Throw away the blanket of winter blues and head to these delightfully warm places in Europe in December, January, and February to spend your holidays.
Chase the winter sun in Europe, enjoy beach towns, go surfing, shed 10 pounds of jackets, and wear a swimsuit – these and more amazing things to do in these warmest places in Europe in December through February.
Warm places in Europe in December, January, and February: Winter Sun in Europe
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Europe is not usually on everyone’s radar for soaking in the sun in the winter.
Of course, winter city breaks in Europe are always a great idea – from drinking mulled wine in Prague, and visiting ski resorts in Switzerland to wandering through Christmas markets in Vienna and Colmar France – but don’t ignore these warmest places to visit in Europe in December to February.
You can start the holidays by sipping hot chocolate and then bask in the southern coast of Europe with a glass of bubbly and shed those layers of clothing.
The warmest temperatures in Europe are experienced in the Mediterranean region and the southern coasts of the continent.
Typically, the Mediterranean coast boasts of the warmest winters with temperatures as high as averaging 12 degrees Celsius. And then there are the Atlantic coast cities, where winter temperatures are even warmer at 15 degrees Celsius.
Visiting these winter sunshine destinations in December, January and February means you are saving on airfare, and experiencing pleasant weather minus the crowds.
In many areas, you can enjoy beach and water activities in full swing including scuba diving. These warmest places in Europe in January and February are perfect for those seeking to travel on a budget with low airfare and tons of hotel and tour deals.
As a bonus, some of these handpicked places are busy all year round, which makes it perfect for an off-season winter travel destination as well.
1. Monte Carlo, Monaco – Warmest places in Europe in December by the Mediterranean
- FIND HOTELS: Find more hotels in Monte Carlo Monaco here
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: All of the activities and tours in Monte Carlo Monaco
Monte Carlo is located in the European microstate of Monaco. With warm weather on the horizon, Monte Carlo is a great vacation spot to escape the winters.
Almost all of the summer attractions are open in the winter like the high-end retail stores, cafes, casinos, and Larvotto Beach.
Monte Carlo and Monaco in general, are known for casinos. The iconic Monte Carlo Casino, aka Casino de Monte-Carlo, is its prime attraction. Located in the same complex are the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and the office of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.
The Oceanographic Museum is another popular place that you must visit in the winter. With a hillside location and stunning sea views, this museum is home to exhibitions and specimens of aquatic life.
From the Oceanographic Museum to the beach, Monte Carlo has everything for you to enjoy the European winter sun. Due to its location by the Mediterranean Sea, you can expect warm weather to sunbathe, swim, and relax under the sunny rays.
If you love shopping, you will LOVE Monte Carlo’s Metropole Shopping Centre. It has all the high-end stores from Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and more! Find how to visit Monaco from Milan Italy
Monte Carlo Average December to February temperature
|Avg. December Highs: 13 °C (55.4°F)||Avg. December Lows: 9 °C (48 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 12 °C (53.6°F)||Avg. January Lows: 8 °C (46.4 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 12 °C (53.6°F)||Avg. February Lows: 7 °C (45 °F)|
2. Gibraltar – Landmarks, beaches, food & shopping
Gibraltar is another great, sunny spot to escape the winter blues. This British Overseas Territory is located on the southern tip of Spain, right where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
It is known for its mild climate, beautiful beaches, and of course – the Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock is a huge limestone outcropping that towers over the city.
You can take a cable car to the top for amazing views, or explore the many caves and tunnels that have been carved into the rock over time.
If you’re not into caves, you can still enjoy the great outdoors by hiking one of the many trails on Gibraltar. Or, take a leisurely stroll through the Botanic Gardens.
In town, you can explore the shops and restaurants, or learn about Gibraltar’s unique history at the Gibraltar National Museum.
Other than the Rock, Gibraltar is also home to stunning beaches like Catalan Bay, Little Bay, and Eastern Beach.
There’s plenty of great food to be had in Gibraltar as well – check out the many restaurants and cafes lining Main Street, or head to Casemates Square for some traditional English fish and chips.
For accommodation, we recommend the Rock Hotel – it’s a grand, historic hotel right in the heart of Gibraltar with stunning views of the Rock.
Gibraltar Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 17 °C (63°F)||Avg. December Lows: 12°C (53 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. January Lows: 11°C (51 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 17 °C (62°F)||Avg. February Lows: 11°C (52 °F)|
3. Menton France – Colorful old town, beaches, and warm winter sun
Menton is a beautiful winter sun destination on the French Riviera, located in the south of France. It is actually just a few miles from the border of Italy.
Menton is known for its pretty, pastel-colored buildings, lovely flowers, and great weather – it’s one of the warmest places in France!
The town is also home to a number of historical sites and cultural attractions, such as the Carnoles Palace, a fine arts museum, and the Basilique St-Michel Archange, a beautiful Romanesque church.
Next visit the Serre de la Madone – this exotic garden is home to a number of rare and beautiful plants.
Of course, no visit to Menton would be complete without spending some time on the beach – there are a number of great beaches to choose from, such as Plage des Sablettes, Plague du Casino, Garavan Beach, and Plage Rondelli.
For your stay in Menton, we recommend the Hotel Napoleon – it’s a centrally located, 4-star hotel that’s close to all of the best attractions. Plus it has a bar and a pool on-site.
Menton Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 13 °C (56°F)||Avg. December Lows: 9°C (48 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 12 °C (54°F)||Avg. January Lows: 8°C (46 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 12 °C (54°F)||Avg. February Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
4. Gran Canaria Spain – Hottest place in Europe for soaking in the winter sun
By Lowri from Many Other Roads
Europe in winter can be pretty cold, grey, and wet. If you’re looking for a place to escape the winter blues, consider Spain – it is one of the warm European countries in winter. And you will find a lot of recommendations from there, on this list.
So Gran Canaria is a great option as it is one of the warmest places in winter. This Spanish island is located just off the coast of Africa, so it enjoys year-round warmth and sunshine.
In fact, winter is one of the best times to visit Gran Canaria, as the crowds have thinned out and the prices are lower than in peak season.
There are many amazing things to do around the Island. One of the best things to do in Gran Canaria is Agaete Piscina Natural. This natural swimming pool can be found close to Las Palmas and is a fantastic location to snorkel and enjoy the sunshine.
Another top spot to visit in Gran Canaria is Cocodrilo park Gran Canaria. Here you will be able to visit animals that have been rescued from across the Island.
The main attractions are the crocodiles that you can watch being fed by the keepers. Even if you are not an animal lover, it is still a great day out.
To make the most of these sites, it’s a great idea to rent a car. There are plenty of options for all budgets and this is the best way to get around.
For the ultimate place to stay on your trip, book the BULL Reina Isabel & SPA.
So whether you’re looking to hit the beach, explore some hiking trails, or simply relax by the pool with a good book, Gran Canaria has something for everyone in winter.
Gran Canaria Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 17 °C (63°F)||Avg. December Lows: 11 °C (52 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 16°C (61°F)||Avg. January Lows: 10°C (50 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 16°C (61°F)||Avg. February Lows: 10°C (50 °F)|
5. Nicosia Cyprus – Warm place in Europe for winter sun
By Rohan from Travels of a Bookpacker
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Find more hotels in Nicosia Cyprus here
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: All of the activities and tours in Nicosia Cyprus
Winter sun can be hard to come by in Europe but there is no shortage of the beautiful and intriguing island of Cyprus.
Whether you’re into history and archaeological sites, culture, beaches, or food there’s something for everyone and all within a compact traveling distance.
Cyprus, although officially one nation, is divided into two parts, Northern Cyprus (Turkish) and the Republic of Cyprus (Greek).
If you are traveling between the two you will need to cross a border but this is easy and hassle-free with no stamps required.
Nicosia is the capital divided between the two regions and has a border running right through the middle. You can spend some time exploring the history of the city as well as comparing the cultures on either side.
When you cross the border you will see a change in language, currency, cuisine, and even time zone. There are lots of cute cafes, restaurants, and shops to wander and on the Turkish side, you will find bathhouses and markets.
Hiring a car is the best way to see some more of the country and you can head South or North depending on what you want to see.
The winter season means accommodation will be cheap and it is easy to see lots of places from one base.
For those who prefer more off-the-beaten-path travel, the North offers plenty of interesting and historical sites including ancient ruins and a town where the old churches have been turned into mosques.
If it’s beaches you’re after then you will be spoilt for choice although winter weather can mean it’s not always warm enough for swimming.
Areas such as Larnaca and Paphos are popular for their beaches and in the off-season, they will be reasonably quiet. So grab yourself some discounted accommodation and relax with a book!
Nicosia Average December to February temperature
|Avg. December Highs: 18 °C (65°F)||Avg. December Lows: 6 °C (43 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. January Lows: 4 °C (40 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 18 °C (64°F)||Avg. February Lows: 5 °C (41 °F)|
6. Valletta Malta – 300 days of sunshine in a year
By Mario from Rest & Recuperation
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Luciano Valletta Boutique | Find more hotels in Valletta
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Check out all the activities in Valletta
There is an obvious thing that northern Europeans miss during winter months: the sun.
The source of life in general is a source of happiness and a good mood for most human beings. It is no surprise then when people look for sunny places for their winter holidays.
One reason that should be enough? Maltese are proud of their 300 days of sunshine in a year.
Many of them are in winter too, keeping temperatures to a minimum of approximately ten degrees Celsius and much more pleasant averages. You leave your northern European airport in heavy and warm jackets and you could almost land in flip-flops.
Our favorite town in Malta – a European microstate – is its capital Valletta, absolutely a gem built on a little peninsula only one kilometer long. It stretches between two little gulfs, which during history were paramount to defending the island and its importance for the Mediterranean marine trade.
Nowadays Valletta is a mix of old XVI and XVII century buildings with their famous bow windows and some very new and modern palaces like the new Parliament designed by world-famous Italian architect Renzo Piano.
The most popular tourist place is Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, with the last painting of Caravaggio in one of its chapels.
Enjoy a sunny day reading a book in one of the beautiful Upper or Lower Baraka Gardens, the latter being our favorite.
To completely take a break from the work routine, traffic, and rush schedules, choose a boutique hotel. The Luciano Valletta or Luciano Boutique will be your must-go for a very pleasant stay.
Valletta Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 17°C (62°F)||Avg. December Lows: 11°C (52 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 16°C (60°F)||Avg. January Lows: 9°C (48 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 16°C (60°F)||Avg. February Lows: 9°C (48 °F)|
7. Tenerife Spain – Warm weather and diverse landscape
By Paulina from Paulina On The Road
There are few places in Europe that are warm enough to enjoy in December, but Tenerife is one of them. Its location off the coast of Africa means it basked in sunshine and warmth during this time of year – perfect for warm winter getaways. Plus, with its amazing natural beauty and attractions, you’ll find plenty to do here no matter what the temperature.
From the capital city of Santa Cruz to the remote mountain villages, and Los Gigantes there are plenty of places to explore and enjoy the warm weather. You can also take a hike or bike ride into Mount Teide National Park and see its craggy peaks and lush vegetation up close.
Opt for a boat trip to watch the whales and dolphins. The Pyramids of Güímar are among the famous tourist sites. It has a collection of six free-standing pyramids.
Tenerife is home to many beaches. Some of them are Playa de las Teresitas, Playa La Tejita, Playa de Los Gigantes, and Playa Bollullo. You can enjoy the beach, sunbathe or swim.
Go for a walk to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Explore the seafront rock paintings and hidden backstreets. Anaga Forest is best for hiking. Siam Park is one of the best top attractions for tourists. It is full of water rides.
Go to Pirámide de Arona for the Malizia Show. Malizia Show showcases the mixture of traditional Hispanic cultures. Also, make a visit to The Museum of Nature and Man.
Tenerife offers tasty food with a warm atmosphere. So, you can try out the papas arrugadas. Arcón Tapas (Plaza Concejil 2) serves the great traditional papas. Sancocho Canario is also the best dish to try. Try out the choco (cuttlefish) and pulpo (octopus).
If you are looking for affordable hotels, consider Pension Casa Blanca, Hotel Adonis Capital, and Alondras Park Apartamentos.
Tenerife Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 21 °C (70°F)||Avg. December Lows: 16°C (61 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 20 °C (69°F)||Avg. January Lows: 15°C (59 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 20 °C (69°F)||Avg. February Lows: 15°C (58 °F)|
8. Nice France – Relaxed Europe winter sun destination
By Stephanie from the Unknown Enthusiast
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Palais Saleya Boutique Hotel | Find more hotels in Nice
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Check out all the activities in Nice
The Provincial city of Nice, France is one of the best places in Europe to escape the cold, thanks to its southern location, sunny weather, and beautiful surroundings.
Nice sits right on the Mediterranean Sea and has a great mixture of a chill, relaxed vibe, and a beautiful city.
The Promenade des Anglais, a wide, developed walkway lined with palm trees runs along the coast and is a great place for biking, jogging, walking, accessing the beach, or just hanging out on a beautiful day.
Beyond the coastal attractions, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Nice – you can explore the narrow, curving streets of Old Town, with buildings painted in orange, yellow, tan, and pink.
Or, you can stroll through the Jardin Albert I, a beautiful green space in the city. Climb Castle Hill to enjoy a waterfall, paths, and great views over the city.
While you’re at it, swing by the Port, and then maybe visit the Matisse Museum or the Flower Market.
Plus, Nice is centrally located to so many other, interesting locations on the French Riviera – it’s really easy to take a day tour to some cute villages or even visit Monaco!
For your stay in Nice, we recommend the Palais Saleya Boutique Hotel – it’s a cute location right in the middle of Old Town.
Nice Weather from December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 13°C (56°F)||Avg. December Lows: 9°C (48 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 12°C (54°F)||Avg. January Lows: 8°C (46 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 12°C (54°F)||Avg. February Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
9. Sicily Italy – Winter sun in Europe minus the crowds
By Matt from It All in Italy
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Gutkowski Syracuse | Find more Sicily Italy hotels here
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: View recommended activities in Sicily
If you’re thinking of taking a vacation in Italy in the winter, Sicily should be at the top of your list.
The weather is comfortably cool and there are many wonderful activities that you can do in Sicily, making it one of the delightfully warm places in Europe in December, January, and February.
Take a bike ride around the city; enjoy Sicilian Cassata or cheesecake with freshly squeezed oranges while people-watching. You can also go shopping in Palermo and its night markets.
If you have enough time, here are 3 must-see attractions in Sicily.
Taormina – Taormina is a small town that is perched on a hill 250m above the sea and its history goes back to the 4th century.
Taormina remains one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for day trips. Among the attractions to see is the Teatro Greco – a Greek theatre built in the 3rd century, where you have splendid views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos.
Agrigento – The Valley of the Temples – Agrigento is located on the southern coast of Sicily and is home to The Valley of the Temples which consists of 8 temples that were built between the periods of 510 BC and 430 BC.
The place was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. In addition to the ruins, you can stroll down the magnificent beaches and marvel at its crystal clear waters.
Mount Etna – Mount Etna is an active volcano but continues to attract thousands of tourists to Eastern Sicily.
You can walk around the older craters located at Etna Sud or take a breathtaking cable car ride up to 2,900m for a 2 to 4 round trip excursion of the summit craters. Check out this winter hiking tour to Mount Etna.
Another option is to rent out an All-Terrain Vehicle which has been designed to provide more traction on the volcano’s surface.
Hotel Gutkowski Syracuse is a good place to stay during your vacation in Sicily. Its interiors feature an eclectic mix of styles: minimalist, designer retro, and beachcomber chic.
You will get a fantastic view of Sicily’s open sea, especially from the hotel’s fashionable roof terrace.
Sicily Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 13 °C (56°F)||Avg. December Lows: 7 °C (44°F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 12 °C (53°F)||Avg. January Lows: 5 °C (44°F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 12 °C (53°F)||Avg. February Lows: 5 °C (44 °F)|
10. Madeira Portugal – Warm places in Europe by the Atlantic Coast
By Elisa from World In Paris
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Search hotels in Madeira Portugal here
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Find tours and activities in Madeira Portugal
Madeira is one of the best places in Europe for a winter break during the months of December, January, or February.
Madeira is a Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, more or less in front of Morocco in Africa. This excellent location means that during the winter Madeira has more sun and milder temperatures than the rest of Europe.
When it’s cold in Europe, the streets of Funchal are lively and colorful. Funchal is Madeira’s capital city and here during the day, it is possible to walk around wearing a t-shirt or sit in a terrace bar under the sun for a fresh beer.
Madeira being a volcanic island has many hiking opportunities and the hikes around the volcanoes and calderas are very popular.
Also, Funchal’s Botanical Garden is worth a visit, and thanks to Madeira’s good climate it is possible to grow exotic plants difficult to find in other places in Europe.
One of the most interesting things about Madeira is its irrigation system. The levadas are irrigation channels that bring large amounts of water from the west of the island to the south, which sees less rain and it is drier.
This amazing network of 2.170 km (1.34 miles) of levadas is also a network of walking paths and it is very nice to hike along the levadas with the sound of running water.
Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to taste Madeira’s cuisine, more precisely its dishes made of fish. In a place like Madeira, you are always sure to get the last catch which is even better if accompanied by local wine.
Madeira Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 13 °C (62°F)||Avg. December Lows: 7°C (52 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 12 °C (53°F)||Avg. January Lows: 6°C (42 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 12 °C (53°F)||Avg. February Lows: 6°C (42 °F)|
11. Mallorca Spain for guaranteed warm winter sun in Europe
While Europe might not be known for its guaranteed warm weather in December and January (except for the Canary Islands), there are quite a few places that still offer you decent temperatures and a couple of well-needed hours of sunshine a day.
Mallorca is one of those destinations and with some luck, you’ll be able to walk around in your t-shirt during the day (although you will need a warm coat for the evenings!)
The biggest of the Balearic Islands is a very popular summer destination, mostly for families looking for a beach holiday, but it attracts lots of hikers and cyclists in the shoulder season as well.
However, visiting in winter is a great option too. Granted, you won’t be able to do a lot of sunbathing, but the island has much more to offer – and you’ll have it almost completely for yourself.
As many beach resorts are closed during the winter season, the best place to stay would be in the capital Palma de Mallorca. This city is big enough to be buzzing with energy, even in the non-touristy months.
Wander around the historic town and discover its stunning architecture, cozy cafes, and Mediterranean feeling.
The best way to discover the island is by car. Plan a couple of days into your itinerary to drive around and stop at the gorgeous towns of Deía, Valldemosa, Soller, Alcúdia, or one of the many other ones.
Having your own transport is particularly useful when you like to enjoy the cliffs and coastal scenery. Stop at viewing points or find one of the many hiking trails the island is famous for.
Oh, and don’t miss the local Sant Antoni and Sant Sebastiá festivals!
You’ll get to enjoy big bonfires, a fire run, live music, and many other activities. These festivals might be a big reason to visit Mallorca in January!
Mallorca Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. December Lows: 8°C (47 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 15 °C (59°F)||Avg. January Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 15 °C (59°F)||Avg. February Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
12. Symi Greece – Nature, culture and more
By Emily from Sailing Two Get Lost
One of the best European escapes from the chilly winter weather is the island of Symi, a Greek island known for its warm climate and idyllic scenery.
The temperatures here stay relatively high throughout winter, with highs of 18 degrees and mostly bright, sunny days. Plus with marinas filled with colorful boats and charming pedestrian streets lined with cafes and shops, Symi offers something for everyone.
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Symi then you must pay a visit to one of the stunning beaches. Gialos beach, with its crystal clear waters and golden sand, is a popular spot for swimming, winter picnics, and walking.
The sea stays warm enough to swim in for most of the winter months, though you might want a thin wetsuit if you plan on taking more than just a dip!
Symi also offers fantastic hiking opportunities and winter is the perfect time of year to enjoy the scenery here.
The hike to Panormitis monastery provides breathtaking views of the island, while the Emborio trail offers a glimpse into traditional Greek village life.
Aside from sunning on the beach and hiking, there are plenty of other things to do in Symi.
Take a boat ride around the island to admire its rocky coastline and unique rock formations, or visit the Archaeological Museum to learn about Symi’s history. Don’t forget to indulge in delicious Greek cuisine like gyros and saganaki, and sample some local wines too.
Head to Hotel Thea for a centrally located stay and incredible views of the town. You should be aware that Symi town is on a hill and most accommodation requires a staircase climb. Stay in the pretty village of Pedi instead to avoid the steep ascents!
As you can see, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled escape from the cold, Symi has it all. Pack your bags and head to this Mediterranean paradise for the ultimate winter getaway.
Symi Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 14 °C (58°F)||Avg. December Lows: 9°C (48 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 13 °C (55°F)||Avg. January Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 13 °C (55°F)||Avg. February Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
13. Cadiz Spain – Beaches, warm and dry weather + cuisines
By Joanna from Andalucia In My Pocket
Cadiz is a great place to go if you want to escape the cold winter in Europe. The city has over 300 sunny days a year and in winter the temperatures remain mild around 15 degrees C.
There is also very little rain here during the winter.
There are plenty of things to do in Cadiz in winter. The city is built on an island, connected to the mainland by two impressive bridges.
At one end of the island, you will find the old town of Cadiz, with historic buildings, ancient defense walls, and its majestic Cathedral, whilst on the other side, there is the residential area of the city.
There are many urban beaches in Cadiz, on which you can sunbathe as early as February. The most popular is La Caleta, which is a family-friendly beach.
Near it, you will find the vibrant La Vina neighborhood, where locals gather to enjoy tapas and drinks at the street terraces.
Nearby you will also find the fish market, which is a great place to visit in the morning to see the fresh fish, or at lunchtime, to enjoy the cooked fish at one of the restaurants adjacent to it. This is another popular place for locals.
A great place to stay in Cadiz is the Parador de Cádiz, a fantastic hotel with sea views.
Cadiz Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 17 °C (62°F)||Avg. December Lows: 11°C (51 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. January Lows: 10°C (49 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 17 °C (62°F)||Avg. February Lows: 11°C (51 °F)|
14. Montenegro – For cool, warm & warmest places in Europe from December to February
By Monique from Wanderlust My Way
Montenegro is still very much a hidden gem of South-Eastern Europe and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It offers almost every landscape you can think of from lush, green mountains to beautiful sandy beaches nestled along the Adriatic Sea.
Montenegro is one of those places where you can experience both the cold and the warm beaches in the same month. That’s why Montenegro is also considered a tricky winter destination – but we got you covered!
One of the best things about Montenegro is the mild climate that makes it perfect for those trips where you want to get away from the frigid cold and into the winter sun in Europe.
There are plenty of things to do in Montenegro but the most popular activities involve the water. You’ll almost always be able to look out into the bay and see someone kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.
Instead of driving or catching a bus from town to town, think about chartering a boat and creating your own itinerary. We highly recommend a boat tour from either Tivat or Kotor that will take you to the towns of Perast, Budva, and everywhere in between.
If you want winter sun in Europe while also still being able to have fun in the snow then Montenegro is a must-visit in the winter. In Northern Montenegro are Kolašin and Žabljak, two mountain resorts where you can ski and/or snowboard before or after heading south for sunnier destinations.
Deciding on where to stay in Montenegro may be a little difficult as there are many towns to choose from. If you want to have access to some of the best beaches then stay in Budva. If you want to be able to walk to the Old Town of Kotor in minutes, then stay in Kotor.
If you’d like to be in a quaint town where modern construction is prohibited, then Perast is for you. However, my favorite place to stay was Tivat.
Tivat is a small town that’s home to a platinum-rated marina and now a plethora of restaurants and shops. Consider a stay at The Regent Porto Montenegro as it has stunning water views and just so happens to be in the heart of everything. You won’t regret it.
Budva Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 13 °C (56°F)||Avg. December Lows: 3°C (37 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 12 °C (54°F)||Avg. January Lows: 2°C (35 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 13 °C (56°F)||Avg. February Lows: 3°C (37 °F)|
15. Malaga Spain for tapas, winter sun in Europe
By Paulina from Paulina on the Road
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Mariposa Hotel Málaga | Find more hotels in Málaga
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Browse activities in Malaga here
Craving for some winter sunshine, book a flight and head over to Malaga in Southern Spain.
The town is mostly famous for its warm temperatures during the winter months. Loads of sunshine hours and temperatures above 10°C are awaiting you.
However, there is much more about Malaga that you’ll love. Lately, many museums have opened up such as the prestigious Pompidou center. If you are wondering where to stay in Malaga, choose the fashionable Soho district.
The historic city center boasts countless little shops that sell Andalusian handicrafts and Spanish fashion brands. You can just go on shopping sprees forever!
Our favorite thing to do in Malaga, particularly during the winter, is enjoying tapas on the countless terraces.
Have some boquerones al limón followed by a sweet Malaga wine and you’ll know why Malaga is one of the best warm places to visit in Europe.
Málaga Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 17 °C (62°F)||Avg. December Lows: 9°C (52 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 17°C (62°F)||Avg. January Lows: 8°C (46 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 18 °C (64°F)||Avg. February Lows: 8°C (47 °F)|
16. Cordoba Spain – European city with cultural gems and warm winter weather
By Alyssa from An Apple A Plane
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio | Find more hotels in Cordoba
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Browse activities in Cordoba here
Cordoba, Spain is a charming European city straight out of a storybook- minus the overwhelming crowds!
Slightly off the beaten path in between Seville and Granada, its prime location in Andalucia makes it easy to access neighboring historical towns on your trip. It is the only city in the world to have four different UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
Consider taking yourself on a colorful patio tour, and wandering the narrow streets locating your favorite flower patios. Its historic center houses one of the prettiest streets in Spain- Calleja de Las Flores.
Perhaps the most famous of the town, and one of Andalucia’s three great monuments, is The Mezquita.
The Mezquita is an overwhelmingly beautiful Mosque-Cathedral built in the 16th century. You can buy tickets online in advance, on arrival, or visit on a non-ticketed morning.
Shortly past the Mezquita and Jewish Quarter, you will find the incredible Puerto De La Puente or city doors.
After snapping a few photos and walking through, you will be making your way across the historical Roman Bridge, boasting some of the most incredible views of the old town.
Consider staying at the highly rated Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio on your trip for a villa experience with an outdoor pool and spa.
Cordoba Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 15 °C (59°F)||Avg. December Lows: 4°C (40 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 14°C (58°F)||Avg. January Lows: 3°C (38 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 16 °C (62°F)||Avg. February Lows: 4°C (40 °F)|
17. Trapani & The Egadi Islands West Coast of Sicily Italy
By Becki from Meet Me In Departures
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Search hotel deals in Trapani
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Browse activities in Trapani here
If you’re looking to escape the chill of winter, then the Mediterranean island of Sicily is a great choice. One of the prettiest regions on the island is the west coast.
Base yourself in the photogenic city of Trapani. You can easily spend several hours wandering about the narrow alleyways amongst the baroque and art nouveau buildings.
For brunch, stop off at Brigante’s cafe, next to the Old Fish Market, before taking a walk along the sea wall.
If you’re staying in Trapani, take the cable car up to nearby Erice, a medieval hilltop town. This is one of the most beautiful places in West Sicily.
Here you’ll have some of the best views of the surrounding area, thanks to it being 750m above everything else.
For the best beaches, take the hydrofoil over to the Egadi islands. The largest of them is Favignana. The old town is quite small and can be wandering about in a few hours. Be sure to go to the old tuna factory building which is now a museum.
The best beach on the island is a little way from the town centre, so hire one of the eBikes to get there. Cala Azzurra is a beautiful little shallow bay with pinky-white sands and clear warm waters.
If you’re feeling energetic, you can also cycle up to the Castle of Santa Catarina, you can see it on the hill from the marina.
The best place to stay is in the old town of Trapani, which is close to the best restaurants and bars. It’s also mostly pedestrian-only, so it’s away from the noise of traffic.
Trapani Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. December Lows: 9°C (48 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 15°C (59°F)||Avg. January Lows: 8°C (46 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 15 °C (59°F)||Avg. February Lows: 7°C (45 °F)|
18. Fuerteventura Canary Islands, Spain
By Kylie from Between England and Iowa
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Club Jandia Princess in Esquinzo
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: Browse activities in Fuerteventura here
A European destination to escape the cold is the island of Fuerteventura. This Spanish Canary Island has an adventure winter temperature of 18 degree C (64 F).
The island is home to some great beaches, but early mornings can be a little chilly.
Staying true to its name, Fuerteventura is also windy. On the western side of the island, La Pared is a great surf beach, Many of the surf schools provide wetsuits during the winter months.
Away from the beaches, a great thing to do is explore the scenery on a 4×4 buggy tour.
The northern coast has the Parque Natural de Corralejo (Corralejo sand dunes), whereas the southern tours go through areas such as the Parque Natural Jandia. These are a great way to get off the beaten track and see places that aren’t easily reached from the main road.
A great place to stay is the Club Jandia Princess in Esquinzo. They heat two of their four pools during the winter months. One of the outside bars also has patio heaters in the evening.
It’s also possible to walk along the beach to the port town of Morro Jable. Playa Del Matorral is a ‘Site of Scientific Interest’. It’s a wetland area with unique flora and fauna that can grow in saltwater conditions.
Barbary Ground Squirrels live in the cliffs along the beach and there’s a 16 metre skeleton of a sperm whale!
Fuerteventura Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 19 °C (67°F)||Avg. December Lows: 14°C (56 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 18°C (65°F)||Avg. January Lows: 12°C (54 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 19 °C (65°F)||Avg. February Lows: 12°C (54 °F)|
19. Algarve Portugal – Escape winter blues to one of the warmest places in Europe
By Kevin & Nesrine from Kevmrc
- RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Iberostar Selection | Search hotels in Algarve Portugal here
- TOURS & ACTIVITIES: More activities in Algarve Portugal
Looking for a warm place to visit in Europe to escape the coldness of your hometown? Well, look no further – the Algarve is definitely one of the best European destinations to enjoy the sun and nice weather in winter!
Located in Portugal, the Algarve region runs along the South Atlantic coast where you can find some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, and of course the warmest weather in winter.
Indeed, you can still enjoy average temperatures around 54°F and 63°F during winter, which is quite nice weather compared to other countries in Europe. Also, it is actually the cheapest time of the year to go to the Algarve!
Of course, don’t think about swimming as the sea temperature is cold at this time of the year.
But visiting the Algarve during winter is actually a very good idea if you are not seeking to swim: you can explore the region, hike, or even lie on the beach without sweating and suffering from the extreme heat of summer, and most importantly without the crowds!
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the best things to do in the Algarve in winter including exploring the amazing coastal villages such as Aljezur or Sagres where you can visit the famous lighthouse of Cabo de Sao Vicente.
Or you can visit Algarve’s most famous beach, Benagil cave. Whether you see the cave from above or you rent a kayak to go inside, the cave is an absolute must-see in Portugal!
In the Algarve, you must also stop at Vila Real de Santo António Christmas Village to enjoy the Christmas market stalls covered in festive decorations.
Consider staying in a city such as Lagos or Faro so you can also enjoy the pretty architecture and feel the Christmas vibes.
If you are looking for a nice place to stay, here is a hotel we strongly recommend: the Iberostar Selection located in Lagos.
Algarve Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 18 °C (65°F)||Avg. December Lows: 11°C (53 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. January Lows: 11°C (51 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 16 °C (61°F)||Avg. February Lows: 10°C (49 °F)|
20. Lanzarote Canary Island – Chase winter sun from the top of an active volcano to the Cactus Gardens
By Luiza from cupcakesplendens
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Search hotels in Lanzarote here
And how can we finish this list of warm places in Europe in December through February without one more destination from the Canary Islands? Lanzarote, the Island of Fire is located in the Canary Islands, off the coast of West Africa.
There are so many reasons why we keep visiting Lanzarote to chase the winter sun in Europe year after year.
Firstly, cheap flights. Isn’t that obvious (and to be honest very simple)? Quite often there are cheapest flights and promotions to the Canary Islands in December.
After securing the cheapest flights, go with the flow and book accommodation, car rental, etc. One of our first flights to Lanzarote was £2. No, this is not a misspelling, only paid a £2 fee to go to the Canary Islands. Not bad, right?
Secondly, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Exploring Timanfaya National Park was one of the most interesting and scariest experiences of my life.
With a restaurant at the top of the mountain, the sightseeing leaves you breathless. Going there is a must!
The Cactus Garden is stunning and it’s also the perfect place to take some cool pictures.
Thirdly, the beaches. On the south coast, you can find the finest sand beaches with colors from dark to white, this little gem of an Island has it all.
The crystal blue water and constant temperature make it perfect for activities such as snorkeling.
Do you want to know the best thing about the Lanzarote beaches? They’re not overcrowded, on the contrary, if you are lucky enough during the golden hour you can have it all for yourself.
If you visit Lanzarote then it’s a must to visit their Wine Museum El Grifo. They have guided tours through their vineyards, the landscape is beautiful.
After visiting the vineyards, you will take part in a wine tasting tour where you have the chance to taste their oldest wine to date – El Grifo Canari, which was my absolute favorite – sweet with a conic-like color.
For a relaxing winter sun vacation in Europe, head to the Casa El Morro. Located in Yaiza, this is a place like I’ve never seen before.
When you are there, you feel like you’ve entered a new world of peace and calm.
Lanzarote Weather December to February
|Avg. December Highs: 21 °C (69°F)||Avg. December Lows: 14 °C (57 °F)|
|Avg. January Highs: 20°C (67°F)||Avg. January Lows: 13°C (55 °F)|
|Avg. February Highs: 20°C (67°F)||Avg. February Lows: 13°C (55 °F)|
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Travel Tips for Visiting Warmest Places in Europe from December to February
Are you ready to explore the winter sun destinations in Europe this year? But before that let’s cover the trip essentials
Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.
Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.
Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to ensure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from World’s Nomads here.
Packing List – Warm places in Europe in December – February
Now because you are looking for sunny days in Europe in winter, your packing list will differ from other cities. Here is what you should carry –
- Clothing – Lightweight clothes pants, jeans, tops, and dresses. Pack a pretty party outfit if celebrating New Year in Europe!
- Swimsuit – Don’t forget to carry your swimsuit and other beachwear like a cover-up and flip flops
- Sunglasses and a water bottle to stay hydrated. Here are my favorites – Erika Rayban sunglasses and in-built filter water bottle
- Lightweight jacket – You MUST pack a lightweight, preferably waterproof jacket at all times of the year. The destinations mentioned here get anywhere from 2 to 6 rainy days in a month. I am in love with this jacket from Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket
- Daypack – With so many day trip options and beach time, a day-pack is super essential to pack your essentials. We recommend that you invest in a good anti-theft backpack – which will be handy all over Europe.
- Comfortable walking shoes or hiking shoes – If you are a city hiker like us, wear comfortable walking shoes. Here is my favorite pair.
- If you are planning to hike in the national parks, we recommend this pair.
- Camera – Don’t forget to pack your camera to capture amazing pictures of the Greek Islands or Benagil Cave. Also, include this high capacity SD card to store all the memories on the go.
- Portable battery backup or juice – Pack this battery backup for charging your electronics on the go. With one nightly charge, you can use it for 2-3 days.
- Universal Adapter – Invest in a good universal adapter that you can keep using for all of your travels. Our North American or Asian power plugs will not work out in Europe. Here is what we recommend.
- Multi-port charging cables – And here is my absolute favorite piece of electronics – this multi-port charging cable – is super handy on the go, especially if you have an iPhone and your camera uses a micro-USB port. They come in a variety of colors that are super versatile. I also use them while commuting to work.
- Read our in-depth guide to packing for Europe for all seasons and regions.
We hope you found travel inspiration through our recommendations. Share with us if you have any favorite winter sun in European destinations.
Enjoy sunny days ahead!
Read more of our Europe Travel Blog Posts
Europe Itinerary Samples – Read our itineraries from Europe
- Europe – Get our 27 Europe in one week itinerary samples
- Spain: Best of Spain in 7 days
- Switzerland: One week in Switzerland trip
- Central Europe in 2 weeks – Visit Munich, Budapest, Prague and Vienna in 14 days
Europe in winter and other seasons – Here are seasonal European resources that might interest you
- Winter Destinations –More Europe in winter destinations for Christmas markets, skiing or winter sun
- Prague: What to expect in Prague in March
- Barcelona: Travel tips for visiting Barcelona in September
- Iceland: Explore Iceland in the month of October
- Paris: A monthly guide to visiting Paris at any time of the year