The Warmest European Destinations to Visit in Winter

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While there are a number of destinations around the world that are balmy all year round, these countries tend to require a long-haul flight. Because of this, it is far more convenient for us Brits to travel somewhere slightly closer for a warm getaway during these colder months. We’ve created a list of some of Europe’s most sought-after sunny locations that are ideal for the winter season. 

Gozo, Malta 

Malta is an incredibly popular destination amongst holidaymakers each year, which is partly due to its reputation as being an affordable destination to visit! Its balmy weather is also a huge draw for sunseekers. Gozo is a Maltese island located just a 45-minute ferry ride from Malta. This stunning destination is well known for its historic appeal and features a number of ancient ruins that you can explore. The weather in Gozo can reach highs of 17°C, even in the particularly chilly months, which makes it an excellent choice for those seeking some sunshine. 

photo of a golden beach with teal water in gozo in malta

The Canary Islands 

The Canary Islands are a group of Spanish islands located off the coast of North Africa, making them particularly warm throughout the year. The Canary Islands include Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Isla de Lobos, Las Palma, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, Alegranza, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Montaña Clara and Roque del Oeste. While there are a number of smaller islands within this region, the most popular and tourist-friendly Canary Islands are: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura. The temperatures in the Canary Islands tend to reach highs of 16°C to 20°C from November to March, making it an ideal location for those looking to top up their tan. 

photo of lanzarote in the canary islands

Limassol, Cyprus

Cyprus is well known for its scenic landscapes and beautiful beaches, which makes it immensely popular amongst holidaymakers each year. Limassol is located on the southern coast of Cyprus and is busiest during the summer months. This being said, Limassol is warm throughout the year and reaches highs of 20°C to 25°C even the winter! In addition to its balmy weather, Limassol is famous for its ancient ruins, which make this city particularly attractive for tourists who are looking for a relaxing yet cultural holiday. 

photo of a hotel's poolside which backs onto a beautiful beach in limassol, behind is a gorgeous sunset

Madeira, Portugal 

Another sought-after European destination is Madeira, located on the coast of Northwest Africa. This region of Portugal is best known for its delicious wine and remarkable scenery, making Madeira a particularly romantic destination. Similar to the Canary Islands, Madeira’s proximity to Africa makes for a toasty climate! The weather in Madeira is mostly sunny and reaches highs of 20°C between the months of November to March, which is one of the reasons why this holiday destination is so well-loved. 

photo of madeira in portugal, the camera overlooks the ocean and city

Crete, Greece

The Grecian islands are adored by many from around the world – their dreamy architecture and aesthetic appeal are just two of the many factors that attract tourists to this gorgeous country. Crete is a particularly picturesque area of Greece, and is famously affordable, making it an ideal location for those on a budget. The coldest months in Crete are from December to February, when the weather hits lows of 9°C in the evenings, and highs of 15°C to 20°C throughout the day. This island boasts magnificent views, a dreamy old town, and a range of delicious authentic eateries, making it a beloved Grecian holiday destination. 

A photo of a beach in crete coated in sun loungers and with a beautiful sunset in the background