3 Warm European Winter Destinations

European Winter Destinations
Written by Jeff

The continental US is similar to Europe when it comes to experiencing the changing seasons. While the northern areas experience cold snowy weather, tourists flock to the south for sun and warmth. There are plenty of locations that stay warm and boast a multitude of reasons to drop by and stay awhile.

Warm Winter Destinations Europe

The Canary Islands

Average winter temperatures on Gran Canaria:

  • November – 70 °F/21 °C
  • December – 66 °F/19 °C
  • January – 64 °F/18 °C
  • February – 64 °F/18 °C

Known for their beaches of black and white sand, these beautiful Spanish islands sit off the coast of Africa. During the summer and winter months, the shift in temperature is small, though the winter is a bit milder than the summer heat. With a subtropical climate, these islands attract tourists looking for the perfect winter vacation away from the cold.

In addition to the comfortable climate, the views are nothing short of breath-taking. With coastline views of the Atlantic Ocean and extensive beaches, one of the best things to do while vacationing is to relax in the sand under the warm, winter sun. For those who want to see the landscape, variances in elevation yield an extremely wide range of vegetation. The island of Lanzarote is a great place to explore, for example, since it was formed by volcanic eruptions. Tours offer views of the island that include seeing volcanic cones and lava.

For those seeking an active night-life, there are a variety of bars and nightclubs to choose from as well.

European Winter Destinations

The Algarve

Average winter temperatures in Algarve:

  • November – 61 °F/16 °C
  • December – 57 °F/14 °C
  • January – 54 °F/12 °C
  • February – 55 °F/13 °C

Located in the southernmost part of Portugal, this is the perfect place to escape from a frigid winter. The Algarve region is less likely to be packed with tourists than some of the cities to the north.

As with the Canary Islands, the beaches in the Algarve are a tremendous attraction to the area. The waves are favorable for surfing, too. However, sunbathing and surfing aren’t the only things people go to the beaches to do. The view of caves and larger-than-life rocks are awe-inspiring.

Roughly 3,000 hours of sun shine down on the Algarve per year, providing the opportunity for fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to grow year round. This unique aspect of the region is a contributing factor to its many restaurants with deliciously authentic menus. The seafood is also a delightful bonus. The food here is so good, the Algarve is home to six Michelin-starred restaurants.

The wine grown in the Algarve is also something special. Using the Negra Mole grapes that are exclusive to the region, locally produced bottles of wine are a must try. Wineries are available for tours and tastings.

Warm European Winter Destinations


Average winter temperatures in Paphos:

  • November – 64 °F/18 °C
  • December – 59 °F/15 °C
  • January – 55 °F/13 °C
  • February – 55 °F/13 °C

With the warmest winters of its European neighbors, the island nation of Cyprus sits under almost always sunny skies in the Mediterranean Sea. The birthplace of the mythical Aphrodite, the history in Cyprus is rich.

Cape Greco, a national forest park, is a must-see for the nature lover. There are several trails that wind through the forest and along the edge of cliffs near the sea. Sea caves are available for exploration also.

Ancient ruins are another draw to this area. In Amathus, an ancient royal city dating all the way back to about 1100 B.C., tourists walk through the ruins for a small fee. Paphos is another popular ancient city whose ruins are a huge tourist draw because of its roots in mythology and their role throughout history.

But for those who just want to take it easy, there are beaches for sunning and swimming. Inland, the wineries are plentiful and the restaurants unlike any others. Because Cyprus rests between Asia, Africa, and Europe, its cuisine brings together an unorthodox blend of ingredients.

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