It’s a common problem people have when planning winter escapes. Well, at least for those of us with the (mis)fortune of having widely varying seasons. Where is the warmest place I can get to in order to escape this hellaciously cold winter? This question is easy for Americans traveling stateside. Go south! If you’re planning a trip to Europe, however, you may not be as familiar with the best places to go in Europe in the winter. And while going south is still technically correct for warm weather you may end up in some less than desirable areas.
I have a secret to tell you though. No place is that hot in winter in Europe! The warmest places in Europe in December or January will get up to the 60’s and break 70 if you’re on a good day.
The question then becomes, what is the warmest escape from Europe during winter at a reasonable price?
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, we can suggest some good places to go that are at least warm and provide nice scenery! All suggestions are based on a few hours flight using London as a base.
Tenerife or La Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are a group of Spanish islands just off the coast of Morocco/Western Sahara. Super popular with holidaymakers over the summer, Tenerife and La Gran Canaria can be a cluster to travel around in during peak season. Visiting over the winter grants you a bit of breathing space to enjoy not only the lovely scenery but also the local foods (which are abundant with seafood, mojos and wrinkly potatos) as well as the atmosphere.
Named after the abundance of fennel that was found there by its settlers, Madeira is a Portuguese island a bit further out in the Atlantic than the Canary Islands. In addition to being your typical beach town with lots of restaurants and bars, Medeira is also home to a subtropical Laurel Forest, which is a UNESCO world heritage site teeming with tranquil nature and birds.
South of Italy, north of Libya, Malta is an Island country with both touristic vibrancy and cultural significance. The capital of Malta, Valletta, is designated as the European Capital of Culture for 2018, which promises to bring even more activities and excitement to the island. Its convenient location means it has been controlled by a number of major powers over the centuries. Make sure you visit the Megalithic Temples of Malta as well, which date back to 3,600 BC! These are some of the oldest free standing structures in the world.
Paphos, CyprusCyprus is an island country (noticing a theme here?) off of the coasts of Turkey and Syria with heavy Greek and Turkish influence. The island is popular with beach-goers and is especially busy in the warmer times of the year. Going in the winter can get you some great deals on airfare and hotels. Like the other destinations here, don’t expect the weather to be hot when you go during winter. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t enjoy some nice weather with great scenery.
Marrakech, MorrocoOk. Not technically Europe. But Marrakech is a gorgeous city in Morrocco that is a great option for visiting in the Winter months. Strolling through the Medina of Marrakech in the evening, you’ll wonder why you even questioned coming here. The foods, scents and sounds of the city are enough to make this trip worth visiting for a quick winter getaway.
So there you have it. Five of a few of the best spots to visit during Winter in Europe. You may not be sunbathing poolside in sweltering heat, but you can at least get out, enjoy good climates and have a good winter!