going.

This part of Spain benefits from more than 300 days of sun, and what is left is just around two months January and February, this leaves a window around November and December to enjoy some of the warmest temperatures in Europe in winter.

Visit the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias (The city of art and science of Valencia) or go wild in the beautiful Central Market of Valencia. This is the ideal city for a weekend in Europe in winter, because is very easy to discover Valencia in 2 days. Enjoy a long beach walk, eating the typical chestnuts sold by local vendors on the side of the road.

One of the best view of Barcelona from the hilltop of Tibidabo - Complete view over the Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Spain

Same as Valencia, you can’t go wrong with Barcelona. The Catalan city is the perfect winter weekend trip in Europe, thanks to cheap flights and amazing weather in winter.

Enjoy a cold beer by the beach or roam around the Barrio Gotico, one of the most enchanting places in Europe. The city is always crowded, because is beautiful and creative, attracting people mainly for the incredible heritage, architecture, history and lively nightlife.

In winter the beaches of Barcelona see a few locals hanging out, but not that many tourists, and despite the water might be too cold for a swim, it’s always nice to stroll around the promenade, especially at sunset.

Consider Barcelona as your winter sun destination in Europe, enjoying the cheap rates for the accommodation and bargains on flights. Winter is the best period to go to Barcelona on a budget.

Lanzarote, Spain | The Vulcanic Island

With temperatures always over 20 degrees even in January, Lanzarote is one of our favourites on this list. The island was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993, which 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 flights from Europe, let’s say, 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 degrees
Most likely raining period:

Tenerife, Spain | 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:

Best places for winter sun in Europe | Balkans

Saranda, Albania

Saranda is a renewed seaside location in Albania, known as Sarandë is usually crowded in summer, mostly by locals with a few tourists around. We have included this location on the Eastside of Europe mainly because is cheap and ideal for the guide to the best winter sun holidays in Europe.

This is not only a great location to stay for a while, maybe with your laptop following perfect sunny days working for your company abroad. Albania is recently affirming as one of the loved destinations for Digital Nomad and now you can guess why.

Life in Saranda is pretty cheap compared to other major seaside locations in Europe. You can rent a nice house by the sea for little as 300/350 euros per month and live with other 300 euro, excluding activities. Nearby Saranda you can do a day trip to incredible unique locations such as Butrint, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Sarande is in the southern part of Albania, a few Kilometres away from Greece. This is where the main influence comes from. In a clear day, you can see the island of Crete in front of the city.

Kotor and Budva, Montenegro

Winter in Montenegro can be a surprise for you. The country in EastEurope benefits from a pleasantly warm temperature, typical of the Mediterranean area with huge drops at night, especially on the coast.

Kotor and Budva are two coastal towns in Montenegro, becoming every year more popular among tourists. However, a few appreciate the winter warm destinations in Europe and establish them for holidays during the cold months. Both are surrounded by the mountains, so the temperatures really drop a lot from December through February, but still enjoy sunny days.

During the day the locations in Montenegro can reach about 10/12 degrees. From Kotor or Budva you can enjoy a few day trips to the capital city Podgorica, reachable in about 1 hour and a half.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The charming city of Dubrovnik is also one of the most famous and underrated cities to visit in winter. The beautiful Croatian summer crazy capital is worth visiting in winter.

This location might make you think we are crazy, inserting it in our guide to the best winter sun destinations in Europe. We are not crazy at all. While most European cities are covered with snow and our lovely London with fog, Dubrovnik gives its best. The city on the coast of Croatia is less crowded in winter, still offering the same lifestyle to locals and travellers.

Enjoy a beautiful drink or warm hot chocolate if you prefer on the terrace, take your sweet half to a nice restaurant (which are the cheapest compared to Summer) and treat yourself to the best climate in Europe for the period.

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 suggestions for this list of best sunny places to visit in winter in Europe, write below in the comment.

Q&A Winter sun destinations in Europe

Where is best for winter sun in Europe?

Here are the best European winter sun destinations
The Azores

Where is the warmest place in Europe in January?

The Canary Islands are the warmest place in Europe with roughly 12-18 degrees.

What countries are good for winter sun?

These are the best places for winter sun:
Gran Canaria
Costa Rica
Cape Verde
St. Lucia

What countries in Europe are warm in winter?

Corfu, Greece
Palermo, Italy
Seville, Spain
Athens, Greece
Valencia, Spain
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

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