You are looking for the best Warm Winter Destinations in Europe with recommendations, highlights and important travel tips? Here we go. In this article, travel bloggers from all over the world recommend the most amazing Warm Winter and Christmas time Destinations in Europe with iconic world-famous sights, beautiful landscape and exciting things to do. Here you will find classic European Destination like Seville, Lisbon or Fuerteventura, but also beautiful city trip destinations off the beaten track like Gozo or Marbella to inspire your next bucket list entries. JOURNICATION helps you to find your Winter holiday destination in Europe for 2021!
Warm Winter Destinations in Europe – The most amazing cities
All Warm European Winter Destination Highlights at one glance
Here you find the Highlight Warm Winter Destinations in Europe with the best things to do at a glance 📷
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This article covers Warm Winter Destinations in Europe as well as the European Christmas Time Highlights marked in dark red on the map.
Winter Destinations in Europe – Recommendations by Travel Bloggers
Marseille is the ideal destination for a winter break in Europe. Located in Southern France, the capital of Provence boasts 300 days of sunshine and mild temperatures which rarely drop below 10C.
Being the second most populated city in France with a strategic position by the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is easy to reach by plane, train, or boat cruise. Once there, expect a vibrant and colorful city with an attractive cultural offer and delicious regional food.
The list of things to do in Marseille is long and will keep you busy for a while. Among the city’s top sights, don’t miss Notre Dame de la Garde! Also worth to visit are the Cathedral (La Major) and the Old Port with its fish market. Visit the Fort Saint-Jean, or the MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations). The Panier neighborhood, in the second arrondissement, is very picturesque and deserves a visit too.
Marseille is also an excellent base for exploring other places in Provence on day trips. With more time, you can visit Cassis, the Château d’If. Or take a wine tour to one of the wineries around. For your trip to Marseille, we recommend staying central. The districts around the Old Port and train station are safe and offer accommodation for all budgets.
Explored by Elisa from Travel France Bucketlist
Valencia, a proud and beautiful city, located on Spain’s Eastern Coast. Often overlooked in favor of Spain’s bigger and bolder cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia is an idyllic winter sun destination. Offering many glorious, crisp sunny days throughout the winter months, you can still enjoy the climate shift that Mediterranean countries enjoy. Whilst snow is not likely in the city of Valencia itself, you only need travel around an hour by car within the Valencian Community to find some to enjoy!
The average winter temperature of Valencia is a very respectable 17 degrees, and sunny days with vibrant blue skies are plentiful, meaning walks along the stunning Valencian beaches can be blissful and invigorating. The festive season in Valencia is always a special time. Due to the growing international populationof the city Christmas itself is celebrated more and more, in addition to the traditional Spanish celebration of Fiesta de los Reyes (The Three Kings).
What is special about the festive season in Valencia?
During the festive season Valencia sparkles even more than usual, with bustling Christmas Markets and wonderful shows. Enjoy holiday shopping and of course delicious food stands. The Town Hall Square lights up with Christmas activities that include a carousel, an ice rink, and an array of market stalls. Valencia is the birthplace of paella, and many restaurants offer the superb traditional Valencian Paella. It is made with rabbit and chicken. Special sweet dishes to look out for over the festive period in Valencia are the divine Buñuelos de Calabaza.
In Spanish the word buñuelo means fritter, and calabaza is pumpkin. So basically, they are delightful bites of doughnut with pumpkin flavored cream! Also, be sure to look out for the Turrón, the most traditional and iconic candy of Spanish Christmas Foods. Dating back to the 15th century, Turrón was originally derived from the Muslim culture, and is a very popular dessert of toasted almonds and honey.
Explored by Vikki fromFamily Travels with Ellie
Warm Winter Destinations in Europe: Málaga, Spain
Malaga gets magical during winter and Christmas days. The location of Malaga makes the weather around December a bit warmer than in other parts of the country. The temperature ranges between 8 degrees to 18 degrees celsius.
It is a highly recommended place to go during winter and Christmas because of the regional activities that can’t be found elsewhere. Visiting there in Winter is a great choice as the prices also get cheaper than in summer. There are a lot of things to do in these months and some of those activities should not be missed.
Travelers can first enjoy the winter season in Malaga through outdoor sports like golf and hiking. Golf has become a popular choice to practice during chilly winters. After that, travelers should not miss strolling the city center of Malaga and combining the sightseeing with a relaxing bath in Hamman. One of the traditions enjoyed in Malaga during winter is eating roasted chestnuts and potatoes. Another must-experience thing is strolling through the market square.
After exploring the fairy-like decorated streets, travelers may find where to eat in Malaga. They can take the Malaga Tapas Tasting Tour to enjoy Tapas along with an activity.
Explored by Paulina from Paulina on the Road
The coastal city of Benidorm in Spain is a really popular destination for those looking for a warm winter destination in Europe. Here you can enjoy pleasant temperatures mostly around 20 °C even in winter and sunshine is also on the agenda almost every day.
Benidorm, or also known as the “Little Manhattan”, has the highest density of skyscrapers in relation to the number of inhabitants in the world! In winter, the hotels and apartments are less booked. So you can expect very reasonable prices. The highlight, however, are the endless sandy beaches. And not do forget the beautiful natural bays of the region, which invite you to swim even in winter.
Another plus is the vibrant nightlife in Benidorm, and even in winter, there is always something going on here. There are really cool clubs, and also some pubs, restaurants, and cafes are open. Perfect if you like to go out in the evening. In addition, the range of leisure activities is ingenious. There are many cool amusement parks, water parks and zoos, but also beautiful nature and fabulous opportunities for sports and excursions. Actually, you can explore many highlights of the Costa Blanca from here!
One example is the Sierra Helada National Park right next to the city, where you can go on wonderful cliff hikes. Also worth seeing are the colorful old town of Villajoyosa, Calpe with its mountain Ifach and the white city of Altea – all just a few minutes away by car!
Explored by Martina & Juergen from Places of Juma
Located in the heart of “Costa del Sol,” Marbella, Spain is an amazing European destination to visit during the cold winter months.
While it can get a little chilly at night, the sun’s bright rays make it possible to have a beach day almost all year round. And with the busy season in summer, you won’t have to compete for dinner reservations or space on the promenade. Though the city is still brimming with energy. Marbella has an old town – a charming Renaissance-era neighborhood – with quintessential cobblestone streets and a community square.
It also has the more lux neighborhood of Puente Romano. There you can indulge in a wide variety of upscale seaside restaurants and check out the Marbella Club Hotel. It was made famous by the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Grace Kelly. Puerto Banús is right next door, perfect for shopping (or even window shopping). There are designer stores and experiencing nightlife. Because Marbella is so transient, many people are on “vacation mode” and it’s easy to make friends. Overall, if you are looking for a European winter escape, Marbella is the perfect place to indulge and get a little sunshine.
Explored by Hannah from Just Bathroom Thoughts
All-year highlight: Seville, Spain
Looking for warm European destinations to escape the winter cold? Think of southern Spain. Looking for one of the most beautiful places in southern Spain? Look no further than Seville.
Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Sunny Seville in southern Spain is one of the best cities in Spain to escape rainy, snowy, gloomy, and freezing winter days. Seville has a Mediterranean climate with five to six hours of sunshine a day in winter and with the average daily high temperatures between pleasant 17°C – 20°C (63°F – 68°C ) in winter. While visiting Seville in summer is not recommended for the infamous and unbearable heat, Seville in spring and autumn can be overcrowded.
Visiting Seville in winter is another story. Sun-bathed Seville in winter is cozy and with now tourist crowds. So, if you want to see some of the finest examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture in Spain in the winter sun and with no crowds, head to Seville in winter.
Seville is a must-visit in Spain
To tell the truth, Seville’s Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park are beautiful every time of year. But, winter in Seville allows you to visit the main attractions like Seville Cathedral, Giralda Tower, Alcazar Palace and Gardens, and the General Archive of the Indies with no queues. In addition, touring cozy tapas bars in winter in Seville is a treat in itself. Comforting local food delicacies, like popular Seville’s spinach with chickpeas (espinacas con garbanzos) dish, served in taverns and bars of Seville will warm you quickly if you get cold while touring Seville.
Visiting Seville for Kings’ Day (Día de Los Reyes) on the 6th of January is another level. Kings’ Day is one of the most festive events in Seville. The main celebration of King’s Day in Seville happens on the 5th January when the Three Kings’ Parade goes through the city. It is a 6-hour long parade called La Cabalgata de Los Reyes with three kings (Los Reyes Magos) on the huge floats goes through the city bringing gifts to baby Jesus and throwing candies into the crowds. The Three Kings Parade is one of the events everyone needs to see in a lifetime.
So if you need some winter sun and want to see one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, head to Seville in winter! And, aim to witness the spectacular Three Kings Parade.
Explored Milijana of World Travel Connector
Although most travel guides recommend to visit Lisbon during the hot seasons, visiting Lisbon in winter is actually the perfect trip to escape the winter cold and to travel without breaking the bank! So yes, the weather is not really suitable for a swim at the beach, but you will still be able to enjoy long strolls and drinks on a terrace under the mild winter sun. Because Lisbon is the sunniest capital city of all Europe!
Visiting Lisbon in winter is also experiencing a more authentic side of the city. If you’re going there in December, you’ll be able to discover the city caught up in the excitement of the celebrations and preparations for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. With its huge Christmas market, the Campo Pequeno, its stunning illuminations and its huge Christmas tree, you will be quickly immersed in the Christmas atmosphere but by 14° C / 57.2 ° F.
Explore the Highlights of Lisbon
Lisbon is also known for its lively nightlife and parties that last until the early morning, all year round. The evening of December 31 is no exception to the rule! 3 days of free concerts and fireworks take place at the Praça do Comércio. It is the big square in the middle of the city.
Whenever you go to Lisbon during winter, you will be able to attend various events. For example the Diverlândia (the biggest funfair of the city) and the Dia de Reis in January. This time you’ll be able to try the traditional Bolo Rei (Epiphany cake). Or enjoy the Lisbon Carnival in February.
In any case, choosing low season to discover Lisbon is a great deal: less crowds, less traffic and thus more space to visit the attractions. You’ll experience more interactions with locals, more activity options. And, most importantly, more accommodation options.
Explored by Nesrine from Kevmrc Travel Blog
Warm Winter Destinations in Europe: Porto, Portugal
Porto is one of the best places to visit in Portugal and even in Europe all year round, but even more during the cold winters. A Mediterranean city, Porto boasts a warm climate. Daytime temperatures range between 10 and 18ºC, while nights don’t get colder than 5-10ºC. That’s kind of a Norwegian summer! In fact, one can even take surf lessons in Porto during winter.
Did Porto sound familiar? Maybe this is because of the port wine. The city is spread on hills that overlook the Douro, the river that passes through the area where the grapes used to produce it have been cultivated for centuries. They are turned into wine right there, but in order to be transported overseas, it first has to reach Porto. This is why the wine got its name. And this is also the reason one can taste port from all the major brands in town. Or better said in Vila Nova da Gaia, across the river.
The historic center of Porto is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and it’s easy to see why. It has 14th century walls, medieval winding alleys and beautiful tiled houses. For a great view over the town, climb to Torre dos Clerigos. Another place not to be missed is Lello Library, that inspired the author of Harry Potter. At the end of the day, which by the way is quite long for a winter one, enjoy a spectacular sunset from Jardim do Morro.
As Portugal’s second largest city, Porto attracts more and more tourists and can feel pretty crowded. Winter might just be the perfect time to visit and enjoy its true taste.
Explored by Raluca of Travel With A Spin
Hands up if you love Christmas markets, music, lights, decorations and a lovely Christmas atmosphere, but you are not a big fan of cold weather and snow. The Portuguese Madeira Island is a place you should definitely visit during the Christmas season, at least once in your life.
Madeira is a destination that loves to celebrate. The entire city of Funchal is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. Also impressive are the creative, traditional (but slightly exotic at the same time) nativity scenes. You won’t probably see anywhere else in the world. On the main avenue of the island’s biggest city – Funchal – you will find a lovely Christmas market. Here wait small huts selling local drinks such as Poncha and Ginja. It is a great place to hang out with friends in the evening, after an active day of hiking. Thanks to Madeira’s mild climate, you should still be able to hike and explore the island’s best mountain viewpoints and trails, even in December.
The highlight of the season is the NYE fireworks show that… used to hold a Guinness record. Saying that, ticket prices to Madeira around Christmas and New Year’s Eve can get pretty high. So make sure you book flights, cars & hotels in advance to secure the best deals.
Explored by Edyta from Say Yes To Madeira
Warm Winter Destinations in Europe: Gozo, Malta
Malta is a fantastic European destination where you escape the chilly clutches of winter. Head for the warmer climate deep in the heart of the Mediterranean. In particular, the island of Gozo is a remarkable place to visit during the winter months. Gozo is the second largest of the inhabited islands that make up the Maltese Archipelago, only smaller than the main island itself.
The prospect of warm weather, with an average temperature of around 17°C in December and January, make Gozo a very appealing destination for those looking to avoid the crowds that flock to the more traditional European winter getaway destinations.
One of the best things to do in Gozo is to visit the fascinating Victoria Cittadella. The citadel has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and is the focal point of the island – sitting proudly at the top of the Island’s capital city. Victoria is also a brilliant place to sample Gozo’s culinary delights. A pastizzi, a flakey pastry brimming with rich ricotta or pea fillings. It is often a prelude to Malta’s finest dish – the ftira. The famous sandwiches can be found all throughout Gozo. But the most traditional is brimming with tuna, capers, olives, onions and a rich tomato-based paste.
No winter getaway to Gozo is complete without experiencing the world-famous diving conditions the island has to offer. With all-year-round diving available, a rarity in Europe, Gozo is a unique and fascinating place to discover what lies below the surface.
If you’re wanting to explore a fine winter destination this year, it is difficult to overlook the island of Gozo.
Gozo is included in the Malta 3 Days Itinerary
Explored by Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
If you’re looking to escape the cold weather for a warmer climate, then the Canary Islands are a fantastic choice. Located between North Africa and the Mediterranean, the Canaries benefit from sunny weather all year round.
The three top Canary Islands are Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and Tenerife. Fuerteventura is the second biggest of the three and one of the best destinations to travel to in winter. The weather is still good, but it is also windy, which creates a playground of adventure. In Corralejo, located in the north of the island, winter provides the perfect conditions for wind surfing, or surfing in general. You even see people casually flying enormous kites on the main beaches. Don’t worry though, the wind will not bother you if you wish to relax on the beach. There are natural wind breakers made of stone across the main sandy beaches which are both unique and practical.
One of the best things to do in Corralejo to take a sand dune buggy tour. The volcanic and rocky nature of Fuerteventura lends itself perfectly to an adventurous day exploring the golden sand dunes and windy mountain roads.
If you prefer, you could choose one of the many white sandy beaches to relax and soak up the sun. In the evening, head to the old town and harbour to dine at the restaurants across the pier or enjoy the nightlife at the local bars early into the hours.
Explored by Kerry from Adrenaline Junkiez
More Winter & Christmas Destinations in Europe
In this article, Travel bloggers from all over the world revealed their insider tips for Warm Winter & Christmas Time Destinations in Europe. You learned about highlights and amazing things to do during this beautiful season. This article is part of a series covering the most amazing Winter Destinations in Europe. Get inspired and expand your Europe travel bucket list with the tips and infos of the whole series:
- Winter Destinations in WESTERN EUROPE – Highlights
- Winter Destinations in EASTERN EUROPE – Highlights
- Highlights of Winter Destinations in NORTHERN EUROPE
- Winter Destinations UK & IRELAND – Highlights
If you’re looking for more top Warm Winter Destinations in Europe or North Africa, have a look at JOURNICATION’s Travel guides:
- Things to do in Malta: 3 Days Itinerary
- Things to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in one day
- Morocco:Things to do in Marrakech – One perfect day itinerary
What is the destination you put on your bucket list now? Let us know in the comments!