If you are looking for the best winter sun destinations in Europe, you are not alone! Snowy, freezing winters might be the norm in most parts of Europe, which is why sometimes it feels nice to feel the sunshine, especially if you are someone that doesn’t enjoy harsh winters.

In this post, you will find some of the warmest places in Europe in winter ideal for traveling from October to March.

Let’s get started with the best destinations in Europe for winter sun right away.

BEST WINTER SUN DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE

MALTA

Malta, a gorgeous destination in the mediterranean sea, is one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe, with over seven hours of sunshine during the whole year. 

winter sun destinations in Europe

It is one of the few countries in Europe where you will be transported to winter sunshine from the cold, freezing grey days unlike most of the continent.

Its excellent weather makes it a popular destination throughout the year, but the winter sun beckons those that want an escape from the freezing weather. 

Winter is the best time to visit Malta, as you can enjoy the lovely fishing villages, coves, harbours, the gorgeous coastline or the stunning panoramic views from the top of the cliffs with fewer crowds and economical prices.

winter sun destinations in Europe

Thanks to the temperature hovering around 15 °C to 20 °C in winter, you can enjoy plenty of things in Malta, which is home to 9 UNESCO Heritage World Heritage Sites

You can stroll the cobbled streets of Valletta getting lost in its beautiful buildings and the maze of shops. Or you can hit the beach and relax all day.

CYPRUS

One of the best places for winter sun in Europe is Cyprus, which is renowned for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, mountain cliffs and museums. With temperatures ranging close to 20 °C in Winter, Cyprus is one of the warmest places in Europe in December.

best destinations in Europe for winter sun

You can visit Cyprus ideally between December to February, and each month offers a lot of things to do, festivals and more. 

If you want to go somewhere for not a white Christmas, you will love the Christmas markets in various cities in Cyprus, especially the capital Nicosia, as well as the celebrations minus the snow. 

Winter sun destinations in Europe

You will love visiting Paphos in Cyprus if you are into history and archaeology as you will get to know a lot about the lost civilisations at the Tombs of the Kings.

Head to Coral Bay or Nissi beach, some of the best Cyprus beaches if you feel like relaxing. If you want a bustling nightlife, head to Limassol.

KOTOR, MONTENEGRO

One of the best winter sun destinations in Europe that’s off the tourist trail is Kotor, a coastal town on the Adriatic coast of the Gulf of Kotor in the country of Montenegro.

destinations in Europe for winter sun

This stunning fortified bay town is known for its spectacular limestone cliffs, winding cobbled alleys, historic old town square, museums and beaches perfect for watersports.

If you want to enjoy a beautiful town on your winter holidays without the commercialization or exorbitant vacation prices, Kotor fits the bill perfectly.

And when it comes to weather, the temperature is around 13°C to 18°C, with the lowest degrees in January, which means the town never gets too cold for being outdoors.

Start with the heart of the town, the old quarter enriched with medieval treasure troves, including the imposing Kotor Cathedral, which also houses a beautiful Maritime Museum. 

Walk on the old medieval walls and soak in the views. Explore the Medieval bastion Kampana Towers.

best winter sun destinations in Europe

Spend your evenings or mornings at Kotor beach or take a boat trip to nearby islets.

Plan a hike to the top of Mt. Lovćen, which has a national park. The views of the mountains and the tranquil forests will enchant you. Or head to another mountain jewel of Kotor, Vrmac.

For those wanting more sweeping views of Kotor’s skyline plus a trip to a fairytale castle, head to the hilltop Castle Of San Giovanni.

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

The south of Croatia enjoys relatively better weather around the year, making it one of the warm winter countries in Europe. 

On the Adriatic Sea lies Dubrovnik, a mystic town renowned for its unique, magnificent fortified stone walls encompassing the old medieval city of the 16th-century. 

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you will instantly identify this as the King’s landing! 

The temperature ranges around 15°C to 20°C during the winter months between late October to February, making it one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe to explore the outdoors and have a winter sun vacation.

Europe winter sun destinations

The Baroque Blaise Cathedral with its spires dominate the old town comprising of the cobbled streets but do check out the other medieval remnants, including the notable Gothic Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace, which also houses a museum.

Visit the limestone-laden avenue Stradun dotted with cute cafes and restaurants.

Stroll on the walls of the city admiring the views. Plan a trip to Lokrum, a beautiful island that houses the Royal Castle. Explore Lovrijenac or the massive medieval Fortress. 

warm places to visit in Europe in winter

Whether you want to enjoy the sunshine on one of the beaches or travel back in time with the historical wonders, Dubrovnik has it all.

WINTER SUN DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE – SPAIN

CANARY ISLANDS

Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean sea lie one of the fascinating islands in Europe – The Canary Islands. Whitesand beaches, rocky cliffs, excellent cuisines and nightlife, tropical jungles with a dose of architecture – these islands are everything you can imagine for an island vacation.

The temperatures average around 20°C come winter months, making them one of the gorgeous winter sun destinations in Europe. 

winter sun destinations in Europe

The islands of Canary, comprising of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote are popular holiday destinations among the Europeans and Americans, with over five million tourists visiting each year. 

It is one of the most beautiful places in Spain that are visited throughout the year, but especially ideal if you are looking for Europe winter sun.

Apart from the excellent weather, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit the Canary Islands during the winter months.

winter sun destinations in Europe

The largest of them, Tenerife Island, hosts the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the most famous carnivals in the world, a massive event that involves parades, colourful costumes, seemingly endless music and dance performances.

The city of La Laguna in Tenerife is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Teide National Park there, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to the Mount Teide, the highest mountain of Spain, the highest of the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and is the third-largest volcano in the world from its base.

winter sun destinations in Europe

Plus, you should also check out the national park Macizo de Anaga, another UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.

Gran Canaria, off northwestern Africa, is known for its black lava and white sand beaches. Have relaxing beach days on the bustling Playa del Inglés, Puerto Rico or if you prefer a quiet getaway, head to Puerto de Mogán and San Agustín beaches. 

Las Palmas is the place to go if you want to go on a shopping spree. 

warm places for Europe sun in winter

On Lanzarote island, visit Timanfaya National Park’s rocky landscapes. Explore Cueva de Los Verdes, home to caverns formed by an underground river of lava. 

If you want to enjoy in a stunning resort town, head to the postcard-perfect Puerto del Carmen dotted with whitewashed villas and beaches lined with groves.

If you have time or want to go off the beaten path, there are plenty of other smaller, less touristy islands at your disposal. Honestly, you can spend weeks together exploring the gorgeous Canary Islands alone.

MALLORCA

Mallorca also called Majorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean sea is one of those islands perfect for winter sun in Europe with average temperatures around 20°C.

The city is known for its stunning limestone cliffs, whitewashed hamlets, ancient coves, rich architectural and historical ruins of Roman and Moorish times, and lavish resorts with private beaches overlooking the coast.

In summer, Mallorca gets packed everywhere with Europeans flocking the beaches, but it is far better and enjoyable as one of the winter destinations in Europe. 

warm places for Europe sun in winter

IMO, it is best to visit Mallorca in winter or autumn rather summer as you can expect quieter and less crowded beaches or restaurant and more affordable prices.

The capital city Palma is full of various things, from museums and history to fantastic nightlife. Visit one of the mystical Arab baths there, explore the splendid Moorish Royal Palace of Almudaina, and admire the 13th-century Gothic beauty Santa María.

If you want to go off the touristy trail, head to fairytale fishing villages like Pollenca and Fornalutx. Be sure to enjoy a wine tasting tour in one of the many vineyards.

You can also plan a hike into the Serra de Tramuntana – a UNESCO World Heritage site that is brimming with almond blossom from late January.

IBIZA

Another gem of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean sea, is Spain’s ultimate party destination, the island of Ibiza.

Many know the island for its out-of-the-world nightlife and long-running parties that draw the crowds from everywhere during the summer month, but Ibiza is one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe.

warm places in Europe for winter sun

The prices will be way down, the crowds toned down, and excellent weather with temperatures hovering around 15°C to 18°C, you can explore the gorgeous island in a slow, relaxed pace, having most of the beautiful villages and the splendid views of the whitewashed coastline for yourself.

Take a boat trip to nearby smaller islands or explore the coves. Taste the delicious seafood and some of the best wines produced in the region.

It is not just parties and spa and beaches in Ibiza; you can get a peek of a few medieval remains or visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Ibiza (MACE) to know about the exciting culture and history of the island. 

SEVILLE

The gorgeous Andulacia region in southern Spain offers some of the best winter sun destinations in Europe. Seville is one of the most beautiful places in Spain

If you want to enjoy Seville with fewer crowds and the hot weather, winter is the best time to be here.

With the temperature ranging around 15 °C to 20 °C in winter, you will have longer day hours that you can enjoy to explore all the things Seville has to offer.

winter sun destinations in Europe

With the temperature ranging around 15 °C to 20 °C in winter, you will have longer day hours that you can enjoy to explore all the things Seville has to offer.

Check out the UNESCO Heritage Site Alcázar, the Moorish castle known for its excellent interiors. And the Seville Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, another UNESCO monument.

Enjoy the traditional flamenco shows or dine in one of the many Tapas bars in the beautiful Santa Cruz neighbourhood.

If you are in Seville during Christmas, you can enjoy the Christmas celebrations here as you will see the streets decked up with decorations, Christmas tree, nativity scenes and markets.

MALAGA

Málaga, a port city on Costa del Sol in southern Spain, is one of the beautiful destinations that you should add to your itinerary as it is one of the gorgeous winter sun destinations in Europe. 

While it is a trendy place attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors during the summer months for its splendid beaches, stunning Moorish monuments and excellent food and wine, it makes for one of the fantastic destinations for winter sun in Europe.

Thanks to everyday temperatures that average around 15°C in winter and about 8 hours of sunshine at least, you will get enough daylight and fantastic weather that will enable you to explore the tons of things to do in Malaga.

warm places in Europe

You can fancy staying in one of those high-rise hotels and resorts lined with private yellow-sand beaches if you don’t mind the costs.

Or stay at the heart of the city close to attractions and good restaurants.  

Visit the massive hilltop citadels, the Alcazaba – an 11th-century Palace and ruined Gibralfaro, both excellent remnants of Moorish period. 

Enjoy the panoramic views of Malaga from the Renaissance cathedral. If you are into arts, you shouldn’t miss taking a tour of the Picasso Museum. 

Sign up for a visit to one of the vineyards for a tasting tour.

If you are here during Christmas, visit the Christmas markets, attend carols, enjoy the spectacle of lights and shop for Christmas gifts for your loved ones.

BARCELONA

Barcelona, the most visited destination in Spain, is undoubtedly one of the best cities in Europe and needs no introduction.

While it draws millions of tourists during the peak summer months, one of the best times to enjoy the city of Barcelona are the low months of autumn and winter.

barcelona

You don’t have to spend hours in the queue to admire Gaudi’s brilliant architectural masterpiece Sagrada La Familia or spend your time in the crowded Guelle Park. 

The prices of the hotels are much lower, and of course, the weather is excellent with around 20°C temperature. Winter is not colder with more hours of daylight for exploring and making the most of your time.

Whether you are in Barcelona for a day or more, it is one of the beautiful warmest places in Europe perfect for a winter trip.

Spain in a week

Explore the lane of La Rambla, enjoy the stunning views of the city Skyline from the bunkers. 

Spend a day at Montjuic district. Visit the beautiful Christmas markets in the city if you are here around Christmas, where you can try some of the best Spanish Christmas delicacies, drinks and shop for cute gifts and handicrafts.

You can plan a few of those fantastic day trips from Barcelona thanks to the excellent connectivity.

Whether you are in Barcelona for a day or more, it is undoubtedly one of the best places for a warm winter vacation in Europe.

WINTER SUN DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE – GREECE

CRETE

For those seeking some of the warmest places in Europe in winter, Greece is an excellent choice. One of the European winter sun destinations in Greece is Crete, the largest gorgeous island with a mild temperature between 15°C to 20°C; the weather is a reason sufficient enough to be here.

winter sun destinations in Europe

Minus the crowds and expensive costs, you can enjoy the tons of activities, including the splendid beaches at Elafonisi or hiking in one of the many mountains that offer stunning views. 

Crete is home to Mt.Ida, which houses Ideon Cave believed to be the birthplace of the Greek God Zeus.

winter sun destinations in Europe

Crete is home to Mt.Ida, which houses Ideon Cave believed to be the birthplace of the Greek God Zeus.

If you are here for Christmas, you will get to witness the unique traditions and colourful markets. 

There is also Raki distillation festival; the famous local liquor held during the winter during which you can taste the drink, dance and sing with the locals.

If you love museums, you should visit the famous Heraklion Archaeological Museum in the capital city of Heraklion, which has collections of Minoan artefacts, and Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement.

SANTORINI

One of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is one of the most visited places in Greece

Santorini was shaped into its current rugged terrain due to the volcanic eruptions, which is home to two stunning, whitewashed towns perched atop rocky cliffs – Oia and Fira, overlooking the gorgeous Mediterranean sea.

The white, black and red pebble beaches formed of lava beautify the shores of the coastline of this island.

It is a top-rated destination among couples on honeymoon and one of the favourites of European travelers who visit Santorini in large numbers during the peak summer months. 

Europe winter sun

But if you are looking for some sun holidays in the winter months, Santorini is one of the ideal choices. European sun is out and shining for longer hours, thanks to the average temperatures of about 15°C to 20°C.

Apart from this advantage of relatively warmer weather from the rest of Europe, you can experience a different side of Santorini during its low months – significantly reduced prices, quieter beaches, cheaper hotels and rentals. 

winter sun in Europe

Plus, having all the gorgeous Instagram spots in Santorini for yourself without the crowds are all the reasons why it is one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe.

If you enjoy hiking in the mountains, you will love Santorini. Plan a hike to the volcanic Caldera and Skaros Rock. Wander the streets of Oia and Fira that’s adorned with whitewashed buildings with blue ceilings decorated with vibrant flowers.

Spend time at all of the beaches enjoy views of the gorgeous sunsets.

MYKONOS

Another island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea in Greece is Mykonos, one of the summer party destinations in Europe known for its gorgeous white sand beaches, bustling nightlife with bars opened until the dawn.

Beaches are true to their names such as Paradise and Super Paradise, which have bars that blare thumping music and massive dance clubs. 

Even if you are not into parties or dancing, the natural beauty of Mykonos, the iconic 16th-century windmills, ancient two, cobbled streets lined with whitewashed buildings and gay-friendly beaches and restaurants are why people visit Mykonos.

For all these reasons, Mykonos remains one of the top places, but above all, during the winter months, the temperatures will average around 20°C, making it one of the amazing winter sun destinations in Europe.

You can enjoy the best of Mykonos without expensive prices or large crowds. 

Spend time beach hopping, swimming and enjoying water sports at Ftelia, Elia and Ornos beach.

Visit Delos, the ancient Roman ruins and check out the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos. Try out the fantastic Mediterranean cuisines and wine.

RHODES

Once you fall in love with Greece, you can’t get enough of this gorgeous country. So let me share another island in Greece, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, Rhodes. 

Rhodes is one of the islands that have a perfect blend of history, architecture, stone castles, beaches and lavish resorts offering something for everyone. It is one of the famous places in Greece during the summer.

Europe winter sun destinations

Rhodes is one of the islands that have a perfect blend of history, architecture, stone castles, beaches and lavish resorts offering something for everyone. It is one of the famous places in Greece during the summer.

But the island of Rhodes is best explored in autumn or winter. You will get almost 6 to 7 hours of daylight, and the temperature hovers around 18°C to 20°C, pleasant to be outdoors, especially have fun in all of those stunning beaches.

No doubt, Rhodes is one of the warm places in Europe in December or November for winter sun holidays.

Explore the winding cobbled alleys to reach the medieval old town which is dominated by the splendid monument, the Palace of the Grand Masters. 

winter sun destinations in Europe

Check out the museum inside this castle which showcases artefacts depicting the enriching history, including its occupation by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. 

Hike to the top of Filerimos for stunning panoramic views. Explore the cliff top Lindos Acropolis and also the ancient Roman ruins of at the Acropolis of Rhodes

Enjoy the views of the golden sunset from the Mandraki Port.

Head to Tsambika, Elli, Traganou, Anthony Quinn Bay beaches for swimming and relaxing.

ATHENS

One of the awesome winter sun destinations in Europe that you can easily plan a trip is the heart of ancient and modern Greece, the capital city of Athens. 

Renowned for some of the oldest ruins in the history dating to 5th-century BC including the Acropolis, the hilltop citadel that was the birthplace of many things from empire to culture to traditions, Athens is one of the most visited destinations in the world.

Thanks to its temperature hovering around 15°C to 20°C even during the winters, you can visit Athens year-round. 

winter sun destinations in Europe

The peak months receive millions of travelers every year that come to absorb the historic wonders of the Parthenon temple and the best of the museums of Greece like the Acropolis Museum and National Archaeological Museum – treasure houses of Ancient Greece history, architecture and culture.

Athens is perfect for winter sun holidays rather than summer as you can meander through the ruins without scorching sun exhausting you.

After immersing yourself in history and architecture, spend the evenings cooling off at one of the splendid harbour ports.

WINTER SUN DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE – PORTUGAL

One of the warmest European countries is Portugal. With average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C, it is one of the gorgeous winter sun destinations in Europe, with many best places to visit in Europe in December, January and beyond.

I have explored Portugal in December, and it was one of the best experiences to enjoy sunny days, fewer crowds and pretty beaches, unlike the other parts of Europe that were chilly!

AZORES

Among the top European winter sun holidays destination in Portugal is the splendid Azores Islands, an archipelago situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, far away from the mainland.

The islands are considered a part of Portugal but thanks to its secluded location, Azores has developed its unique culture, traditions and rugged landscapes most parts of which are less explored.

In winter the temperatures in the Azores range from 15°C to 18°C, sometimes accompanied by slight showers in some parts.

This pleasant weather means that you can make the most of your time outdoors, along with other benefits like fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation and tours.

Sao Miguel, the main island in the Azores is among the top places that most people arrive. 

There are plenty of options for hikers and nature lovers as the Azores is a particular outdoor destination. The island is known for many naturally formed rock pools everywhere, from Sao Jorge to Terceira Island, and hiking to these is adventurous and fun.

You can explore the Azores for more than a week, spending a few days on the famous islands, each offering beaches, beautiful waterfalls, delicious food, hiking trails and fantastic viewpoints.

LAGOS

One of my favourite regions in Portugal that I enjoyed was Algarve, known for stunning coastal towns, rocky cliffs, tasty seafood and wine.

Algarve region is one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe for sure as you can enjoy a lot of time being outdoors, with pleasant temperatures during the day ranging between 15°C to 18°C.

Lagos, the splendid small town, famous for its cliffs offering panoramic views, crystal clear Atlantic beaches with white sand, coves, old city and castles is the perfect place to have a relaxing winter holiday in a sunny destination.

Unlike the other destinations, Lagos is one of the places to enjoy without a rush, whether it is hiking on the wooden trails for sweeping views of the Atlantic or admiring the views of the lighthouse and the coast from the cliffs of Ponta de Piedade.

Walk in the walled old town lined with whitewashed buildings. Visit Igreja de Santo António, an ornate 18th-century church and the beautiful castle Castelo dos Governadores.

Try some of the authentic Portuguese seafood delicacies in one of the restaurants and wash them with wine. 

FARO

Neighbouring city Faro, the capital of the Algarve region is one of the places worth stopping by in Southern Portugal.

Blessed with an incredibly beautiful coastline, rocky cliffs leading to turquoise beaches, and medieval and Moorish ruins – you will enjoy one of the best sunny winter holidays in Europe in Faros.

Check out the cobbled streets of the old quarter lined with a mix of modern and medieval buildings. The 13th century Faro Cathedral is one of the best Renaissance remains. 

For the Moorish ruins, head to the Arco da Vila, which was a part of a fortified wall of the city.

Visit the chapel of bones, Igreja Do Carmo which houses a chapel made of the bones of the monks.

You can enjoy a hike, cycling or taking a stroll around the scenic Ria Formosa lagoon. Take a trip to the secluded Barreta Island or a trip to the gorgeous Tavira Island lined with pretty beaches.

MADEIRA

Madeira, located off the coast of Portugal is one of the best destinations in Europe for winter sun. With average temperatures around 18°C to 20°C and about 6 to 7 hours of sunshine throughout the year, Madeira is one of the perfect places to visit in Europe in winter. 

Madiera is known for its rugged coastline, white sand beaches, tropical jungles, architecture, nightlife and mountains offering a lot of experiences for everyone. 

Christmas and the New Year’s Eve are the best times to visit this island as you will see the whole place decorated for the celebrations with the capital city Funchal welcoming the New Year with tons of fireworks.

Take a tour of the island by a cable car to reach Monte Palace.

You can go mountain biking or go hiking along the Levada trails that open up to stunning views of the coast and the sea.

Or you can simply chill on one of the beaches of Calheta, Machico or Canical.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN MADEIRA

WHERE TO STAY IN MADEIRA

LISBON

If you want to enjoy a holiday in one of the European cities in winter, there is no better city than the Portugal capital Lisbon.

The temperatures hover around a pleasant 15°C to 20°C, giving you more sunshine hours than most of the places at the time in Europe allowing you also to take one of the best city breaks.

Devoid of crowds, scorching sun and the lower prices, you can explore Lisbon in a relaxed manner, whether it is meandering through the hilly streets or taking the famous tram through the narrowest streets you can imagine or enjoy some delicious Portugal culinary delights.

Check out the 16th-century majestic monastery of Jerónimos, the iconic landmarks Belém Tower and the imposing statue of Christ the King overlooking the city.

Take a stroll in the central squares of Praça do Comércio and Rossio.

Visit St Georges Castle of Lisbon for a dose of history and architecture, but certainly don’t miss the spectacular views of the skyline from there.  

WINTER DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE – FRANCE

CORSICA

One of the most beautiful islands in Europe is Corsica, in the Mediterranean sea in the south of France.

Although it has been a part of France since the 18th century, thanks to its Italian occupation for a significant amount of history before that, you cannot miss the influence of Italy in Corsica’s culture, traditions, history and food.

This gorgeous island is one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe with average temperatures ranging between 13°C to 18°C through October to February.

This mountainous Mediterranean island boasts of a perfect mix of stylish coastal towns, dense forests and jagged mountain peaks, most of which are a part of Parc Naturel Régional de Corse, which also conserves rare animal and plant species in the region.

You can plan a visit to Scandola Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a part of the Gulf of Porto, which is home to some of the highest mountains on the island including the highest Monte Cinto. Rare endangered animal species are protected in this park.

Two-thirds of Corsica is dominated by this mountainous terrain giving birth to many splendid hiking trails, while white sand beaches line the coast overlooking the Mediterranean sea. 

Spend a day or two exploring Porragia Island, an Archipelago of Lavezzi hopping beaches, enjoying the nightlife and tasting the Mediterranean cuisines to your heart’s delight

If you want to go off the beaten path, take a trip to Palombaggia for secluded white-sand beaches or the remote islet of Archipel des Sanguinaires, known for its lighthouse and stunning views.

NICE

Nice, located on the shores of the Baie des Anges on the French Riviera, is one of the beautiful cities in France.

From fairytale castles to lively promenades to excellent viewpoints and enriching museums, Nice is a city of many things. 

winter sun destinations in Europe

The capital of the Alpes-Maritimes, the city has a history dating to the Greeks dominance in the early 11th century. It became one of the top towns favoured by the European elite and renowned artists from the 19th-century onwards.

The average temperature is around 15°C to 20°C through October until March with occasional rainy days that don’t last more than a few hours, making Nice one of the top winter sun destinations in Europe.

Unlike the glamourous and expensive Paris, you can enjoy all things French at affordable prices, fewer tourists and excellent winter weather.

Check out the beautiful Nice Castle, and enjoy the views of the Mediterranean from the iconic Promenade des Anglais.

Museum-lovers should explore the Matisse Museum and the Marc Chagall National Museum.

If you are here for Christmas, you can enjoy visiting one of the beautiful Christmas markets. 

Make sure to attend the famous Nice carnival that lasts for two weeks, if you are planning a trip to Nice in February to witness the spectacular parades of creative themes, massive floats, dance and song performances.

It is one of the most visited carnivals in France and Europe, attracting millions of visitors each year.

MARSEILLE

Marseille, a port city in southern France, is one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe that you can add to your bucket list.

Winter in Marseille doesn’t feel too cold, with average temperatures around 13°C to 18°C with better sunshine and more extended daylight, which means you can explore much of the city without jackets.

Whether its history dating to 600 BC when the city was founded by the Greeks or the views of the fishermen from the heart of Marseille’s Vieux-Port (Old Port) or the stunning skyline views from the tower of CGM, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Marseille.

Visit the stylish Romanesque-Byzantine Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde church, and climb the towers for fabulous views of the Mediterranean coast.

Check out the glamorous Cité Radieuse complex, Take a stroll beside the old port. Meander through the streets of Le Panier to admire some of the medieval architectural monuments.

If you enjoy museums, don’t miss visiting the MuCEM, a museum all about the Mediterranean culture, from its food to history. 

WINTER SUN DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE – ITALY

SICILY

Sicily might be one of the top summer destinations in Italy, but it is one of the best places in Europe for winter sunshine.

It is one of the awesome European winter sun destinations which is better enjoyed during winter rather in summer which sees a lot of tourists and everything is expensive.

With average temperatures between 9°C to 16°C, you can enjoy the rich historic ruins of Sicily without sweating or crowds. The unusual cold spells don’t last long more than a few days, with most days having maximum sunshine.

Europe warm places

You have many towns like Palermo, Catania and Agrigento, all rich in historical monuments, including the Roman temples. 

If you want to take a break from museums and monuments, the gorgeous beaches are easily accessible too.  

The resort town of Taormina is an excellent getaway if you want a winter sun holiday in Europe. Christmas celebrations are grand in Sicily, with the highlight of the island being Feast of Saint Lucy.

SARDINIA

Sardinia, one of the large Italian islands in the Mediterranean Sea is blessed with over 2,000km of coastline, caves, pre-historic ruins of nuraghi – mysterious Bronze Age stone ruins shaped like beehives, rugged cliffs, white-sand beaches and a mountainous landscape offering many hiking trails leading to some of the best views. 

winter sun Europe destinations

Whether you are looking for excellent, less-crowded beaches or want to explore the history, architecture or go hiking, Sardinia has plenty to offer beyond Italy’s well-known places.

With a temperature averaging around 15°C to 20°C from October to March, Sardinia is one of the must-add to the list of best winter sun destinations in Europe.

Since most of the things to do in Sardinia involve being outdoors, the weather is one of the criteria, and the winter sun is perfect for exploring the beauty of this Mediterranean island.

Check out Su Nuraxi in Barumini, one of the largest and oldest nuraghi dating to 1500 B.C. Hike to Neptune’s Grotto for witnessing unique stalagmites formations. 

winter sun Europe destinations

Visit the Bastione Saint Remy, the iconic historic landmark in Cagliari.

If you want to be a beach baby, you have plenty of beaches in Sardinia. The popular ones are Cala Luna, Cala Goloritzé and Cala Sisine.

So that’s a wrap for the best winter sun destinations in Europe. If you are looking for more winter travel inspiration, also check out:

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Reshma Narasing

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