When you think of “Warmest Place in December” , European cities don’t usually come to mind. Most people think of islands in the Caribbean, safaris in Africa, or overwater bungalows in the Maldives. However, Europe has some pretty warm cities during the winter , many more than you might have previously thought.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should cross Europe off your vacation wish list. We’ve researched all the Warmest Place in Europe in December you can travel to in Europe during the winter months.
Why visit Europe in December?
As you’ll see in the places mentioned below, a pattern begins to emerge. All of these European cities during the winter months are cheaper, less crowded, and free of muggy 35+ degree weather, making it a great time of year to visit.
While everyone else is on a crowded beach in Cancun, you can check some insanely beautiful countries off your bucket list and not freeze your sandwiches off at the same time. Here are the hottest places with the highest temperatures to visit in Europe this winter.
Best Warmest Place in Europe in December:
1. Madeira, Portugal
Justifiably famous, Madeira knows how to deliver what it promises: breathtaking landscapes, year-round mild temperatures, and a vibrant cultural scene. The first time you visit, you can only wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. A thousand kilometers off the coast of Portugal, Madeira is one of Europe’s most remote and exotic islands. In winter there are 12 hours of daylight and temperatures hovering around 18-20 °C.
For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a true paradise. Imagine dark sandy beaches, towering cliffs and gushing streams attracting tens of thousands of hikers who set off to explore the island’s enchanting interior. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the island also offers excellent opportunities for local wine tasting, lush botanical gardens and remarkable examples of colonial architecture.
2. Sicily, Italy
If you’re looking for respite from the cold of winter, you don’t have to go far to find sunshine: the perfect, and not at all obvious, destination might just be Sicily. Rent a car for a few days and explore the island’s enchanting baroque towns, or choose one location to discover all its secrets.
Without the crowds of tourists who in the summer flock mainly to seaside towns, such as Taormina, Cefalù or San Vito Lo Capo, you can live a more authentic and much less stressful experience, visiting undisturbed even the formidable archaeological sites. And if, in addition to the sun, you are also looking for snow, go up to the ski slopes of Etna and then descend along the slopes of the volcano in the middle of an extraordinary landscape. Check if during your visit are scheduled festivals and traditional festivals, not to miss the many celebrations, sometimes quite curious, that occur on the island in the winter months.
it’s clear that we need to adopt more responsible behaviors and tips for traveling on a shoestring Budget. But how can you do that while traveling on a budget? Check out the next few tips and tricks to discover the best ways to travel sustainably without spending too much.
3. Crete, Greece
Crete is a fantastic destination any time of year. Aside from the temperatures, which hover around 17°C in winter, there are plenty of reasons to visit the largest of the Greek islands in the off-season: there are breathtaking landscapes, ancient historical sites, delicious food and fantastic beaches. Rivers and gorges fill with water and thousands of waterfalls, dried up during the summer, magically come back to life.
Enjoy an adventurous canyoning session down the streams or take advantage of the endless trails to admire the lush green landscape. If you prefer the sea to the rivers, no problem! The island offers perfect conditions for surfing, especially on the Falassarna Beach, where the waves can reach a height of 3 meters even on windless days. The low season is the ideal time to taste the most authentic local cuisine, since the restaurants serve the most popular dishes among the Cretans.
With average temperatures around 20°C during the daytime, Cyprus is the ideal place for a short vacation even in the winter months. Accommodations are not very lively at this time of year, so head as far south as possible. Rent a car and explore the ancient mountain villages and beautiful Byzantine churches hidden in the narrow streets.
With fewer tourists, you’ll be able to learn more about the island’s many historical sites, dating back to the Crusades or even prehistoric times, away from the crowds and at your own pace. If you are a nature lover, you will also find several hiking trails among the peaks of the Troodos Mountains and along beautiful stretches of the Mediterranean coast.
5. Lanzarote, Spain
With an average annual temperature of 20°C, you can find a summer break in the Canary Islands in any month. Lanzarote is not to be outdone, and among the 7 islands it is perhaps the one least touched by rain. The climate and the affordable prices of many resorts in low season make it the ideal island to spend a family vacation and get plenty of sun.
The island’s appearance changes as the seasons change and the expanses of yellow and blue wildflowers give way to a decidedly drier summer scene. The island’s temperatures are also perfect for excursions to discover these wonderful places. If you plan your vacation in January, you can’t miss the Cabalgada de los Reyes Magos, held every January 5th and consisting of a procession of the Three Kings riding camels to symbolize the day of their arrival in Bethlehem.
Malta doesn’t know gray and gloomy winter days, during which the sun hardly ever peeps out. Valletta, the capital, is the ideal compromise between relaxation, gastronomy and cultural activities and why not, even spending a whole day in the pool is always a good idea.
Explore its streets lined with baroque architecture, or head to the coast to explore its delightful harbors, small fishing villages, rocky inlets and imposing cliffs. Visiting its cultural and historical sites in the off-season means you won’t have to deal with the crowds typical of the warmer months.
Malta boasts 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an impressive number when considered in relation to its small size. In winter there is no shortage of activities to do and wonders to visit, including strolling through the medieval streets of the capital and Medina and exploring the cliffs and salt flats of Gozo.
7. Sardinia, Italy
The coasts of Sardinia have a lot to offer even in winter, when the idea of a swim in the sea is not the most attractive. With beautiful days and views that lose none of their extraordinary charm, the off-season is the perfect time to explore the island’s many caves and discover hidden paths in the hills inland.
The famous Sardinian cuisine is at its best even in winter. And when there are fewer diners, belly me hut! Visit the ancient city of Alghero and stroll through the alleys of the old town to discover the exceptional Gothic-style buildings that reveal the opulence of Catalan rule. If you are in Sardinia in February, do not miss the celebrations of Carnival, which on the island follows peculiar traditions, such as the sartiglia, horse race of medieval origins in Oristano, and the parade of Mamuthones and Issohadores, the two typical masks of Mamoiada.
8. Azores, Portugal
Year-round temperatures are making the Azores a popular winter destination, ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking. The archipelago isn’t famous for its beaches, but the islands will amaze you with their wide, sea-swept shores and the stark contrast between lush green vegetation and turquoise waters, with landscapes that take your breath away.
The nine islands are dotted with volcanic lakes, hot springs, large vineyards, lush gardens and dense forests, not to mention the volcanic pits where the island’s delicious stew, Cozido das Furnas, is prepared. Salto do Prego, Lago do Fogo and the mighty Monte Pico are excellent destinations for those who love to walk. The islands are also famous for whale watching, so book a tour during your visit.
9. Tenerife, Spain
In Tenerife, rain is more unique than rare, with an average of 6 days of rain in December. Visiting the island during this time is a must-do experience to fully savor the ideal climate, culture and local traditions, away from the hustle and bustle of the summer months. The best thing to do is certainly to rent a car and go to the discovery of the territory. The trip to Masca, for example, is breathtaking, as well as the panorama that awaits you once at your destination.
If you are a nature lover, you cannot miss a visit of at least one day to the Anaga Country Park. The main attractions are the Teide volcano and the volcanic national park. You will feel like you are light years away from winter. The Teide Observatory is another highly recommended stop, where scientists study zodiacal light and solar activity. In fact, Tenerife’s crystal clear skies and far from light pollution make it one of the best places in the world for stargazing.
10. The Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve offers beautiful scenery, exceptional food and drink, and an excellent level of hospitality. It’s no wonder it’s packed with tourists in the summer months. The region is known for its all-inclusive beach resorts, but in the winter months, when the crowds dissipate, you can enjoy a more authentic experience.
Your best bet is to rent a car to visit the many coastal towns. Don’t miss a visit to Sagres and, if you love the beach, choose the Praia da Marinha with its turquoise sea dotted with beautiful rocky outcrops. Take advantage of the winter to visit the caves of Carvoeiro. Without the crowds of tourists, you can admire them in all their solemn splendor.