With the holidays fast approaching, many people are preparing to chase the winter sun and find a warm spot to relax and recharge. This means a trip south where the sandy beaches are warm and the sun shines throughout most of the day. If you are planning a holiday and you want to soak up the sun’s rays, perhaps a visit to one of these winter sun destinations is what you need.
The warmest place to be in Europe during the winter months is on one of the Canary Islands. Located in the Atlantic, off the coast of West Africa, the Canary Islands receive nearly 200 hours of sunshine in the winter and temperatures that are warm enough to sunbathe in. The Canary Islands offers beautiful scenery, interesting history and luxurious white sand beaches.
Also located in the Atlantic, Madeira receives as much as ten hours of sunshine a day in January. With a reduced numbers of visitors in the winter months and the low cost of living, Madeira is as affordable as it is beautiful. Offering magnificent views of the sea and white-walled and red-roofed houses below, Madeira blends historic with modern as well as natural settings you won’t find anywhere else including black volcanic sand beaches and the world’s largest laurel forest.
Crete is Greece’s largest and most populated island and offers winter temperatures that stay well above 15 degrees Celsius. Although that is hardly tropical, it is the perfect temperature to explore all that Crete has to offer. The south coast is the warmest side of the island and offers an abundance of beach side restaurants and bars to enjoy the sea views. With historic sites ranging from , ancient Minoan castles to century old churches, Crete has a lot to offer the history buff.
Further southeast in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is quite a bit warmer with temperatures averaging 20 degrees Celsius during the winter. With 180 hours of sunshine in the winter months, tourists can swim around Aphrodite’s Rock near Paphos or sun themselves on the many sandy beaches Cyprus has to offer. If the beach isn’t your thing, you can visit a coastal restaurant for fresh seafood, take a boat cruise along the Akamas peninsula or visit Old Paphos and view mosaics dating back to the 2nd Century.