Sometimes, when the never-ending barrage of clouds, and cold, wet wind, can pound at our backs, we just want a day or two back in the sun, feeling the warmth and Vitamin D on our skin. But, we might not necessarily want to fly 10 hours to Asia or South America to get it. Work might be busy, or we might not want to leave the kids for too long. Where can we go, right in Europe, that houses popular winter sun destinations regardless?
Luckily, there are plenty of places right here in Europe that can satisfy your sun craving in the middle of darkness and chilly temperatures. Here are our favorite below:
As a not-so-known Portuguese Island, Madeira is a surprise destination for a laid back, warm, and relaxing holiday. It will make you feel like you just set foot on a set for Jurassic Park with the high cliffs, plentiful vegetation, and the secluded beach spots where no one else is around. Even in the middle of water, the climate remains warm on this mystical piece of land.
Although Malta can be colder than Madeira in the winter, its position lower down in Europe means that you can at least count on pleasant temperatures when visiting, as well as plentiful sun. Built after a 16th century settlement, there is much to do and see on this island as you stroll old city streets filled with shops, food, bars, and more.
Much like Iceland’s geothermal composition, Azores is the equivalent for Portugal, where geothermal activity makes it a “warmer Iceland.” However, like Iceland, the geothermal activity makes it a rainy and wet destination. It might be warm, although you can’t count on endless sun every single day. But, if you’re looking for once-in-a-lifetime photography shots and hiking trails for days, Azores has got you covered.
As one of the southern most parts of Greece, Crete holds onto hot temperatures far into the winter time. Much warmer than any mainland destination, you can could on temperatures that are suitable for sunning and swimming even in January and February. Although there’s more than just Crete in the area, many of them shut down to tourists in the winter time, which is what makes Crete so special and inviting.
The Spanish island can be a bit chilly in the wintertime, but that doesn’t stop the heated pools and poolside partying that makes it one of the top entertainment destinations in the world. In the winter, prices are actually affordable, there’s barely any traffic, and there’s still all of the same dancing, music, drinking, and more. Enjoy secluded getaways that are normally unavailable during the summer.