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Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinations

Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinations Photo: Almond blossom in February in Sicily (

In winter, many Europeans miss the sun, but not everyone can afford to jet off to distant warm countries for a vacation. At the same time, there are locations in European countries where you can soak up the sun and enjoy warm weather. provides information in which European countries you can get "from winter to summer."

Picturesque coastline of Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is one of the most exotic islands in Europe, boasting captivating landscapes that delight the eye: lush green scenery, botanical gardens, picturesque coastlines, beaches, and mountains.

The temperature in winter hovers around 21°C, with sunny days, although brief showers can occur.

Nature enthusiasts can stroll along the zigzagging network of artificial canals created for irrigating the farmlands around the island. In the capital city of Funchal, tourists won't be bored thanks to the splendid architecture and vibrant nightlife.

Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinationsPhoto: Landscapes in Madeira (

Year-round vacation in Sicily, Italy

Sicily is an all-season destination thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate. Even in the middle of January, the average temperature hovers around 16°C with periods of bright sunshine.

During winter, there are fewer people on the island, allowing tourists to freely stroll through the picturesque streets of towns, admire architecture, and explore archaeological sites.

Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinationsPhoto: Architecture in Sicily (

In February, almond blossoms cover Sicily with white or pink flowers.

Winter on the island hosts festivals. In early February, the Festival of Saint Agatha in Catania honors the city's patron saint, while in December, festivals dedicated to the playwright Pirandello take place in Agrigento.

The sunniest winter is found on Cyprus

Cyprus experiences the warmest winters in the Mediterranean. The temperature hovers around 17°C, and there's at least 5 hours of sunshine per day. This weather is comfortable for exploring the island's landmarks, embarking on journeys, or simply getting a light tan on the terrace during lunch.

Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinationsPhoto: Empty beach in Cyprus in winter (

Cyprus boasts its most beautiful beaches in Paphos, lively nightlife in Limassol, and the best museums and restaurants in the capital, Nicosia.

One of Cyprus' advantages is that winter vacations are budget-friendly.

Sun and heritage in Malta

Sunny Malta is home to at least nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

With almost no rain in winter and temperatures around 16°C, strolling through the streets of Valletta is delightful. The city features numerous harbors, charming fishing villages, cliffs, and rocky bays worth exploring. Additionally, one can wander through the untouched countryside.

For a boat trip, you can head to the neighboring island of Gozo, home to the Ggantija Temples – the oldest and most impressive megalithic complex in Malta, older even than the Egyptian pyramids.

Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinationsPhoto: Tourism in Malta (

Shopping and sunbathing in Spain

In the resort town of Marbella, Spain, there are plenty of beach spots to bask in the sun. Unlike in summer, you won't have to search for an open terrace to enjoy the sunset.

Winter is the ideal season here for golf, hiking, and walks. You can head to the hills and revel in breathtaking views.

Winter is also a great time for shopping in the boutiques of Puerto Banus.

Sunny beaches of the Canary Islands

Due to their proximity to the African coast, the Canary Islands have a warm climate throughout the year with 300 sunny days.

Tourists can choose Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and Gran Canaria, where there are plenty of entertainment options and sandy beaches for relaxation, depending on what they're looking for.

Sun-soaked winter getaways: Top European destinationsPhoto: Vacation in Tenerife (

At the same time, it's essential to be prepared for the fact that many resorts on the islands remain crowded for the majority of the year.

As a reminder, we previously wrote about the countries in Europe where residents are more satisfied with their lives. The best living conditions are found in Northern and Western Europe.

We also covered the cheapest ski resorts in Europe, including locations suitable for family vacations.