Whether you want to lie on a beach all day or have fun outdoors, defrost in these top winter sun locations
Now we all know the climate is changing worldwide and winters seem to be getting longer and colder. While fun can be found in the snow, windy, wet and cold is not as much fun.
Travelling to the other side of the world can be a bit drastic, not to mention expensive but no worries here we can show you five great places to visit and enjoy a milder winter climate, for a short break or if you are lucky the whole of the European winter.
The beautiful island in the Atlantic is a particularly welcoming gem in the cold of winter. With up to ten hours of sunshine, even in January and a temperate climate, it is popular with those wanting to get away from the cold. In the winter months, there are fewer tourists around and that allows more opportunities to wander and get to meet the locals.
The low cost of living makes it a very attractive venue. The history and beauty of the island, with its volcanic beaches and laurel forest, make it especially welcoming for trekkers and hikers but even those who prefer a gentler stroll will enjoy Madeira.
Read more: Best beaches in Europe for swimming
This idyllic isle is an often-discounted winter destination and if you do you are missing out. With a temperate climate, reasonable cost living and some great apartments to rent, Malta is a super winter retreat. Lower tourists mean more time to spend enjoying all the island has to offer.
Staying in the capital, Valetta, gives you access to galleries, museums and historic buildings. Lots of winter sunshine means you can take some lovely boat trips or visit the island’s many picturesque towns. There again, just sit on the terrace of some of the great coffee shops and just watch the world drift by.
With temperatures, around 20 Celsius it is safe to say, staying warm in Crete is not a problem neither is finding something to do. While less busy than in the summer there are still plenty of entertaining options to consider. Visit the spectacular mountains, bike or walk but remember slightly cooler up there.
On the southern stretch of Crete, you will find some lovely beaches with bars and cafes to while away some hours in the sun. With regular flights from most European countries, this the largest Greek island is proving popular with winter sun seekers.
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The Amalfi Coast
Now most of know Italy in winter is for the skiing and Après-ski, but that is mainly in the north, head further south and you will find more clement weather. The Amalfi Coast is a joy to visit any time of year, but as visitors are much less in winter, that lack of crowds lets you admire the beauty in your own time. Now, not much of a beach get away, but Amalfi’s beauty is awe inspiring.
A UNESCO world heritage site, its breath-taking cliffs and the roads that wind around them, display the colourful homes and gardens for all to admire. The Amalfi Coast can be enjoyed anytime of the year, but winter brings its own uniqueness, the Italian hospitality ever gracious, like their wines, can be enjoyed a more leisurely pace. Not as inexpensive as some areas but certainly worth consideration.
Want to spend some time on the beach in winter? Then this is the island to head to. With temperatures in the 20’s and the sea, warmed from the heat of summer, can still invite you in for a swim. 180 hours of sunshine over the European winter is an attraction all by itself. The low cost of living in Cyprus has attracted many an expat to move there.
The island’s archaeology and mythical history are well worth exploring, and the cuisine is excellent especially the seafood. Hiking, sailing and lounging around, what better way to avoid the cold, wet rain? The communities on Cyprus both local and expat are friendly and with the ample activities available, winter will fly by.